Learning R: Hitting the Books

Data Science
I've been using a series of web sites while I was starting the process of learning R. I've highlighted several of these in previous posts. While people will claim to learn better based on a single source-type, studies have found that you actually learn best by a multitude of methods. So, in addition to video instruction, web sites, guides, etc., I'm also going to read a few books to help learn R. After a lot of research, I've arrived at two that I'm starting with. The first is R In Action. I'm already on the 2nd chapter and I'm enjoying the style and approach. The other book is Using R for Introductory Statistics. I'm using this book because as I have already picked up, the real trick to learning R…
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Great Idea: Tribal SQL

Misc
Writing books, even just a chapter, is not easy. Yet, people are desperate to do it for some reason. But, it's actually hard to break into writing (not that hard, I did it after all). So, when you get the chance to work on a book, if you're crazy enough to think you want to, jump on the opportunity. My good friend, and co-author of SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2, Jenn McCown (b|t) had an idea. Instead of gathering up a bunch of the usual suspects, what if you gave people who have never published anything a shot at writing a chapter. Yeah, insane, right? But then again, every author you know, at one point, wasn't published. Someone gave them a chance. Jenn is just that kind of…
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Pro SQL Server 2012 Practices: Chapter 12

Azure
I was very privileged to get the opportunity to write a chapter in a book with some of my friends and SQL Family, Pro SQL Server 2012 Practices . Just as each of us took a chapter to write, each of us going to take a chapter to review. But, being the greedy sort, I'm going to review two. First up, Chapter 12, "Windows Azure SQL Database for DBAs", by Herve Roggero (b|t) Personally, I love Azure. And I love Azure SQL Databases. But, I get the fear and trepidation they might cause. I also get the urge to write about them, but I never really felt like I should approach them from a book. Everything changes so much, so quickly in Azure and books just take a while to…
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Book Review: Guerilla Leader, T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt

Professional Development
As part of my commitment to read and review 12 books in an effort to be active in my own personal development, a commitment made on the SQL Cruise back in June, I’ve completed another book, Guerrilla Leader: T. E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt by James J. Schneider. This was not the book I was scheduled to read. I’m still reading it, but, frankly, it’s boring. This book came to my attention, a history book that is also an exploration of leadership, and I got excited. I’ve long been a student of history and I’ve had a fascination for World War I for a long time. I have over twenty books on the subject that I’ve read. So the chance to combine reading about a subject that I already…
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Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Professional Development
I’ve finished my 3rd book as part of my year long commitment to read and review professional/personal development books. I read one of my favorite authors this time, Seth Godin and his book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us . I’ve either been very smart or very lucky in my choice of books. I’ve enjoyed all three. But this one was better than the other two. Then again, this is my third Seth Godin book, I think I’m predisposed to enjoying his writing. The core idea behind the book is predicated on two facts. First, humans tend to congregate, we’re social critters. Second, you can take the lead of your tribe. Easy stuff, right? Wrong. It’s complicated and weird and hard. The book doesn’t even remotely suggest otherwise. This…
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Time for a Little PD

Misc, SQLServerPedia Syndication
No, PD doesn’t stand for PowerShell Development. It stands for Professional Development. Sharks either swim or die (and yes, I know that’s not 100% accurate, but I need a hook on which to hang this lesson). Knowledge workers either develop more knowledge or become buggy whip manufacturers. It’s that simple. Keep moving/learning or die/become obsolete. I’m voting for continuing to learn. In keeping with this, during SQL Cruise Alaska (I’ll be posting more on my thoughts about the trip), I was privileged to sit through Buck Woody’s (blog|twitter) presentations on “Three C’s on the High Seas.” Buck is a great teacher and not at all afraid to hand out homework, which he did before and during the cruise. Confession time, I did fail to do one pre-cruise assignment and Buck…
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SQL Server Team-Based Development

Misc
The new book is available in a free download from Red Gate. I had a lot of fun working on the three chapters that I did for this book. The topics I received are near & dear to me because of all the time I've spent working on getting databases into source control and automating (as much as possible) the deployment of databases out of source control. Everything I go over in the book might not be 100% applicable to your situation, but I'm pretty sure almost anyone involved in database development and deployment can find some useful information there. For those who are interested, I don't just cover Red Gate tools in the book either. There's quite a bit of time spent describing how to automate deployments using Visual…
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So You Want to Write a Book?

sql server standard, SQLServerPedia Syndication
What the heck is wrong with you? Still interested? Fine. I'll tell you my take on this whole business. I'm only an expert on this if you take the adage that the expert is the guy that's a page head of you in reading a book. To date I have published two full books and three chapters in a third. I can easily think of enough people who all have more experience than that with book writing that I'd have to take off both shoes to count them all. Is anyone still reading? Cool. So you have the desire to write a book? Let me pop your first bubble. You will make very little money. This bears repeating. You will make very little money. If you were to figure out your hourly…
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Plagiarism

Misc
UPDATE: Lulu has removed, not just my stolen material, but all offending material. That means some of the links in this post will no longer work. Back to the post... And really bad plagiarism at that. I received an email from someone suggesting I check out a book on Lulu.com, that it might be a copy of my book. Sure enough, this other guy, William Miller, had posted my book, with the original cover (that had my name on it) and the original description on his own "author" page. He also offered a decent little discount on the price. Nice guy. I tried to get an image of his copy of my book, but I can't find anything on any of the internet archives, which is just as well. His work…
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Reading to Learn

spatial data, SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication
I just finished chapter 1 of Alastair Aitchison'snew book on SQL Server spatial data, "Beginning Spatial with SQL Server 2008." If this is the beginners book... oh boy. The advanced book must be insane. Seriously though, Mr. Aitchison seems to have written a fantastic book. I'm going to tear through it as fast as I can because I've got two projects that are looking to start using spatial data and quite frankly, I'm a bit lost. There's a great discussiongoing on over at SSC as to the worth of technical books for DBA's. It's based on this editorialby Tony Davis. I'm surprised by the number of people who say they don't use books. It seems that a lot more people use blogs and articles and discussion groups to learn. Maybe…
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