Atlanta Code Camp 2013

On Saturday August 24, 2013 I’m presenting “What’s New In PowerShell v3… and 4!” at the Atlanta Code Camp. If you would like a copy of the demos, you can e-mail me either arcanecode at or rcain at

Or, if you have BitTorrent Sync, you can use this secret key to get a copy of all my demos: BYEHZZ5K2DQ2AEBJDVSS4UUHZEGG646GZ  (Note this is the read-only key.)

Books That Changed My Career / Life – CodeStock 2011 Open Spaces

At this years CodeStock conference in Knoxville we had a very active open spaces area. The session I suggested and helped with was on “Books That Changed My Career / Life”. As a group we came up with a list of books that had made an impact on lives. Our only rule was it couldn’t be directly tech, for example a book like SQL Server MVP Deep Dives. (#shamelessplug)

The list was quite surprising. Of course there were some of the classics like the 7 Habits book, or tech related books such as Code by Charles Petzold, who was also the keynote speaker. Also not a surprise were some motivational books, such as those by Seth Godin.

The rest of the list had some surprises, at least for me. There were several works of fiction included, because the participants said it revealed new ways of thinking to them.

So without any more fanfare, here is the list in the order presented. When the author was known, I put their name next to the title after the dash. For any authors out there whose names I’ve misspelled, my apologies. Book titles were being flung out fast and furious and I may have missed the correct spelling. Also in some cases the book author wasn’t known at the time the list was being compiled.

At some point I hope to clean this list up, sort it into groups and add hyperlinks to sites where the book can be obtained. Since I didn’t want to delay publishing the list however, I present it below as it was created at the open spaces session. If you were in attendance, a big thanks! And if you have any corrections please feel free to leave a comment below, it’d be a big help to me and everyone who attended or sees this list.

Rework – Hasson & Fried

Tribes – Seth Godin

Linchpin – Seth Godin

Less – Mark Lesser

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert Pirsig

The Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff

Who Moved My Cheese

Aramis, or For the Love of Technology – Bruno Latour

Tick Tock – James Patterson

Crush It – Vaynerchuck

Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar

In the Beginning Was The Command Line – Neil Stephenson

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

Anthem – Ayn Rand

Libertarianism – Boaz

Leaves of Grass – Lewsky

Cuckoo’s Egg – Clifford Stole

Rouge Warriors Strategy Guide to Success – Richard Marcinko

Elements of Style – Strunk and White

The War of Art – Pressfield

Getting Real

The E-Myth

Enders Game

Griftopia – Taibbi

Last Lecture – Randy Pausch

On Writing – Stephen King

The Hardboiled Wonderland and the End Of The World

Here Comes Everybody

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior – Milman

7 Habits of Highly Successful People


Hackers and Painters – Paul Graham



Beautiful Visualizations

Presentation Zen – Reynolds

The Romans – Richard Talbert

Influence – Cialdini

Socratic Selling

The God Who Was There – Francis Schaffer

The Shack

Hard Drive

The Goal – Elihayu Goldratt

Beyond the Goal – Elihayu Goldratt

Dreaming in Code

4 Hour Work Week

Cognitive Surplus

Do The Work – Pressfield

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning

Makers – Cory Doctorow

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom– Cory Doctorow

Daemon – Daniel Suarez

Freedom – Daniel Suarez

Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey

Anathem – Neil Stephenson

The Second Son – Charles Sailor

Rich Dad Poor Dad

You Are Not A Gadget

Drive – Daniel Pink

Millionaire Mind

Code – Charles Petzold


Video mentions

In addition to the list of above books, two video series were recommended. These titles are below.

Business of Software by Kathy Sierra

Webstock – An Australian based conference that makes their videos available for later viewing

CodeStock 2011

Thanks to all who showed up for my “SSIS for Developers” session at CodeStock. For those interested here’s my slide deck. Once again CodeStock was a great success, we had a lot of interesting sessions to attend. Additionally the Open Spaces forum on Saturday was great fun, and stimulated a lot of great conversation. For those who were in the “Books that changed my career” space be patient, I’m still working on the list so look later this week for blog post on it.

