Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk . Microsoft Data Platform MVP

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein

Tuesday 30 April 2019

Azure Open Datasets

Azure Open Datasets are curated public datasets that can be used to add scenario-specific features to machine learning solutions for more accurate models. Open Datasets are on Microsoft Azure and are available to Azure Databricks, Machine Learning service, and Machine Learning Studio. Access to the datasets is through the APIs and other products, such as Power BI and Azure Data Factory.

Sunday 28 April 2019

Microsoft Build is coming

It is that time of year again and I am looking forward to see what announcements are going to be made at MSBuild 2019. MSBuild explores the latest developer tools and technologies.

Thursday 25 April 2019

Spark+AI Summit 2019

The SparkAI Summit shared a lot of  announcements. The open source announcements were

Koalas - a more complete Pandas API

The open sourcing of Databricks Delta as Delta Lake. Delta dramatically simplifies building reliable data lakes on HDFS and cloud storage with ACID transactions, indexes and scalable metadata handling.

Microsoft is joining the MLflow project and adding MLflow APIs in Azure ML.

Rohan Kumar  of Microsoft announced .NET for Apache Spark, making Apache Spark accessible to .NET developers - Git Hub

Spark 3.0 expected later in the year

The keynote videos are all online now and other session videos will be there in about 2 weeks.

Saturday 6 April 2019

Data in Devon

Data in Devon was previously SQL Saturday Exeter. It is a great community conference in the South West. It is at Jurys Inn Exeter, Western Way, Exeter, EX1 2DB and it is free to attend.There is a day of in depth technical training sessions.  Register for a Data in Devon Training Day session on Friday 26th April. The options are:
  • BI in Azure - Alex Whittles MVP
  • Infrastructure as Code with Terraform - John Martin MVP
  • Machine Learning: From model to production using the cloud, containers and Dev Ops -  Terry Mccann MVP
  • Getting up to speed with PowerShell -  Rob Sewell MVP
The Saturday schedule on 27 April also includes a track for the Global AzureBootcampThe Global Azure Bootcamps are all around the world for communities on 27 April that want to learn about Azure and the Cloud. This is the sixth Global Azure Bootcamp event. 

Monday 1 April 2019

My First MVP Summit

I had an amazing time at my first MVP Global Summit.  The MVP Global Summit was hosted in Bellevue and at the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It featured a large catalog of in-depth technical discussions and feedback sessions combined with networking opportunities among fellow MVPs and the Microsoft product groups.
It was held the week of 17 March 2019. There were community pre-day sessions on Sunday 17 March and the product group technical sessions ran from Monday 18 March until Wednesday 20 March. On Thursday 21 March and Friday 22 March the Power BI and Azure product teams hosted additional sessions and workshops on campus.

As a first time attendee I didn’t know anything about the conference.There was finding out about transfers to and from the airport to the hotel, having a map of the Microsoft campus and the need to download a few apps such as Uber and the event mobile app to select the sessions I wanted to attend for my award category and for conference updates when I was there.

The conference hotels were in Bellevue and I stayed in the main hotel, the Hyatt Regency. The sessions on the Sunday and a number of evening events were all held in the Hyatt.  

Every day there were buses that took MVPs from the hotels to the main conference centre at Redmond. These ran regularly throughout the five days. From the conference centre there were transfer buses that could take you to any of the other buildings. Some of the building were within 5 mins walk. With the weather like summer it was a pleasant stroll through the tree lined undulating campus roads and paths between the buildings. By one of the buildings was the three tree houses which can be used for meetings.

The Microsoft Store was in another part of the campus. During the week I also had to travel to another building Advanta which was 15 mins away from the main campus.

The events on Sunday covered important topics such as diversity and inclusion and how to improve your presentation skills. It was a very helpful day to focus on soft skills. Also I was very grateful to have a new professional headshot taken for LinkedIn. Then five days of sessions with the different product groups. There was so much content to learn and absorb. In the evenings there was plenty of time to network with other MVPs and the product groups. One evening meetup was with the MVP leads, a couple were with the Data Platform product group on Tuesday and Thursday on campus. Then there was the main attendee celebration to celebrate one global community on Wednesday. Throughout the whole event there were opportunities to network, meet new people, catch up with people I knew and discuss data platform things. It was also a great opportunity to have a Data Relay team meeting. 

It is such an amazing privilege to be a part of this community with so many amazing people.