Thursday, November 11, 2010

SQL Server Denali - Boost to SSIS career, Start of End to SSAS and MDX career?

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I am not fortunate enough to financially afford travelling all the way to US to attend PASS summit, but fortunately SQL Server blogsphere is quite vibrant to broadcast regular updates from the summit, so professionals like me can receive regular updates. SSIS is definitely being added more capacities and the enhancements related to data quality is definitely going to increase the applicability of SSIS in a broader range of solutions. On the other hand, this post from Chris which shows the SSAS roadmap shared by Microsoft, makes all the SSAS professionals quite concerned. I would say that, with microsoft, mutation never stops, and the mutation from SSAS Cubes and MDX to BI Semantic Model (BISM) is quite huge as it changes the way we as developers have looked at SSAS right from version 2005. And those who have got an expert level knowledge in SSAS are going to feel more pain at this moment, rather than the novice ones.

One of the investments principles of Warren Buffet says that "Don't put all your eggs in one basket", and this investment theory applies not only to finance, but also to the skills that define our career. The emotion that Chris shares due to the mutation that he can envision in the career of SSAS professionals as a direct effect of BISM, I am able to relate myself with this emotion very well as I have gone through the same sentiments in my career long back. I started my career as a Visual Basic 5/6 programmer. I spent quite a lot of time hopping from one version to another version of VB. Suddenly one day Microsoft .Net was announced, and I felt like "All hell broke loose". I managed to recover and adapted myself to the mutation, instead of a smooth transition, as VB and .Net are two different worlds.

The lesson I took from this experience is never to depend upon one skill set as neither it would help me become a successful architect, nor it would keep my career safe and stable on Microsoft platform. I executed a project as a .NET Project Lead long back and I embraced MS BI with the advent of SQL Server 2005 right from it's CTP. Being in MS BI, I have ensured that I gain experience on different projects which brings me diversified experience on SSIS, SSAS and SSRS with my expertise on SSIS. I have worked as an ETL Lead using SSIS, as a Senior Developer using SSAS and MDX, as a Senior Developer on Performancepoint, and SSRS has been a garnishing ingredient in most of the projects that I have worked. And though being deeply submerged in MS BI, I keep myself updated on .NET, Cloud computing technologies like Windows Azure and SQL Azure, to the level that if I need to board this ship in a catastrophic situation, this option remains open for me. As a by product of this exercise, I gain a deep insight into the end-to-end implementation of a solution involving .net application, SQL Server based OLTP and MS BI components, Sharepoint based dashboards and much more.

I feel that we should take this change constructively, and start aligning our careers in the right direction. And thanks to Microsoft that they have shared this roadmap quite early, so that we have enough time to position ourselves and our clients in the right direction.

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