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Archive for November, 2011

You are your new Competition November 22nd, 2011

Vinod Kumar

The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself – Washington Allston

In business, at school and even at work – we always try to define an external yardstick to measure performance. In my opinion, in professional life if you are going to measure success by evaluating with external standards you are guaranteed to be dissatisfied. In this competitive world, you will always find someone better than you, doing more things than you, making more or has more than you can imagine. This catchup game will never end.

Define your own standards for success

In the past, I have had the opportunity to interact with so many people who say my inspiration is Bill Gates or Steve Jobs etc etc. Instead of focusing outwards, see what are your acceptable standards for success. You will be amazed to know your goals are larger and not constrained when compared to your idols. Don’t put yourself inside a box, think as though you have no box to constrain yourself.

Focus on competition has always been a formula for mediocrity. – Daniel Burrus

Don’t wait for that moment, create them

If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative.

It is concerning when people say they are waiting for the right moment in their life to actually do “what they want to do”. Tomorrow is a mystery and we can only control what we have today at present. So the best investments today will not be on gold but on the people we love, the dreams that we have and living the life the way we want.

Reading Warren Buffett’s concepts around “doing what you dislike today so that you can do what you like tomorrow” is a great start. I personally feel, creating the opportunity and ceasing the same at the right time is critical.

Today, the work itself may be really exciting and noble, but if you are not positioning yourself for life after work, you need to change your role and revisit where you are. If you are counting upon that Life Changing Event, you are wishing for statistically unlikely event. Most successful people have taken the risks in life and it is these risks that make them what they are today !!!

Final words

I am not trying to advocate you leave your job and look out for that dreams. Work towards the dreams but be prepared to create that opportunities when the dreams can come true. Finally, be your best judge – don’t look out for that pat-on-the back or recognition that someone is going to shower with that lovely words over mail. Those will eventually come, set your own goals – work towards them and measure your own success.

Feel free to drop me a line if you have any interesting comments.

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SQL Server 2012 RC0 is out November 22nd, 2011

Vinod Kumar

Here a list of links and resources that might be of some interest to you on SQL Server 2012 RC0.

Release announcement on SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate.

Hardware and Software Requirements for Installing SQL Server 2012

Product Specifications for SQL Server 2012

Whatz New !!!

What’s New in SQL Server 2012 RC 0

What’s New in SQL Server Installation

SQL Server 2012 : Changes to system objects in RC0

SQL Server 2012 – Analysis Services

What’s New In Power View

Power View (SSRS)

What’s New in SSIS for SQL Server 2012 RC0

The Pivot Transform – Now with UI!

Various Download Details

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 Release Candidate 0 (RC0) – ISO

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 Semantic Language Statistics RC0

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 RC0 End User License Agreements and Privacy Statement

SQL Server 2012 Developer Training Kit Web Installer Preview

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 PowerPivot® for Microsoft® Excel® 2010 Release Candidate 0 (RC0)

SQL Server 2012 RC0 and PowerPivot V2 RC0

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 Express RC0

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 RC0 Master Data Services Add-in For Microsoft® Excel®

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 Release Candidate 0 (RC0) Manageability Tool Kit

SQL Server 2012 Samples

SQL Server 2012 Samples Readme

BI Features

Install SQL Server 2012 BI Features

Checklists for Installing BI Features

SQL Server 2012 – ColumnStore

SQL Server 2012 – Columnstore Index FAQ

Columnstore Indexes

SQL Server Columnstore Performance Tuning

SSIS Manageability & Automation

SSIS and PowerShell in SQL Server 2012

A Glimpse of the SSIS Catalog Managed Object Model

SSIS T-SQL API Overview

Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.IntegrationServices Namespace

Security – Contained Databases

Contained Databases – Documentation

White-Papers (CTP3)

New Spatial Features in SQL Server Code-Named “Denali” Community Technology Preview 3

Extracting and Loading SharePoint Data in SQL Server Integration Services

Information & Documentation

Solving security issue in PowerPivot for SharePoint and Power View

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 RC 0 Release Notes – Very Important to read before starting any Installation

Books Online for SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate 0 (RC 0)

