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Micro Credentials

For all of my career, there has been a constant debate about the value of certifications. Early on I saw one boss move ahead because of his CNE (Certified Netware Engineer) credential. That got me moving in that direction, though I switched to an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) track once Windows gained prominence and I found myself working in that arena.

These days there seem to be less certifications around in one sense. Certainly Microsoft and other vendors are spending less effort building and maintaining a program. At the same time, there is a variety of different products that you can get certified in using. A friend recently showed me the Redis University where you can complete courses and get a certificate. We even have Redgate University, designed to help you improve your ability to use our products.

Like many credentials, completing a course doesn't mean you are an expert, or competent, or even qualified with a product. There are numerous stories of people holding credentials and being unable to perform simple tasks in the real world. I'd counter with the fact that there are plenty of people with lots of experience on paper that equally cannot perform fairly rudimentary tasks.

Microsoft Philanthropies is experimenting with micro credentials, an idea of helping people to learn skills and tasks that aren't equivalent to formal education, but perhaps can take the place of other educational opportunities, such as a college degree. It's an interesting idea, and it fits nicely with my thoughts that your career requires continual learning and improvement, or as they put it, up-skilling.

There is a great quote in the article:  "Careers are no longer ladders. They are more like vines in a rainforest. You can swing on one and then grab another." I think that's true in technology, and likely true in many other fields as well. I've seen plenty of issues with workers trying to undertake year+ long programs to retrain in some other field, only to find out there aren't enough jobs or the skills are becoming obsolete quickly.

The future, in my mind, is that we need to be adaptable and flexible. We should have some basic skills, like logical problem solving and communication, but the specific syntax and muscle memory to work on any particular implementation are something we need to pick up quickly and gain competence in without a long learning period. This doesn't mean that expertise isn't valued, but flexibility and the willingness to continue to improve skills over time is more valuable.

Will this replace traditional universities in our business? I don't know, but I do think it could. There are still places where a formal education is valuable and useful, but I'm not sure if it matters in the field of technology. At the same time, unless organizations that hire individual stop requiring four year degrees, I'm not sure this matters. I hope they do, because a degree says something about you, but not necessarily more than other experiences and efforts that you can undertake.

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

Join the debate, and respond to today's editorial on the forums

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Stairway to Biml Level 8 – Using the Relational Database Metadata to Build Packages

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In this next level of the Stairway to Biml, we will examine how you can use the information stored in your RDBMS to build packages.

Free Solution Brief – Dedicated Database Environments for Dev, Test and CI

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Developers and testers can be blocked from having a local, private database to work in because of disk space, refresh times, and data privacy. Download this free solution brief to learn how SQL Provision removes these blockers and enables production-like data to be delivered at speed. Download now.

Hosting a Machine Learning Model in ASP.NET Core 3.0

Additional Articles from SimpleTalk

Microsoft introduced the ML.NET framework which can be used by developers to include machine learning models in their applications. In this article, Dino Esposito discusses hosting a machine learning model in ASP.NET Core 3.0.

SQL Server Transaction Log Management eBook Download

Free eBook: SQL Server Transaction Log Management

Press Release from Redgate

When a SQL Server database is operating smoothly and performing well, there is no need to be particularly aware of the transaction log, beyond ensuring that every database has an appropriate backup regime and restore plan in place. When things go wrong, however, a DBA's reputation depends on a deeper understanding of the transaction log, both what it does, and how it works.

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - MS Ignite Day #2 Recap

jphillips 46546 from Another SQL Geek

Day 2 was my opportunity to be focused and dive into a few technologies that were really peaking my interest, namely Azure Synapse Analytics and SQL Server 2019. Since...

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Microsoft Ignite Announcements

James Serra from James Serra's Blog

Microsoft Ignite has always announced many new products and new product features, and this year was no exception. Many exciting announcements, and below I list the major data platform...


  Question of the Day

Today's question (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor):


Limiting the Data Frame

I've got this data frame in R:
> travel
  Passenger FlightDate Destination Miles Dollars
1     Steve   20180225         LHR 11789    1100
2     Steve   20180512         LHR 10989    1500
3     Steve   20180620         LHR 11789    1800
4     Steve   20180830         LHR 11789    1100
5     Steve   20181015         LHR  9678    2700
6     Steve   20181212         LHR 10520    1500
7     Steve   20180810         MSY  2427     440
8     Steve   20180225         OSL  1502     210
9     Steve   20180225         DCA  1475     310
I want to extract out the flights to London (LHR) that were more than 10,000 miles. I try this:
> = subset(travel, Destination = "LHR" & Miles > 10000)
However, this doesn't work. I still see all my flights. What should I run?

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.



  Yesterday's Question of the Day (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor)

Computed Column Indexes

I have this definition for a computed column in my table:

ALTER TABLE dbo.Activities
ADD ProdOneCount AS CASE
                        WHEN ProductID = 1 THEN

I now want to run this code. What happens when I run this?

CREATE INDEX dbo.Activities_PRodOneCountThreshold
ON dbo.Activities (ProdOneCount)
WHERE CallCount > 50;

Answer: The index is created

Explanation: This works fine. There is no issue with adding a regular non clustered indexing on a computed column. Ref: Indexes on computed columns -

Discuss this question and answer on the forums




Database Pros Who Need Your Help

Here's a few of the new posts today on the forums. To see more, visit the forums.

