Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas

Yesterday was the last working day before Christmas  at GRE Towers. We’ve got today off. So this is just a short post for the Friday before Christmas. 

Christmas Tree at GRE Towers
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Treat Yourself to a Training Christmas Present

Its the week before Christmas. Party season is in full swing. Its a time for reflection on the year gone and a look forward to what is coming next year. Why not make your New Year's resolution early. Invest in your career in 2017 and get yourself some excellent value training.

With all courses in this weeks Learning Tree listed running in the New Year get booked up now so you don't miss out. You can relax and enjoy the Christmas period with comfort of knowing you'll be learning new skills and growing your career early in 2017.

All courses are £750 plus VAT.

Drop an email to or use the contact us page if you would like more information or would like to book a seat

319         Technical Writing Introduction     10th January
2411       Windows Server 2012 Administration  10th January
2413       Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Services 10th January
535         Developing High-Performance SQL Server Databases  16th January
296         Project Management: Skills for Success   17th January
1197       Achieving ITIL® Foundation Certification 23rd January
537         Penetration Testing: Tools and Techniques 31st January
315         Developing User Requirements: The Key to Project Success 14th February
3633       APMG AgilePM® Achieving Foundation & Practitioner Certification 20th February

Monday, 28 November 2016

Bree's first blog post... Amazing training deals

Gethyn will be getting me to update this every week, there are some awesome training deals available for £750 + VAT. Use the contact page to get in touch if you have any questions or if you would like to book a course.

Course 3821 Professional Services Professional: Business Executive  20th December 16

Course 2322 Building Web Applications with React 19th December 16

Course 1198 Achieving ITIL® Practitioner Certification   26th January 17

Course 902  Business Relationship Management: Aligning IT & the Business  22nd February 17

Monday, 21 November 2016

An early Christmas present - Great Value SQL Server Training the Decemeber

No No, not my new hat, although it is rather splendid. I have received the weekly email from Learning Tree listing this week’s courses that are guaranteed to run and being offered at the fantastic price of £750 plus VAT.

Happy New Hat

If you work with SQL Server this week's offer has some great SQL Server  training courses for you. With Christmas just around the corner I’m sure if you pitch these prices although with the fantastic content to your boss, combine that with the fantastic instructor led courses Learning Tree offer. That attending the course  undoubtedly help you be more productive in your job I’m sure you’ll have no trouble securing the training budget.  In fact these offers will help you extend your training budget through to the New Year!

All courses listed here can be attended in class at the London Education Centre or online. No travel needed!

If you would like any further information on these courses or would like to book a place please email

If you are new to SQL Server and want a course that provides a good introduction into  all aspects of the SQL Server product, from the database engine through to Analysis Services the 2107 SQL Server Introduction is the course for you. It’s a 4-day course and it starts on 19th December 2016

If you need to learn about administering SQL Server databases, learning everything from basic security and maintenance, through to backup and more importantly restoring and recovering your user database and SQL Server itself then course 2108 SQL Server Database Administration is the course for you. SQL Server Database Administration is a 4 day course and starts on 10th January 2017 

Maybe you are a BI developer and want to learn about SQL Server reporting services, which is SQL Server’s enterprise reporting solution. Course 140 SQL Server Reporting Services starts in London on 13th December. The course runs for 4 days and you’ll learn everything you need to know about working with Reporting Services.

Still on the BI theme maybe you need to know about cubes and data mining. Then 139 SQL Server Analysis Services for Business Intelligence would be the ideal christmas present.

Space is limited space available on these courses. When the course is full, it’s full!

Contact us for more information or to book a place

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Do you know anything about firebird?

Has anyone in my network or readers my blog have any experience of a database called Firebird?

If you have and are potentially interested in a short (maybe 1 day, maybe more days) consulting gig, please do get in touch.

I have a client who uses it and needs a little help.

If you're in my network and think you might know somebody with such skills please do share.

Just some caveats though, you will likely need to be UK based (The work will be in South Wales) and will be delivered on site. However if you have knowledge of the Firebird database and think you can help get in touch anyway.

