Oct 042011
 

 

MVP logoHi all,

here’s just a short info that I have received the Microsoft MVP Award again, my third in a row. Naturally, I’m very happy about it :-) .

As always, stay tuned for interesting presentations, blog posts and/or magazine articles in the upcoming period. And thank you for following and appreciating my work!

 

Oct 042010
 

I’m happy to receive the Microsoft MVP Award again. I’m also proud of being enlisted among well-known SQL Server MVP bloggers on the Microsoft site. The honor that’s been given to me I intend to justify in the year to come as well.

In this moment I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone who trusted in me so far and therefore gave me a chance to share my knowledge one way or the other, in various places, occasions and formats. An even deeper one goes to all of you, followers of my work, for being the precious support in my endeavors.

Thank you all!

Jun 272010
 

Hi everyone,

just a short notice for all of your that I’ve moved my blog to a new platform and I’ve finally made use of the domain in my possession. I must say I feel much comfy here with all those gadgets and settings. Yes, I’m running it on my own. Can’t help it, the geek in me likes to have control and fine-tune everything.

All the posts including code, pictures, comments, links, dates and other settings are transfered successfully. Some things still need to be done, but the blog is functional and running and my vacation is starting :-) .

The old blog is still on, but has its comments closed. Its content will be updated to include the corresponding links on this blog. Finally, to keep only one version of truth, posts in the old blog will be deleted after some time, but their titles will remain. Inside each post in the old blog I will put a direct link to corresponding post on this blog. In short, they will become shortcuts and stay such in future.

Please, update your links and favorites that refer to my old blog when you find the time. Thank you.

If you’re interested in performing the same operation I made, drop me an e-mail. I might also post an article about it.

Hope you’ll like the new environment. My apologies for any inconvenience I caused by this decision.

Jun 092010
 

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my engagement in MSDN SSAS forum which is a good excuse to summarize activity because somehow I’ve had a feeling that I did much less while spending definitely equal amount of time if not more. Was it really so?

If we don’t measure, we … well, definitely can’t tell for sure – might be a free interpretation of the famous quote made from the technical perspective. In blog articles I usually try to perform an analysis which then results in a conclusion. In this one what I’ll do is a self-analysis with data gathered from various sites combined with some of my own.

Forum stats are as follows: 1250+ posts, 333+ answers, 6200+ points. As mentioned in advance, last year’s focus was supposed to be different – less forum activity, more of other types of engagement. And so it was. My forum contribution was reduced to only 25% of previous year’s posts (which had made me felt less active), but the percentage of correct answers increased relative to that (66% of previous year’s answers). Not bad. I wish to think it means only one thing – that I’m improving my BI skills by doing more with less. This observation, deduced from a quick measurement, helped instantly :-) .

So what were those other activities?

Well, I wrote about a dozen technical articles in my blog (300% increase, 150% if we track exactly the same period because I started blogging in October), 4 articles for local magazines two of which were published, volunteered at 1 foreign conference, had 1 presentation for the local user group, 3 sessions at local conferences and 1 lecture at local university. Again a surprise. I spent a lot of time on these activities, partially because they were not routine to me, partially because they required more time than forum did (in form of preparation). For example, to blog it takes one night (for a good technical article), to lecture or write a magazine article it takes few days up to a week, to prepare a session for a conference it takes three weeks. In contrast, to answer a question on forum it takes approximately few hours of engagement (a rough estimate, spans from few minutes to several days; it varies a lot). Once put together like this, it made sense and again caused my perception to become more positive.

Then, I travelled a lot. I’ve been precisely twice around the globe in last two years with YoY (year-over-year) index of 200% in mileage and 150% in number of days. I’ve been to my very first MVP Summit and I’ve visited 5 conferences in total where I learned a lot and met interesting people. What I’m most happy about is the fact that on some of those trips I had a pleasure of sharing the experience with my family, which, now that I come to mention it, will increase in September :-) .

