Keep on Learning


DB2 9 is a leading-edge hybrid data server that offers optimum storage, scalability, and availability. DB2 pureScale is a new technology primarily optimized for scale-out transactional processing clusters in an active-active manner. This succinct guide will show you how DB2 with pureScale can provide you transparent application scalability, the ability to deliver agile-like computing to your transaction systems, and extreme availability.


Want even more information about DB2 pureScale?  See the blog entry I wrote in August: More on DB2 pureScale.



Meet an author, buy a book, enhance your skills

svisser1 Tags:  signings schedule authors iodgc books 1 Comment 6,271 Views
 *** changed signing date/time for Mark Jeffries

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been blogging about the authors who will be signing books at the IBM Information on Demand Conference this October.  I think it’s a record that we have 9 amazing authors with books that you can buy and get signed.  I’ve read several of the books myself and highly recommend them, but I’ll also be in line buying copies of the books I haven’t yet read.


Although it isn’t necessary, I suggest that you use the Smart Site to build an agenda for yourself, and “sign” up to attend these book signings.  Why?  Simply so you remember when and where they are taking place.  I’ve tried to make it easy for you by listing the Meeting number for each author / signing, but you can also search on the word “signing” in the Smart Site and you’ll be presented with all of the signings that have been scheduled. 


Here is the list:

Book signings: you must purchase a copy of the book for the author to sign.  All books at the bookstore will be for sale at a 20% discount.  If you already own the book…. bring it with you!

The Art of Business Seduction: A 30-Day Plan to Get Noticed, Get Promoted and Get Ahead (Session # 3766)

by Mark Jeffries

Monday 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Mark is now signing on Tuesday, Oct 26 from 11:00 am- 12:00 noon.


The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (Session # 3622)

by Atul Gawande

Tuesday at 10:00 – 11:00


DB2 V9 for z/OS Certification Guide - Systems Administration – Test 737 (Session # 3621)

by Judy Nall

Tuesday at 12:30 – 1:30


Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics (Session # 3779)

by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

Wednesday 10:00 – 10:20 am


New Era of Enterprise Business Intelligence, The: Using Analytics to Achieve a Global Competitive Advantage (Session # 3619)

by Michael Biere

Wednesday at 11:00 – 12:00


The Art of Enterprise Information Architecture (Session # 3617)

by Eberhard Hechler, Martin Oberhofer, Steve Lockwood, Michael Schroek, Mario Godinez, Klaus Koeig

Wednesday at 12:30 – 1:30


A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum (Session # 3767)

by  Matt Ganis

Wednesday 3:00 – 4:00


Viral Data in SOA: An Enterprise Pandemic (Session # 3801)

by Neal Fishman

Thursday at 11:30 – 12:30


Making it Big in Software: Get the Job. Work the Org. Become Great. (Session # 3618)

by Sam Lightstone

Thursday at 12:30 – 1:30


Next week I’ll tell you about the Flashbooks that are being specially produced for the IOD conference and will be given away for free to conference attendees.



Freak Me Out!!

svisser1 Tags:  freakonomics iodgc signing dubnar books levitt iod 1 Comment 8,190 Views

I’ve known this for the last week, but haven’t been able to blog about it till today!  The authors of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics will be special guest speakers at this year’s IBM Information on Demand Conference.  They are scheduled to speak at the General Session on Wednesday morning.


We’ve managed to arrange for Stephen Dubnar and Steven Levitt to come to the bookstore for attendees to get their books signed… the unfortunate things is that they only have 20 minutes available for the signing!  Add this book signing to your schedule via the Smart Site Agenda Builder. Their session is Anc # 3779.


Have you read the books yet?  I have listened to both books in audible versions and can speak endlessly about how much I enjoyed the stories in their books.  I will purchase both copies in printed format so I can get these amazing authors to sign them!


About the books:

About Freakonomics
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?


About SuperFreakonomics
Four years in the making, SuperFreakonomics asks not only the tough questions, but the unexpected ones: What’s more dangerous, driving drunk or walking drunk? Why is chemotherapy prescribed so often if it’s so ineffective? Can a sex change boost your salary?


I’m very interested in hearing what they have to say to an IBM audience.  I presume it will be related to IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative… which really is looking at the world in a different way much as the freak guys did in their books.



The Mainstreaming of eBooks

svisser1 Tags:  green ebook ipad kindle bookstore 1 Comment 8,092 Views

This past February, in my blog titled Year of the e-Book, I highlighted a variety of online resources for avid readers and predicted that this year is the year of eBooks. Low and behold – I wasn’t too far from the truth! Today, I am surrounded by eBook enthusiasts. I personally use a Kindle; my son, a Sony. Just last night, my visit to the neighbourhood bookstore reminded me just how much I can save if I buy new releases in their electronic format.

