Keep on Learning
Congratulations to Serge Rielau for starting a new blog: SQL Tips for DB2 LUW
I think there are already 6 very complex and detailed entries... so if SQL is your thing... this is a blog you should follow.
Maybe I'll see if we can turn this into a book at one point in the future as well ???
*** NOTE: I've corrected the link.
svisser1 2700018UK9 Tags:  writing blogging presenting sql professional personal tedtalks tips 1 Comment 7,135 Views
It seems to me, given what I’m being sent in newsletters, that this is the time of year to give some thought to improving personal habits. The end of the year brings time for reflection on the year we just lived through and January is the perfect time to put in place new goals or plans for the coming year.
I like to discuss the articles I read with those who are closest to me at work and in my personal life, but in going through the list, I can’t see why these wouldn’t be of interest to a much larger audience. Here’s my list:
Five Things You Should Stop Doing in 2012 by Dorie Clark
I was drawn to this article by the title. Usually we think about what we’ll do better in the coming year, but doesn’t it make sense that you’ll need to drop something that you’re currently doing to fit in something you want to start doing. Face it, we only have so many hours in a day, so adding more to an already impossibly booked calendar makes no sense at all.
For me, email is becoming less relevant, so checking every 90 minutes makes sense to me and will allow me to focus on things that need full attention. I regularly unsubscribe to newsletters that are no longer interesting to me. I used to mail cards, but stopped a few years ago. There are still a few traditions that I take part in that could be dropped.
Dorie’s article points to another article that I liked:
Two Lists You Should Look at Every Morning by Peter Bregman
The lists Peter is talking about are 1) Focus list and 2) Ignore list. Doesn’t that make a lot of sense? I’m more of a social person than a gadget person, so Peter’s first story would never have happened to me. I’m more likely to make eye contact with everyone around me rather than giving my attention to my Blackberry. Figure out where you want to spend your time and consciously decide what you’ll ignore in order to focus on what you want to be focusing on.
Improve my Blogging Skills.
This one will only relate to those who are interested in blogging, but might actually coincide with the points above. Do you find that you repeat yourself over the course of a day or week, answering the same question, or giving the same advice to multiple people? If so, perhaps this content belongs in a blog where it can be shared among multiple people at once. If someone again asks the question, you can simply say.. read my blog!
Serge Rielau recently did this with his SQL Tips blog. Serge will benefit from writing this blog since he can put his effort into creating a well-written and thought out article about a topic that will benefit everyone who finds his blog and reads his tips. This is a much better use of his time than answering questions via email on a one on one basis.
If you are interested in blogging and want to learn how to do it the right way, the first time, I highly recommend this new book by Antonio Cangiano: Technical Blogging: Turn Your Expertise into a Remarkable Online Presence. I’ve been blogging for easily 6 years now and read this book as an official reviewer. I can tell you in all seriousness… that I learned a LOT. I haven’t put all the tips into practice yet, but I’m sure you’ll see my improvements over the coming year. Antonio has just created a blog about his book that you’ll want to subscribe to in order to get tips as he is able to share them: Technical Blogging.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it in my blog or not, but I’m a huge fan of TedTalks.com. If you haven’t run across these videos yet, you’re in for a huge treat. TED is an acronym for Technology, Education, and Design. Three of my favourite topics in one. There are many recorded TED talks for you to find and watch that cover a huge range of topics. Here are a few of my all time favourites:
Jim points out a bad habit that most of us have: treating people as objects. He explains why this is not the way you should treat people and gives examples to make the point clear. I would suggest that this is a video we need to re-watch many times over the course of a year to keep ourselves on track.
The main thing I like about this video is the message that we need to master basic skills before we can try more complex ones. How many times do people try to jump ahead? Salman’s example about learning how to ride a unicycle after only a week on a 2-wheel bike shows the difficulty in not mastering lower level skills first. I also like how he’s developed something that is appealing to young children everywhere and makes learning seem like a game. I hope as a result, we’ll have a highly educated future population!
There are many TED videos for you to watch and enjoy. Warning: once you start, you may want to watch these videos all day long!