Tutorials for SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate 0 (RC 0)

Developer Reference for SQL Server 2012

Product Information

Mission Critical Confidence – Overview

High Availability

Security & Compliance

Breakthrough Insight – Overview

SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services

SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Information Management

SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services

Cloud On Your Terms – Overview

SQL Server 2012 Cloud-Ready Information Platform

SQL Server 2012 Programmability

SQL Server 2012 Licensing Datasheet

SQL Server 2012 Licensing

SQL Server 2012 Editions

Codeplex

Microsoft SQL Server Community Samples: Integration Services

Microsoft SQL Server Database Product Samples

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15 Days–Book release recap November 17th, 2011

Vinod Kumar

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. - Barbara Kingsolver

The work that goes behind planning, preparing, writing, reviewing, tech editing, publishing, printing books – as an author this is such an enriching experience and to see when the book lands into hands of public I have no words to describe my feelings. Incase you missed the context of the book – read my post here.

First sign

Not that I was keen in doing it this way, well my friend who got this book in hand insisted we sign the first ever copy. Thanks to all who have got the book in hand. So if you do posses a book in hand, just bump into me at any of the community event I am speaking and will be more than happy to get candid feedbacks from you.

Feedbacks are pouring from all sides and we cherish with close attention to each and every one who is writing back to us. We respect you taking time reading our book and most importantly writing back to us with that same zeal and enthusiasm. We have captured our understanding and our intent has been first to share what we know and we are also students like each and everyone out there. (Thanks Pinal Dave for taking this moment of a lifetime)

Demystifying Intent

As we started writing the book, it is quite a controversy people always confronted us with – this will become like a brain dump to clear interviews. On the contrary, we don’t claim you will 100% be able to clear ANY interview by just buying / reading the book. The format is like a Interview style – just like science, fiction or management style books in the market.

This book is like a guide rail to:

- help you prepare for a potential interview

- Quick refresher on concepts while working with SQL Server

- This doesn’t entail you from giving a practical experience working with the product but more based on our experiences

- This surely isn’t exhaustive of all the areas inside SQL Server

- Great start for SQL Server Relational Engine basics

- More so it gives you a structured path to read and brush up concepts

Just like I started, this is a guide rail but to reach from destination A to B you will need the engine and the fire power to drive your way to the destination. As much as you can read the content, we highly would suggest please try them out. There is no substitute for real world experience.

The book has long way to go if you are on a specialized role working on a specific area of SQL Server. We haven’t covered at length around SSIS, SSRS, SSAS, Data Mining, Tools, Scripting, MDS, Stream Insight, SQL Azure, High-Availability Options etc. Each of these are potentially a content for another 200+ page book all by each topics.

Things to look out

As much as I sound it is basic, guide rail etc. The niceness for me with the book when we were writing are:

- Don’t forget to read the tips almost on every other page. This has interesting trivia.

- Do read the “Points to Ponder” section end of each chapter. Those will also give you interesting read.

- We added close to 3-4 page of General Best Practices as a preview to what we intent to write next (maybe :))

- Have got feedbacks from people that the “Common Tricky Questions” Chapter is something they love reading and found it challenging.

So there is so much hidden interesting trivia’s not to be missed as a quick reference.

Book made me proud – Really

The first day (actually my B’day) when we announced the same, was just praying hope atleast 1-2 copies sell on the opening day. To our surprise we sold more than a 3 digit sales and were out-of-stock at FlipKart in less than 36 hours. So much of love and support was literally mind blowing – Thanks to all.

We got the second set of stocks (more than double of initial lot) and even that almost got out-of-stock in close to a week. So as per sales we topped the charts at FlipKart as the second most selling books – the only Technology book in the Top 50 books sold at FlipKart. As of now we are on their homepage … And FlipKart is giving 25% discount (not sure for how long though) on our book.

Final words

Just a “Thank you” will not sum up all that we feel about the book. But more than anything else it is the support and love you have shown us is overwhelming. Keep those feedbacks coming and we will make sure these are incorporated as soon as possible in the next print for benefit of other readers.