I’d like to share some resources that I think you will really benefit from.

If you haven’t read an eBook before, now’s a good time to change that. Books published through IBM Press, MC Press, Apress, and Packt can now be purchased in the traditional print, Kindle, or PDF format, in addition to online book engines such as Safari Books Online and Books 24x7. The beauty of this phenomenon is that, in order to access eBooks, you don’t have to own a reading device. Smartphones (equipped with apps) and computers (armed with software programs) serve as perfect substitutes for optimizing your experience.

Books 24x7

One of the many benefits of accessing Books 24x7 is that you can read an electronic book offline. All you have to do is download it! Upon subscribing to the portal, you will be able to search for keywords across hundreds of titles, bookmark books, keep track of what chapter you are on and more. Even if you prefer reading a printed version, the engine will help you filter through an enormous amount of content to find the most appropriate title of interest.

IBM employees can access Books 24x7 via employee home pages. This portal is now offered to many schools as well. IBM Press books are on this site, as are books from many other publishers.

Safari Books Online

Safari Books Online is another electronic book engine and, essentially, the same as Books 24x7. In addition to IBM Press books, Pearson Education and O'Reilly titles are also available. If you are looking for a personal subscription, Safari’s prices are quite affordable. At times, if you’re lucky, you’ll even get a free trial.

Electronic Book Readers

These handheld devices were designed specifically for reading books. This means, they are roughly the same size and weigh as much as a book. However, the text is easier on the eyes. Best of all, they are portable! The best known ones in the market at this time are the Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle and Sony eBook Reader.

A variety of publishers are already presenting me with e-book strategies for future publications. This new channel will make books available immediately in an online format of some kind. Printed copies will be available in limited quantities and/or if a request has been placed. This will reduce, if not eliminate, the need for publishers to have warehouses crowded with printed books, thus remaining environmentally friendly. The biggest benefit of all, however, is that publishers will now be able to more easily update books whenever necessary. This will drastically change the rate at which updated knowledge and information becomes available.

Have we reached the era where readers only want online books? In my humble opinion, not yet. Perhaps there will always be a market for printed books (if you could only see my desk, you'd know just who makes up a good chunk of that market!).

My Christmas present, the Kindle, constantly reminds me of the benefits of reading using such a device. Without a doubt, the Kindle is just the beginning. Everywhere you turn, a different and, possibly, more innovative device is waiting to be explored: Sony, Nook, iPad, apps on iPhones and Blackberries, and the list can go on. Frankly, it will only get harder to keep up with all of them.

To sum it up, the mainstreaming of the phenomenon of eBooks is showing no signs of stopping so get on board today. You will be glad you did.


All you social types.. take this survey….

svisser1 Tags:  survey db2 idug social 1 Comment 5,235 Views
If you're interested in social networking, take a look at this survey request from IDUG: 

IDUG is looking to improve its social networking sites in order to better meet the needs of the DB2 community. To capture a true picture of how we're doing, we need your feedback! The survey will take no more than five minutes of your time and will provide us invaluable insight into your social networking needs.

Take the IDUG Social Networking Survey

We appreciate your feedback!


The IDUG Social Networking Committee

Are you one of the 3000???

svisser1 Tags:  community group channeldb2 1 Comment 6,846 Views

This morning I received a note from Leon Katsnelson saying that was just shy of its 3000th member!  I just checked the site and we are still 3 people short of this number... but I'm sure we'll reach it soon. 

Are you a member?  I've blogged several times about this site, so I'm sure if you've read my blog in the past, you've heard about this site, and perhaps have joined.  If not....consider joining so you can take part in  - THE social network for the DB2 community!

If you are a member, you likely already know about the great information and resources that are available to you... including content for DB2 on Linux, UNIX, Windows, System z, and System i:

  • videos
  • podcasts
  • blogs
  • photos
  • songs
  • discussions
  • events

Did you also know that there are 79 groups that you are encouraged to join! The topics range from country-related groups, to certification prep groups, to conference groups. All the groups are open for you to add comments and discussions, but also provide you with targeted information that will surely be very beneficial!

So, join if you aren't currently a member, and if you are a member, get the most from this active social network by joining and participating in the groups.

The groups that I have created (and highly recommend) is DB2 in Books. I'm also a member of the following groups:

  • IDUG Europe 2009
  • DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Workshop
  • DB2 for z/OS - What's On !
  • DB2 in Canada
  • DB2 for Linux, UNIX, Windows
  • DB2 for z/OS
  • DB2 pureXML

I look forward to seeing you join as a member of one of these groups or more! 



Free Webinar: Getting started with IBM Data Studio

svisser1 1 Comment 6,458 Views

I’m still catching up on work after being away for my summer vacation… so forgive me for the lack of posts I’ve made!

