• Post Categories

  • Browse Blogs

  • Blog Stats

    • 483,300 hits
  • Syndications

    SQLServerPedia Contributor

Presenting 2 sessions at SQLPASS

I’m truly honored to be chosen to speak at PASS Summit 2013. The honor is compounded as I have been chosen to deliver two sessions:

SQLJoePresentingSummit

  • Fast Performing SSAS Hierarchies: Tips and Tricks (3 hours)
    Track: BI Platform Architecture, Development & Administration
    Session Abstract: Depending on how they’re implemented, SQL Server Analysis Services hierarchies can be the source for a very high performing OLAP cube or the culprits of long running analysis. Are you implementing SSAS hierarchies correctly?This half-day session will walk you through how to implement SSAS hierarchies the right way and show you some tips and tricks to make them perform faster. You’ll also learn how to query and navigate SSAS hierarchies using common MDX functions.
  • PowerPivot + Power View = Self-Service BI Revolution(75 minutes)
    Track: BI Information Delivery
    Session Abstract: The status quo has changed. IT is no longer required for business intelligence. End users can do their own BI within the comforts of Excel and SharePoint. Sound threatening? Maybe freeing? In this session, get to know what your role is and could be in this new self-service delivery model. You’ll also learn how PowerPivot and Power View work, how to leverage them, and how to make them fit into your enterprise data warehouse.

I feel very fortunate to be chosen as a speaker and to be able to give back to the community at a much bigger scale. I hope to instill my passion for the community and to be a relevant source of learning at PASS Summit 2013 to all who attend my sessions.

I encourage you to join me and attend PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte, N.C. from Oct. 15th to 18th. There are more than 190 sessions to attend. We will also host  12 full-day pre-conference sessions on Oct. 14th and 15th with top SQL Server gurus.

For more information visit: http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2013/

In addition to speaking at PASS Summit 2013, I am planning to speak and attend the SQL Saturday #237 Charlotte, N.C. BI Edition which will be hosted Saturday Oct. 19th following PASS Summit 2013 week.

For more information about SQL Saturday #237 Charlotte, N.C. BI visit: http://www.sqlsaturday.com/237/eventhome.aspx

I hope to see you there!

I have been appointed as PASS Regional Mentor for the Greater Southeast

I have been appointed as PASS Regional Mentor for the Greater Southeast by PASS (http://www.sqlpass.org). I am truly honored to volunteer for this position to help improve our PASS community. These are BIG shoes to fill.

I will be joining my good friend Tim Radney (Twitter | Blog) oversee 28 chapters across 6 US states (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, and SC) as well as the Netherlands Antilles. The complete list of chapters that make up the Greater Southeast can be found at: http://www.sqlpass.org/PASSChapters/USGreaterSoutheast.aspx.

What is a Regional Mentor? What do Regional Mentors do?

In Karla Landrum’s (Twitter | Blog) own words:

In general, a PASS Regional Mentor can be defined as the following:

Passionate community volunteer

  • Dedicated to PASS and the SQL Server community
  • Understands the value of giving his/her time and talents to helping others increase their knowledge and skills and improving the overall community

PASS ambassador

  • Understands PASS and its mission and represents the best of PASS to Chapters in his/her area
  • Works to keep PASS accountable, on track, and meeting the needs of its members

Primary point of contact for Chapters

  • RM facilitates 2-way communications: resources, benefits, and news from PASS to Chapters and Chapter needs and feedback back to PASS
  • RM knows who to contact at PASS, at the local/regional Microsoft office, area sponsors, etc. if Chapters need something or have questions

The full blog post of Karla Landrum on “What is a Regional Mentor” can be found at: http://karlalandrum.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/what-is-a-pass-regional-mentor/

What does being a Regional Mentor means to me?

My personal view is that  a Regional Mentor is a facilitator and nothing else. This position is not a bureaucratic layer on top of PASS Chapters. I’m not a Regional Mentor to supervise, police, decide, or interfere with day-to-day activities of PASS Chapters. It is meant to be the first level of contact, but it does not mean Chapters can’t talk directly to PASS staff and leadership.

