Keep on Learning
Check out this amazing contents that is sponsored by IDUG:
Tell us your best DB2 stories and win big prizes – yes, it’s as simple as that. In your own words, tell us your experience with DB2, and if our judging panel finds your story interesting you could be taking home a Wifi enabled Vizio HD TV or an Apple iPad.
“Do You DB2?” is open to anyone in North America – DBA’s, developers, testers, students, professors, or even managers, CIO’s and CEO’s. All we want to hear is your DB2 stories, whether technical or business oriented. (Make sure you check out the official website and rules. )
Speaking of IDUG, have you registered for the annual conference that is taking place in Tampa Florida from May 10 - 14? That's next week, so rush if you haven't yet registered. Check out my previous posts about this conference:
1) What sessions would a DBA like Rebecca Bond choose to attend? http://bit.ly/do7EjC
2) What sessions are being presented by IBMers? http://bit.ly/do7EjC
3) IDUG is all about the users! Don't miss a single presentation! http://bit.ly/a53P7k
4) InfoSphere is a hot topic. Check out all the sessions that are available. http://bit.ly/dwqDg3
5) At the end of each day, do some networking. http://bit.ly/ckk3xd
6) Take this opportunity to get certified... and do it for free! http://bit.ly/daNvdN
7) If you have registered, you are eligible to take an assessment exam for free. Those who are registered will get an email with the special promo code: http://bit.ly/dftRin
8) As usual, there will also be a bookstore on site. Check out the books that you should be able to purchase while at the conference: http://bit.ly/c2CdMy
So... DO DB2 (and Win)
and LEARN DB2 at IDUG :)
I had the absolute pleasure to attend an hour long session by Sam Lightstone today. Sam has taken a few topics in his book and created a 10 point agenda that provides a few highlights from his best selling book "Making it Big in Software: Get the Job. Work the Org. Become Great.".
Let me share a few of the tips that Sam shared today... but if you get the opportunity to hear Sam yourself, take it! Sam is a very fun speaker to listen to. Also, you won't be disappointed with the book!
1) Dress for Success
What does a successful software developer wear? The same as a CEO? NO! CEOs are typically polished wearing fancy suits. Software developers? Running shoes, jeans, t-shirts... don't believe me? Find a photo of the Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and you'll see that they dress like ROCK STARS!
Senior Software Architects make much more money than junior employees. Check it out on payscale.com. But... what you don't see on sites like this is the other money superstars make. They often get large bonuses and stock options beyond their base salary.
A superstar developer has much freedom in their job in terms of where they want to work and customers they want to visit.
4) Getting Ahead
There was lots of advice about getting a promotion and rising in your field, but the one thing that stood out for me is that you should become the expert in YOUR DOMAIN. Whatever that domain is... become an expert. It doesn't take long, but unfortunately it is rarely done. So, it would be fairly easy to stand above your peers if you just invested a bit of time each month to learn something new about your domain.
5) Pros and Cons of Climbing the Ladder
There are cons to anything you do in life... but the pros of climbing can be worth the cons, if that's what you want to do.
What is more important than inspiration? Would believe that it is following through on your plans? It is! And apparently following through is rare. Surprising!
7) Time Management
Did you know that goofing off can actually be important to your career? Really! Your brain needs a break from time to time, so give in. But make sure you don't abuse this advice!
There are lots of considerations regarding getting promoted.. and the most important is to do something that makes you stand out from your peers. Publish, files patents, join groups, present about your topics, etc. Do what you like to do and what makes you feel appreciated.
9) Social Dynamics
One of the key messages here is DON'T GOSSIP! 9/10 times you gossip, it may not get around... but even 1 out of 10 times could be a career killer! I've worked with Sam for a number of years and let me tell you! He practices what he preaches.
The last hint that I'll give you today is.... you can hear Sam speak. He's been invited as the guest speaker on the DB2 Night Show. There is a 200 person limit to this webinar, so register today to reserve your spot!