I saw this from Leon and would like to simply repeat it:

A replay of this free webinar is now available. This is about FREE IBM Data Studio that naturally works with the FREE DB2 Express-C.

One really important point. Recently we released "lite" versions of DB2 Express-C. These versions are faster to download but they are missing some of the components. One of those components is ... drum roll ... Control Center. Yes, you know Control Center is going away and is being replaced by the IBM Data Studio. So, watch the replay of the webcast, grab Data Studio, DB2 Express-C and the free books on DB2 Express-C and Data Studio.


Pre-Order: DB2 9 System Administration for z/OS: Certification Study Guide: Exam 737

svisser1 Tags:  cert db2_for_zos nall certification book 1 Comment 7,673 Views

Congratulations to Judy Nall whose first book is about to publish.  The book goes to the printer today!

DB2 9 System Administration for z/OS: Certification Study Guide: Exam 737

by Judy Nall


This is an addition to the series of Certification Guides published by MC Press to support DB2’s popular certification program.

Not only was Judy part of the exam development team, but she is well known in the DB2 area as an internationally recognized lecturer, consultant, writer, educator, and DB2 expert. She is the president of Computer Business International, Inc., a member of the IBM DB2 Gold Consultants Group, and the recipient of an IBM Data Champion award for contributions to the IBM Data Management community.

This book was written with system administrators in mind, this reference offers information about both DB2 and z/OS operating systems as well as guidance for preparing for the IBM Certification Test 737. Helpful and thorough, this technical guide summarizes the new features of DB2 9 environments and provides essential system administration information, such as installation and maintenance procedures. With chapters on troubleshooting, performance and tuning, and securing and auditing, as well as practice questions, this reference is a one-stop shop for DB2 system administrators.

At the time of writing this blog entry, the book did not have a special price on either amazon or MC Press.  I’m hoping that changes, so check both links for the best price.

Other books that are part of this series are:

DB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 732
Susan Lawson and Daniel Luksetich

DB2 9 Advanced Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 734
Roger Sanders, Dwaine Snow

DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide
Roger Sanders

DB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 731
Roger Sanders

DB2 9 Database Administration Upgrade Certification Study Guide for Exam 736
Roger Sanders

All of these books were authored by experts who were part of the exam development team, the structure of the book matches the exam objectives, and there are sample test questions to help you prepare for the exam.


Congratulations to Judy!  Job very well done!



Still a stupid planet :(

svisser1 Tags:  infosphere db2 smarter_planet 1 Comment 7,473 Views
I don't know about you, but I keep running into examples in the world where technology could be used to improve the experience.  Here are a few recent examples:
A friend of mine was charged a fee for not using her chequing account for a 3 month period.  When she called the bank they told her that they are trying to encourage people to come into the branch.  That doesn't make much sense... but that's what they said.  So, my friend plans to write herself a cheque every month for the amount of $1 and deposit it into the same account.  Complete silliness!
I've been using the Toronto Transit lately and the last time I needed to buy tokens, I noticed two things.  First of all, you can only buy tokens for cash.  Credit cards are not accepted.  I can use my credit card to pay $1.50 for parking somewhere, but can't buy 8 tokens for $20 unless I pay cash.  The day I was there, the machine wasn't working, so I had to walk a fair distance to find a ticket booth that had an employee to sell me tokens.  I don't carry cash very often, so I must first find a bank machine.  Don't you think this could be easily automated and simplified? 
In some cases the technology exists, but someone chooses to bypass the technology and end up making the experience a miserable one.  For instance, I ordered a Blackberry that was to be shipped to my home via UPS.  The phone company I purchased the Blackberry from decided to limit UPS in how and when they delivered the phone to me.  UPS could only deliver during regular business hours when it just so happens that I'm at work!  I asked for them to deliver to the local UPS store so I could pick up the phone after hours, but again the phone company restricted UPS and forced them to deliver to their central warehouse which is very far from my house.  I should have cancelled the phone, but instead I had to work from home in order to receive the shipment.
What can we do about all this stupidity?  IBM's current campaign about a SMARTER PLANET is the ultimate answer... and hopefully they are successful in improving the situation somewhat.
There are three books that I've read where the answer is provided... and I encourage all to read these books and help find people to build a smarter planet:
 Also take a look at some cool videos that IBM put together:
Do you have examples of stupidity as well?  Share them if you like. 

Winer, Schiefer, and Viapando on the DB2Night Show....

svisser1 Tags:  db2night_show db2 winer leon oracle oprah 1 Comment 7,051 Views
Have you seen Leon's recent blog entry?

Move over Oprah, is moving up in ratings

My last post about the DB2Night Show was in error... I said that Mark Wilding was the special guest this week... but it's actually Mike Winer! I'm sure Mark will be rescheduled for a future show.