Regional Mentors can help PASS Chapters acquire swag, books and even speakers for their Chapter meetings. Regional Mentors can also open doors from personal contacts, contacts established by PASS or even contacts that other Chapters have already established.

Regional Mentors can also help by providing best practices and guidelines on how to run a succesful Chapter or event from past personal experiences as well as experiences from other Chapter leaders and PASS management.

Regional Mentors can also help Chapters leverage as a group on common challenges and issues, for example: incorporating as a non-for profit, learning how to deal with taxes, managing finances, structuring the chapter leadership, obtaining legal representation, obtaining special discounts, sharing of event materials and equipment, coordinating events and speakers, etc. These are just examples of some of the ideas and initiatives for the Southeast Chapters, so be in the lookout for some discussions around them.

What do I have to offer?

As President for the past 3+ years of the Tampa Bay Business Intelligence PASS Chapter (http://tampabaybi.sqlpass.org), organizer/co-organizer of  3 SQL Saturdays, and speaker at more than 35 events like SQLSaturdays,  I understand the challenges and time committment of PASS Chapter leaders. 

Throughout my community involvement, I have created a good network of SQL Server and Business Intelligence professionals, Chapter leaders and community rockstars. In addition, I have established great relationships with “blue badges” (Microsoft employees), PASS leadership and staff and have direct points of contact at many companies that offer products and services related to SQL Server and other Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies.

It is my desire to help Chapters that need from my past experience, network, ideas and initiatives, and role as a facilitator . It is my intention to let Chapter leaders continue to keep doing their invaluable jobs and not interfere or serve as a barrier to their activities.

I’m here to facilitate!

SQL Saturday 86 BI Edition Tampa 2011: Afterthoughts

Wow! Just Wow! That’s all I can say to describe how great SQL Saturday 86 was on November 5th in Tampa, FL . I got so much positive feedback from every attendee, speaker and sponsor. Food was great, sessions were amazing, speakers were first class!  I have to say thanks to everyone for attending, speaking, sponsoring and helping out with these great event put together by the Tampa Bay Business Intelligence User Group officers and volunteers.

Organizing Committee & Volunteers

I cannot take personal credit for this event. It was truly a team effort. Somewhere I read that in order to be successful you need to surround yourself with talented & driven individuals that are committed to your same goals. Maybe I’m paraphrasing or simply making that up, but this has proven to work with running our local Tampa Bay Business Intelligence User Group and the SQL Saturday #86 BI Edition event.

The organizing committee was made up by:

The volunteers that participated in our event included:

  • Randy Borys
  • Gloria Salcedo
  • Chris Richardson
  • William Sanders
  • Pam Shaw
  • Richard Pyra
  • Wes Helton
  • Tom Totten
  • Denis Desault
  • David Greim
  • Lena Pavlyuk
  • Lyn Taylor

Speakers

Our speakers were world class speakers to say the least. The speaker roster included Microsoft MVPs, field engineers and evangelists and other professionals that committed their time and paid for their own travel to support our event. We had just a few speakers that cancelled for personal, health or work-related conflicts. We still want to express our appreciation to them for willing to support our event as well. Thankfully, we managed to secure alternate speakers who did a great job even though it was last minute. Thank your SQL Saturday #86 Speakers!

Sponsors

Our sponsors made our event a quality and epic event by sponsoring with cash, items and swag to giveaway. Thanks to them we were able to sponsor great Cuban food from LATAM restaurant, coffee and donuts throughout the day, swag and raffle prizes and provide our speakers with a thank you dinner.

  • KForce provided their facilities for our event.
  • Convergence Consulting Group (Twitter | Website) did an amazing job with our speaker and event organizers’ shirts.
  • Quest Software (Twitter | Website) raffled an iPad and a $100 Amazon gift card.
  • Redgate Software (Twitter | Website) offered a great variety of books to give away.
  • Pragmatic Works offered a free training voucher for any of their online classes.
  • LaSalle Computer Learning School offered a training voucher for any of their in-person SQL Server certification classes.
  • Fusion-IO raffled an iPad.
  • Idera raffled one their SQL Serve monitoring software suites and gift cards.
  • Soaring Eagle, ElSavier and Wrox each provided SQL Server and Business Intelligence books to raffle.