PS... find out more about Sam and what makes his clock tick via this interview: http://bit.ly/cDeeJq
DB2 Health Advisor Service (HAS) is a proactive/reactive SaaS (support as a software service) technology that is non-intrusive and utilizes up to date analytics from subject matter experts across DB2. The main goal of the service is to leverage the expertise and knowledge back at IBM to productively avoid problems, reduce the bar of adoption, lower total cost of ownership and return on investment when using DB2. It is based on best practices and customer knowledge database.
The service collects information about the customer’s DB2 operating environment and sends it back to IBM where it is automatically processed by analysis engine. DB2 HAS analytics are based on DB2 best practices gleaned over many years as well as knowledge of 1000’s of similar configurations. A report is then generated based on the comparison that indicates what system parameters are healthy and which should have a second look. Recommendations are also provided. The report is then sent back to the customers via the email they provided at the command line when they requested the health check.
If you are on DB2 v9.7 FP1, the db2has tool is already available as a part of DB2 installation. If you are on an earlier DB2 release/fixpack, the db2has tool is available from an official IBM download website: https://www.ibm.com/services/forms/preLogin.do?source=swg-beta-db2hasvc .
(You will need to login using your IBM ID and follow the appropriate instructions to download the data collector. )
Here's some information about db2has:
DB2 Health Advisor Service data collector (db2has) gathers information about a DB2 instance, its databases, and its operating environment. The db2has tool will generate a zip file (under ~/sqllib/db2hasdir) that contains an XML file which is the contents of the scan.
- There is no installation required for the tool. For a download version, on DPF systems only it is recommended to copy the db2has executable to the sqllib/adm directory to make sure that the executable can be run from all partitions.
- Have your company's IBM Customer Number (ICN) ready, as this is a required parameter entry when using the db2has tool. If you do not currently have an ICN, contact IBM Software Support.
- Using the -send option will FTP the compressed file to IBM. Otherwise, send the compressed file here ftp://email@example.com:21/toibm/im using your FTP client. If using FTP is not an option (e.g., due to a firewall restrictions) please send compressed file as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For detailed information about the db2has tool, use the "db2has -help all" command or "db2has -help examples" to see other examples.
For convenience, here is a sample command with a recommended set of options (simply replace the fake information as appropriate):
Please review the DB2 HAS report that you receive and evaluate the effect of the report's recommendations by first implementing them in your test environment. If you have any questions, comments, feature requests or if would like to influence the DB2 HAS direction please send an email to email@example.com.
If you have any questions, comments, feature requests or if would like to influence the DB2 HAS direction please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you going to IDUG in Tampa, Florida this year? The conference takes place May 10 - May 14 and if you are going, you have 4 weeks to prepare to pass the free exams that you can take while attending the conference.
Why get certified? It's getting harder to keep your skills up to date these days with everything changing so quickly and the huge volume of information that you are bombarded with every day. Certification exams are focused on a specific topics and cover a limited number of objectives that are related to the tasks performed in that job role. So when you are studying for the exam, you are studying only a subset of the content that is available for the product. This targeted studying can be a more achievable way to increase your skills as you'll do a piece of learning and then testing at a time.
To help you target your studying, we have a set of study guides that you can use to prepare to pass the exam.
Here are the books:
DB2 9 Fundamentals Exam 730
Roger Sanders' book: DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide
DB2 9 DBA for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Exam 731
Roger Sanders' book: DB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide
DB2 9.7 DBA for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Exam 541
This exam was updated to the V9.7 level, while the book is at the V9 level. This might cause you a slight problem on some of the questions but overall, you should still be able to pass the exam with this book. If you're concerned, you should examine the exam objectives to see what was added. You could also take the Exam Prep for Exam 541 course that will be taught by Roger Sanders on May 10 at the Conference.
DB2 9 Advanced DBA for UNIX, and Windows Exam 734
DB2 9 Advanced DBA Certification Study Guide by Roger Sanders and Dwaine Snow
DB2 9 for z/OS Database Administration Exam 732
DB2 9 for z/OS Database Administration Certification Study Guide by Susan Lawson and Dan Luksetich
These books will be for sale at the conference, but if you can, purchase the books before the conference so that you have time to read them and study to the degree that you need to.
