Speaking at Graph Day 2017 in SF

May 30, 2017 Comments Off on Speaking at Graph Day 2017 in SF

I’ve been a database technologist for more than 25 years. During that time, I’ve been fortunate to observe the rise (and longevity) of relational database platforms, along with the more recent advent of NoSQL solutions. I’m particularly excited about the potential for graph databases: I believe that they’re going to transform the way information is processed. In fact, WiseClouds will shortly be announcing a series of training courses dedicated to the highly capable OrientDB multi model database.

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, and would like to learn more about what graph databases can do for you, be sure to attend Graph Day 2017. I’ll be joining many other speakers to help you explore the full range of fascinating applications built on graph databases. You can register here.

graphday17

Software Quality Matters blog: Five API Development & Testing Trends

April 30, 2017 Comments Off on Software Quality Matters blog: Five API Development & Testing Trends

SmartBear has just published an article that I wrote about five widespread development and testing changes that are dramatically disrupting the ways that APIs are being evaluated prior to being placed into production.

In a nutshell, these trends are:

  1. Business-driven API design and development.
  2. Agile methodologies
  3. Test automation
  4. API complexity outstripping testing capabilities
  5. New dangers for siloed testing

five api trends

If you’d like to check it out, visit the posting here.

Helpful article on Apache Spark with use cases

March 4, 2017 Comments Off on Helpful article on Apache Spark with use cases

I recently wrote Spark for Dummies in partnership with IBM. For those curious about this highly interesting and innovative technology – and the numerous scenarios where it can add value – there are increasing numbers of helpful online resources. A good example of what I mean is a recent article by Radek Ostrowski from Toptal. He provides a concise Spark overview, along with some sample use cases.

toptal1

I’ll continue to cross reference online resources like this as I run across them. If you’d like to read more about all things Big Data, be sure to check out some of my other related postings.

Bad Sales Engineer Behavior #4: Negativity

February 28, 2017 Comments Off on Bad Sales Engineer Behavior #4: Negativity

Show me a salesperson with a negative attitude, and I’ll show you someone who will be looking for a new line of work before too long. Sales – and sales engineering – just isn’t a good fit for someone with a gloomy outlook. A while back, I wrote about skepticism and the damage it can do to a sales engineer’s career. In that context, I defined skepticism as approaching each sales opportunity with a dubious perspective and relentlessly putting the sales representative on the defensive – hardly a recipe for a harmonious relationship.

But negativity goes far beyond mere opportunity cynicism to color how the sales engineer interacts with everyone else in the organization, from immediate peers to people on other teams such as marketing, engineering, and product support. Negativity manifests itself in many ways, including continual criticism, doubts about the basic competence of everyone else, and questions about why the company is even in business! People pick up on this attitude very quickly, and it’s one of the most common reasons why a seemingly successful sales engineer is shown the door, whether or not they’re reaching their sales goals.

For those readers that are thinking of becoming a sales engineer but haven’t made the transition yet, I urge you to honestly evaluate your mental outlook and worldview before you start the process: Are you someone who sees the glass as half full, half empty, or shattered in pieces on the floor? If you can’t change your attitude for the better, my recommendation is to refrain from embarking on what is universally acknowledged as lucrative yet very taxing career.

Spark for Dummies is now available

January 1, 2017 Comments Off on Spark for Dummies is now available

A few years ago, I wrote Hadoop for Dummies, which presented an executive-level overview of Hadoop, its capabilities, and its amazing potential. Since then, the Big Data world has continued its relentless march forward, with Apache Spark serving as one of the most exciting and well-adopted new technologies. I’m happy to announce that I’ve just written a companion book dedicated to Spark. Here are the major topics that I cover in this book:

  • Spark’s history
  • How it works
  • Why it’s such an important Big Data breakthrough
  • Real world use cases
  • How Spark, MapReduce, and Hadoop can work together
  • How you can deploy it in your enterprise
  • Best practices

 

 

spark

You can download a copy here.

 

This book – which was sponsored by IBM – is a great example of the kinds of high quality technical marketing content developed at Think88.  These include white papers, case studies, evaluation guides, technical presentations, and market research.

Seven attractive career paths for sales engineers

December 20, 2016 Comments Off on Seven attractive career paths for sales engineers

Whether you label it sales engineering, sales consulting, or simply pre-sales, supplying technical guidance during the sales process for highly complex goods and services can be a lucrative, intellectually stimulating career. 

Many people happily spend decades working as sales engineers: I’ve met plenty of contented – and very well compensated – sales engineers (SEs) in their sixties who first took on this role in their twenties! On the other, lots of SEs view the job as a stepping stone on the path to other responsibilities – in their own organization or in other companies.

As I’ve depicted elsewhere, the most successful SEs are masters of blending technical and selling skills, which makes them highly desirable candidates for all sorts of different jobs. In this series of posts, I’ll be describing the advantages and drawbacks for some of the most attractive career paths available to sales engineers. Here’s a brief list of those alternatives:

  1. Post sales technical consulting
  2. Marketing
  3. Product development
  4. Technical support
  5. Sales
  6. Client-side jobs

And since there are plenty of opportunities for SEs to advance within the sales engineering organization itself, I’ll write about that too.

If you’re interested in being notified of future editions, subscribe to the blog or follow me on Twitter: @RD_Schneider. You can read other sales engineering-related posts here.

Helpful article on journalist protection is relevant for us all

November 10, 2016 Comments Off on Helpful article on journalist protection is relevant for us all

In the aftermath of this week’s US election, it’s worthwhile to – once again – revisit techniques to protect private information from those that have no business seeing it. Here’s a link to a very useful article from The Atlantic that might give you some ideas about how to safeguard your data. If you’re curious about other security and privacy topics that I’ve written about, here’s a shortcut to them.

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