Have you heard of the DB2 Detective Game? I was part of a small team that created this game a few years ago with the objective of teaching people how to query a DB2 database. Our original audience was a SHAD Valley group of high achieving high school students (http://www.shad.ca/). One of the people on our team was a former SHAD grad who was on a coop term at IBM. Teaching the students was an amazing experience. They like the competitiveness of playing a game, but it was astonishing how quickly they picked up the skill of writing queries to get important information from the database.
The game has gone through many iterations of improvements and is now called the DB2 business game and is available on developerWorks for all to "play". Give it a try....
Here are the details:
The DB2 business gamehttp://www.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/dm-dw-dm-0609cao-i.htmlTest your DB2 querying skillsLevel: Introductory
If you're a beginner with IBM® DB2® and SQL, you may wonder how the technical skills you're learning are used in the "real world." Here is a chance for you to put your DB2 SQL skills into play in this interactive game! Jump into a "run your own business" scenario, where your company's future depends on a key report needed to secure funds for a critical upgrade. Use your relational database skills to build this report.
Put your DB2 SQL skills into play using a "real world" business scenario.
Keep on Learning
What do you think? Has the use of XML increased in the past two years? Find out... first answer the current poll question and then check on the change in usage over the past two years:
Database Magazine Poll Question: How much do you use or manage XML?
Join this free SSWUG Webcast: The Big Deal about Big Data, staring expert Paul Zikpoulos. The webinar is free only during the live broadcast that takes place Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 1:00 PM Eastern.
What you’ll learn:
Big Data can mean a lot of things to a lot of people; but one thing we're sure of, it's the hottest thing to hit the IT landscape. In this chat you'll get a comprehensive introduction to Big Data. You'll learn how to spot Big Data, it's characteristics, and what the opportunities are. (Hint, be prepared to get shocked on Volume and more). You'll get a taste of Hadoop, but realize Big Data is so much more.
Paul will also share top things to consider in the Big Data world that's often overlooked (governance, integration, search, and more). Consider this: if you Google search 'What is Big Data', you will get almost 1 billion hits!!! If you attend this session, you'll never have to Google search this phrase again.
To register and for additional information see: Webcast Structure and Cost
Note that listening to the live broadcast is free, but ordering the replay has a charge.
Finally the most essential DB2 book for DBAs has been updated for the latest release of DB2: DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows: DBA Guide, Reference, and Exam Prep (6th Edition).
Congratulations to both George Baklarz and Paul Zikopoulos! As you may know, Bill Wong was George's co-author for the fourth and fifth editions to this book (as well as one of mine :). Bill had moved to a job in Tivoli, but is now back in DB2... which I'm quite happy about. Paul joined the team and I'm sure that this edition follows the tradition of the previous editions: well-written, easy to read, thorough, and essential!
What can you find in this book? Well, 1136 pages, for starters! As you can tell from the sheer size of the book is that you'll find much more than exam prep details! In fact, I would suggest that you continue to buy / read the Exam Study Guides by Roger Sanders to prepare for DB2 Certification Exams, but buy this book as your way to learn what you need to know, beyond the exams.
The sections of the book that I'd like to draw your attention to include:
1) Security. Although it doesn't cover the topic as thoroughly as Understanding DB2 9 Security does, it does include important security and resiliency enhancements, including advanced access control; fine-grained, label-based security; and the new security administrator role
2) SQL. There is an entire section of the book devoted to SQL. In my mind, there IS no other book you need for SQL beyond this one. Coverage includes pure XML, advanced SQL, and yes, even SQL for beginners. George is somewhat of an SQL expert and creates examples of all sorts to demonstrate a variety of SQL. But, George and Paul rarely rely solely on their own knowledge alone. They are well-connected with the entire development team and the book benefits from additions and reviews by the top experts in the area.
3) Autonomics. Want to make your environment more automatic? Learn about the operational improvements that can enhance your efficiency. Coverage includes self-tuning memory allocation, automated storage management, and storage optimization.
4) Partitioning. Perhaps an advanced topic, but important none-the-less. Learn about the new table-partitioning features that improve scalability and manageability.
5) Development. My dream would be to publish a book for this area alone, but since that isn't in the cards right now, read this book to learn about the powerful improvements for more agile and rapid development, including the new Eclipse-based Developer Workbench and simple SQL or XQuery access to all data.
I plan to work with both George and Paul to further feature unique aspects about their book, so stay tuned.
Interestingly, this book is not on special on amazon.com. I'm not sure why that is, but I'll keep watching to see if they put a sale on this book that matches their usual 37% discount. You may buy the book from the IBM Press websites at a discount:
United States - Use the coupon code DB2SAVE to get 35% off this and other books.Canada - 35% off all IBM Press titlesEMEA - 35% off all IBM Press titles.
IBMers may choose to purchase the book through an Internal Site.
Buy today and keep up to speed on the latest features.
ITSO Global Content Services has recently announced the introduction of IBM Redguides into the IBM Redbooks® publications family. The Redguides team has 15 Redguides available for download from www.ibm.com/Redbooks.
IBM Redguides bridge the gap between high-level sales collateral and traditional Redbooks publications. They were requested by and co-designed with technical business leaders. They offer IT architects, IT consultants, technical sales support staff and IT managers a pre-sales business view of technology rather than a post-sales focus on deployment. Redguides are about how to solve a business problem and provide business value with IBM solutions.
Take a look... I hope you like them and find the Redguides useful to you as you continually grow your skills.