So, what's Mike Winer going to talk about? I was a recent guest at his new cottage, but I'm sure that topic won't come up! Instead, he's talking about DB2 Locking. Mike was at the IDUG Tampa conference and at last week's CCDB2UG, so if you missed those talks, you'll be able to catch up in this special 90 minute webinar with Scott Hayes.

From Scott:

Educate - Inform - Entertain ...

Our "mystery" show has turned into a very special feature "The Keys to Mastering DB2 Locking" with guest Mike Winer, IBM STSM and DB2 Kernel Architect.

Mike gave an awesome presentation at IDUG North America in Tampa on DB2 Locking, updates, 9.7 Current Committed, and much more. So that Mike can deliver his full talk on this topic, we are extending the duration of The DB2Night Show to 90 minutes. We should have time for questions from the Studio Audience at the end.

Again, this is a first - a 90 minute show: 10am - 11:30am CENTRAL, 11am - 12:30pm EASTERN.

Register Now.

Remember, all past shows were recorded, so you can listen to previous shows that you may have missed. Also coming this month are:

The DB2Night Show Episode #22
Comparing DB2 LUW and Oracle with Burt Vialpando

The DB2Night Show Episode #23
"DB2 LUW Storage Optimization Best Practices"
with guests Berni Schiefer and Robin Grosman, IBM

Thanks again to the amazing Scott Hayes for arranging these informative talks with talented speakers!


Making it Big in Software

svisser1 Tags:  career lightstone software making_it_big 1 Comment 11,798 Views
 Once I finish this blog entry about the book Making it Big in Software by Sam Lightstone, I plan to post part of it to as my reader feedback for the book.  I hope you post your comments on amazon once you've read the book... as feedback of this sort is what helps make a book sucessful!

This book, written by Sam Lightstone shines light on the differences between the skills acquired in university versus those needed to succeed in the business world.  It also shares what recruiters look for in a candidate and what preferred skills will help you get your dream job.  How can you differentiate yourself from the others who are similarly educated or similarly skilled, climb the ladder, become a technical leader and innovator, or even start your own successful software company?  This book tells you how to accelerate your career and includes interviews with 17 of the industry’s biggest stars including inventors, researchers, entrepreneurs and leading executives, to find out what they did to stand out in this industry.  Even if you are modest about your goals of making it in the software industry, this book will give you an edge that will last your entire career.

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 who 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)  Good managers help their employees reach their full potential.  Managers who read this book will become better mentors and coaches for their employees.  A successful team reflects very well on the leader of the team!
I had the absolute pleasure to attend an hour long session by Sam Lightstone recently.  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.
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!
2)  Pay 
Senior Software Architects make much more money than junior employees.  Check it out on  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.
3) Freedom 
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.
6)  Inspiration
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!
8)  Promotion
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, file 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.  
Speaking of career killers, I'd be surprised if you've managed to avoid all the problems that are mentioned.... I know I have witnessed most of them in my career.  The advice in this chapter is dead on... and in times when many jobs are disappearing, it might be a good idea to read this chapter to make sure that you are on the right side of a layoff.  
10) Balance 
I think software developers are notorious for NOT HAVING A LIFE!  I must admit that working in the software business (and for IBM for that matter) can be all consuming and never ending... and maybe a bit addictive.  Can a balance be achieved?  I think it can and I'll let you read what Sam says about the subject.
This is the last paragraph that Sam wrote in this chapter: 
"Careers do require hard work and enthusiasm, and those are attributes that encourage people to spend more time at the office.  Finding your own balance is hard, but if you discover the Philosopher's Stone that helps you get it right, you'll have done the best possible service to your career and your life.  No other tactic or vice will serve you better.  With only one life to lead, it's definitely worth the effort"
PS... 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! 

If you DO DB2, you might WIN an iPad :)

svisser1 Tags:  ipad db2 certification idug contest 1 Comment 7,424 Views
Check out this amazing contents that is sponsored by IDUG:
Do You DB2Tell 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?

2) What sessions are being presented by IBMers?

3) IDUG is all about the users! Don't miss a single presentation!

4) InfoSphere is a hot topic. Check out all the sessions that are available.

5) At the end of each day, do some networking. 
6) Take this opportunity to get certified... and do it for free!
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: 
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: 
So... DO DB2 (and Win) 
and LEARN DB2 at IDUG :) 

Career Survival Skills

svisser1 Tags:  recruiters tips software career lightstone managers 1 Comment 8,022 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!

