January 2013 - Posts

When you go shopping for a new gadget do you just go to your nearest electronics store (currys, best buy, etc) and read the marketing ticket next to the product?

No you probably don’t. You more than likely ask your friends if they’ve got one and what they think. Or you go and look for reviews that compare the different options.

The same applies to recruitment.

Employers don’t just rely on your cv (your marketing ticket), who knows what rubbish you’ve put in it. Employers want to validate that information.

Linkedin I find key to that validation process.

It takes 2 minutes to complete your profile and keep it up to date. Whilst it is similar to your CV it has a few benefits.

1. Its a very small world. I can see if you are connected to anyone I know or have worked with someone I know.

2. It validates what you have in your CV. Because its public you aren’t likely to exaggerate as much on Linkedin than you may do in your CV

3. You can get endorsements and recommendations from previous colleagues.

You wouldn’t included snippets of recommendations in your CV you can have them in your linkedin profile. Whats more, with the blandness of most references these provide some great information to base a decision on.


So make sure that you complete your profile.

Posted by simonsabin | 4 comment(s)

When I started looking at SQL conferences I had heard about this conference held in Denmark in the middle of nowhere with everyone staying in huts and was always interested as to how it worked, confining all the delegates in one place with no opportunity for escape. Later on when I became an MVP I started hearing stories about a conference in Denmark, the same one. It was the extreme of the conference work hard play hard ethic. The play hard being the legend. The huts are holiday homes and the conference venue is on the site of Legoland. On one of the nights they have a bbq and on the last night they have a dinner followed by the pool party. This isn’t any old pool party but here they take over a water park with a bar. You can imagine the scene, a conference of Oracle and SQL guys (a few woman), drinking and then going down water slides in groups of 4 on huge rubber rings.

Almost two years ago I was invited to speak at said event and unsurprisingly decided it was a must. The event was Miracle Open World 2011.

Now whilst the event and the beach party was something to behold, you try holding a beer whilst shooting down a vertical slide, my overriding memory was a talk I attended.

“You’ve got to go and see this guy. Last year he dissected the internals of a PDF document.”

This was a comment by on of the attendees about a session on dissecting mdf files.

Being a fairly hard core SQL guy I though this was going to be a poor show, mdf files are very complex. But I was intrigued as I was looking at how to explain to developers how SQL worked, and thats what the session promised.

Well I wasn’t disappointed, the session was by Mark S. Rasmussen, on his OrcaMDF project. Essentially he has written code that allows you to point it at an MDF file and it will reconstruct rows and columns from the data. Essentially he’s written the storage engine parser, that parses pages into the relevant information.

Even at that stage Mark had made huge progress and could different types of pages, have linked lists of pages and the allocation maps, decode page values into the column values. Not simple stuff by any stretch.

Mark is a seriously clever and nice guy. If you ever see him at a conference say hi and have a chat. He’s also got a fascinating past, more examples of your stupidly clever he is.

Since that talk Mark has been talking around the world (no idea how he finds the time, or the money to do it) and I’m really please today as I found out that Mark has been awarded an MVP for SQL Server. Fantastic and well deserved.


You can followed Mark on twitter http://twitter.com/improvedk or read his blog http://improve.dk

He has made the OrcaMDF project available on Github https://github.com/improvedk/OrcaMDF

This is where it started http://improve.dk/archive/2011/04/17/miracle-open-world-2011-follow-up.aspx

Posted by simonsabin | 1 comment(s)
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