SQL Server 2017 - Administration
SSMA tool shortcomings ? - I prefer to use ssma tool to perform the database migrations from older versions of SQL server to newer versions but could see the tool has a few shortcomings like it deletes the backup files after restoring , it wont change the database owner , compatibility level of the restored databases , it wont fix […]
SQL Server 2017 - Development
Round at specific decimal point - Hi, I am trying to round my numbers up to the nearest whole number if the decimal is equal to or greater than .7, for example 28.7 will be 29, or round down if it is below .7, for example, 28.6 will be 28.  I'm not sure If I need to truncate first and make […]
STIntersect - A friend of mine asked me a really interesting question, and I'm a little stumped. She's trying to determine from a given flight plan, which countries a plane will fly over. I was thinking the flight plan could be described as a linestring of (long, lat) points and then I could use STIntersect to see […]
SQL Server 2016 - Administration
SQL Copy Database Wizard Broken - I have been using  the SQL Copy Database Wizard (right click on the DB and Copy Database option) through the GUI (SMS)  to copy a DB up until SQL 2016. Every installation I have where 2016 or greater has been involved the feature is broken and always gives the same error. It doesn't matter if […]
SQL Server 2016 - Development and T-SQL
Transaction handling in sql server - Hi All, Have some questions related to transaction management in sql server. 1. What is the difference between having SET XACT_ABORT is ON and having BEGIN TRY ... CATCH ROLLBACK; 2. What if I use only BEGIN TRY ... CATCH ROLLBACK; and do not use XACT_ABORT ON ? Any issues we need to keep in […]
how to merge 3 different temp tables data into one - Is there any better way to do this?   create table #student (StudentName varchar(20) null, StdId int not null, Stdgrade varchar(10) null) insert into #student (StudentName , StdId , Stdgrade ) select std.Name ,std.StdID ,dp.stdgrade from dbo.student std join dbo.department dp on std.stdid = where dp.isactive = 1 insert into #student (StudentName , StdId […]
SQL Server 2012 - T-SQL
Need help to calculate in Single Query - My table and data as follow, USE [WeightManagement] GO /****** Object: Table [dbo].[crpt_NotaPenyataKewangan_BL_Vertical_1] Script Date: 7/11/2019 10:41:39 PM ******/ SET ANSI_NULLS ON GO SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON GO SET ANSI_PADDING ON GO CREATE TABLE [dbo].[crpt_NotaPenyataKewangan_BL_Vertical_1]( [idx] [int] IDENTITY(-2147483648,1) NOT NULL, [batch_Id] [uniqueidentifier] NULL, [group_1Digit] [char](5) NULL, [group_2Digit] [char](5) NULL, [group_3Digit] [char](5) NULL, [chart_code] [char](5) NULL, [pusat_kos] […]
Find records from the last 24 hours - How do I get the records for the last 24 hours for each VisitID, based on the ActivityDateTime? So, beginning at the most recent ActivityDateTime for each VisitID, go back 24 hours and pull those records.     create table #T1 ( VisitID varchar(30), IdentifierID varchar(30), ActivityDateTime datetime ) insert into #T1(VisitID,IdentifierID,ActivityDateTime) values('F0-B20191023162046527','20907277','2019-10-24 10:18:00.000') insert […]
Get some row depending of Date of nexts rows - Hi, Sorry for my bad english. I need to select some rows of a table like that : Id Object   |              Start            |             End A           | 06/11/2019 09:00 | 06/11/2019 09:15 A        […]
SQL Server 2008 - General
sp_executesql not working - Hi, We have 2 dbs DB A and DB B on two servers AA and BB respectively linked to each other. Stored Procedure(stp)  Stp_A in DB A calls stp_B in DB B fetches data from DB A and stores it in temperory table. we have used dynamic sql and used exec sp_executesql command. the sample […]
SQL Azure - Administration
Migrate Database with column level encryption to Azure - Hi, We've got an on-premise database that uses column level encryption and are currently investigating whether we could migrate it to the SQL Database service in Azure. In the past if we have moved the database between on-premise servers we've been able to change the master key to encrypt by password before taking a backup […]
Reporting Services
Hosting PowerBI in SSRS - Overview I have been tasked with the question is there a tool that can host PowerBI reports other than PowerBi Reports Engine?  The problem I believe is licensing.  We have license for SQL Server Enterprise 2017 that includes SSRS & SSAS. Question Can we host PowerBI Reports in SSRS?  I believe I got the answer […]
Reporting Services 2008 Development
How to make Time Range chart in SRRS? - Hi Everyone, I am new to in SSRS report development, I have a requirement like to show the report in SSRS as below formant, Could you please help me to achieve this result? How should keep data in SQL script every five minutes what is machine status?    
TFS/Data Dude/DBPro
TFS change tracking and details. - Hi, I had a quick question and I am using TFS 2015. How do I see what is the changeset number of an SP which is deployed just now? How do I find out at what time that Stored procedure or object was checked in? Thanks!  
Integration Services
Dataflow each batch takes longer - I'm looking for a technical reference on how fast-load work. Each buffer transfer seems to take longer Case: Transfer data from Oracle to SQL Server Dataflow Source: Oracle Oledb, fetchsize 50000, default buffer max rows 50000 Dataflow Destination: SQL Server (fast-load), rows per batch 50000, maximum commit size 50000 The transfers start quick, but as […]


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