Look at all the great users presenting at IDUG!

svisser1 Tags:  sessions presenters users books idug conference 1 Comment 8,076 Views
 IDUG = International DB2 User's Group, so you'd expect there to be many presentations at the annual conference that are done by users.  And you're right.  And what a great bunch of users who are part of the IDUG team!  Here are some who I haven't mentioned on my previous blog entries:

756: Hell’s Kitchen; DB2 9, A DBA’s Recipe for Success  , Rob Crane II, FedEx
360: Crossing Over - A Mainframers Guide to DB2 LUW, Jim Wankowski, Quest Software
533: Varsity SQL for the Busy DBA, Fred Sobotka, FRS Consulting, Inc.
434: DB2 Z/OS V8 Data Warehouse Conversion to DB2 LUW 9.5, William Gannon, Palm Beach County School District
547: Spatial Data Management on DB2 for z/OS; Customer Experiences at John Deere, Sooraj Ali, John Deere
397: Auditor's Guide to DB2, Thomas Baumann, Swiss Mobiliar
735: De-mystifing JDBC Universal Drivers - for the z/OS DBA, Billy Sundarrajan Fifth Third Bank
613: DB2 9 for z/OS: What's New Since GA?, Phil Grainger, Independent consultant
572: Enabling Oracle Applications on DB2 - an Early User Experience, Bernie O'Connor, Anixter Inc.
450: Squeeze the Most Out of your Indexes in DB2 9!, Jim Dee, BMC Software Inc.
590: DB2 for z/OS SQL Performance Choices, Daniel Luksetich YL&A
782: Table and Index Design Strategies: Looking Forward to DB2 9, Susan M Lawson, YL&A
784: Mainframe DB2 Data Warehousing 2010, Robert Catterall, Catterall Consulting
294: Where my requests spend time? --- First taste DB2 9.7 Time Spent metrics, Pak Kwan Fifth Third Bank
495: DB2 for the Oracle DBA, Jim Wankowski Quest Software
447: Understanding Your DBA??  It Can Be Done!!, Brad  Price, Werner Enterprises


351: Solving Warehouse Source Data Issues Using DB2 on z/OS , Robert Goodman, Florida Hospital
91: An A to Z of DB2 for z/OS Backup and Recovery, Phil Grainger, Independent consultant
574: Static SQL and Access Path Review - Tips and Tricks , Paul Walters, Sallie Mae
576: Major Locking Issues with New SQL (2 Parts), Bonnie Baker, Bonnie Baker Corporation
558: DB2 Security – Ammo From the Trenches, Rebecca Bond
321: DB2 9 tricks for COBOL programs, David Churn DST Systems, Inc.
343: A Few Things to Know Before Migrating to DB2 9 for z/OS, David Simpson Themis Inc.
550: Unlocking the Mysteries of the DB2 Log, Paul Turpin, S1 Corporation
408: Scaling Enterprise Data in the Cloud, Albert Lee xkoto, Inc.
448: Rev up your SQL Applications with Enhanced Statistics!, Jim Dee BMC Software
288: DB2 9 Package Stability: Migration, System and Daily Database Maintenance, Ulf Heinrich SEGUS Inc.
736: DB2 z/OS – Hands free approach to maintenance of multi terabyte tables, Billy Sundarrajan, Fifth Third Bank
402: DB2 LUW Index Design and Best Practices, Scott Hayes, DBI
347: Java DB2 Developer Performance Best Practices, David Beulke, Dave Beulke & Associates
345: Exploiting DB2 9.7 Monitoring and WLM Functionality, Philip Nelson ScotDB Limited

V05: You Killed the ELEPHANTS but MOSQUITOES are Killing YOU!,  Scott Hayes - DGI,   Phil Grainger - Grainger Consulting
V07: Reveal Your Inner Genius with BMC Software, Rick Weaver - BMC

312: Do you really want NOT to LOG ?, Steen Rasmussen CA
570: John Deere's User Experience with DB2 9 New Features, Bryan  Paulsen, John Deere
297: Wake Up to Hibernate, John Mallonee, Highmark Inc.
491: Optimize DB2 Buffer Pool performance with the new Performance Wizard and Buffer Pool Tool® for DB2, Joel Goldstein, Responsive Systems
467: Package Versioning for High Availability, John Maenpaa, Health Care Service Corporation
346: Moving to DB2 9.7 : User Experiences, Philip Nelson, ScotDB Limited
311: RTS is your friend – Optimize DB2 housekeeping., Steen Rasmussen, CA
631: A 411 on the DB2 Directory, William Arledge, BMC Software
628: Ask not what the Optimizer can do for you ? ask what you can do for the Optimizer!, Suresh Sane DST Systems Inc
445: The Caveman Chronicles: How We Took our DB Performance from Ice Age to New Age!!, Brad Price, Werner Enterprises
639: IFI you don't know, ask!, Jeff Gross, CA
624: Best Solution in DB2 for z/OS , Frank Petersen Bankdata
566: DB2 Compression and performance impact, Robert Donaldson LSSiData
466: DB2 Attachment Facilities, John Maenpaa Health Care Service Corporation
298: DB2 LUW and Oracle Environment Standardisation (CA-IDUG Award 2009), Peter Suhner, AXA Technology Services Switzerland AG
151: Solving the DB2 Database Administration Dilemma, Randy Goering, DST Systems Inc.

