I have been on vacation the last week, which meant I spent the previous three weeks at work preparing to go on that vacation. :) All in all, it was much needed. It represented the first family vacation we've taken since I was still in the Air Force (and I separated in 1999). We've taken a couple of days here or there or I've taken a week off to take care of personal things, but we finally did the week long, get away from everything vacation.
Our vacation was fairly inexpensive. We spent a week at Myrtle Beach, SC, at my mother-in-law's house. I admit this is a great convenience because Myrtle Beach is certainly a vacation location and not having to splurge on hotel and being able to minimize other expenses like food was great. But I think the most important thing was the time away and the time to destress. Given that, just about anywhere with some reasonable [Read more...]
Last week I received an email indicating that MySQL had made available an entry level certification, the Certified MySQL Associate (http://www.mysql.com/certification/candguide.html#t21). The idea is to provide a certification which shows a person has some basic knowledge of MySQL, but not at the level of a developer (http://www.mysql.com/certification/candguide.html#t26) or DBA (http://www.mysql.com/certification/candguide.html#t31). That's a great idea.
Not everyone needs a developer's or DBA's knowledge of a product to make use of it. This is true whether we're talking about MySQL or SQL Server. After all, we don't expect an end user to know how to fully administer a Windows XP / Vista system, but the basics of how to use it, that's well within the bounds of expectations.
I haven't had time to pursue a MySQL certification, mainly because of work and [Read more...]
I've spent my spare time the last few weekends helping a non-profit called Fast Forward here in the Columbia, SC area. I don't post this here to blow my own horn but rather to point out the need many non-profit organizations have for quality IT support. Most non-profits operate on a limited budget meaning they take help where they can get it. Often times there just isn't money left in the budget for a services contract, etc., even for an organization like Fast Forward.
This is where knowledgeable folks can really make a difference. I know the usual excuse: after spending all week looking at a computer screen, the last thing anyone wants to do is spend the weekend working on computers. I've been there, so I understand that feeling completely. However, I have to say that the time I've spent working at Fast Forward has [Read more...]
One thing is always certain about information technology: there is always change. This past week I was pitching in on a Citrix upgrade for my organization and I went to tweak the web interface. Though I'm not primarily a "server guy" and directory services administrator, I do have a web developer skillset (in fact, that's how I got my start where I work now). However, it's been a few years since I've done anything but touch up work with regards to web development and initially I got that blank feeling... the one where you know how to do things but it's like your mind is cycling through the archives to pull back that information and bring it to the forefront. After a thankfully brief period of "brain thrashing," I went to it.
The presentation How to Be a Consultant has been posted to the Midlands PASS Chapter website. The presentation was given by Midlands PASS Vice President and Treasurer, Ben DeBow, of CounterLogic.com. There's a lot of great information on succeeding as an independent consultant from one who has been doing just that for a while now. It is not specific to any technology but rather focuses on the business side of being a consultant.
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