To all our sponsors thank you for supporting our SQL Server and Business Intelligence Community!

Panel of Experts

In this event I decided to put together a panel of experts to discuss several topics relating to SQL Server and Business Intelligence as well as a discussion of what’s new in the upcoming release of SQL Server 2012. The Panel of Experts took place at LATAM restaurant right after lunch. Our panel of experts included:

We invited our sponsors to briefly talk about their products and services and prizes they were giving away during the event. Following our sponsors I decided to recognize Andy Warren, MVP and PASS (Website) Board of Directors, for his contributions to the SQL Server community, SQL Saturday creation and 100 SQL Saturday milestone.

BI BootCamp pre-conference

Along with our free SQL Saturday #86 event we hosted a paid pre-conference titled “BI BootCamp” presented by SQL Server MVP and SSAS Maestro Instructor Adam Jorgensen. We exceeded our goal with 33 attendees paid attendees, all of which gave very positive feedback of Adam’s presentation. I did a star appearance, helping Adam present a section on SSRS Reports using OLAP cubes as a source.

Thanks to Mike Wells for (Twitter | LinkedIn | Blog) for taking pictures throughout the event. You can see more event pictures at:

https://picasaweb.google.com/116314811362928917852/SQLSat86

Afterthoughts: SQL Saturday #79 South Florida 2011

This past Saturday August 13th I presented two sessions at SQL Saturday #79 hosted by the South Florida SQL Server User Group (SFSSUG) (Webpage | LinkedIn| Twitter). The first presentation was at 11:00am titled “So, What is BI Semantic Model and why should you care?” and the second one was at 3:00pm titled “Designing  and Optimizing Analysis Services Hierarchies.” I had an amazing time chatting with some old friends that made it to South Florida all the way from Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA and  several other Florida cities like Jacksonville, Pensacola, Orlando, and Tampa.

The Driving Adventure

It was an adventure to get there as I decided to make the 4-hour drive from Tampa, FL (about 500 miles round-trip) early in the morning. My original plan was to start my drive around 4:30am but due to being jet lagged from my midnight flight the day before, I woke up until I snoozed the alarm for the 3rd time around 6:30am. That gave me a 30 minute window to get there on time for my 11am session.

The Event

The event was well put together by it’s organizers and volunteers. The food was great and included a mix of Mexican goodies. The Nova Southeastern University Carl DeSantis Building was a great venue. I really liked the central atrium where everybody converged in between sessions and was more than ideal for having lunch and event wrap-up. Great choice of venue & food!

The Attendees

One Mountain Dew + a 5-hour energy bottle and a speeding ticket later, I managed to get there with 20 minutes to spare. My first session titled What is BI Semantic Model and why should you care? started on time and was packed. It was literally standing room only. I had a great time with the audience. They were very engaged and asked both technical and philosophical questions. A couple speakers and friends attended such as my “tweep” (tweeter peep) Phillip Rosen (LinkedIn | Twitter) whom I got to know him in person for the first time. Also, the amazing Data Mining expert and newly minted Microsoft MVP Mark Tabladillo, Ph.D. (Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter) with whom I exchanged a couple of good jokes and funny moments during the presentation. The most memorable being the conception of the term “Bingle” which is the abbreviation of Bing and Google.

Sanjay Soni, Microsoft TSP

One of the attendees was Sanjay Soni (LinkedIn), Microsoft’s new Data and BI Platform Technology Solution Professional (TSP) for the Greater Southeast District (Florida). Sanjay introduced himself after the presentation and was very kind to provide very positive feedback for my BISM presentation. We  spent some time chatting about opportunities to co-present and network some more. I’m very excited to assist Sanjay  as much as I can in his new role in Florida. I encourage for you to network with Sanjay as he is a very friendly and approachable guy. You will see him very soon at a user group or event near you!

At the end of my session several other attendees came up to introduce themselves personally. There were so many I almost ran out of business cards. I appreciate when attendees take a moment to chat with me after my sessions and get the opportunity to listen to their feedback and kind words. I feel truly honored to have been able to present to such a great crowd.

