SCS Resources for the IT Industry
The start of fall is known as “back to school” time with many young individuals we know having returned to their schools and colleges. For those of us in the workplace, while we are not returning to the hallowed halls of academia, fall can still be a time for us to brush up on our learning.
At Superior Consulting Services (SCS), we are continuously working with our clients to help them learn. One of our core values is Passion, and we are passionate about technology and helping our clients best use technology. Over the years, we have developed several ways for us to help our clients and those in our industry, go “back to school.” Below is a sampling of how we help others learn.
- New Book Editions Released: For over 12 years, Brian Larson, SCS’ Chief Creative Officer, has been dedicated to helping educate those in the technical field about SSRS and Microsoft BI tools. Most recently, on September 16, 2016, Brian released the fifth edition of Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services. This edition, weighing in at 848 pages, covers the complete process of building and distributing reports and explains how to maximize all of the powerful, integrated SSRS capabilities. This edition adds coverage of the new Mobile Report Publisher used to create data visualizations tailored to tablet and smartphone footprints. A detailed case study of an intergalactic package delivery service makes the learning practical and fun all at the same time.
We are excited to announce that Brian’s second book, Delivering Business Intelligence with Microsoft SQL Server 2016, Fourth Edition, will be available by November 2016. This edition takes you through the design and implementation of a business intelligence solution using the Microsoft toolset. It includes an in-depth look at the Tabular model and its recent enhancements along with coverage of Power BI and its DAX Language.
- SCS Code Challenge: SCS Senior Consultant and Microsoft MVP, John Gnazzo, created the SCS Coding Challenge in 2015. The Coding Challenge is a monthly contest geared towards application developers. The goal of the coding challenge is to motivate, push and educate C# developers through fun and creative activities. Mid-level developers should be able to complete the challenge in one hour or less. We are excited to see that responses to the challenge have been submitted from around the world! Each month, as the winner of the challenge is revealed, John includes helpful tips and tricks that teach the latest features of C# to the coding community. Check out past code challenges here.
- Superior Spotlight Blog: Our consultants are continually growing and developing their technical knowledge. Our Superior Spotlight Blog enables us to showcase and share what they have learned with you and your organization. Blog posts run the gamut from tips, innovative approaches and best practices to insights into new and changing technologies.
- Quarterly Connections Newsletter: Four times per year, SCS publishes our Quarterly Connections newsletter. The newsletter includes feature articles on technology trends and a segment on news and industry updates. The newsletter also provides a way to get better acquainted with our SCS team through our employee spotlight. Read past newsletters or sign up to have future issues delivered right to your inbox.
- Lunch & Learns: If you prefer your knowledge sharing done in person, SCS Lunch & Learns are a great way to interact directly with our industry experts and thought leaders. These sessions provide business decision makers with a deeper exploration of today’s hot-button technical issues. The knowledge and lunch are both free! Some of our recent Lunch & Learns covered topics such as: A Tool for Every Need—MS BI and Reporting Tools; Efficiently Developing Applications for Multiple Platforms; Securing Your Infrastructure and Your Data. View the Lunch & Learn schedule here.
- Power BI Professional Idea Network: Another opportunity for face-to-face sharing comes through the Power BI Professional Idea Network. SCS is proud to be the founding sponsor of this organization. The new Power BI Professional Idea Network (Power BI PIN) is a networking group for business users of Microsoft Power BI. The group is a place for collaboration with peers—sharing experience, asking questions, and learning about new and exciting features of Power BI. The goal of the group is to help members get the most out of Power BI in an interactive data analytics environment. Interaction is through the Power BI PIN LinkedIn Group and through monthly meetings (starting soon).
- SCS Mentoring: Sometimes the easiest way to learn is to have someone roll up their sleeves and work through a process or new skill with you. SCS has a long history of mentoring our clients in either a one-on-one or a small group environment. Using technology, we can mentor individuals either online or at their location, tailoring sessions specifically for the individual or group that we are mentoring. We have tutored developers, managers and executives ranging from basic skills all the way up to mastering advanced technology topics.
- SCS Customized Training: Then there are times your entire team needs to learn a new concept or technology all at the same time. At SCS, we work with our clients to develop customized classroom training experiences. Our courses range from four hours to two weeks. We go to your site to deliver your customized, interactive class directly to your employees. We have provided customized classroom training in areas such as:
- Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services
- Visual Studio .NET Study Groups
- Microsoft Business Intelligence tools
- Microsoft Office including Access
- Microsoft SQL Server Database Basics
- Microsoft SQL Server Basic Administration
We hope to be one of your go-to sources for industry insights. However, we understand that getting a handle on the technology industry requires looking to a number of sources. Below are some resources recommended by our SCS consultants:
- Microsoft Virtual Academy
- PASS MN – SQL Server User Group
- Microsoft Business Intelligence User Group of Minnesota
- Microsoft Developer Network Magazine
At SCS, we believe it is essential to continually grow our technical knowledge and that it is vital to share that knowledge as a strategic relationship with our clients. And in doing so, it helps achieve another of our Core Values—Partnership.20