If you aren't able to purchase the books outright, check amazon or other sites for used copies of the books. Also, libraries might have copies of the books. I know our skill's center library has many copies of these books... and they are VERY well used!
Check to see if your company has a subscription with Safari Books Online or Books 24x7. Both of these electronic book engines carry these books which will allow you to read the entire book or to search and read parts of the book as needed.
The publisher of the Certification Study Guides, MC Press, is working on getting the books available in Kindle format, so that could be an option for you as well.
If you are working with DB2 in your daily job, you may be ready to pass the exam with minimal studying. I suggest that you try an assessment exam to guage your readiness. You may also wish to answer the sample questions that are in the Certification Study Guides. If you are able to pass these questions correctly and easily, you may be ready to pass the exam.
If you want a little more help, consider taking the Exam Prep courses that take place on May 10 at the conference. You can prepare for Exam 541 or Exam 732.
For more information about getting certified, see my previous blog entry: Certification 101.
Have fun in Tampa! Get certified :)
TV, or in this case, YouTube can be an excellent way to learn about many things. I really like that IBM is taking an active role at getting valuable content out on YouTube. What's even better is that many of the videos become viral and end up getting many views.
The videos are extemely well done and worthy of going viral. Take these two videos: Servers for Truth #1 and Servers for Truth #2. The videos are in answer to several claims made recently by Oracle. You'll enjoy... and get the REAL story!
Another set of videos that you may wish to watch on YouTube are the "Let's Build a Smarter Planet" series. Again this is a set of amazing videos that explain how and why the world needs to be smarter. My favourite is the one where Jeff Jonas is the star... which one is it? Watch them all to find out.... you won't be disappointed!
The DB2Night Show Episode #16 In this episode, special guest Adam Storm, DB2 Kernel Development, from the IBM Toronto Lab will share with us recent updates to DB2 autonomics in V9.5 and V9.7, plus share updates on STMM and best practices. We will take questions from our virtual studio audience after Adam's presentations.
The extremely popular Assess & Save promotion is back again... and it starts today, April 1 and continues to June 1. Don't miss your opportunity to save while you earn a very well accepted certification.
According to Kate, people who took part last year saved $100 on each exam they took and passed. And, they passed. At least 90% of them passed the exam that they took.
How does Assess & Save work?
First take and pass an assessment exam. This will cost you $10 USD. On passing the assessment exam, you'll be sent a voucher to take the actual exam at 50% off the regular price.
To find more information, see the Voucher detail web page.
To study, see a few of my previous blog entries:
Good luck on your exams!
Enjoy the savings :)
Virtual Event: Developing and Prototyping Database Applications in Cloud
Thursday, April 8, 2010
2:30 - 3:30 PM Eastern / 1:30 PM Central / 11:30 AM Pacific
Speaker: Leon Katsnelson
Prototyping, developing and testing database applications is a leading use-case for cloud systems. In this session, we’ll discuss options, strategies, and best practices for prototyping and developing database applications for public and private cloud computing platforms. Several demos on different cloud platforms will be used illustrate concepts and walk through getting started with IBM databases in the cloud.
Thanks to Leon for providing me with this amazing data about the amazing success of the DB2 Express-C On-Campus series of books.
IBM DB2 Express-C is the community edition of the DB2 data server that you can download and deploy for FREE. The target audience is small businesses or developers and business partners who serve these customers.
Not only is DB2 Express-C easy to install and use, but it contains the core functions of the more scalable editions of DB2 such as pureXML and self-managing capabilities. You can find out more about the requirements to use DB2 Express-C on the "About DB2 Express-C" website.