V11: Improving the Performance of the Enterprise,  Raymond Meza - Eccox Software Group
V12: Tune Mainframe SQL Like a Genius , Bill Arledge - BMC Software

563: Generic Attach on Z/OS (or attachment demistifyed), Jack Bailey, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
59: The Return of the DB2 Top Ten Lists, Craig Mullins
620:  DB2 LUW Design Advisor - db2advis ? Miracle-Worker or Monster-In-Law, Alexander Kopac, Home Depot
485: How a Performance Database Can Help Save the Day! , Mark Wilkinson, AMICA Mutual Insurance Company
484: A practical guide to storage tiering with DB2 for z/OS, Paul Pendle EMC
EU2009 Best Speaker: 623: How to Cope with Soap? WebServices on DB2 for z/OS, Frank Petersen Bankdata
565: High Performance Free Form Text Searching in DB2:  Text Search vrs NSE 9.7, Robert Donaldson, LSSiData
618: Diagnosing & Curing? Lock, Wait and Performance Bottlenecks, Alexander Kopac Home Depot
526: Lessons Learned from SQL Performance Reviews , Sheryl Larsen, Sheryl M. Larsen, Inc.
794: DB2 9 for z/OS Migration Planning Survival Guide, Linda Claussen, Themis
627: Real-world strategies for managing undesirable access paths, Suresh Sane, DST Systems Inc
743: My Memorable Moments with DB2 LUW, Debra Wong, Marriott International
210: The Power SQL PL, Herb Vogel, JB HUNT Transportation
436: DB2 Administration for Better Performance and Low Cost, Sigen Chen, Lockheed Martin

I recognize a few new names here, which is wonderful!  Thanks to all speakers and good luck at your session!  I hope you are filled to capacity :)


Check out the bookstore that will be onsite where you can purchase books from Rebecca Bond, Susan Lawson, Daniel Luksetich, Craig Mullins and others.

Monday isn't listed above, as the educational seminars are taking place that day.  Be sure to check out the offerings.  Don't forget about the free certification exams you can take!
Check out my previous blog entries for a list of all the InfoSphere sessions as well as details about the fun events that are planned.

What's so special about the PURPLE book?

svisser1 Tags:  adv_dba cert purple study 1 Comment 6,694 Views
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:

I strongly encourage you to try the study guides again. The series from MC Press is much different than any we've had in the past. First of all, the authors were part of the exam development team, so they were able to create their own assessment questions that are similar to what you'll see on the official IBM cert exam or assessment exam.

Second, the books were designed to only cover what is tested on the exam... with the natural exception that the material must make sense. So if it isn't on the exam, but is needed for you to understand the concepts, it is covered. At the same time, you'll find all topics that are covered on the test to be covered in the study guide. No exceptions. Read the comments on amazon. For people who truly used the study guide to learn ... they passed the exam.

Third, the study guides explain why the correct answer is correct and why the incorrect answer is incorrect. There is no other way to get this kind of depth in the material.

There is a study guide specifically for the very difficult Advanced DBA exam. Take a look at this one, and I don't think you'll be disappointed:

DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Advanced Database Administration Certification: Certification Study Guide by Dwaine Snow and Roger Sanders.

I call this the "purple" book.


Tis the Season to be Social :)

svisser1 Tags:  books discounts social kindle 1 Comment 8,448 Views
 Books on Social Networking

Just in time for Christmas and / or a break in busyness are a couple of interesting books that you can read about the social networking phenomena.  If you're reading this blog, perhaps you are already knee deep in social networking!  But maybe you know someone who might benefit from learning more about what's happening?

From IBM Press:
Try, then buy. Read sample chapters from our exciting new books The Social Factor, Web 2.0 and Social Networking for the Enterprise, and Multisite Commerce as well as from other bestselling titles. Then get a 35% discount with coupon when you order direct from

From IBM Press Books, free chapters from stellar titles on navigating social media, energizing the channel, optimizing content and more.

Chapters include:

  • The Social Factor
  • Web 2.0 and Social Networking for the Enterprise
  • Multisite ecommerce
  • Search Engine Marketing Inc.
  • The New Language of Marketing 2.0
  • Do it Wrong Quickly
A couple of highlights:

Web 2.0 and Social Networking for the Enterprise: Guidelines and Examples for Implementation and Management Within Your Organization
by Joey Bernal

This book provides hands-on, start-to-finish guidance for business and IT decision-makers who want to drive value from Web 2.0 and social networking technologies. IBM expert Joey Bernal systematically identifies business functions and innovations these technologies can enhance and presents best-practice patterns for using them in both internal- and external-facing applications.