Leave a comment, tweet me @gethyn_ellis email me{at} if you can help

Big Data, Network Security, SQL Programming, PRINCE2, Baby save a little 2 for me

This weeks Learning Tree deals are in. If you want to learn about big data, Network security and with the Tesco bank issues publicised earlier this week you might! and with SQL and PRINCE2 on top you have to be interested in these deals. email to enrol 

Management Skills     Course 290                         6th Dec
Hadoop Architecture & Administration for Big Data Solutions      Course 1252      6th Dec
Apache Spark Programming with Scala for Big Data Solutions      Course 1262    13th Dec
System and Network Security Introduction                                      Course 468    13th Dec
SQL Programming Language Introduction                                         Course 925 14th Dec
PRINCE2® Practitioner and Re-registration Certification                 Course 178      15th Feb

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Trick or Treat...Have I got an IT Training treat for you...

It Trick or Treat on Monday...Two days on and I have a treat for you. Learning Tree's Great Value IT Training Deals are out with a long and varied list of courses.

All the courses listed below are running the LEC in London from  December 2016 to February 2017. The start date of each course is listed in the table below. If you can't get to London, or you can't travel or if would just prefer to attend from the comfort of your own home or office you can attend online using Anyware.

All the courses listed here are £750 plus VAT. If you want to take advantage of this offer, just send an email to state the course number you'd like to attend and I'll get you booked on. 

Spaces are limited so if you do want attend I'd recommend booking sooner rather than later.

Crs Number        Start Date            Course title
4611                       30th Nov               Excel® PivotTables: Building Dashboards
1176                       30th Nov               PRINCE2® Achieving Foundation Certification
993                         30th Nov               ITIL® Intermediate: Service Design
171                         29th Nov               Deploying VMware® vSphere
234                         29th Nov               Developing SQL Queries for Oracle® Databases
471                         29th Nov               Java Programming Introduction
470                         6th Dec                  Developing a Website
502                         6th Dec                  Programming with .NET Introduction
991                         7th Dec                  ITIL® Intermediate: Service Operation
933                         7th Dec                  Agile Programming Professional
1816                       13th Dec                Agile Software Development with Team Foundation Server
977                         19th Dec                Building Web Applications with ASP.NET MVC
419                         17th Jan 17           C# Programming
447                         31st Jan 17            Introduction to Modelling for Business Analysis

994                         15th Feb 17          ITIL® Intermediate: Continual Service Improvement

email if you would like to book on a course and take advantage of this offer.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Autumn Update - Trick or Treat

Its been a busy few weeks for me, most of that outside of I’m in the process of moving home and as such much of my spare time has been taken up packing my things at my old house. That process is still on going and likely to last at least for the next few weeks so activity on the blog will be slower than normal but I wanted to make some time to publish a post today, the 1st of November. A new month and I wanted to put a post here to let you know what will be up and coming

The weekly SQL Server weekly roundup post will return in due course, I haven’t read many blogs over the last month or so as most of free time has been taken with that but as soon as things return to normal.

The deal on Learning Tree courses has been extended, we have done a deal with learning tree where they will offer readers of some offers on courses running at the London Education Centre – most of which you can attend either in class in London or online using Anyware. The offers will be updated weekly there will be blog post and the Great Value IT Training Page will be updated too.

I have been looking at creating some screen casts and videos too. Until now here at we have focused solely on the written blog. Going forward we are going to introduce some videos into the blogs, this will likely be hosted on YouTube too. More information on this will follow, hopefully the first post will be ready in the next week or two.

I’ll leave  you with that for now, in between all the packing I have had time to do some pumpkin scooping. That was a lot of fun. When I was kid you couldn’t get pumpkins we had to use swedes, now I’m feeling old ☺

Don’t forget to check out our SQL Server consultancy pages.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

You don't need any Training? OK...I believe you.

This week's Super duper IT training offers are in:

If you see any that take your fancy let me know. Drop an email etc. 

Running in London or if you prefer you can attend online. Courses are running this November and December. 

Get in early when they are full, they are full. 

You can even do some shopping while your in London. Oxford street if just two tube stops away!!!

