Exam prep not going well!

In my end of year review at work I set myself the challenge of upgrading my MCITP 2008 qualification to the 2012 equivalent. This involves passing exams 70-457, 70-458 and 70-459. My weakest area is probably the DBA side of things so my idea was to read the exam guide for the 70-462 exam. I read the first lesson a while ago but the Games of Thrones and Hunger Games books have taken up all my train journey recently. At work I’ve not had time to look at any DBA stuff but I have been learning a few new things as well as enhancing my knowledge of Service Broker which I used for the first time at the end of last year.
I recently moved into the DB team for my company’s project that is rewriting our legacy systems and creating an API for our products and external customers to utilise and have been lucky enough to work on three large pieces of work.
Firstly, we had to rewrite the ETL process which currently moves a tiny subsection of our legacy data to the new platform.
Secondly, I was asked to prototype a framework that would allow us to get data in a specific format and send it to an application whenever the data changed. Initially this was to allow us to generate search strings to be sent to Elasticsearch but needed to be flexible enough to be able to send data to any application or service in the future, for example, Hadoop or Amazon web services. We also needed the ability to resend everything if need be. This prototype evolved over the weeks but is now live.
Most recently I was asked to come up with a way to ensure no SQL objects are accidentally removed or updated from any of our environments due to human error or mistakes when merging our DB solution from environment to environment (we have three branches and a live code base in TFS). I ended up writing a couple of CLR stored procedures that generated DB unit tests for all objects within our databases, with each test just checking for the existence of that object, e.g. a schema, column, foreign key etc. This allowed me to generate just shy of 5000 tests in under 2 minutes and allows us to quickly generate existence tests for any new objects we create. I’ve written reports that tell us if an object exists on an environment that we don’t have a test for and also if any objects don’t conform to our namig conventions. I did look at using policy-based management to handle this but it didn’t go into enough level of detail for my needs.
Anyway, this is what I’ve been doing the last couple of months and I will soon be adding some notes about my experiences using Service Broker, Elasticsearch, TFS, MSBuild, CLR stored procs and my brief delve into policy-based management.

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3 thoughts on “Exam prep not going well!

    • Hello Scott. I’ve not started looking at 70-461 but am slowly getting through the book for 70-462. Have you done any of the other exams? I just wanted to know if you think the 461 is harder than others. It took me a long time to get through all the information in the 2008 equivalent as I wasn’t using most of the stuff on a day to day basis.

      • Interesting timing – I JUST passed 461 yesterday. I’m a Developer – so in my opinion 461 is going to be much easier for me than 462. But to answer your question – 461 was my first exam – and I passed it on my 2nd attempt (missed it by 20 points the first time).

        If you’d like my advice – pull up this link, and go through *every* item on it. Google is your friend – I’d avoid MS sites and look for blogs that explain how each feature works.

        http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam-70-461.aspx#fbid=MyVtPQPaq-P

        Good luck with your studying. I’m starting to study for 462 now.

        s

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