Arcane Training and Consulting, LLC

Well this has been an exciting last few months. I’m finally able to share what’s been happening with me.

As some of you know, I’ve left Pragmatic Works. They went through a reorganization of sorts, and several of us either had our positions eliminated, or as people departed were not replaced. Let me be clear, I have no ill will toward them. This was purely a business decision.

I have to be grateful to them, as through them I gained many new opportunities for speaking, authoring, and the like. In addition I worked with many top level people, who constantly challenged me. I wish them the best of luck in their new business model.

As my good friend Alan Stevens likes to say, “…sometimes getting fired is the best thing that can happen to you”. In my case, it has finally given me the impetus to start my own company, a dream I’ve had for a while.

As Arcane Training and Consulting, LLC, I plan a twofold approach. First, I will continue my passion for training primarily through continuing my videos on Pluralsight. Here I have a suite of ten videos already, with another shortly to follow. If you don’t have a Pluralsight subscription, email me free@arcanetc.com and I will be happy to set you up with a 30 day trial through which you can watch my videos, or those of any of the other awesome authors at Pluralsight.

In addition I will also be setting up a YouTube channel, I’ll post more on that as it comes about. Finally I will be available to do live training, both customized as well as public courses. I’m already scheduled to do a one day precon for an event here in Birmingham Alabama to be held in August, and hope to do more for SQL Saturdays, code camps, and other such events.

On the consulting side, I’m very excited to announce I’ve now become a team member at Linchpin People! I have long admired the company, especially the outstanding quality of the people who work with them. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be part of their team now.

If you aren’t familiar with their model, they are basically a confederation of independent consultants with a top notch sales team. This gives them a pool of outstanding talent to draw from. In addition it gives me, as a consultant, a great team to back me up, people to draw on when I need additional resources for a project. Likewise when they have projects they can pull me in very easily. I see this as a great partnership between Arcane Training and Consulting and Linchpin People.

Finally, I am in the process of wrapping up a new book deal. I can’t say much about it right now, but look for a new tome from the old Arcane Coder to come out sometime around the end of 2016 or early 2017.

If you have any inquires about my training or consulting services, please email me at info@arcanetc.com. With the rush of getting things setup I still haven’t had time to establish a real website, but for now I’ve just updated my company domain of http://arcanetc.com points to my company Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/arcanetc . I’ll revise it once I get a website created.

I’ve also setup a company twitter account of @ArcaneTC. I’ll use this for company announcements like upcoming training, releases of new Pluralisght courses, and the like. Of course you can still follow me at @ArcaneCode.

Thanks for following along, and hope to do business with you in the future!

PowerScripting Podcast

I just wanted to give a thanks to the guys at the PowerScripting Podcast for having me on tonight. As soon as it is released I’ll follow up with a link.

For those who came here from hearing me on the podcast, you can find more info on SQL Saturday at: http://bit.ly/sqlsat328

If you want to find out more about my sessions at the PASS Summit, you can jump to http://bit.ly/acsummit. My co-presenters for the precon are Brad Ball @sqlballs and Jason Strate @stratesql.

The Pragmatic Works webinars can be found on the company website at http://pragmaticworks.com. Just follow the Free Training on the T’s to get access to the webinars. You can search by author name (Robert Cain will get you mine) or topic.

My other training videos can be found on Pluralsight, http://pluralsight.com/training.

I also have a youtube channel with a couple of videos, https://www.youtube.com/user/arcanecode. Check out the Column Mode Editing video for a quick editing tip on making your life easier with both PowerShell and SQL Server.

Arcane 2011 Year in Review

Seems most folks I know are doing “Year in Review” posts for their blogs. Not wanting to miss a chance to do a blatant rip-off I thought I’d jump on the band wagon.