So, What is BI Semantic Model and why should you care?

In this presentation, I did an overview of the new Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM) and the new “flavor” of the Analysis Services Engine that Microsoft will release with SQL Server Codename Denali. I explained about the new focus on “Personal BI” with the PowerPivot add-in for Excel, “Workgroup BI” with PowerPivot for SharePoint and “Enterprise BI” with Analysis Services UDM and Tabular mode. I showcased the free PowerPivot add-in for Excel 2010 and later demonstrated how easily a PowerPivot workbook can now be turned into an enterprise grade Tabular database using the new Business Intelligence Development Studio in SQL Server Codename Denali and how simple it is to deploy them.

You can download the slides here or by clicking on the picture above.

Designing  and Optimizing Analysis Services Hierarchies

 

On my second presentation Designing and Optimizing Analysis Services Hierarchies I also had a great time interacting with the attendees. The session was designed as an intermediate session but changed it a little bit to more beginner level from the results of my skillset level audience survey. I had great questions and participation from the attendees.

You can download the slides here or by clicking the picture above.

Thanks to everyone who attended my sessions and to the organizers and volunteers that made SQL Saturday #79 a success!

Tampa SQL Saturday 62 Afterthoughts

Tampa SQL Saturday #62 was overall a success. We had an amazing turnout of speakers and attendees. The final attendance numbers are still being reviewed by Pam Shaw (Blog | Twitter). I would safely say that we had at least 340 attendees. This is an estimated 21% increase in attendance from last year’s SQL Saturday attendance which was around 280.

Speed Pass
A big differentiator this year was Pam’s brilliant idea of doing the “SpeedPass”.  Registration this year was a breeze. I watched the registration process and took about 15 secs avg per person to hand in their “SpeedPass” ticket and receive their swag bag.  I think this was a great idea and hope that other SQL Saturdays start adopting it. If there is enough interest we could ask PASS to host these reports for us. There are several enhancements to the process as was pointed out to me by Andy Warren (Blog | Twitter). All feedback has been welcomed and we hope other SQL Saturdays implement them.

Food
Tampa SQL Saturday 62 has raised the bar again in terms of food. We had a delicious catered Cuban/Spanish plate. Everybody loved it.  We also had Krispy Kremes and coffee for breakfast and breaks between sessions. Can’t go wrong with Krispy Kremes!

Volunteers
We had several volunteers who had signed up, but only about 10 that confirmed their time and availability and only a handful that really stepped up to the plate. We are very thankful for their time and effort. Without volunteers this event could have not been possible. Special thanks to the volunteers that helped with bagging, setup, registration,  manning food and coffee break area and clean-up. I would like to mention their names in recognition of their efforts:

David Liebman
Andrew Brittain
Lena Pavlyuk
Thomas Heflin
Howard Chao
Brook Ranne
Lynn M. Fruit
Leigh Freijo

Sessions and Speakers
Key to our success were all the speakers. We had over 47 speakers submit a wide variety of sessions but could only accommodate 42. Additional to regular speaker sessions, we also hosted sponsor sessions over lunch. Pragmatic Works did an Iron Chef session and Aaron Nelson (Blog | Twitter) and Mike Davis (Blog | Twitter) did a SQL Smackdown: SSIS vs. PowerShell. Both of these spotlight sessions were very well attended!

                                                      

  

 Thank you all who attended, sponsored, spoke and volunteered !
~)  

Top 10 reasons to attend SQL Saturday #62 Tampa

We will jumpstart 2011 with the first SQL Saturday event of the year in Tampa, FL on January 15th, 2011. SQLSaturday #62 is a joint effort between the Tampa Bay SQL Server User Group along with the  Tampa Bay Business Intelligence User Group, its volunteers, members, speakers and sponsors.

I’m fortunate of co-organizing the event with one of the most experienced User Group leaders and SQL Saturday organizers, Pam Shaw (Twitter | Blog). It is great to have a mentor such as Pam and learn from her past experience organizing this type of events.

