My Tech Reading List to Start the Year
My bold learning goals call for adequate preparation and proportionate action. Before plunging into the challenge, I need to get myself into a focused learning mode quickly. The most effective way for me to do that is by reading. If you are like me, every time that you want to learn something, the first thing that you would do is look for written materials on whatever topic that you want to learn.
My medium preference is still the physical book. There are many benefits to reading printed materials such as brain stimulation and memory improvement. Reading online materials like blogs and articles is a big part of my daily routine. But when I need to sit down and focus on certain things that I want to learn deeply, I’d pull a physical book from my bookshelf and just put in the needed concentration and time to dissect and slice and dice every bit of information that I need to process into every available neural pathway of my brain.
Here is the first batch of technical books that I am reading to start the new year:
Star Schema: The Complete Reference by Christopher Adamson — You’d say, “Hey, Marlon, in the Era of Big Data and Hadoop, Dimensional Modeling is Dead! The traditional data warehouse has long been replaced by data lakes!” Ok, let me leave you that to debate among yourselves. What this Star Schema book teaches are the design principles that will not fall into obsolescence and will transcend beyond technology. What our business processes demand of us, data professionals, is that we not only deliver the data structure that will support the evaluation of these business processes but also the measures and their context with which the data are evaluated.
The Data Warehouse ETL Toolkit by Ralph Kimball & Joe Caserta — “Again, Marlon, I have a couple of words for you, “Hadoop it! ETL is likewise Dead!” Like the Star Schema book, this ETL Toolkit teaches the fundamental principles and techniques of extraction, transformation, and loading of data. Technologies surrounding how we extract, transform, and load data may have changed but the principles remain the same. This book will take you back to the basics, and regardless of technology platform, the principles you’ll learn here will equip you with the necessary skills to adapt to the ever-changing technology landscape.
Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, From Whiteboard to Star Schema by Lawrence Corr — “Marlon, stop it! Data Warehouse is Dead!” Again, because of the principles that this book advocate, I have it on my list. If you’re looking for agile principles that you need to be guided by in your data projects, this is a great book to have. Dimensional modeling as a philosophy is alive and kicking. This book will make you learn the right questions to ask about your data stories: the who, what, when, where, how many, and why and how. This is also a good introduction to the concept of Business Event Analysis & Modeling (BEAM) if you’ve never heard about the concept before.
Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic — Your data projects will be meaningless if they are not capable of telling their stories. With the era of Big Data revolution, we are inundated with more data and information than we can possibly handle at a time. This book teaches us that “Data Visualization sits at the intersection of science and art.” More important than the data themselves are the meanings and stories they convey. As data professionals, we just don’t deliver data solutions. We also need to deliver the effective stories behind those data. This book teaches us the right principles on how to effectively do just that.
Pro SQL Server Internals: Understand What Happens Under the Hood and How It Affects You by Dmitri Korotkevitch and High-Performance SQL Server: Bringing Consistent Response Time to Mission-Critical Applications by Benjamin Nevarez — Big part of my day job is to ensure that our client applications are running on optimal performance. These two books are great resources for making your SQL Server run faster. They provide sound principles for database maintenance and performance tuning.
I highly recommend these books. If you’re looking for books to grab on these topics, pick one or all of them. I’d like to hear about your tech reading list. Share them in the comment below or, if you have a post about your tech reading list, provide the link to the comment below. Happy New Year and Happy Learning!
Originally published at SQL, Code, Coffee, etc..