These tips are pretty basic and we all know them very well. Unfortunately, we tend to forget or ignore them. Do yourself a favour. Take these tips seriously and see if they make you happier.
There are two other books that I regularly mention that are related to professional development.
1) Sam Lightstone’s Making it Big in Software. I found this book to be a good read and very helpful in thinking about the direction your career is taking. Here are a few of the blog entries I’ve written since the book was published:
2) Roger Sanders’ From Idea to Print: How to Write a Technical Book or Article and Get It Published. Writing, presenting, and communication are the soft skills that are required for all of us to succeed. I remember writing a blog entry about these at one point, but can’t find it now. I’m hoping to work with a colleague in the coming year to pull together a comprehensive list of how to improve communication skills for technical professionals.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list and are able to have a productive and healthy new year!
svisser1 2700018UK9 Tags:  tips recruiters software career lightstone managers 1 Comment 7,880 Views
I've been reading the book "Making it Big in Software" by Sam Lightstone and as a result, I've been thinking quite a bit about careers and all the skills that go into making a satisfying career. On top of Sam's book, I've been reading his blog and have noticed a few articles that I'd like to share with you.
First the articles.
Last year I read an article called "5 sure ways to get fired" and I wrote a blog entry about the article. This blog entry that I wrote has turned out to be one of my most viewed entries... "Trying to Get Fired?"
A few weeks ago I came across another article that sounds similar: "10 Ways to Make Yourself Layoff Proof". This is a slideshow, with not much information, but you'll find that Sam covers most of these topics in his book.
Today while waiting in line for coffee, I noticed an article posted on the bulletin board called "Soft Skills are Sexy". Clearly I don't go to coffee very often... the article was published last June! Luckily it can still be found online. Again, you won't be surprised by anything in this article, but note that these skills are also mentioned in Sam's book as being important.
Now about Sam's book. If you read my blog, you'll already know that I'm both a fan of Sam's and of his book. I'm doing what I can to promote Sam's book as it fits in well with my job as publishing program manager, but also with the team I'm on... education.
I would say that the thing most surprising about Sam's book so far is the number of audiences that it appeals to.
1) Obviously this book would appeal to anyone in university about to embark on a full time job. As Sam mentions in his book, school is much different than a job as a software developer in a big company... and to be successful, you need to learn the differences and adjust your behaviour for maximum impact. I really wish that this book was available when I graduated! I was really new to a corporate environment since I came from a family that was into farming and construction. I have noticed throughout my career that collegues that had professional parents were able to work the system much better than I could. This book will help bridge that kind of gap.
2) Similar to those in university are those in the first couple of years on the job. Once you've figured out what you like and dislike about your job / career, you can use the advice in this book to make a real difference as to whether you are put on the fast track or not. The two things that stand out to me at this moment are: 1) become a domain expert; and 2) follow through on your inspirational ideas! These sound so easy to me...yet apparently they are rarely done!
3) People in their mid career can benefit from this book as they can figure out why they may have stalled, if they have, or how to rise a few steps higher, if they so choose. The advice in this book is suitable for any stage of your career.
4) Recruiters. Sam tells stories about when he was recruiting new employees and the types of people he favoured. Over time he realized that he wasn't looking for the right qualities! This goes hand in hand with the fact that school success and career success are quite different. You might be surprised by Sam's findings.
5) Someone I spoke to yesterday gave me this tip. He is a manager and wants to read the book so that he can help his employees reach their potential. What a great manager! I think he should win an award of some kind! But what a great idea. Managers who read this book will become better mentors and coaches from their employees. A successful team reflects very well on the leader of the team!
I strongly encourage you to read the book for yourself and to recommend it to others. Here are a few of the websites that I suggest you read for further encouragement:
Facebook Fan Page - more than 400 members at the time of this writing. This has been a fairly active page so far, so even if you haven't read the book yet, become a fan and learn more about the author and events surrounding the book.
LinkedIn Group - Career based articles and events about the book will be posted here.
Sam's Blog: The Making it Big Blog. Sam has been summarizing some of the points he makes in his book and blogging about them. Active blog and interesting entries.