Where to get the book:

USA: Amazon India: Flipkart

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Habits – change them “if required” November 15th, 2011

Vinod Kumar

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn

We hear the common phrase that Habits die hard – I partly agree. I am of the school of thought that Habit needs to change if it is for the better. Actually feel this subject should have been – Know to change habits if required :). So changing your habit is only going to make you more efficient, powerful and help you with a better lifestyle. I have been trying to change certain habits and these have been conscious decisions keeping in mind what happened in the past.

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

Do it one at a time

I think this something similar to the multi-tasking conversation we had on this blog. This can be the most common mistake we make – trying to experiment too much at the same time. Our enthusiasm and inner zeal to get more output at one go is great, but in reality it doesn’t fly far. So finally the stress of keeping up with so many changes at the same time with the different pressures to be successful we tend to give up soon.

Yes, concentrating on changing one habit is quite mundane and may not sound exciting. My suggestion would be do it, make it a habit so that it transforms from an conscious activity to something you do subconsciously as habit.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Lao-tzu

Find your way to make it happen

A common practice I hear is if you can do it for 21 days at a stretch then it will become a habit. Now that rule of thumb gets messy because that rule takes longer time for me personally to become a regular habit.

Especially when it comes to doing exercise or loosing weight or hitting the gym – all these tasks have failed miserably under this shorter duration. It has to be 60 or more days in my opinion to have some considerable visible impact on you.

Secondly, find a routine that suits you and fits your bill to execute relatively successful. So experiment on few options for couple of days and find your routine before making it a long-term habit.

Get out of comfort zone and look for smaller improvements

This is the game of the mind – it is going to push you harder to get out of that routine change from time to time. Snap out – don’t try to be a perfectionist (you will eventually get there) but look for that improvements that you can make yourself more efficient in what you do.

Any change in habits means you are going to give up some good habits that were attached with it. But now you are going to miss them dearly – never to forget you are going to get something else (the sense of unknown) that can change the way you live for a lifetime. So don’t miss the opportunity to explore, exploit and excel in the unknown.

Final words

Be specific and SMART in your execution, this will yield you better and measurable results. “I will do exercise hereafter” is not acceptable as you cannot measure. “I will do 30 mins of walking for 3 days in a week” – now we are talking business.

Now being the change that you wanted in your life and do tell me your experiences.

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SQL Server Interview Book November 3rd, 2011

Vinod Kumar

Yes, author finally and officially for a Print book on SQL Server – You guessed it right (subject says it all). And I don’t have words to quite explain what it feels like now. Thanks to all my readers who made it possible for me and supported me till date. Not to forget Pinal Dave, who has constantly pushed me to lock the content and more importantly getting this book released on my Birthday – Thanks again buddy !!!

Check Pinal’s Post today on release of this book announcement.

Interview on book release:

Thanks Lohith (twitter: @kashyapa) for helping with this interview and publishing it over your channel. You really rock !!!

Why this book?

The concept of SQL Server Interview Questions and Answers is something popular on Pinal’s blog in the electronic format, but having something in the print format with content updated for the current generation till SQL Server 2008 R2 was something we took on. We felt this will be really useful for both people attending interviews and also taking interviews :). Hence the birth of this book with close to 70-75% new content that is not on the blog but part of the book.

It has taken us close to 5-6 months from conceptualization, outline, content generation, technical edits, proofing to publication. With 3 other technical editors who have done a fabulous job, this is now a cool content. We are really happy with the final output with a lot of pointers to detailed explanations !!!

Final words -

This book will surely be educational and a great quick reference if you plan to take an interview. I wrote an exclusive Page to talk more about the book specifics and where to get it. The page also talks at length on what to take care while writing a resume. So happy reading :) …

Book Details : Landing Page

sqlinterviewTitle: SQL Server Interview Questions And Answers

ISBN: 1466405643 ISBN-13: 9781466405646

Dimensions: 9.02 x 5.98 x 0.43 inches

Where to get the book, here are your quick links -

USA: Amazon

India: Flipkart

eBook: Kindle (Released)

Free Sample Chapters Download (Released)

Drop us a line / comment about the book. We love to hear each and every feedback that comes from the community.

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