Tell The Joke Again – Blogging On Blogging

I just returned from a meeting with some of my peers at SolidQ and we were talking about the value of blogging and publishing articles.  A few days ago, another one of my peers asked me to review his first-ever blog post before it was published.  Douglas McDowell, CEO of SolidQ North America, shared a blog post he wrote earlier this year about his perspective on this, which I found quite insightful.  It’s about sharing information that someone has shared with you.  I now share this with you:

Tell the joke again

by Douglas McDowell

Have you ever retold a joke? Of course you have, we love to hear jokes and retell them. But no one ever tells the joke the same way they heard it, they change it to reflect their personality, make it funnier or fit a situation or audience better. A part of them comes through in how they retell the joke. And retelling the joke is usually as (or more) entertaining to the person retelling the joke as it is to the people hearing it.

The last few weeks I have been spending a lot of time doing one-on-one meetings with folks on the services delivery team, mostly around their quarterly plans for non-billable contributions and professional development. What a blessing that has been! It is tiring to spend your day in back-to-back meetings, but it I don’t remember when I have gotten to spend so much direct time with our people talking about how to make themselves, and in-turn SolidQ, so much better. The reality is that we all try to pack too much into our days, and it is far too easy to only focus on what has to get done and put off what could get done. But the stuff that could get done—but doesn’t necessarily have to get done—is often what is most valuable: investing in ourselves and SolidQ – the company that lets us do what we love to do.

A reoccurring theme in my quarterly planning discussions has been blogging. What a great way to reflect on who you are, where you are going and what you are finding along the way, and then reinforcing or exploring further your discoveries. Everyone I spoke with agreed wholeheartedly — but almost none of them blog, myself included. Interestingly, a common comment that people volunteered was that they do not feel like they have much new or worthwhile to blog about. Each time I heard this I directly challenged it. I challenged the notion that blogging was for the benefit of the reader… I think blogging takes a completely different form when the writer is a little selfish and writes it for their own benefit. After all, it’s their blog, its their own online journalism column about whatever they want to write about and the reader and “public” aspect of a blog is really just about accountability and sharing oneself with others. Wow, I started that concept with selfishness and ended it unselfishness. Guess that makes my point that I have convinced myself and have been trying to convince others that blogging is a win-win proposition for everyone.

I challenge you to tell the joke again.

Perhaps, if you started blogging today, you would not have a single new thing to tell the world. But I think the world would be worse off if we only told jokes we made up (painful). So… Retell a story. Explain how you figured out something obvious. Announce something exciting. Explain your reasoning behind your perspective. Share your epiphany moment, adding accountability to what you know you need to do next.

Go blog.​

New Online BI Classes from SolidQ

SolidQ has recently added 22 new classes and a full schedule of available class times.  Formerly Solid Quality Training and Solid Quality Mentors, SolidQ is now offering online training classes on schedules convenient to Europe, Asia and the Americas.    Course are developed and taught by seasoned industry leaders and mentors who author books and lead enterprise projects.

Technology areas include: Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Database Administration, Database Design and Development, Mobile Development, .Net Development, SQL Microsoft Curriculum & SQL Server (2005, 2008, R2 & Denali)

Classes are offered in English, Spanish, German and Slovenian.  Several new BI courses include:

  • SharePoint – Solution Design, Management & Administration & Business Intelligence
  • Reporting Services – Design, Development & Administration
  • Analysis Services – Solution Design, Management & Administration
  • Integration Services – Enterprise ETL Design, Management & Administration
  • Data Mining
  • PowerPivot
  • MDX
  • SQL Server Performance Tuning
  • End-to-End Business Intelligence Workshop

Visit for the complete course catalog and schedule.

Read the SolidQ Journal for helpful articles and industry news.

SolidQ CEO Speaks with the King of Spain

It was a proud moment for Fernando Guerrero, the CEO of SolidQ, to chat with the King of Spain and the Spanish Minister of Science and Innovation at a recent conference in Madrid.  Mr. Guerrero spoke with His Majesty The King of Spain, Juan Carlos I about the steady growth of the company and, in particular, the investment of SolidQ in the Spanish economy and education.  His Majesty was complimentary about the growth and success of the company.

Fernando also spoke with Ms. Cristina Garmendia, the Spanish Minister of Science and Innovation, about recent activities in the SolidQ Spanish division that have caused them to double their headcount in two years at a time when Spain is facing high unemployment.

The company operates a number of programs including the SolidQ University with faculty members at universities throughout the world.  SolidQ Research works with the European Union, the Spanish government and leading universities on research projects and assisting graduate students achieve PhD degrees.

Needless to say, everyone at SolidQ shares some of the pride to be recognized by honored national leaders.

A New Adventure

Next week I start a new chapter in my career.  About a week ago I accepted a position with SolidQ, formerly known as Solid Quality Mentors.  SolidQ is a relatively small company with a world-wide presence and are only focused on Microsoft BI technologies.  Their mentors are conference headliners, well-known technical authors and Microsoft MVPs.  I’ve had associations with SolidQ for several years as I’ve worked along side some of their mentors, taught at the same training centers and spoken at the same conferences.  I’m very excited to join a team of professionals that I’ve been watching for several years and share the same passion for BI that I do.

I’m leaving Hitachi Consulting after nearly seven enjoyable years.  Hitachi still employs many of the same great people I worked with when I started.  Hitachi brought me into their Seattle-based Microsoft BI practice in 2004 where I worked with some really talented BI practitioners and learned a great deal about things like dimensional modeling, data warehouse design and cube design.  I had been working with SQL Server Reporting Services and was able to contribute my database background, coding and SSRS skills on team projects where I continued to learn more about building holistic BI solutions.  I took over the company’s Microsoft BI training practice and partnership with various training centers to offer the courses we developed and taught.  This is where I ran into folks from Solid Quality like Kalen Delaney, Itzik Ben-Gan and Andrew Kelley.  I’ve learned much from material written and presented by people like Erik Veerman, Peter Meyers and Brian Knight.  My associate, Stacia Misner, had left Hitachi in 2006 for Solid Quality before she formed her own consulting company.  I’ve been teaching SSRS classes based on her books for years.

I have good things to say about Hitachi and many of the good people there.  The company and I are just moving in different directions.  The work SolidQ does is congruent with my skills, interests and passions for Microsoft BI.  I’m looking forward to this change.