Embiggen your family this week

I know a lot of my readers are located in countries other than the U.S., but I hope you’ll indulge me for a moment for a non-technical post.   When I was 18, I joined the U.S. Air Force, and my first base was in the United Kingdom at R.A.F. Lakenheath. It was my first…


Staying Current on Technology for your Organization

As a Technical Professional, your company, firm, group or organization looks to you for guidance on their technical systems. You’re expected to apply the best technology solutions that you can to a given business or science problem or opportunity. That can be quite difficult to do. If you are in a vertical knowledge role, expected…


Windows Azure Data Series: SQL Server Fast-Track Data Warehouse (FTDW)

Windows Azure provides several options for storing, processing and retrieving data in structured, semi-structured and unstructured layouts. In this series, I’ll cover various options for implementing these options. In this entry, I’ll cover the SQL Server Fast-Track Data Warehouse, and show an example of it’s implementation. This is a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), which…


Buck Woody is Changing Jobs

Recently I read an article (http://lifehacker.com/is-it-bad-to-stay-at-one-company-for-very-long-1295782130) that stated that if you are at the same company for more than a few years, it will harm your career. I don’t agree – consider any successful CEO, musician, or master-level craftsperson – those people may have been doing the same thing for decades. They certainly haven’t damaged their…


Create your own MCM Program – Learning to Learn

A lot of electronic ink has been spilled over our recent (and sudden) announcement that we are retiring the highest-level certifications here at Microsoft. At the same time, I’ll be teaching a one-day class at the SQL Saturday event in Cambridge, UK on certifications. Are certifications worth the effort anymore, and should you attend the…


Data Science and the Cloud

More than perhaps any other computing discipline, Data Science lends itself best to Cloud Computing in general, and Windows Azure in specific. That’s a big claim, but before I offer some evidence, I need to explain what I mean by “Data Science”. I’ve written before on Data Science (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2012/10/16/is-data-science-science.aspx, and https://www.simple-talk.com/cloud/data-science/data-science-laboratory-system—keyvalue-pair-systems/ ), but since it’s an…


Successful Cloud Projects Start With The Plumbing

(Note – I’ll add to this post as new information is updated – latest post date is August 8th, 2013) I’ve been working on cloud projects of all types for over three years now. Along the way, I’ve learned some basic patterns that make for a successful project – and also the things to avoid….


Videos and Training on Windows Azure IaaS from TechEd New Orleans

 I’m catching up on a bunch of features, functions, updates and more learning from the TechEd Event in New Orleans recently. In fact, videos, Windows Azure documentation, and of course blogs are the new way to keep up – books are just too slow to produce to handle the pace. I thought I’d share the…


You probably have enough

This a decidedly non-technical post, and even a little preachy. I post it here because you, the technical professional, are the perfect audience for it. I have enough stuff. I never think so, of course, but I do. I don’t consider myself rich, but if you have a comfortable place to sleep,  enough food to…