New Website Design

I’ve been working on this for a little while now, but I finally decided to flip over the Catallaxy Services website to its new design today.

The old design was something I came up with about seven years ago and it definitely showed its age. In particular, it had a crummy mobile experience, with different font sizes, needing to pinch-scroll to see anything, and other dodgy bits.

I like the new website a lot better. Granted, if I didn’t like it as much, I wouldn’t have made the switch, but there are a few things I want to point out.

Resources

I do a lot of stuff, and it’s nice to be able to sort out most of those things in one location. That’s the Resources section.

Some of the things I do.

I also broke out resources by section, so if you want an overview of my community resources, you can click the button to show just those resources. Or if you want to give me money in exchange for goods and/or services, I have a “Paid Resources” section too.

Mobile-First Experience

I wanted to make sure not only that the site would work on a phone, but that it looked good on a phone. When I present, this will often be the first way people check out my site, so I want it to be a good experience.

Images

I’m still working on this, but one of the things about the old site which made it fast but boring is that it was entirely textual. There were no images. Now, there are images on pretty much every page. I want to see what I can do to improve things a bit more, but it’s a start.

Presentations Page

Like the Resources section, you can see a list of presentations and also filter by topic.

These machines, they never learn.

For each presentation, I have the same contents that I had before: abstract, slides, demo code, additional media, and links/resources. I’ve shuffled things around a bit so that it looks reasonably good on a wide-screen monitor but also works on a phone or tablet. Here’s a presentation where everything’s nice and filled out. For other talks, where not everything is filled out, I at least have sensible defaults.

Services

Something I didn’t do a great job of calling out before was availability for consulting and paid services. With the new site, I emphasize this in a few ways, whether that’s consulting, paid training (though actual paid training is forthcoming), or books + third-party offerings like PolyBase Revealed.

What’s Next

I have a few more things around the site, namely around custom training, which I intend to work on during the winter. I also have a couple of smaller ideas which I plan to implement over the next several days, but won’t call them out specifically. For now, though, I think this is a pretty good start.

Upcoming Events: NDC Sydney

Key Details

What: NDC Sydney
Where: 488 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
When: Wednesday, October 16th through Friday, October 18th.
Tickets are still available on the NDC website.

What I’m Presenting

Thursday, 10:20 AM — 11:20 AM — Getting Started with Apache Spark

I intend to revise this talk a little bit and focus a little more on Databricks. Having spent a lot of time in Azure Databricks this summer, I think I’m going to include a bit more in Databricks and less in self-run Spark than before.

Upcoming Events: Data Relay

Key Details

What: Data Relay
Where: Five cities in England!
When: Monday, October 7th through Friday, October 11th.
Admission is free. Register on the Data Relay website.

What I’m Presenting

All five events — Eyes on the Prize

I might have one extra talk for one of the days, but it’s not officially on the schedule so mum’s the word.

This is my first Data Relay, and I expect to be utterly exhausted after presenting in Newcastle, Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham, and Bristol.

Upcoming Events: SQL Saturday NYC

Key Details

What: SQL Saturday New York City
Where: 11 Times Square, New York, New York, 10036
When: Saturday, October 5th.
Admission is free. Register on the SQL Saturday website.

What I’m Presenting

10:15 AM — 11:15 AM — Approaching Zero
02:15 PM — 03:15 PM — Data Virtualization with PolyBase

This is the only SQL Saturday that I plan to do in October or November. I’d say “amazingly” except that there’s a good reason for this: conference season has begun in earnest.