Valerie's Blog: yesterday Valerie Skinner posted a lengthy interview that she did with Sam on her blog. It is a very interesting read and you'll learn about Sam's up bringing and passions.
Quite a few people have been posting their reviews of Sam's book. Here are a bunch of them:
eweek: The Golden Age of Software - "What makes the book particularly attractive was Sam’s willingness to go out and interview other software stars, including Google’s Marissa Mayer, Java inventor James Gosling and Apple founder Steve Wozniak. The interviews alone are worth the price of admission."
utahcon: Review- Making it Big in Software - "Making it Big in Software is a great read, it is something I think that every software developer would have loved to have had when they were breaking into the software world. I know I would have loved to have had it.
Sam Lightstone has put together what could easily be called the blueprint to a successful career in software. He covers college, post-college pre-career, interviewing, resumes, fitting into the work environment, salary discussions, and more, much more."
Dr. Dobbs - Review of Making it Big in Software - The author accurately concludes that the road to software development career success is attained by following mythologist Joseph Campbell's advice to "Follow your bliss".
Java Ranch - Review - "Making it Big in Software" is a career book that manages to apply to people at many levels. It is good for students, new hires, mid level software professionals and those interested in starting their own company.
iProgrammer - Review - "Software is an amazing place to build a career". If you agree with this sentiment that opens Sam Lightstone's book you are likely to enjoy reading it and find it motivating.
I hope that you take my advice and pick up this book! You can purchase it in many places right now for about $20... which is very inexpensive! You can get a cheaper copy in electronic format. Once you read the book... I'm sure you'll become as passionate about it as I am!
Today was the fourth and final show of the first round of the DB2’s Got Talent Competition. If you didn’t participate live, I strongly encourage you to watch the replay. We had 7 contestants as well as an extra special presentation from judge Klaas Brant. The caliber of the presentations today blew me away. We judges had a very hard time selecting 3 to move on and were hoping we could save a few more. But alas, 3 was our max. Here’s how it played out.
Contestant 1 – Brian
Brian used a physical health analogy for his presentation and it worked out really well. Good thing I was on mute as I was laughing pretty hard at some of the graphics. In reality, indexes can get very out of shape, but there are ways to recognize this, monitor their health, speed them up, and ultimately make them into top physical form. The judges found the presentation to be very professional, interesting and easy to follow. If you’re into twitter, you can follow Brian at fairchild_db2. Also, he blogs at http://bit.ly/yGpae2 . Check it out if you’re interested.
Contestant 2 – Ember
Testing Your Recovery Strategy
As Ember said at the beginning of her presentation, this isn’t a very sexy topic. But as Scott said at the end, the way she presented it made the topic kind of sexy! OK, past the crazy talk, Ember chose to present the very valuable topic of being prepared. If you don’t fully test your recovery strategy, you may find yourself in hot water when you actually need to use it. Her tips were very insightful. Her presentation was interesting, very well laid out, and professional. One of the reasons Ember was so high on our list is because she chose a topic that cannot be found in the manuals. She came up with these tips from personal experience and a lot of hard work. Ember also tweets ember_crooks & blogs http://db2commerce.com/.
Contestant 3 – Mark
DB2 LUW Workload Management – Using Role-based Workload Management to Meet your Company’s Performance Goals
Mark chose a very tough topic and made it understandable. He started with showing how to identify the roles all the way to adding the UserIDs to the workload. One of the judges commented that this was a very adventurous topic and it was so well liked because we don’t often have tips related to this area.
Contestant 4 – Rajib
Debug High CPU Situations with DB2
Rajib works in the support area, so this is a topic that he knows very well, from experience with many customers. Rajib gave several decision trees to help you make the correct choice when you discover your CPU spiking. Rajib mentioned that he had more details in a follow on presentation that maybe we’ll hear one day. The one thing that Rajib could have done better right from the beginning is to put his presentation into Play mode. He had it in Edit mode so we could see less of the presentation than we wanted to see. The decision trees would have been much easier to read had it been in Play mode. Also, Rajib mentioned a perl script that he uses but we didn’t see the details. Rajib will find a home for his perl script so that we can all benefit.