CodeStock 2011

Thanks to all who showed up for my “SSIS for Developers” session at CodeStock. For those interested here’s my slide deck. Once again CodeStock was a great success, we had a lot of interesting sessions to attend. Additionally the Open Spaces forum on Saturday was great fun, and stimulated a lot of great conversation. For those who were in the “Books that changed my career” space be patient, I’m still working on the list so look later this week for blog post on it.

Geeks Helping Out

As some of you know I live just outside of Birmingham AL. A few weeks ago this area was ravaged by a series of devastating tornados. Over 200 people were killed, thousands are homeless in the aftermath.

As needs were expressed, a lot of immediate ones were met, such as food, water, clothing. One interesting one that came out was for luggage or other bags to carry things in. Many folks were getting help in the form of clothes and groceries, but had nothing to put them in.

Having been to many community events I had more than my share of backpacks and bags, and cheerfully donated them. It occurred to me other geeks might have the same situation, more backpacks than you can ever use, but too nice to just throw away.

So I put a shout out to some of my fellow SQL MVPs, and have already received some bags. I want to give a special shout out to my fellow MVP Paul Turley, whose bags were not only the first to arrive, but his kids included some backpacks especially for other children.

I wanted to extend the opportunity to other geeks in the community. If you have backpacks or other bags from various events, or perhaps you’ve run an event and have tons of swag bags left over, please send them to me! I’ll be glad to coordinate sending them to my local drop off center.

If you have other left overs, such as t-shirts and the like, you are welcome to send those as well, we’ll take whatever we get to the various relief centers.

If you want to help just send me an e-mail and I’ll pass along further details, you can get me at n4ixt @

Note, as I write this I see some severe tornados have hit Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas in the last 24 hours or so. I don’t know anyone in those areas, but if you live close to them you might consider helping those folks as well, I’m sure they will have many of the same needs as those here in in the great state of Alabama.

Thanks too to all those that have already helped out.

I’m a SQL People

My friend and fellow MVP Andy Leonard (blog | twitter) has started an interesting project called SQL People. He’s interviewing people in the SQL Server community about their history, how they got into SQL Server, etc. My interview went online recently, you can read it at:

T-SQL Tuesdays–Resolutions

There’s a new meme going around the SQL Server blogosphere called T-SQL Tuesdays. A bunch of SQL Bloggers all post about the same SQL related topic on the same day. Back at the beginning of January fellow MVP Jen McGown (blog | twitter) wrote a blog post about resolutions for the new year. Granted I’m way too late to be included in that round of SQL Server related Tuesdays, but thought it was a great idea and wanted to put up my resolutions. Since it’s February it’s a little late for new years, maybe we can call them Ground Hogs’ day resolutions?

Produce more variety – I’ve been doing a lot of content for Pluralsight, I want to continue putting out good content for them, but want to put out other content as well. I want to try and blog more, and hope to self publish a few books on the Kindle platform.

Consume more – As much as I love to produce content, I recognize that I need to do a better job of consuming more. My Kindle has been a big help with that, having a huge library available all the time has made it easy to switch between the subjects I want or need to learn about.

Balance my consumption – While I love technical books, I realize to be a true professional I need a good balance. I’ve started reading a lot of what I call “professional” books. Books that give me insights into things like business, community, time management, and teamwork.

Better balance of family life – Let’s face it, us really aggressive type A folks work a lot. When we’re not doing our 9 to 5 job we’re producing content like blog posts, books, videos, or are off at some user group meeting or weekend event presenting. This has a definite impact on the family. While my family is incredibly understanding, we still miss each other. So I’m working on some creative solutions to this issue.

Get my next certification – Last year I earned my MCTS for SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence. This year my goal is to advance that and earn my MCITP also in SQL Server BI.

More Beta work – The CTP for the next version of SQL Server is now out. I want to spend more time working with it so when the final version is ready I’ll be well up to speed, plus better able to share the new features with the community.

I suppose this list is identical to the list of many people. but if I put it in writing I’ll be able to both measure it and hold myself accountable.


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