Keep on Learning
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I hope you are aware that we have a Bookstore website where we showcase the books that are related to IBM's Information Management products. Nicole from my team is in the process of redesigning the site and has asked me to update the content. I'm glad we're doing this as I noticed that there are quite a few changes that are needed!
I'd like to ask for your help to make sure that I have the right set of books listed in each of the categories. Today's post is for the Data Management area. Let me know if you think there are books that should be deleted from this list or if there are some that you think should be added.
I'll be posting more lists in my blog each day until I'm finished.
Thanks for your help!
The DB2Night Show Episode 14: 12 March 2010
Back by popular request, the DB2Night Show is doing another CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS episode wherein a live performance health check will be performed for a real DB2 LUW production database. If you would like to see how this works, watch the replay of Episode #9.
Obviously, to make this show successful and educational for participants, YOUR snapshot data is needed! If you would like a free performance health check analysis completed for your database, please send the text outputs (in a zip file) from these commands to db2nightshow at dbisoftware .com:
* db2 get snapshot for database on DBNAME
* db2 get snapshot for bufferpools on DBNAME
* db2 get snapshot for tablespaces on DBNAME
* db2 get snapshot for tables on DBNAME
As you will see in Episode #9, care will be taken to not reveal the organization that provides the data - your contributions will be anonymous unless you specifically request to be identified.
One studio audience member will be randomly selected to win an Amazon.com gift certificate - use this towards a new USB thumb drive, a new book, or anything you like!
I've been posting information about the DB2 Certifications in the past couple of weeks and am very pleased with the interaction I've been receiving on several LinkedIN groups that I'm a member of. The two most active groups that I posted information in were DB2 Professionals and IDUG The World Wide DB2 User Community.
A couple of the comments were about how difficult the Advanced DBA exam was. Here is my response that I want to share with everyone:
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.
I've had a few people ask me about assessment exams lately, so I thought this would make a good blog entry.
My most viewed blog entry to date is
With this checklist, you can track your progress on following the steps required to earn a certification. One of those steps is called Assess. Studying can take a lot of time and energy, and certification exams are usually $200!...so how can you make the most of your time and money?
1) Take an assessment exam for $10 (USD) to find out if you are prepared and if not, where to focus your studying.
2) Use one of the published Certification Study Guides.
DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide by Roger Sanders
DB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 731 by Roger Sanders
DB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 732 by Susan Lawson and Daniel Luksetich
DB2 9 Database Administration Upgrade Certification Study Guide for Exam 736 by Roger Sanders
DB2 9 Advanced Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 734 by Roger Sanders and Dwaine Snow.
All five of these certification prep guides were written by members of the exam development team. That is, they created the questions for the certification exam that you are about to take! Also, each chapter of the book corresponds directly to a section on the exam. So, if you take the assessment exam and find out that you are week on a single topic, you simply need to read the chapter that corresponds to the topic where you need improvement. Lastly, the authors created a set of sample questions for the book that provides you with the correct answer to the question as well as an explanation as to why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect ones are not.
For reference and guidance beyond the exam, I suggest the following: DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows: DBA Guide, Reference, and Exam Prep (6th Edition)
by George Baklarz and Paul Zikopoulos
All six of these books... and many more, can be read and searched electronically. Safari Online and Books 24x7 are two popular electronic book engines where these books are available. Why would you want to read a book electronically? You might not want to read an entire book electronically, but if you are browsing books to find out which one you should buy in print, searching and reading parts of the book electronically makes sense and may help you make the best choice on your purchase.
Also, if you are mostly prepared for the exam, but just want to do a bit of review before taking the exam, you might consider doing the review electronically. At the very least, I'd suggest reading the summary for each chapter, answering the sample questions that are found in the book, and reading the description for the answers. This can be done quite easily electronically.
Safari Books Online is a great electronic book engine and right now, you can receive a free 15-day trial. With Safari Books Online, you can search for a particular keyword, read the entire book cover to cover, or simply ensure that this is the book you need before you buy the printed version. Hurry! This offer has been held over until the end of 2009.
Books 24x7 is another great electronic book engine. IBMers world-wide can access books via this engine, free of charge. You can reach the site through many internal home pages. Many other companies and schools also have subscriptions to Books 24x7. Check with your company to see if you have a free subscription.