Save 35% and Free Shipping with the Following Coupon Code: IBM4898 (coupon codes are case sensitive)

The Social Factor

Harness the Power of Social Networking to Promote Innovation and Drive Growth 

  • A treasure trove of strategic and tactical insights for the business leader
  • Provides relevant experience from a host of powerful case studies and compelling business scenarios
  • Secrets for avoiding costly mistakes that can cripple a social networking initiative

Millions of people use social networking sites, and companies are increasingly turning to social networking to build relationships with customers. But companies routinely miss the best opportunities to create value and promote innovation–by using social networking to build thriving communities of employees, partners, and customers.


Business leaders and strategists can drive immense value from social networking “inside the firewall.” Drawing on her unsurpassed experience deploying innovative social networking systems within IBM® and for customers, Maria Azua demonstrates how to establish social networking communities, and then leverage those communities to drive extraordinary levels of innovation. Azua offers specific techniques for promoting mass collaboration in the enterprise and strategies to monetize social networking to generate new business opportunities.


Whatever your industry, you’ll learn how to choose and implement the right social networking solutions for your unique to avoid false starts and wasted time...and how to evaluate and make the most of today’s most promising social technologies–from wikis and blogs to knowledge clouds.

Purchase this title enter coupon code MARKETING during checkout to receive your discount.

Remember... if you know someone who has a Kindle or is getting one for Christmas... all of our IBM Press books are available in Kindle format.

Enjoy being social... especially this time of year!!


Performance Management 101 for DB2 for Linux ,UNIX, and Windows

svisser1 Tags:  devworks performance db2 free 1 Comment 8,342 Views
Performance Management 101 for DB2 for Linux ,UNIX, and Windows

Attend FREE from your own computer

Performance Management 101 for DB2 for Linux ,UNIX, and Windows

Join this IBM developerWorks Live! virtual technical briefing and learn about Integrated Data Management solutions from IBM.

Better performance translates to greater revenue, greater customer satisfaction, and greater ability to meet SLAs. Tired of the finger pointing among staff when performance is an issue? Find out how you can create exception monitoring metrics, track and measure performance indicators, and quickly diagnose performance problems when they arise. Use IBM DB2 Performance Expert and Extended Insight Feature to make the process easier and more efficient.

Performance Management 101 for DB2 for Linux ,UNIX, and Windows
Tuesday, 8 December
Time: 1:00 p.m. (New York)
Duration: 1 hour

What you will learn:

  • The nature of performance issues and most common DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows situations
  • A performance approach and how tooling enables quick and accurate ways to find the issues
  • How to create and monitor more effective performance indicators to meet SLAs and improve client satisfaction
  • How to enable end-to-end database performance monitoring for Java applications to isolate performance issues in minutes
  • How to foster collaborative approaches to problem solving among IT staff
See you on Tuesday!!


New e-book: SAP DBA Cockpit - Flight Plans for DB2 LUW Administrator

svisser1 Tags:  free dba_cockpit sap_db2 e-book 1 Comment 7,896 Views
I know!  We're on a roll here with all the new books that are publishing or about to publish.  October seems to be our big month!

I'm very happy about all of the books, but especially this one!  I've been working with Liwen for what seems like 10 years on getting a book about DB2 & SAP published!  Lots of hurdles, lack of authors, lack of name it... it was a problem.  But persistence from everyone and look what we have!  Right now we only have the e-version of the book...which you can print if you want a printed copy... and hopefully we can go the next step with this book in the near future.

Here are the details:

SAP DBA Cockpit - Flight Plans for DB2 LUW Administrator

Eduardo Akisue
Jeremy Broughton
Patrick Zeng
Liwen Yeow

This book is a reference document on the fully integrated monitoring and management of DB2 through the brilliantly designed SAP front end. The book takes the reader through all  aspects of the DBACOCKPIT tooling and suggest certain best practices that should be considered.

DB2 & SAP have been partners for many years now... so take a look at what that partnership brings you!  You won't be disappointed!

Click this link to go directly to the PDF book.... no landing page yet!


Book: Beautiful Data: The Stories Behind Elegant Data Solutions

svisser1 Tags:  jonas data book 1 Comment 9,087 Views
Just published by O'Reilly Media:

Beautiful Data:  The Stories Behind Elegant Data Solutions

By Toby Segaran, Jeff Hammerbacher
July 2009
Pages: 382

IBM's Jeff Jonas, Chief Scientist, Entity Analytics; and all-round amazingly fun guy co-wrote chapter 7 with
Lisa Sokol, Senior Managing Consultant - Entity Analytic Services.