There were some downs as well. PowerPivot and DAX appeared while Mosha said goodbye to BI at the same time. Yes, that casted a big shadow of uncertainty on future of SSAS and MDX, the things I like the most. Furthermore, as long as PowerPivot and DAX are tied to Excel with no APIs or similar, to a BI developer it is nothing but a peep show. Seriously, there are so many possibilities what we could do with it, programmatically! Anyway, I suppose things will inevitably change and therefore I’m learning this technology intensively. Even found a niche to blog about which amuses me – comparing DAX with MDX and T-SQL.

I also missed Microsoft BI conference in New Orleans and failed to present at some foreign conferences lately. I’ll try my luck again, but this won’t be an area I’ll concentrate the most. Next year that will be my blog.

In the following year I’ll continue blogging and I’ll increase the quantity of blog articles even more. That’s an activity I see myself in. Free topics, writing when inspired, cooking ideas in between the posts, fast delivery and not depending on anyone or anything else. I’ll probably change the platform soon. I’ve been delaying this for some time, but now that (already poor) stats are gone, it’s a clear case for me. As you can see, I like the stats very much. They are a measurement of silent feedback – how many people visited and perhaps read an article. And as we saw earlier, being able to see the results of that measurement is directly linked to feeling of worthiness.

Lower priorities are exams, learning and having a session or two at user group meeting or local conference. However, a recent opportunity to finally finish my master degree in economics might conflict that making those activities even less important because there might not be enough time for everything.

We’ll see which way the story went in a year from now review.

Oct 012009
 

Today I’ve been awarded the Microsoft MVP status.

I’m very happy about it and want to express my gratitude towards:

  • the company I work for, SoftPro Tetral, for providing a nice climate to learn and evolve from day one, and for supporting me in my wishes and activities
  • my collegues, for pushing each other to his/her limits
  • Chris Webb, for his kind words about me when I was starting and everything involving me being at two SQLBits conferences
  • Edward Melomed, Raymond-Lee and other forum moderators, for regularly following my posts in SSAS forum
  • Alessandro Teglia, for bringing good news as my new MVP lead
  • Dean Vitner, for giving me a chance at Kulendayz conference
  • all members of SSAS forum, some for sharing their problems, others for sharing their knowledge and ideas with the rest of us
  • SSAS bloggers, for valuable information in their articles and Vidas Matelis, for his SSAS-Info hub
  • readers of my humble blog, for their small but encouraging feedback
  • everyone else I met, vitually or in real world during this year or so, for sharing a moment and enriching me as a person
  • and last but not least, my family, for having patience with me during my moments of inspiration

Thank you all.

PS: I could just drop those bullets, leave the last sentence and hope that you’ll all recognize yourself in it. But then, you know me, I find it hard to write a small post :-)

Jun 092009
 

 

One year ago, I discovered Microsoft MSDN SSAS forum, registered as a new user and started testing myself by answering other users questions. Pretty soon I started to like it and kept coming quite often.

Since SSAS is my specialty, I had many correct answers, which positioned me among top answerers right from the begining (and kept there throughout the year which I had also set myself as a goal and publicly announced inside the company). Other stats for the period are as such: 1000+ posts, 200+ answers, 4500+ points.

I’m satisfied with that score and the goal achieved, but far more with two other things: I helped a lot, I learned a lot. That’s because I like to help/teach, I like to learn/be thought and I like switching it from time to time. It enriches me. Besides, it’s in my nature (which a careful follower of my SSAS posts have surely noticed by now, if not for anything else, then for the length of my posts :-) ).

My final conclusion is that the activity in forum was a wonderful experience. I recommend it to everyone.

 

In the following year I’ll continue to contribute to MSDN forum, though in a bit reduced way. I plan to engage more in writing blog posts and articles for magazines, learning new things, passing exams, presenting and organizing courses (besides my regular job, of course). And that takes time.