Be prepared for your exam... and good luck!
I'm sorry that I missed the fact that there IS a fee for the Crammer courses. Please see the CORRECT information below. I'm sorry for any confusion I may have caused. Thanks to Bryan for pointing out my mistake in this matter.
IDUG Pre-Conference Educational Seminars
The 2010 Pre-Conference Educational Seminars are:
Thanks to everyone who joined me on Friday while I presented on the DB2Night Show: The Wild Wonderful World of DB2 Information Resources. If you missed the show, you can catch it in reruns.
I have now posted my slides.... and have added back the one that I discovered was missing during the show.
You can find the slides on developerWorks as a public file.
I've also posted them on ChannelDB2.com.
You may need to join these sites if you are not yet a member. If you do join, remember to make me your friend! I can never have TOO many friends!
Join me (as Scott's special guest) on Feb 12 at 11 am EST on
Books, websites, podcasts, training options, tutorials, certification, white papers, social networking and more!
My webinar will be recorded if you can't make it to my session. Also remember that Paul Zikopoulos is Scott's guest next Friday, Feb 19.
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
One thing I neglected to mention in my blog posting yesterday about the value of Certification is the Take it Again program that is active again this year.
Earning IBM Professional Certification is a smart career move. But many of us are nervous when taking the certification exam. Our “
By the way, I've been invited to be guest on Episode #12 of The DB2Night Show coming up this 12 February 2010 at 10am CST. Our theme for this show is "The Wild Wonderful World of DB2 Information Resources". Claim your free seat in our virtual studio audience by registering at http://www.DB2NightShow.com. I hope you can join Scott Hayes and I!
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!!
You're invited to a free session about Driving Business Innovation with Smart Analytics at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto the morning of February 10th.
The topic is Driving Business Innovation with Smart Analytics and it is being offered by ComputerWorld Canada’s Technology Insights.
Join Network World Canada editor Greg Meckbach and his guests Glen Sheffield, IBM Information Management Technical Specialist and Jason Gartner, IBM Business Analytics Development Executive.
WHAT WILL BE COVERED:
• The software, hardware, storage and infrastructure requirements for data warehousing and business analytics initiatives
• How to reduce the cost and time of deployment;
• How the business can leverage these analytical tools to turn information into insight and make sound business decisions
Glen Sheffield, IBM Information Management Technical Specialist
Jason Gartner, IBM Business Analytics Development Executive
“Work smarter, not harder” How many times have we heard this phrase? Working smarter means analysts and key decision makers have the right information and insight. It means analysts can quickly access the right data points to evaluate key performance indicators. And yet, working smarter may be more important today than it has ever been. Learn how by attending ComputerWorld Canada’s Technology Insights session in Toronto on February 10th. Seating is limited so don’t delay in reserving your place.
Working smarter means your front line business leaders know where to find the new revenue opportunities and which product or service offerings are most likely to address the market requirement. It means corporate risk and compliance units can recognize regulatory, reputational, and operational risks before they become realities.
Within your organization you have billions of bytes of information stored on your computers. We will examine how to give your organization the insight it needs to work smarter in this challenging environment by putting the right answers in the hands of your decision makers today while putting your business in the best position to quickly adapt and grow to answer the questions of tomorrow.
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM Registration & continental networking breakfast
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM Welcome address & content introduction.
9:15 AM - 10:00 AM Building the Foundation
Bringing a multi-terabyte data warehouse into production can be an insurmountable task. Find out how to overcome the challenges of bringing an enterprise database into production by employing the right software, hardware, storage and infrastructure. Learn how to reduce the time and cost of deployment.
10:00 AM - 10:15 AM Networking & coffee break
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM Turning Data into Decisions
Businesses need a range of analytics capabilities to address the variety of decisions that need to be made every day—and the confidence that those capabilities can be easily expanded as new demands arise. IT managers need to ensure they can quickly get the solution up and running and that it remains as relevant and powerful in the future as it is today. Learn how you can help the business quickly and efficiently turn your information into insight for smart business decisions.
11:15 AM - 11:45 AM Panel of experts - Q&A
11:45 AM - 12:00 PM Wrap-up
12:00 PM Program concludes
If you are in Toronto... come out and join these fabulous speakers and get inspired!