Contestant 5 – Jean
DebReal 24x7 Enhancement: No downtime, no slowdowns, no planned outages, no suspending traffic, simplifies & expedites blackout, any time – day or night
Jean worked with her colleague Chuck to create this presentation, but she presented on her own. I found it to be a rather complex topic but with her examples, it helped make it understandable. Jean did a wonderful job of presenting, even though she said she was nervous. Jean, it didn’t show!
Contestant 6 – Sameer
Sameer’s been here before and I can tell you that his presentations are improving. Not a single typo this time around and the slides were well organized with a problem, questions a person would ask about the problem and ways to resolve the problems. Sameer’s slides said the presentation was based on personal experience, but during a discussion with the judges, he admitted that he made it up. It was a good choice for a topic as this isn’t discussed or documented in many places. Sameer tweets https://twitter.com/#!/sameerkasi200x and blogs: http://db2performance.blogspot.com/ .
Contestant 7 – Jonathan
DB2 LUW Load from Cursor
There are many load options and Jonathan wisely chose one to discuss so that he could finish his presentation on time. Another good presentation that was well laid out and easy to follow. The best slide was the last one where Jonathan gave a summary of the Load / Import options and under which conditions they should be used. One of the judges commented that many of his customers were using this option.
Extra Special Presentation – Klaas
DB2 LUW Prefect IO Configuration
This was a real presentation and a good one, at that. Klaas gave this primarily to show the contestants a well organized presentation, that is interesting and informative. If you are moving on, or if you simply want to improve your presentation skills, take a look at what Klaas did to get some ideas. The first thing I noticed and mentioned on the show is how appealing graphics are. I’m not sure if I would have said that before, but after today’s amazing 8 presentations I can say that the ones that captured my attention to the fullest were the ones that had graphics. And not complex graphics, rather simple ones that are make a connection to the technical material being discussed. Here’s a summary of the tips we gave over the past month:
The judges, Martin Hubel, Klaas Brant, and myself chose Ember, Brian and Jean to move onto the next round based on the relevance / uniqueness of their topic and the quality of their presentations. These three will join Richard, Douglas, Yonghang, Rodolpho, Kingo, Kholi, and Elder.
Congratulations to you all. We’re looking forward to more quality presentations from each of you.
Do you agree with our choices? So far, the survey selections have matched the judge’s selections. If you watch the replay, you’ll be able to fill in a survey to let us know if there is someone else who should also move on. Listen for the great tips and for advice on improving your presentation skills.
That’s it for the contestant presentations. March is reserved for the finals where those who have moved on will present a second time and the listeners can choose the winner rather than the judges. There are only 3 shows in March: 2, 16, and 30. If you get reminders for March 9 and 23, please ignore these reminders.
Thanks to host Scott Hayes for this opportunity for me as a judge and for the contestants for helping them build technical presentation skills that are so valuable.
For details on the prizes for this competition… and a summary of last year’s event… see my blog entry: http://ibm.co/AnZxb4
PS… If you are in the NY area, make sure you look into attending the DB2 Symposium that is taking place March 28-30 in this area. See DB2 Symposium for details. Today a special discount was announced: If you book by March 1, use the promo code DBI12A1 to get a 20% discount.
PSS…. If any other contestants tweet or blog, let me know and I’ll publicize you as well!
Were you able to join today’s DB2 Night Show webinar? Today was the third show of this year’s competition. If you missed it, I strongly encourage you to watch the replay. Here’s what you’ll get:
Contestant 1 – Rodolpho
Tips for End of DB2 Log & Reset RBA Process
The problem Rodolpho discussed in his presentation was about the end of logs… which is like the end of the world! This shouldn’t happen as quickly as it is, but data is being added to databases at unprecedented rates, so it is happening. Rodolpho’s presentation was therefore timely. His slides very clearly laid out the problem and tips to solving the problem. Very well done.