PS... I love the cover... it is beautiful just like the topic!

From the publisher:

In this insightful book, you'll learn from the best data practitioners in the field just how
wide-ranging -- and beautiful -- working with data can be. Join 39 contributors as they explain
how they developed simple and elegant solutions on projects ranging from the Mars lander to a Radiohead video.

With Beautiful Data, you will:

    * Explore the opportunities and challenges involved in working with the vast number of datasets made available by the Web
    * Learn how to visualize trends in urban crime, using maps and data mashups
    * Discover the challenges of designing a data processing system that works within the constraints of space travel
    * Learn how crowdsourcing and transparency have combined to advance the state of drug research
    * Understand how new data can automatically trigger alerts when it matches or overlaps pre-existing data
    * Learn about the massive infrastructure required to create, capture, and process DNA data

That's only small sample of what you'll find in Beautiful Data. For anyone who handles data, this is a truly fascinating book.

Visit Jeff's blog to get your hands on a PDF version of chapter 7 while it is still posted.

Congratulations Jeff & Lisa :)


Details about DB2 Certifcation Program

svisser1 Tags:  certification db2 1 Comment 9,755 Views
First I gave you the benefits of getting certified, then the overall procedure to follow to get certified, now the details on the DB2 certification program.

Each exam has a time limit of 90 minutes, except the upgrade exam which has a time limit of 60 minutes. The number of questions and the cutscore for each exam varies. For example, exam 730 has 64 questions and you must score 59 percent or higher to pass it.

How do I prepare to pass an exam?
Here is the recommended path I suggest you take to prepare for a DB2 exam:

1) Choose the exam you want to take based on your job role. The DBA and AppDev certifications first require that you are certified as a Database Associate. To help you decide where to start, see the certification roadmaps.

2) Read through the exam objectives. Every question on the exam relates directly to one or more of the exam objectives. For a breakdown of the exam objectives and the recommended study materials, see

Here are the exams that cover the DB2 9 product:

* Exam 730 - DB2 9 Fundamentals

* Exam 731 - DB2 9 DBA for Linux, Unix, and Windows

* Exam 732 - DB2 9 DBA for z/OS

* Exam 733 - DB2 9 Application Developer

* Exam 734 - DB2 9 Advanced DBA for Linux UNIX and Windows

* Exam 735 - DB2 9.5 Developer. Although not specifically written for this exam, the book DB2(R) SQL PL: Essential Guide for DB2(R) UDB on Linux(TM), UNIX(R), Windows(TM), i5/OS(TM), and z/OS(R) (2nd Edition) might help you prepare for this exam.

* Exam 736 - DB2 9 Database Administrator for Linux UNIX and Windows Upgrade. See also Kate's blog entry about the upgrade exam!

* Exam 737 - DB2 9 System Administrator for z/OS

3) If you are experienced with DB2 and feel that you are prepared to pass the exam based on what you saw in the exam objectives, take an assessment exam. You'll get a report after taking the assessment exam that can help you pinpoint your weaknesses. Assessment exams cost $10 per take, so if you really think you are ready, come and take the exam to see.

4) If you are NOT experienced with DB2, download a free version of DB2 Express-C and give it a try!

5) Decide on how you want to increase your skills:

a) Consider buying one of the Certification Study Guides to refresh and deepen your skills:

For exam prep, the best books are these:
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

b) For self-study, also check out the free tutorials that IBM provides for most of the exams. The tutorials are broken into hour long segments of information based on the exam objectives. If you have a great deal of experience, this may be all you need to prepare for the exam. To see the full set of exam prep tutorials that are available, see

c) Take an education class from IBM or one of its partners. These classes typically have a fee, even for employees, so check with management to see if you can take one of these classes. Classroom education is an excellent way to learn, but may be difficult to justify due to costs. Don't forget to look into ILO training as this type of training gives you all the benefits of classroom education, but eliminates the travel costs. The best place to start to determine the classroom education that best fits your needs is with the training roadmaps:

6) If this is your first time taking a certification exam, review the steps on this site:

Can I gain experience by reading DB2 Forums and Blogs?

Absolutely! There are several DBAs who firmly believe helping out on the various forums have helped us gain a deeper understanding of subjects that were on the exams. So, contribute to those forums. You're not only helping other people, you're helping yourself as well! Most likely you'll find members of the DB2 development team actively taking part in the forums as well.

Here are the sites that I recommend, at the least:
Planet DB2 - a blog aggregator that combines DB2 blogs from around the world.
IBM developerWorks - DB2 Portal
IDUG – International DB2 User’s Group
My blog:
Kate's blog:

I hope you find this information useful!  Good luck on your journey towards certification!