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Bill Nicolich

A big fan of SQLServerCentral, I hope to add good posts for the general enjoyment of other readers at SQLServer Central. Also check my personal blog for additional comments, recommendations and such at SQLFave.blogspot.com.

Visualize Tech Skills

Is your area of responsibility starved for resources? Is it difficult to get a raise? If so, don't despair. You're not alone - and there's something you can do about it.

Storytelling isn't necessarily the natural strong suit of technical people. That doesn't mean we can't do it - it… Read more

2 comments, 841 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 24 February 2011

The Real Purpose for Kindle

It finally dawned on me why people would bother getting a separate book-reading device like Kindle - and why it might be a good idea especially in a database professional's line of work.

My epiphany came today while at Borders in the Business/Management section and I see a book called… Read more

4 comments, 545 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 22 December 2010

The Development DBA Role

The Development DBA role, though not as common as the more prominent DBA and Database Developer roles in the database space, has its place too - and I think is likely to become more popular as things evolve. What is the Development DBA role? One could argue that it's at… Read more

0 comments, 1,247 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 1 December 2010

SCRUM Training with Alistair Cockburn

I wanted the SCRUM Master certification this year, and could have gone local, but I wanted to get the training from Dr. Alistair Cockburn after watching a video of his training - and noting how great a teacher he is - and also after having read his impressive book Crystal… Read more

1 comments, 996 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 30 April 2010

Handicapped by Choice

The picture I got from public school about evolutionary processes - and the view that I think most people share - has some big pieces missing. One of these pieces has been spotlighted by a nice married couple who are naturalists/scientists. Meet Amtoz and Avishag Zahavi. They developed the "Handicap Principle" in… Read more

5 comments, 383 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 6 April 2010

The Apples and Oranges of Training

SQL Server Training is out there in all sorts of formats, price points and quality. It's time to look at the quality part.

What makes TED Talks (www.ted.com) magic is the digestible format. You take an expert accustomed to talking to their colleagues and writing inpenetrable books -… Read more

0 comments, 378 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 25 February 2010

Job Quality

Through a circuitous route, I encountered a meaningful, thought-provoking quote lately: "... the best way to predict the future is to design it." That's in the "about" section of the 2010 Cusp Conference web page.

I like the idea of designing not just products, but also designing one's experiences -… Read more

5 comments, 668 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 16 February 2010

Database Developer tools in Team Foundation Server Now Available in Visual Studio 2010 Premium

So this week I attended a preview for Visual Studio 2010. In addition to database development, I do ASP.NET development and use Visual Studio 2008 for that. So that's why I was curious about the new Visual Studio 2010 rollout.

Up to this point, I haven't done database development in… Read more

2 comments, 1,326 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 4 December 2009

Flight or Invisibility: Which do you Choose?

A colleague of mine pointed out a great podcast called This American Life - specifically an episode with John Hodgman (the PC guy in the Macintosh commercials) where Hodgman poses the question to people, what super power would you choose - flight or invisibility? In our tech careers, we are… Read more

5 comments, 394 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 12 November 2009

Will the New PASS Summit Attendees be Back?

Despite the down economy, the 2009 PASS Summit attendance was down only 8% compared to the 15% of other conferences - in large part due to new attendees. 40% of the attendees this year were new - including myself. Will they be back?

I'll be back. The quality of the… Read more

11 comments, 344 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 12 November 2009

PASS Conference 2009 Oddities and Curiosities

Down on the docks in Seattle there's a shop of oddities and curiosities where one can find things like a chapter of the Bible written on a grain of rice, an aligator boy, a gobblet of glass eyes - you know - stuff like that. So too one can find… Read more

0 comments, 388 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 5 November 2009

PASS Summit In-flight Note

 I'm on a Delta non-stop flight from Atlanta to Seattle for the PASS Summit. This is the first time I've used wi-fi on a plane. Delta's service gogo (which still means something else to some people I suspect) had a free trial that I'm taking advantage of - and the… Read more

0 comments, 639 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 1 November 2009

2009 PASS Conference Side Quests

Barring any unforeseen issues like sudden death, I'll attend this year's 2009 PASS conference in Seattle. I'll arrive Sunday the 1st and leave Sunday the 8th. Of course, my main quest is to participate at the conference. During conference hours I'll be completely dedicated to gathering knowledge and getting questions… Read more

1 comments, 355 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 22 October 2009

Work on a Strength or Weakness?

When deciding what to learn, there's a binary decision. Will you focus on a strength or a weakness?

I think many people focus mostly on their strengths because they have a goal of really standing out in something. They perhaps want to avoid being average. It's common to hear people give… Read more

3 comments, 757 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 7 October 2009

SQL Server Job Trends on Graphs

 A colleague pointed out a site that collects a lot of job posting data and exposes graphs - so I've taken a look and want to post on some of the graphs related to SQL Server.

How is SQL Server doing compared to some of the other big vendors like… Read more

4 comments, 1,901 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 17 September 2009

Agile Practices Meet Database Development: Intro

I think the database developer role is on the rise and that it's better suited for agile practices - but guidance is needed make that infusion of agile practices a success. Here's why.

My impression is that fusing agile practices into the DBA role is inherently awkward since administration differs significantly… Read more

4 comments, 1,377 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 4 August 2009

70-433 Or Bust: Working toward MCTS Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database Development

The 70-433 will be my first Microsoft certification test. There are two main reasons why I've decided to take on this quest.

The first reason is to "fill in the cracks." Even on fundamental topics I've found myself saying "oh - I didn't know that" while taking a training class… Read more

18 comments, 2,563 reads

Posted in Bill Nicolich on 29 July 2009