This will be the 4th SQL Saturday organized in Tampa. It will be held in an area of Tampa known as Ybor City (wiki) with a lot of Spanish, Cuban and Italian influence. As with previous years, we will be providing awesome Spanish food for lunch. This year we will also have two paid pre-conferences for the SQL Server/DBA track and Business Intelligence track the day before SQL Saturday on Friday, Jan 14th.

So why not come down to Tampa? SQL Saturday #62 has so many great speakers and sessions. We had over 45 different speakers who submitted more than 75 different sessions. The list was narrowed down to fit the number of rooms and time slots available, giving opportunity to new speakers as well as seasoned speakers and MVPs.

These among many other reasons make up the Top 10 reasons why you should attend SQL Saturday #62 Tampa, FL:

1) Preconferences

SQL Saturday #62 Tampa, FL will have its free sessions on Saturday Jan 15th as well as two paid pre-conferences on Friday Jan 14th. Yes, you read correctly, two all-day pre-conferences the day before SQL Saturday. The pre-conferences have a registration cost of $99. Price includes course materials, coffee, donuts, lunch, water and sodas. You can register for the paid all-day training events at:  http://sqlsaturday62.eventbrite.com/

The two pre-conferences scheduled are:

Pre-con A: Storage and Virtualization for the DBA
Presenter: Denny Cherry
Abstract: This session will be a two part session in which we will be focusing on two of the biggest topics in the DBA field, how to properly design your storage and virtualization solutions.

 Pre-con B: End-to-End Business Intelligence
Presenter: Stacia Misner
Abstract: This session will cover the basics of ETL using SSIS, a deeper focus on mutl-dimensional cube design using SSAS, effective report design using SSRS and an introduction to PowerPivot ad-hoc analysis.

If the pre-conferences (Reason #1) are not reason enough to come to SQL Saturday #62, these are additional reasons to attend;

2) Learn for free : 

Yes, free! No strings attached. All expenses for Saturday sessions are covered by event sponsors and volunteer time and effort by speakers, organizers and user group members.

3) Quality sessions by world class speakers:

And did I mention free sessions on Saturday? Learn from the best in the industry, SQL Server Most Valued Professonals (MVPs), book authors, bloggers, and certified professionals. Take a look at the MVP speaker line-up for SQL Saturday in Tampa, FL: 

MVPs                            

Adam Jorgensen
David Dye
Denny Cherry
Geoff Hiten
John Welch  
Jonathan Kehayias
Kevin Boles
Plamen Ratchev
Rodney Landrum

4) Networking opportunities

At SQL Saturday you have the opportunity to create new friendships, establish professional relationships with other professionals, meet your rockstars and if you are on Twitter, get to meet the source of some of those odd and funny tweets! You have a full day to hunt down and stalk your rockstars, enjoy a casual over lunch conversation or have more deep conversations over a drink at the after party!

5)  Talk to industry leader vendors and explore their products and services

Advaiya
Confio
CozyRoc
Enterprise Software Solutions
Enterprise Software Solutions
Fusion-IO
Gerasus Software
KForce
Melissa Data
Microsoft
Pragmatic Works
Professional Assosciation of SQL Server (PASS)
Redgate
SQL Server Magazine
Tavolacci & Associates / YouCanLearn
Confio
Fusion-IO
Enterprise Software Solutions
Pragmatic Works
Tavolacci & Associates / YouCanLearn

6) SQL Karaoke – SQL Saturday Edition
Show off your talent at the SQLSaturday after party. SQL Karaoke is a must-do event for everyone. Sing along with some of the SQL Server professionals for good’ol fun. We will have our after party at Rock-N-Sports Bar & Bistro at Centro Ybor.

7) Great food
We will be providing free lunch and back by popular demand we will be delighting you with Spanish/Cuban cuisine!

8 ) Enjoy warm and sunny weather
Escape from the cold weather and come down to Tampa. Enjoy a weekend in Ybor City, visit Busch Gardens, or take a trip to the beach.

9) Job opportunities
Looking for a job or planning a career move? Kforce representatives will be on site to talk about several job openings in the area and nationwide. Make sure to visit their booth.