My MVP Award was renewed for 2011. This award is something I’m both proud and humbled to receive, especially in the SQL community. MVPs in general are a very helpful, friendly bunch, and the SQL especially so. I really like the new #SQLFamily hashtag that’s being used on Twitter. Aside from my family, I think becoming an MVP is the thing I’m most proud of in my life.

I was quite happy when my second co-authored book, SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Vol II came out. All proceeds went to charity, it felt great to help out both the children in Operation Smile and the SQL community.

I’ve continued my public speaking, being allowed to present at places such as the New York City Code Camp, SQL Rally in Orlando, and one of my favorites CodeStock.

I produced quite a bit of new training content for Pluralsight, to positive reviews. I’m glad this relationship is continuing, teaching is the best way to learn new things and I’ve learned a great deal, and hopefully helped a few others.

The most exciting news of my year though was going to work for Pragmatic Works! You could have knocked me over with a feather when, at the MVP Summit last year, Brian Knight (I should say THE Brian Knight) looks at me and says “So, you looking for a job?” When someone of Brian’s caliber asks if you want a job, you don’t say no.

Coming to work at Pragmatic Works was a great career move for me. We currently have five (yes, FIVE) MVPs working here. That’s a huge percentage considering the size of our company. And there’s quite a few of our guys that are working hard in the community, and I see an MVP award in their future. 

In addition to the regular consulting you might expect I’ve also gotten to do a lot of training. I love doing training, its so gratifying to share knowledge, guide students, see that look of “ah-ha” on their faces when it all clicks for them. I think that has been my favorite part of the job so far.

As a company Pragmatic Works is doing very well, entering into several new, exciting partnerships. Plus, they keep increasing our benefits! In a time when other companies are cutting costs, they have given us three new benefits!

With this level of technical expertise, it keeps me challenged. It also inspires me toward even more professional achievements.

On the home front, I now have a teenager living in my home. My sweet little baby girl turned 13 this year! Holy cow, how did that happen? I mean, last time I checked I was only 17 myself. And her sister is not far behind.

They had a great year, we home school and they got involved in a science program at Auburn University where they learn scientific techniques. They did some forensic investigations, and are now learning how to do proper experiments, clearly defining the various steps. They get all this brain power from their teacher / mother, my wife is the real brains in the family.

They also took up new extra curricular activities. My youngest, Anna, learned to ice skate and even did her first skating show just before Christmas. My older daughter, Raven, now plays the guitar and has given her first recital. My home office is under her bedroom, and I often get to enjoy the sounds of her practicing over my head.

And of course, last but not least, I have to give a special shout out to my lovely wife of 15 years, Ammie. She has been very supportive of my career, even though with the new work related travel it has meant more work for her. I know I’m very lucky to have a wife this supportive. Thanks sweetheart!

With that, another year bites the dust. 2012 is shaping up to be an exciting year. Assuming of course the world doesn’t end. But if it did, I suppose that would be exciting too, so either way it’s a win, excitement wise.

Data Warehousing / Business Intelligence at Pluralsight

It’s been another busy month, and I’m pleased to announce my two newest modules were published today on Pluralsight. If you’re not familiar with Pluralsight, they are a training company that has a vast library of training videos.

The description of my new course can be found here:

http://www.pluralsight-training.net/microsoft/olt/Course/Toc.aspx?n=intro-dwbi-course

There are two modules, the first is an introductory session for DW/BI. It’s primarily slides, by the end you’ll have a grasp on the arcane terms around Business Intelligence such as facts, dimensions, surrogate keys, OLAP, and more.

The second module is an overview of the Microsoft tools for doing DW/BI. It starts with the Adventure Works Lite database. From there a data warehouse is built, on top of which an analysis services cube is created. Finally a report will be generated off the cube that meets a specific business need.

Along the way attendees will get to see Visual Studio 2010 Database Projects, along with the SQL Server toolkit: SQL Server Integration Services, SQL Server Analysis Services, and SQL Server Reporting Services. Attendees will also get a look at SQL Server Management Studio.

Enjoy!

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