What will come out of it, we’ll see in a year from now review. The adventurous spirit is ready for the sequel …

Jan 182009
 

 

2008 was a very good year for me. I’ve been on maternity leave with my son, engaged in SSAS forum, went to London and Seattle and met some very nice people from all around the globe, virtually and in person.

I fulfilled all the goals I set for myself:

1) Become recognized as one of the people who are good in SSAS
2) Achieve and retain a top half position in SSAS forum
2) Spread the word about our product, CubePlayer
3) Pass my first MS exam (70-445)

Although there were some losses (my pension fund i.e., as everyone’s else I guess), the overall gain is much greater. And despite the current crisis, I believe 2009 will bring even more good things for me and the company I work for. It’s only up to us to reach for it!

Oct 212008
 

My name is Tomislav Piasevoli. I’m a Business Intelligence Specialist located in Croatia (Europe) working for SoftPro Tetral company.

I’ve been involved in SSAS for more than 5 years, doing mostly nothing but pure BI projects while providing occasional help to developers of our company’s OLAP clients (SoftPro Manager and later CubePlayer).

I managed to gather a solid practical knowledge about SSAS while working on approximately 30 still-in-use local BI projects. I never got certified because: a) I wasn’t very interested in that; and b) I witnessed you can achieve that with zero-or-so finished real-life projects which created an aversion towards that in me. Presenting solutions, designing BI systems, deployment and later support of BI project, in order for them to live and grow, was always my primary concern. The practice as we could say, not theory.

During a 5-months maternity leave (yes, you can do that in Croatia), I changed my mind. I guess when you have the time, you can look things from different perspective. I decided to go for it, so I ordered 70-445 Training Kit as soon as I returned to work. While reading it, I started to explore Internet for other resources that might be useful.

One of the things I encountered was MSDN SSAS Forum which seemed to me like a good playground to practice my knowledge and learn new things. I registered on 9th of June and soon began to post answers to various questions. In the very beginning it was more like a challenge, but later I began to like spending time there because it was the only place so far where I could discuss about SSAS with people that deal with it daily. Many people. And that’s not something you find around the corner. Moreover, that’s something I missed previous years. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t know about forums and similar places – I was too busy working on projects (we had an exhausting delivery rate per year), no time was left even for thoughts about other activities.

Pretty soon I got hooked up to that forum. When I saw I can enter the Top 10 list, I set myself my first goal – to reach No1 in less than a month. Few days before the deadline I reached it. Then I formed another one – to stay in Top 10 (preferably Top 5) until the end of the year. That one is still not reached, but – so far so good. And, as time passed, I set another one in between – 3 stars in less than 3 month. Achieved in first days of September. As I said, I became addicted to it and all those goals were and still are just an excuse to spend more time on it.

Good thing is that in its core it’s actually a 2-way process: you give yet also you gain. While providing answers I learned a lot. The beauty of it is that you can directly apply it in your daily work. And you make many people happy.

Obviously, I neglected the Training Kit. I mean, interaction with people is much better than reading a book, don’t you agree?

And then there comes this blog.

If you’d asked me few months ago why don’t I have a blog, I’d say to you I didn’t see a point in one. Yet, after few weeks of activity in forum I realized that all those good and interesting things I provided should be gathered in one place. A different kind of place. What I had in mind was some kind of knowledge base, which a blog is not. But, that’s too complicated, so I’ll settle with a blog for now. Seems like almost everyone is having one these days.

I see it’s good features also. It’s another win-win. Readers will benefit from it but so shall I, eventually.

After deciding to open a blog, I postponed my first post for the same reason – you spend even more time online once you start blogging. It’s a commitment you take on yourself. Yet, the amount of good material and various documents that might contribute to other individuals working with SSAS is growing each day and that has pushed me forward. I’ve decided – tonight’s the night. I’ll start blogging.

Being so, there’s something I’ve always wanted to scream: “Hello World!“. There you go.

Enough said. Let the adventure begin!