Contestant 2 – Kingo
Hybrid Database Environment Introduction – DB2 plus Oracle LUW
This is a huge topic and Kingo’s presentation was meant to be only an introduction to it. As an introduction it was well done. There was a clear representation of the problem and how to solve it. The slides were clear and the graphics were good. We were able to see Kingo’s screen savers before and after his presentation. They were lovely! Also on his screen was a clock and thermometer. I’m not sure where Kingo was presenting from, but it was 1:30 am his time and the temperature was 0C.
Contestant 3 – Saravana
Predicting Production Access Path
Perhaps I shouldn’t mention Saravana. We weren’t able to hear her so clearly there were microphone problems. We saw the slides with the title and were looking forward to the presentation. Saravana, I hope you can fix your audio problems and come back in the future.
Contestant 4 – Fahim
Performance Tuning – Business Process Choreographer Database
I really liked Fahim’s graphics. They made the slides interesting to look at. I didn’t find the presentation very clear though. I wasn’t able to fully understand the problem that he was solving. The solution was a bit more clear, but still I was lost. Part of the problem was the acronyms that weren’t defined. Good attempt Fahim.
We were looking for contestants Lloyd, Carlos, and one other person, but we couldn’t find them. Most of the contestants today were from distance places, so maybe these people fell asleep or were confused by the time zone differences, but we’d like to hear from them if they can come to a future show. Scott mentioned that some people sign in with an alias so their name may not be recognized when we are looking for you. I hope this didn’t happen to the people we were looking for today. If this does happen to you, use the chat function to tell us what name to look for.
The judges, Martin Hubel, Klaas Brant, and myself chose Rodolphe and Kingo to move onto the next round based on the relevance of their topic and the quality of their presentations. Congratulations to you both. We’re looking forward to more quality presentations from each f you.
Do you agree with our choices? If you watch the replay, you’ll be able to fill in a survey to let us know if there is someone else who should also move on. Listen for the great tips and for your opportunity to advance another excellent contestant.
Join us every Friday in February for contestant presentations. March is reserved for the finals where those who have moved on will present a second time and the listeners can choose the winner rather than the judges. The commitment for March has lessened in that there will only be 3 shows in March rather that the originally planned 5. Note that this means there is a show on March 2, 16, and 30 only. If you get reminders for March 9 and 23, please ignore these reminders.
Thanks to host Scott Hayes for this opportunity for me as a judge and for the contestants for helping them build technical presentation skills that are so valuable.
For details on the prizes for this competition… and a summary of last year’s event… see my blog entry: http://ibm.co/AnZxb4
PS… If you are in the NY area, make sure you look into attending the DB2
Symposium that is taking place March 28-30 in this area. See DB2 Symposium for details.
Today marked the 4th episode of the popular “DB2 has Talent” series of webcasts featured on the DB2Night Show. This was the first of the episodes that featured presentations for DB2 for z/OS. MISSED IT? No worries. Replays HERE.Let me tell you about the contestants we met today:
Mobi -“DB2 Online REORG”
Mobi stepped us through the reason to use REORG, the process for using it and problems that can be experienced. His conclusion gave tips on how to resolve and fix common problems with using this utility. If you’re interested, Mobi gave links to his blog entries about the topic.
David– High Performance Application Reusability Techniques
David is clearly very experienced in using DB2 and has been working with it for 26-27 years. His talk discussed encapsulating stored procedures into COBOL programs. The main issue with David’s “talk” is that there were no slides. There are some talks that can be done audio only, but I don’t think this one was. I listen to audible books in my car and am about to work on a series of podcasts…so I like audio only, but not all topics will work.
Vivekanadan – DB2 Administration Server for z/OS (DAS)
Vivek gave very complete information on this subject, but there wasn’t much in the way of personal experience from what I saw. I was having a case of Deja Vu when I was looking at the slides. I wrote the book “Teach Yourself DB2 in 21 Days” for DB2 LUW V8. I remember researching and documenting the DAS and am pleased that I still remember and that the DAS works the same on all platforms. My colleagues tell me that DAS is no longer in DB2 V10, so many people will no longer need this information.
