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  • Blog Post: A Writer's Toolkit

    Even in a technical role, communication is paramount. If you don't read widely and communicate well, your progression suffers. And one of the primary modes of communication is writing. I've written several books, articles and blogs (see "Publications" on this page), but it isn't just writing books that...
  • Blog Post: The Data Science Laboratory Series is Complete

    I wrote a series of articles on creating a Data Science Laboratory over on Simple-Talk - you can find the complete list of articles below. The series covers installing various software tools and packages on a Virtual Machine running the Windows operating system. I think there's no substitute for installing...
  • Blog Post: Using Outlook Tasks for a Performance Review

    At Microsoft, we have a performance review twice a year to ensure we're on track towards meeting the goals that we set up at the beginning of the year with our manager. I've been a manager multiple times in my career, so I've been on both sides of the table during this review. The results of a review...
  • Blog Post: Have a mentor, be a mentor

    The word "Mentor" actually comes from Greek literature - it's a character from " The Odyssey ". He advised Odysseus and Telemachus, and the word seems to derive from a term meaning "intent, purpose, spirit, passion". We often think of a mentor in the business sense - but some folks I've talked with aren...
  • Blog Post: Staying Current on Technology for your Organization

    As a Technical Professional , your company, firm, group or organization looks to you for guidance on their technical systems. You're expected to apply the best technology solutions that you can to a given business or science problem or opportunity. That can be quite difficult to do. If you are in...
  • Blog Post: Buck Woody is Changing Jobs

    Recently I read an article ( http://lifehacker.com/is-it-bad-to-stay-at-one-company-for-very-long-1295782130 ) that stated that if you are at the same company for more than a few years, it will harm your career. I don’t agree – consider any successful CEO, musician, or master-level craftsperson...
  • Blog Post: Link List: Becoming a Data Professional

    Whenever I present at a conference, I try and make sure to include references to the topics I discuss in the session. That means you either need a lot of handouts, or I need to wait for you to take lots of notes. While note-taking is essential, writing out web links (especially long ones) is not a good...
  • Blog Post: How Does the Cloud Change a Developer's Job?

    I've recently posted a blog on how cloud computing would change the Systems Architect’s role in an organization , another on how the cloud changes a Database Administrator's job , and the last post dealt with the Systems Administrator . In this post I'll cover the changes facing the Software Developer...
  • Blog Post: How Does the Cloud Change a Systems Administrator's Job?

    I recently posted a blog entry on how cloud computing would change the Systems Architect’s role in an organization , and another on how the cloud changes a database administrator's job . This time I'll cover a few of the changes the cloud brings for the Systems Administrator . The systems administrator...
  • Blog Post: How Does the Cloud Change a Database Administrator’s Job?

    I recently posted a blog entry on how cloud computing would change the Systems Architect’s role in an organization . In a way, the Systems Architect has the easiest transition to a new way of using computing technologies. In fact, that’s actually part of the job description. I mentioned that...
  • Blog Post: How Does the Cloud Change a Systems Architect’s Job?

    I know - I said I didn't like the "cloud" term, but my better-phrased "Distributed Systems" moniker just never took off like I had hoped. So I'll stick with the "c" word for now, at least until the search engines catch up with my more accurate term. I thought I might spend a little time on how the...
  • Blog Post: How I Work: A Cloud Developer's Workstation

    I've written here a little about how I work during the day, including things like using a stand-up desk (still doing that, by the way). Inspired by a Twitter conversation yesterday, I thought I might explain how I set up my computing environment. First, a couple of important points. I work in Cloud...
  • Blog Post: A SQL Saturday in Cambridge – Buck Woody’s Ragtime Database Workshop

    The SQL Server community is really engaged. They are an active bunch on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, they help each other on forums, they attend conferences. But that isn’t enough interaction – the community started a grass-roots effort to hold local conferences on a Saturday. Free conferences...
  • Blog Post: How I Work– Working From Home

    I work from home – and I would find it difficult to work any other way. For decades I’ve worked in traditional offices, cubicle-farms, and open-plan work areas. I find them too bright, too loud, too distracting, and in some cases, too depressing to be effective. Working from home offers me a zero-commute...
  • Blog Post: Book Review (Book 12) - 20 Master Plots

    This is a continuation of the books I challenged myself to read to help my career - one a month, for a year. You can read my first book review here , and the entire list is here . The book I chose for May 2012 was: 20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias . This is my final book review - at least for this...
  • Blog Post: Book Review (Book 11) - Applied Architecture Patterns on the Microsoft Platform

    This is a continuation of the books I challenged myself to read to help my career - one a month, for year. You can read my first book review here , and the entire list is here . The book I chose for April 2012 was: Applied Architecture Patterns on the Microsoft Platform . I was traveling at the end of...
  • Blog Post: Book Review (Book 10) - The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

    This is a continuation of the books I challenged myself to read to help my career - one a month, for year. You can read my first book review here , and the entire list is here . The book I chose for March 2012 was: The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick . I was traveling at the...
  • Blog Post: “I could use a little help here” or “I can do it myself, thank you” for Cloud Projects

    Windows Azure allows you to write code in languages within the .NET stack, you can use Java, C++, PHP, NodeJS and others. Code is code - other than keeping things stateless, using a Web or Worker Role in Azure is not all that different from working with an on-premises system. However…. Working in a scalable...
  • Blog Post: Book Review (Book 8) - The Elements of Persuasion

    This is a continuation of the books I challenged myself to read to help my career - one a month, for year. You can read my first book review here . The book I chose for January 2012 was: The Elements of Persuasion by Richard Maxwell and Robert Dickman . Why I chose this Book: As I mentioned in a previous...
  • Blog Post: Valentine’s Day and Your Career

    The new year has begun. It’s traditional to make “Resolutions” at this time, but as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t do that. I make goals instead. I like things to be measurable, and I hold myself accountable to those goals - some of which deal with my professional life. But you might not buy into all...
  • Blog Post: Book Review (Book 7) - Think Stats

    This is a continuation of the books I challenged myself to read to help my career - one a month, for year. You can read my first book review here . The book I chose for December 2011 was: Think Stats, by Allen B. Downey .  Why I chose this Book: I originally chose another book for this month, but...
  • Blog Post: Book review (Book 6) - Wikinomics

    This is a continuation of the books I challenged myself to read to help my career - one a month, for year. You can read my first book review here . The book I chose for November 2011 was: Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, by Don Tapscott     Why I chose this Book: I’ve...
  • Blog Post: The Data Scientist

    A new term - well, perhaps not that new - has come up and I’m actually very excited about it. The term is Data Scientist, and since it’s new, it’s fairly undefined. I’ll explain what I think it means, and why I’m excited about it. In general, I’ve found the term deals at its most basic with analyzing...
  • Blog Post: Book Review (Book 5) - The Cloud of Unknowing

    This is a continuation of the books I challenged myself to read to help my career - one a month, for year. You can read my first book review here . The book I chose for October 2011 was: The Cloud of Unknowing, Anonymous : The role of faith in life. Once again, this is out of order, but the book came...
  • Blog Post: Big Data and the Cloud - More Hype or a Real Workload?

    Last week Microsoft announced several new offerings for “Big Data” - and since I’m a stickler for definitions, I wanted to make sure I understood what that really means. What is “Big Data”? What size hard drive is that? After all, my laptop has 1TB of storage - is my laptop “Big Data”? There are actually...
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