Leading Teams: Improving Productivity Through Teamwork
Course 222                          9th November
Microsoft Project Introduction                                                 
Course 3702                       9th November
Building Web Applications with Angular 2                                          
Course 2324                       8th November
Python Programming Introduction                                                         
Course 1905                       6th December
Organisational Change Management: Achieving APMG Change Management™ Practitioner Certification
Course 288                          12th December

Friday, 30 September 2016

SQL Friday: Weekly Round up 30th September

This week has been a relatively relaxed week for me. I had a one-day onsite event in Cardiff on Wednesday for one of Learning Tree's clients. I have been there on several occasions over the summer and each one of these events has been great fun with some good discussions.

Next week is SQL Relay and David Postlethwaite is delivering his SQL Server 2016 new features  along with his azure talk. If you are going, go and say hello.He's at all the events bar Nottingham.

SQL Server

R Programming

The Financial Times uses R for Quantitive Journalism


Contacting/Professional development

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Want to Win a Free @LearningTree Course? #LtreRox - @tangentc is the first ever twitter winner!!!

As regular readers of this blog will know I teach some data courses for Learning Tree. Recently Learning Tree has introduced a new Twitter competition. Attendees current, past and present who tweet about their experiences on their respective Learning Tree courses. What they have learned, key take-away points or if you haven't been on a course yet what you want to learn on a future course. Mark you tweet with the #LtreRox hashtag and also tag @LearningTree in your post and you will be entered into a draw to win a free @learningtree course.

Win a free Learning Tree Course

This week's winner, the first ever winner of this competition is @tangentc. Carolina's winning tweet is here:

Tweet of the first ever winner
The reason behind my excitement, Carolina was an attendee on the course I delivered in London a week back. The course was 534 Developing SQL Queries for SQL Server and Carolina attended via Anyware...She was an online student.

It'll be interesting to see what course Carolina picks as her free course. Ironically i was speaking with Carolina earlier in the week about the 534 course and discussing future courses that she might attend. I'm not a mind a reader but I think she might opt for the 535 Developing High Performance SQL Databases... However if she reads this post, please do let me know what course you picked in the comments.

If you want to be the next winner, you know what to do...get tweeting!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Connecting to Twitter with R and RStudio

Social Media and Analytics is always an interesting combination. Twitter has an API that you can so you can connect to  using R and RStudio (and a whole bunch of other languages too) to analyse twitter data.

In this post we will simply look at how we go about connecting to twitter with R and Studio

Assuming you R and R Studio downloaded and installed

You need a Developer Account

Well actually, first up you'll need a twitter account. I'll assume that you have one. If you don't head over to twitter and signup. 

With your twitter account setup the first things first you need to do is create an application in twitter get  access to the Twitter API. This is a simple process. To do this you need to visit signing with your twitter account if you haven't done so already . When you have signed in, click on the create APP button.  

You will see a form called Create an Application. You will need to provide some application details:
  • Name - give your app a name
  • Description - describe the application
  • URL - this can be anything. I used my blog URL
  • Call back URL - I didn't provide this
The first three in the list are mandatory the callback url in optional.

Create a twitter application

Install TwitteR

This is great package for working with Twitter and the Twitter API. You need to install from the CRAN repository. Allow all  the dependant packages to be installed too.

Install twitteR Application
With twitteR installed the next you need to do is connect using R. To do this you need generate some access key from the twitter application that we created above. Go to the application and click on the the Key and Access Token

Access token and secret

API key and secret

The next step is to open up a new session in R Studio. The following code loads the TwitteR and DevTools packages and authenticates using your application keys

#Load libraries

#Authenticate with twitter
api_key <- font="" your_api_key_here="">
api_secret <- font="" your_api_secret_here="">
access_token <- font="" your_access_token_here="">
access_token_secret <- font="" your_access_token_here="">

Then You can use the twitteR package to work with Twitter. The following updates your status. We will look at what else we can do with this package in a later post.

updateStatus("Another Morning of #R...#RStudio and twitteR")

Here's my tweet from RStudio

My tweet from Studio

R and twitteR can be a really useful combination in analysing your twitter feed. We'll look at a practical use for this in a later post.

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