10) Get your Swag on!
As an attendee you will receive a bag full of free swag from our sponsors and raffle tickets for a chance to win netbooks & other electronics, software licenses, training vouchers, books, etc.

2000-2010 a Decade in Retrospect

2011: A New Year / A New Decade
The end of the year 2010 marks the end of the first decade of the 21st Century. It has been a decade of commotion in many aspects of our every day life: 9/11, war, political and economic crisis. For IT Professionals it has been undoubtedly a decade of many changes: new privacy and security regulations,  improvements in technology, shifts in delivery models like SaaS and Cloud Computing, re-shaping of roles, etc. All these changes are part of the IT evolution that never ends. 

Being an IT Professional I’ve had the need to keep up with this wave of change, always adapting, and trying to find my call. As I look back at this decade, there are so many things I have accomplished for which I’m grateful to God and to the many people who have helped me become who I am now. These are my milestones:

2000: Survived Y2K
Y2K was an event of catastrophic consequences, or so the media portrayed it. Banks were going to lose all your account data, airplanes were going to fall out of the sky, nuclear missiles will start firing at will, the end of the world was near. People started building Y2K shelters, some withdrew all their money from their bank accounts, and many embraced themselves for the turn of the century with fear. We survived.

During this time I had my own Computer Sales and Services business while finishing college back in Honduras. Y2K was very lucrative for me as many companies needed firmware upgrades, software patches and updates. I even got my hands dirty with an obscure product at that point to me called SQL Server 6.5 helping install Service Pack 5a for one customer. Little did I know this product will be what would feed my family a couple of years later. 

2001: The World collapses
9-11 made the whole world collapse to its knees in shock. I was in Honduras still sleeping when my dad woke me up and told me to come watch the news of an airplane accident in New York. As I watched in shock what appeared to be a replay of what had happened, it was several seconds later that I realized it was not a replay, it was a second plane.

At that point in my career, I was working as a jack-of-all-trades for a larger Computer Sales and Services company with foreign capital as Sales Manager, network and computer technician, graphic and web designer, and supporting a couple SQL Server and Sybase ASE database systems. I had no real clue where I wanted to focus my career on. I liked everything about IT, I enjoyed selling, building and troubleshooting those Pentium IIIs and PIVs, designing webpages with raw HTML with occasional use of FrontPage.

2002: A New Country
On a Friday morning I get a call from one of our customers requesting assistance with one of their applications that we supported. Since it had a Sybase database backend, I took the ticket and proceeded to the customer site. The issue was simple a data window was not saving the data on the screen. I put my PowerBuilder skills to work, and pinpointed and solved the issue in 10 mins. It turns out that the developer of this third-party application had been trying to fix this issue for several days, causing the business loss of productivity since they had been relying on paper base format in the meantime. Next morning on Saturday, after waking up at noon from playing StarCraft all night long,  I received an instant message via Windows Messenger (yes, old school!) by one of the client’s staff. The message was, “Would you be interested in going to our Miami office to fix some of our issues there?” Cue: Coming to America by The System

2003-2005: The “Network Guy” years
Once my work contract was over I decided to apply for permanent residency, obtaining a temporary work permit and enabling me to seek other job opportunities and study. One area of IT that really interested me at the time was Cisco networking, so I enrolled at Miami-Dade College and completed the CCNA program with flying colors. Little did I know, that no company was willing to hire a guy fresh out of some Cisco classes to manage their network. After several interviews, only one company gave me a chance, and boy it changed my life.

It was an airline, but all their networking was outsourced so all I had to do was open the door for Cisco technicians to come install and configure equipment at our data center. I learned some things here and there from them, but the most valuable lesson was that all the configurations were given to them by their top-level Cisco engineers, and they simply copy/pasted into the equipment’s configuration. I could have written the configuration myself, but no, that’s the job of experienced CCNPs and CCIEs. That was a little heart-breaking for me and soon realized Cisco no longer appealed to as my career focus.