To support DB2 Express-C a series of On-Campus books have been created to support this community. Since the DB2 Express-C product can be downloaded for free, we needed to make sure that we could help people develop their skills for free. Thanks to Leon, Raul, Rav and many others, we have many books available for people to learn for free:
Getting Started with DB2 Express-C has been downloaded just shy of 83,000 times and distributed to more than 100,000 people world-wide. Just think of that! That's a lot of people learning and using DB2... and creating applications that run on any edition of DB2, regardless of the platform. This book is available in 9 languages, so the coverage is world-wide.
Getting Started with Data Studio was only recently made available and has been downloaded nearly 1500 times.
The team who created these books are planning to provide even more! There are 26 new books planned for 2010.
Now the success story behind the success of these books - there were 107 authors involved in the writing and translation of these books. 80 people from IBM and 27 outside of IBM. I hope each and everyone of these people benefit greatly from this career development stepping stone. Writing about anything makes you a better expert in that topic, and we all know that writing is one of the most valuable skills for a person to have.
Do you have your copy of DB2 Express-C and the supporting books yet?
Join Sal Vella and Matt Huras from the Toronto Lab to learn how to leverage the latest DB2 for LUW features such as DB2 pureScale and Storage Optimization. Sal and Matt will be broadcast in high definition directly to select IBM Technical Exploration Centers across North America.
Date: March 12, 2010
Time: 12:30pm to 3:30pm EST
Location: IBM Technology Exploration Centers across North America
12:30pm – 1:00pm Welcome
1:00pm – 2:00pm Break Free with DB2,
2:00pm – 3:00pm DB2 pureScale
3:00pm – 3:30pm Refreshment Break
3:30pm – 4:30pm DB2 Storage Optimization
Where you can attend:
San Francisco, CA;
Costa Mesa, CA
This event is the first that I've heard of that is using the IBM Technology Exploration Centers which are high-quality facilities across North America that allow our customers to explore IBM software technology and collaborate with our subject matter experts.
ABOUT THIS EVENT:
Attend this seminar to learn how to leverage the latest DB2 for LUW features such as DB2 pureScale and Storage Optimization. DB2 pureScale provides unlimited capacity, continuous availability and application transparency. It delivers levels of database scalabililty and availability previously unmatched on distributed systems. The DB2 Storage Optimization Feature gives you the ability to transparently compress data on disk in order to decrease disk space and storage infrastructure requirements.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
This event has 3 hours of content, and has been organized to be of interest to database administrators, data architects, and anyone who has an interest in running OLTP systems without having to worry about changing their application code when adding system capacity. Interested in Active-Active? Come and learn more.
Sal Vella is the Vice President, Development, Distributed Data Servers and Data Warehousing based in the IBM Canada Laboratory in Toronto, Canada. In this role, he is responsible for the world-wide development of DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows and for solidDB.
Matt Huras, Distinguished Engineer, is the lead architect of the DB2 pureScale feature. Matt has had extensive experience with DB2 for LUW storage engine, including indexing, data management, buffering, memory management, threading and scheduling, utilities and high availability.
Thanks to event organizer Lily Ryzebol for this information.
I've already given you many reasons why I'm a huge fan of Rebecca Bond's, but did I tell you about her brillance at coming up with cool analogies or her incredible sense of humour?
Read Rebecca's latest article IBM DB2 9.7, DBADM and my Rubik's Cube published in the Feb 19, 2010 edition of Database Journal explains the changes to DBADM autthority in DB2 9.7 and twist by twist, helps you understand the changes and how to benefit from them. Wonderful article, Rebecca!
If this article is leaving you wanting more Rebecca, you're in luck! Her website has just gone live, so you can easily find out more about Rebecca and what she's up to... but best of all, you can read her blog entries.
One thing about IBM is that there is NO shortage of options for you to choose to increase your skills and learn about IBM products and technologies! You can find options that are free and easily accessible to custom designed courses to suit the specific learning needs of your employees.
Why are there so many options? Learning is one of the most important things you will do in your lifetime and is something that you do from the day you are born until you die. We don't all learn the same way though, so having a choice of options is very important so that you can find the learning method that is best for you.