If you or someone you know is looking to learn DB2, I recommend these two books:
Beginning DB2: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice) by Grant Allen
Understanding DB2(R): Learning Visually with Examples (2nd Edition) by Raul F. Chong, Xiaomei Wang, Michael Dang, Dwaine R. Snow
Both of these books are excellent choices if you are trained on a competitive database and wish to quickly transfer your skills to DB2.
What motivates you to take a training course?a) Training promotionb) Professional developmentc) Product upgraded) Job requirement
Log your response on the IDUG Instapol which has recently been updated with this new question.
Early results suggest that professional development drives the most people to training (based on 23 total votes). Help us get a very clear picture by ensuring that you log your vote.
Here are the results for the instapol that was focused on ILO:
Would you be interested in taking instructor-led online training?Yes, definitely. -- 62.09% (95 votes)No, I prefer classroom training. -- 16.34% (25 votes)Maybe, I’m thinking about it. -- 18.3% (28 votes)I’ve never heard of it. -- 3.27% (5 votes)
As always... thanks for your feedback... we listen to your needs.
You may have taken part in this survey of IDUG members on the topic of evolving roles and eduction / training needs. I can't say that the results are unexpected, but I can say that it is very helpful to see the analysis and results as they are discussed in the final survey report, "Data Professionals Broaden Their Skills,". The document is currently posted on IDUG's Web site and can be downloaded free-of-charge.
IDUG partnered with Unisphere Media to conduct the survey of IDUG members on this important topic. Sponsored by CA, the survey gathered input from more than 850 data professionals, with some enlightening results that will help IDUG further serve your needs.
From a publishing perspective, I was encouraged to see that many of the books that are currently available, along with those that are in the works, meet the needs of most of the respondents.
For example, it was mentioned several times in the document that DBAs need the following types of information: database performance and tuning, SQL performance, backup and recovery, and data availability. The recently published book by George Baklarz and Paul Zikopolous, DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows: DBA Guide, Reference, and Exam Prep (6th Edition) covers all of the topics and confirms to me that this book is the must have book for all DBAs! The upcoming book by Roger Sanders and Dwaine Snow, DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Advanced Database Administration Certification: Certification Study Guide will make an excellent companion book for this audience as it may go into more depth on some of the topics mentioned.
The document also mentioned that more DBAs are finding the need to perform application development tasks such as SQL statement development, data modeling and design, and data access methods. In addition to the Baklarz/Zikopolous book already mentioned, you should consider the book by Philip Gunning: DB2 9 for Developers . As the title implies, the book covers the application development tasks that a DBA is required to perform.
Always an important topic is database security: "Forty-one percent reported their time engaged in data security activities has grown over the past year. Most activity in this area has been focused on access control and user authentication, and managing users, roles and permissions." I would recommend the following book: Understanding DB2 9 Security by Rebecca Bond, Kevin Yeung-Kuen See, Carmen Ka Man Wong, and Yuk-Kuen Henry Chan
Certification was also mentioned in the survey results, but the message was: "Certification, while valuable, is only prevalent at a minority of sites, the survey found. About 47 percent of respondents - the largest segment - said a quarter or fewer of staff members are certified or working toward certification. Another 21 percent have no certified staff at all." I found this to be surprising as certification exams are extremely popular with the IDUG conference attendees. The books that support our certification program are: DB2 Certification Study Guides.
Lastly I found the difference between database consultants and database administrators interesting: "The priorities of respondents who spend most of their time in business consulting-related activities differ sharply from those mainly engaged in traditional database administration. While both types of data professionals are likely to be focused on managing explosive data growth, data managers engaged in business consulting are far more likely than traditional database administrators to be focusing on developing service-oriented architectures (34 percent versus 18 percent). Likewise, respondents engaged in business consulting roles are more likely to be moving forward business intelligence initiatives (33 percent versus 18 percent). Enterprise information integration is also more of a top concern among professionals engaged with the business (31 percent versus 21 percent)."
For this audience, I'd highly recommend the growing list of SOA titles from IBM Press, especially Enterprise Master Data Management: An SOA Approach to Managing Core Information which I was closely involved with.
I encourage everyone to read and interpret the results from this survey for themselves. The document is 23 pages in length and worth the time to read.
Pre-order the latest book by Phil Gunning and receive a 40% discount! Book to ship in February.
DB2 for Developersby Phil Gunning
Written by an "in-the-trenches" consultant, this guide hails the newest version of DB2 as a major release, highlighting the large number of totally new features, most notably the addition of XML capabilities. Packed with the information DB2 developers and administrators need to know when implementing version 9, the discussion covers upgrading from prior releases of DB2, converting relational data to XML data, and how DB2 supports industry standard schemas. With detailed examples and useful scripts, users learn how to develop DB2 XML applications, design an XML database, and tune the DB2 XML hybrid database. Extensive information on DB2 optimization of SQL and XML is a particularly useful feature of the book and includes a rundown on import and export utilities that database managers can use in their own installations. Going far beyond the standard manuals and certification guides, this is a truly comprehensive resource that teaches the "why" and "how" of a well-designed and well-implemented DB2 database.
The second edition of the Information Management Professional Certification Newsletter is now available:http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/cert-newsletter.html.
In this edition, find out about the certifications that are currently under development and when they are expected to be live. You'll see a list of the events where certifications are being offered for free or at a reduced price. Also, you'll have links to the latest white papers and offers.