Working at this airline I expanded my knowledge in other areas, Windows Server troubleshooting, Exchange, IIS, some Oracle Financials, and SQL Server. At this point I learned upgrading, installing and troubleshooting SQL Server 2000/2005. I did not like it, since databases was not an area I was interested in. I thought of database professionals back then as being the equivalent of report writers. And no, report writing was never my call and never envisioned myself being so, but little did I know.

2005: Newly Wed
While working for the airline, I met my wife. It was not love at first sight, quite the contrary. Our jobs crossed in a way in which we did not get along at the beginning. After several months of having to work together, I discovered her true-self and immediately fell for her. After a short relationship, we decided to get married. 

2006: An Angel from Heaven
In 2006, we were blessed with our oldest daughter. That’s when it hit me: Get your career on track! During this period I had left the airline job and decided to start my own company, with two incomes, I could afford a lower-income as I built my customer base. I had a good two-month start but when my wife gave me news of our baby, I panicked and decided to get a job, get my career on track, and start saving for a house.

After a six-month contract with a Cruise Line, I was offered a management job at a financial services company I used to provide networking and desktop support services during my short-lived entrepreneurial time.

2007: A New Career / A New Home
According to the job description I was going to be IT and Operations Manager. I knew the IT Management part, but Operations? The great thing was that the previous Operations Manager was becoming full-time Marketing Manager for the company. He had been Marketing and Operations manager but the Operations Management part was more in par with IT since all the company’s processes had a technology aspect to it. He was great to show me all the tasks he did for Operations and it helped me fine tune some processes and introduce new technology to facilitate our operations such as SharePoint, SQL Server 2005 and other technologies.

As our daughter grew, so was her need for space. Living in an apartment in Miami was not the best of places to raise a very active little girl. During that time the housing bubble was on the rise and properties in Miami became outrageously expensive. On the other hand taxes were high and schools were bad. Thinking in a long term investment for our home and for a good area to raise our girl we decided to move to the suburbs of Tampa. My employer allowed me to relocate and work from our Tampa office.

2008-2010: SQL as a Safe Heaven / A Second Angel from Heaven
Several months after I moved, our management meetings became more and more centered on the loss of revenue. Every month the conversations revolved around the sharply decrease of customers coming back. The real estate bubble had just exploded. The majority of our customers where in the construction business, mainly immigrants who now where out of work and had been relocating north to other states were there was still some construction going on. The forecast was to close down in a period of six months. I could not afford losing my income as we were expecting our second daughter and decided to jump ship. At that moment only two areas were safe to do a career move, government or health-care. I was lucky I was able to land a job as database administrator for a local government organization, what I considered a safe-heaven, to weather the economic crisis.

By the end of 2008, our youngest daughter was born. Another angel sent from the heavens.

My move not only let me  weather the economic crisis between 2008 to 2010 but it also allowed me to learn so much about database administration. This organization also gave me the opportunity to build my skills as a Business Intelligence architect and developer. I was given the task of architecting our Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence solution, which I was able to accomplish with great results, allowing our Executive Team to be able to surface important facts about the population and geography served.

2010: My calling
After going through some organizational changes at my local government job and due to some other family related factors I decided to move on and pursue other opportunities out there. At the moment, my heart was split between Database Administration and Business Intelligence. I received two offers, one as DBA and for ETL developer. I was ready to accept the job as DBA when a third offer came from nowhere to become a Business Intelligence Consultant. I had always wanted to be a consultant but did not feel I had enough knowledge and experience to become one. After a lot of soul searching I decided to take the plunge and accept the offer as a Business Intelligence Consultant. It was the best decision ever. I had found my true calling.

During 2010, I became more active in the SQL Server and Business Intelligence community. I decided to get my SQL Server certifications. I jumped on Twitter, started following and met MVPs, book authors and all of my blogging rockstars. I established new friendships. I attended and spoke on my first SQL Saturday, I attended PASS Summit 2010 and I became the leader of the Tampa Bay Business Intelligence PASS Chapter.

The 2011 New Year awaits great things for me. The beginning of a new decade. The continuation of my true calling as a Consultant in the Business Intelligence field. A new employer: Pragmatic Works (website).

More details coming soon…

%d bloggers like this: