Dan English's BI Blog

Welcome to my random thoughts in regards to Business Intelligence, databases, and other technologies

Archive for the ‘News and politics’ Category

PASS September 2014 Outstanding Volunteer

Posted by denglishbi on October 7, 2014

Just a couple of weeks ago I received an email notifying me that I had been nominated as one of the PASS Outstanding Volunteers for September 2014! The official email stated that Paras Doshi, the PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter co-lead were selected for our excellent work with the Business Analytics Virtual Chapter.image

image

The official list for the PASS Outstanding Volunteer nominations is listed here –> Outstanding Volunteers

Dan English and Paras Doshi – Dan and Paras are model Virtual Chapter leaders. They have taken the BA VC to a new level in terms of activity and audience and have done wonderful, innovative work when it comes to posting session recordings on YouTube. Through their efforts they promote growth for PASS in terms of audience and the range of content offered – not just SQL server, but the holistic data platform. They have gone from being completely new VC leaders to innovative trailblazers in a short period of time and are shining examples of what is possible for VC leadership.

I just want to say thanks for the nomination and I greatly appreciate the kudos and recognition, it is an honor to be part of the #sqlfamily community and glad to be able to help out! Nice job and big shout out to Paras as well, really glad to have you as part of the leadership team for the PASS BA VC!!!

Posted in News and politics | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Voting is now live! Please vote for Power BI Contest

Posted by denglishbi on January 20, 2014

Voting is now open for the Power BI Contest, please go out and vote today!  You can vote from today, Jan 20, through next Thursday, Jan 30 (once per day).

If you go to my entry you can click below the video (big blue section that says ‘VOTE FOR THIS ENTRY’ between Previous and Next).

click here to vote

https://fb-3785439.strutta.com/entry/5476486

Don’t forget to vote once per day and appreciate any help you can do in sharing this with family, co-workers, and friends!

Thanks again for your support!

Posted in News and politics | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Microsoft Forums UX Redesign

Posted by denglishbi on June 19, 2013

Yesterday when I was out browsing and answering questions in the Microsoft forums I noticed that there was a message stating that a UX redesign was coming.  Well today it live and while it might take a little of a bit to get used to, I think it looks really clean and it is fast.

Old layout:

image

New layout:

image

You can now easily filter and browse the forums that you want to very easily, browse the threads inline, and easily vote as well.

Here is some more information about the UX redesign if you want to check it out including a few short videos that explain and demo the new features.

Forums UX Redesign Announcement

Here are a few videos you can watch to see the changes:

Posted in News and politics | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

PASSMN 2011 Executive Board

Posted by denglishbi on November 3, 2010

I am pleased to announce the new Minnesota SQL Server User Group (PASSMN) 2011 Executive Board:

  • Jason Strate, Digineer*
  • Tim Plas, Virteva
  • Andy Lohn, Medtronic
  • Steve Hughes, Magenic

* Incumbent

Yep, that is right, my name is not on the list this year.  After two years I have decided to open up the spot to someone new and I will be shifting my focus over to the local Microsoft BI User Group.  We do not need to vote this year since we had exactly five nominees and five positions that need to be filled and assigned.  Congratulations to everyone that will be part of next year’s board.  Thanks so much for being involved and helping make this such a great SQL community.

In December we will get together and distribute the role assignments for the new board members.  A special shout and thanks goes out for the existing PASSMN 2010 Board that consisted of myself, Jason Strate, Mark Rocco, Gordon D’Souza, and Eric Strom.  Great job and thanks for all of the hard work you have done to make this such a great user group.

Posted in News and politics | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

PASSMN 2011 Executive Board Nominations Now Open!

Posted by denglishbi on October 6, 2010

This month we are now accepting nominations for next year’s Minnesota SQL Server User Group (PASSMN) Executive Board.  You can fill out the nomination form here – http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FY9RTJS.

Minnesota SQL Server Users Group

This is your chance have a voice and to take your involvement with the user group and our local SQL Server community to the next level.  Our user group meets typically once a month on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.  There are five executive board roles that are available once you are voted into the board.  These are:

  • Chair
  • Director of Program Development
  • Director of Membership/Treasurer
  • Director of Corporate Development
  • Director of Technology

For more information about these positions and for a list of the current board members check out the PASSMN site here – http://minnesota.sqlpass.org/About/BoardMembers.aspx.

The nomination process will go through the end of the month and the voting process will begin in November with the new 2011 board announcement in December.  So don’t procrastinate, put your name in now!

Posted in News and politics, Personal Comments | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

MSDN Giveaway #1 Winner Announcement

Posted by denglishbi on August 1, 2010

Last month I posted a contest to giveaway a MSDN Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate Subscription – MSDN Subscription Giveaway #1.  Today I am officially announcing that the winner of the contest is Abhishek Gandhi (AGandhi)!  Not only did they meet the requirements to get 10 points in the forums, they reached my original setting of 50 and even received more by getting a total of 71 points in a matter of a couple of weeks.

Abhishek Gandhi’s Profile   image

I want to thank everyone that inquired and participated in the contest.  I really like how people were willing to get involved and help out in the forums.

I have decided to contribute one of my other subscriptions to another contest going on for unemployed developers here – While you don’t get a ‘Free Lunch’, you will get your just desserts… along with a bunch of other MVPs and sponsors.  I will have to think of something else to do with my other subscription, maybe a PASSMN giveaway…

Congratulations Abhishek, your prize is on the way!  Keep up the great work in the forums!

Posted in News and politics | Leave a Comment »

MSDN Subscription Giveaway #1

Posted by denglishbi on July 7, 2010

As many people know or have heard MVPs have come into possession of three Visual Studio Ultimate MSDN subscriptions (minus the support and magazine offer).  These subscriptions are provided to us to distribute and help drive adoption of the tools.  These subscriptions are the top of the line valued at approximately $12K and it is good for 12 months.  All of the software that is included in the subscription is for development and test purposes only and they must be activated within 180 days.  The winner of Giveaway #1 will receive the subscription activation key along with the URL that is required to activate it.  Typically upon activation it will take a few weeks possibly to activate, could possibly be different with these, can’t say for sure though.msdn subscription image

So, what am I requiring people that are interested to do for the first giveaway?  Good question.  For people that know a tad bit about me, I am big on community support.  I like to see people come together to try and solve and help others with issues.  So for anyone that is interested in receiving a full blown Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate MSDN Subscription here is what I am asking and a few guidelines:

  1. Reply and answer threads that are posted in the MSDN and/or TechNet Microsoft forums.  I am expecting valid and honest replies that are helpful and bring value to the thread.  I will be spot checking to verify this, so if I see meaningless replies you will be removed from the contest.
  2. A Live account is required in order to participate and reply to threads in the forums, so you will have to create one if you don’t already have one
  3. Send me an email with the subject ‘MSDN Subscription Giveaway #1’ to denglishbi@gmail.com and include in the email your forum Display Name that you are using, I should be able to search and find your account when I use the browse forum users functionality (so test and make sure you show up before sending me the email, I will not validate this until contest deadline has been reached).  Subject line must be exact or you will not be included in the drawing and you must provide your forum display name or I will delete your email
  4. For each 10 points you earn in the forums you will receive one entry into the drawing for the subscription – 2 pts for a reply, 10 pts for a reply marked as answer, 5 pts for a reply marked as helpful
  5. When does this start? July 7 at 12:00 a.m. (I am on CST time if that matters for anything)
  6. When does it end? July 31 at 11:59 p.m.
  7. How will the winner be chosen? I will go through and create the entries to place in a hat.  Based on this I will pick a name and that person once I double verify their information in the forums will be the winner of the subscription.
  8. When will the winner be announced? Well that depends on the number of entries I receive, but I would like to announce the winner within 2 to 3 days of contest end date, so hopefully no later than July 16.  I will also update this posting with the winner of the contest with a link to their Profile in the forums.
  9. Who is eligible? Well lets keep this to people that are not partners, Microsoft employees, and MVPs.  I want to make this available to people that do not have access to the software currently and really need this for development purposes that would actually benefit from having this subscription. So please only send me the email if you are truly going to participate in the forums and do not currently have access to an MSDN subscription
  10. How soon will you received the subscription information? As soon as you reply that you received my email congratulation email.  Once I receive confirmation I can email you the subscription code and/or send the NOT FOR RESALE voucher in the mail

So how does that sound?  I want to try and get more people involved in the community support area and give the forums more exposure to people that might not typically use this area.  I am a big fan of the forums and in helping others and this is actually a big step to help you out on your MVP journey.  Community support is extremely important and valued very high and I would like to reward and commend others that help out.  So what are you waiting for?  If you are not registered yet, take the time now to do so and starting tomorrow start helping out in the forums.

And just because I only have this setup for a week does not mean that you need to stop utilizing the forums area…of course that is completely up to you.  I find it very rewarding to be able to offer some advice to people, so hopefully you will as well.

Good luck!

Update (7/7/2010): I modified the points needed to earn an entry from 50 to 10. I originally was going to have this contest go for a longer time frame and switched it to a week. Based on people marking replies as an answer or helpful I felt that 50 points was a bit aggressive. With the entry level set at 10 that is less than 1 reply per day and you can reply more than once per thread.  Don’t be afraid to offer your assistance in the thread, your advice and direction could very well be the solution or input that another person needs to solve their issue or answer their question.

Update (7/13/2010): Since I only had two inquiries about the giveaway and they were both Microsoft partners (which are not eligible) I have decided to extend this giveaway out through the end of the month.  You only need to reply to 5 threads to earn 10 points for an entry. Answer someones thread and you get an entry.  Come on, how easy can that be.  From the activity so far your odds of winning are going to be very high.  What are you waiting for, get in on your chance to win a $12K MSDN Subscription!

Posted in News and politics | Leave a Comment »

Excel Monkey T-Shirt Contest Entry

Posted by denglishbi on March 25, 2010

Earlier this month Rob Collie posted a contest to come up with a design for an Excel Monkey T-Shirt contest.  Rob took a little heat for making an Excel Monkey comment during a webcast, which I might add had just over 500 people – how awesome is that?  PowerPivot still seems to slowly be peaking people’s interest.  Surprising how many people I talk to that still do not know that much about it, especially since I saw its debut at the Microsoft BI 2008 Conference by Donald Farmer.

Getting back to the Excel Monkey comment, I think certain people just didn’t like the reference.  People call me a geek and I think it is great.  If you know me, you would probably agree too.  I tend to get a little worked up about the Microsoft technology and for that matter, just about anything technology related.  If you see me in the winter months here I even promote my geekness (not sure if that is a word or not) by wearing a Geek winter cap and I even have a t-shirt that says ‘Geek Inside’ (kind of like the ‘Intel Inside’ saying).  I have some geek patches too, but haven’t done anything with those yet.  You can get this type of apparel at Think Geek (it is awesome).

             image

So whether you are called an Excel monkey, ninja, guru, wizard, etc. I think you should be happy that you are being recognized for your abilities.  You have taken an application to the next level (maybe even generation) and your peers recognize that.

Back to the contest.  I had three or four different ideas that I was pondering and I wanted to bring them to life.  Unfortunately I am not a graphic designer, so I had to rely on Office Clipart.  I took a couple of my ideas and combined them into a single design, one on the front and the other on the back.  Here is what I came up with:

image

On the front I had the ‘Excel Monkey Evolution’ where I displayed four different monkeys with bananas going from Excel 4.0 to 2000 to 2007 and now PowerPivot (I know it is add-in within 2010, but it brings the self-service analytics to the users and is very powerful).  Then on the back I had ‘Unleash Your Inner Monkey’ and displayed a monkey in a karate outfit doing a kick with the PowerPivot logo again.

I believe I possibly won the contest and will get the books once they have been published, still waiting on the official word though.  I just wanted to post my entry so everyone could check it out.

UPDATE (4/7/2010): I guess I lost – http://powerpivotpro.com/2010/04/07/david-coe-wins-excel-monkey-contest/.

Posted in News and politics | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Twitter RSS Feed available

Posted by denglishbi on February 28, 2010

Just wanted to let everyone know that you can subscribe to my Twitter updates by accessing the RSS feed.  I have included a link on the top right on my blog main page that you can use to subscribe to.

image

Nice feature, so now you don’t have to miss out on any of my Twitter updates if you currently only subscribe to my blog RSS feed.  I have been posting quite a few items on Twitter, so if you don’t utilize a tool to follow people’s tweets you can utilize this option to add my Twitter feed to your RSS subscription tool of choice.  But if you do use a tool to monitor people on Twitter you can simply add me to your list.

image

Posted in News and politics | Leave a Comment »

Magenic Studios Silverlight/WPF Contest starts 2/22

Posted by denglishbi on February 20, 2010

Do you know or want to learn Silverlight or WPF?  Well, now is your chance.  Put something together on your own or with a group effort and submit it for the contest that Magenic has posted here – Magenic Studios Silverlight/WPF Contest.  Contest is open to anyone and prizes will not only be provided to the Top 3 winners, but donations will also be made to Haiti Red Cross efforts.  Really cool, so not only do you get to use some awesome technologies, you can also help out in the relief efforts.

image

So what are you waiting for?  Check out the details of the contest and put something together and make your submission.

Here are some links that might be helpful:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (the .NET Framework 3.5 includes WPF)
  • Microsoft Silverlight (this is required only if you are creating Silverlight applications)
  • Microsoft Silverlight 3 Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 (this is required only if you are creating Silverlight applications)
  • Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight – October 2009
  • Official Microsoft Silverlight Learning site
  •  

    image                                        image

    Good Luck!

    Posted in News and politics | Leave a Comment »

     
    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 89 other followers