Haris – DPF Communication between Sharing on DB2 z/OS Data Sharing Group
Haris stepped us through all the steps of setting up the parameters and other items that needed to be customized to use DPF Communication. The presentation seemed a bit too much like documentation rather than tips from experience. Martin suggested that the presentation would have been more valuable if it gave information on using DPF without RACF.
Shashank – Save Time, Cut Costs and Work Smarter: Monitor Mission Critical DB2 LUW Processes
This was the first presentation today that covered LUW. Shashank did very well by giving us the impact to the business if there are problems and then suggested using db2pd to discover the cause of the problems. I got lost during Shashank’s presentation as I didn’t see a clear link from the problem stage to the solution stage. It more seemed like a guide as to what db2pd is, without showing an example of db2pd being used to solve an actual problem. Shashank ran out of time, and Scott mentioned that there will be an entire show about this utility later this fall.
Bob (Robert) – SQL Tuning Tricks – Perils of Using “not in”
If you read my blog last week, you’ll remember that Bob had tried to present, but ran into technical difficulties. I’m happy that Bob was able to overcome these issues to present to us today. Bob did something that I’ve never seen before. He interactively underlined text in his slides to emphasize the point he was trying to make. I’m going to see if I can figure out how to do this! As to his actual content… it was very good. He showed SQL statements that used the very inefficient “not in” clause and how to change it to “except” clauses. My only suggestion to Bob is that he make his conclusion crystal clear… which was his first statement took 20 minutes to execute, but the revised one… only 5 seconds. If you hear this conclusion, it is very clear that this simple change is very worth the effort!
If you attended, you can fill in our survey.
If you missed this show or the previous three, you can get the replays on the DB2Night Show page.
After much deliberation, we judges, Martin Hubel, Klaas Brant, and myself were able to inform host Scott Hayes that the following contestants should move on to the next round:
Momi and Bob
First & last of the day :) Way to go! We are very much looking forward to seeing you present at the next round.
See also my previous blogs about the DB2 has Talent Competition:
Next week we begin the finals. The format will continue to be 4 minute presentations by the contestants, but only contestants who we have moved to the second round will present. That means we’ll hear from:
Mary, JB, and Norberto – 1st Episode
Raja and Ahmad – 2nd Episode
John, Sameer, and Thiru - 3rd Episode
Momi and Bob – 4th Episode
Congratulations to all TEN finalists. I am looking forward to hearing you present again. I’ll be away on March 4 (on vacation), so Christian is sitting in for me. I’ll make sure to listen to the replay as soon as I return.
Voting will be done by other attendees… so if you are one of the finalists, you may wish to invite everyone you know to join the show to vote for you!
Good luck all!
Sheryl Larson top #DB2 SQL Expert, IBM GOLD Consultant, is our special guest on The DB2Night Show 8 October 2010 at 10am Central. Learn SQL tips from the master.
Free registration and details:
This week, the DB2Night Show is going "Cross Platform DB2" presented by Sheryl M. Larsen, IBM DB2 GOLD Consultant and President of SMLSQL (www.SMLSQL.com).
The Lessons Learned from SQL Performance Review presentation divulges discoveries and recommendations from various SQL performance review assignments across platforms. Come see if you have similar SQL performance issues and get the instructions on how to fix them. Issues discussed include non-optimal index design, access paths gone wild, residual predicates, misuse of SQL, excessive sorting, delayed filtering, lack of implementation of powerful new SQL features.
The DB2Night Show on Twitter: twitter.com/db2nightshow for the latest news about new episodes and interactive discussion. Use the hash tag #DB2Night in your Tweets.
If you’ve missed a show, remember that you can always get the recorded replay.
An industry first!
A special edition episode on October 1, 2010, at 11am Eastern.
During this special edition, DBI will be interviewing our top candidates for our open Software Consultant Engineer position (see http://www.dbisoftware.com/careers.php for details). Each candidate will be given 8 minutes to describe a DB2 LUW challenge they faced and how they conquered it, 1 minute to offer a quick DB2 tip, and 1 minute to "make their case" for why they are our best candidate.
Details and registration:
Join Scott Hayes for fun & education and a chance for FREE MONEY - SHOW UP AND VOTE!