Here are articles and white papers that I've read that emphasize the importance of continued learning:
Whitepaper DBA Certification: Is It Worth It? by Howard Fosdick compares the costs to the benefits of earning a DBA certification. This white paper is a few years old, but the message is still valid.
Here is a list of the learning options that are available for the Information Management products and technologies.
e-books - Many choices are available ... many are free, but you can also read books on electronic reading devices such as Kindle. See my blog entry "The Year of the e-Book".
IBM Redbooks - The PDF versions can be downloaded for free and books are available for a very wide range of topics. See the IBM Redbooks web page and my blog entry with a few IBM Redbook recommendations.
developerWorks - Tutorials, Demos, Skills Kits, Best Practices, e-kits - These are free and very popular.
Gaming - 3 games are available to help you learn SQL in a fun way.
White papers - A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that often addresses problems and how to solve them. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions. For a list of whitepapers, google search "db2 whitepapers".
Virtual Conferences - Last year there were several virtual conferences that were run by IBM that allowed you to "attend" a conference via your computer. You can also find recorded conference sessions from the Information on Demand Conference, 2009.
Retail books -IBM Press, MC Press, McGraw-Hill, Apress, O'Reilly, Packt are the publishers who have invested in publishing about IBM products and technologies. For a listing of books by topic, see our bookstore website . For a list of books that were recently published, see my blog entry "Busy Publishing". I've created a group on Developerworks to keep track of all these books.
Conferences - IDUG holds amazing user-based conferences in various regions each year; IBM holds many conferences including the popular Information on Demand Conferences.
Instructor-Led Training (ITL) classes are traditional classroom courses where students are in the same room as the instructor who guides the students through classroom material and hands-on lab exercises. Students are able to interact with fellow students and the instructor and are provided with printed course material.
Instructor-Led Online (ILO) classes are equivalent to ILT classes in terms of classroom material, labs, instructor and fellow students, only you won't need to leave your home or office as you will connect to the classroom via your computer. See my blog entry about ILO classes.
Self-Paced Virtual Classes (SPVC) are for students who don't need the instructor or don't want to be tied to a class schedule. These classes are typically lower priced than ILO or ILT classes meaning that you save on travel and tuition costs. Content, labs and instructors are the same as ILO and ILT classes, but it is recorded so the class can be taken at your pace, where and when you want it. See my blog entry about SPVC.
Web-Based Training (WBT) are standalone courses on the web that provide 6-8 hours of instruction. These are typically voice over power-point format.
Custom Classes are available for companies that want training to take place on their premises with course material that is taken from multiple existing courses and changed to suit specific needs.
Just a reminder that I will cover this information and more in my upcoming webcast - Feb 12 at 11 am EST on
The conclusion of an intensive IDC study and in Linda Musthaler's article "Is certification valuable, or not? We have the definitive answer" is YES certifications are important! Companies need high-functioning teams that are able to transform and grow the business like never before. These teams consist of highly skilled professionals who have current and relevant knowledge. Certifications are designed to encourage people to keep learning and then to validate their skills.
The results of the IDC study in the November 2009 report by Cushing Anderson called "Impact of Training on Network Administration: Certification Leads to Operational Productivity" shows "a direct relationship between higher levels of certification and improved performance -- when team skills improve, organizational performance increases proportionally."
Although the report doesn't specifically mention database or DB2 certifications, I would say that the same holds true. I've personally seen the performance of a team improving as a result of the entire team earning DB2 certifications. The DB2 program grew 29% in the past year and is expected to grow this year as well. Are you on board?
To help you navigate through this certification program, I've created the following entries:
1) Certification 101 that links to articles about the benefits, where to start, how to prepare, and what to do once you've passed.
2) Certification Checklist where you learn to use a checklist within developerWorks that leads you through the entire certification process.
Don't be left behind! Jump onto the Certification bandwagon so you can begin seeing the improvements in your skills and the skills of your teams.
PS. Don't forget that earning a certification benefits you personally as well. It can differentiate you from others, but will also give you the confidence that you do have the skills that you need to do your job!!