The 2015/2016 Simple-Talk Awards

Once more it is time for our readers to vote on the top
nominations for the Simple Talk Awards. Here we list the top nominations and the
dazzling award badges. Every vote makes our awards more valuable for the

It is that time of year once more to vote for the Simple-Talk awards. These have been awarded annually for some years now and have grown from being initially an ‘Editor’s choice’, and have come a long way from their origins in a heated discussion in a smoke-filled room in the Waggon and Horses pub. This year as a change, we invited the Friends of Redgate to provide the nominations. We then selected their most popular nominations for your votes. Although we’ve tried to make every nomination specific to the past year, (e.g. books actually published in the past year) we’ve allowed some latitude. For voting, it is more important to make the award to the nomination that was most important for you in the past year.

It has irked us, here on Simple-Talk, that the IT industry are so shy in giving out awards. You hear of award-winning architects and artists, but what about the award-winning bloggers and database pundits?

Awards are worthless without a popular vote, and this is where we rely on you, the good readers of Simple-Talk to turn these awards into popular acclamation that the winner can rightly boast about.

To place your vote, have a look through the nominations and, when you’ve made up your mind click on the SurveyMonkey poll to cast your votes. We’ll be announcing the winners in the next Simple-Talk newsletter and on Twitter @Simple_Talk! You’ve got two weeks to deliberate as voting closes on Wednesday April 6th.

The Nominations:


The most interesting technical blog of the past year:

  • R-Bloggers of R news and tutorials contributed by 573 R bloggers
  • Page Free Space by Paul White deeply into the details of the way that the SQL Server optimizer works!
  • The Morning Brew by Chris Alcock daily list of the best .NET software development blogs recently published
  • SQL in the Wild, Gail Shaw discussion on SQL Server
  • CSS SQL Support Blogs from the CSS SQL Escalation Services team
  • The journey to SQL authority, Pinal Dave SQL tips and tricks
  • The Brent Ozar team blog – Server health checks
  • Chris Webb’s BI Blog – Microsoft Analysis Services, MDX, DAX, Power Pivot, Power Query and Power BI


The technical guru/expert who you’d most like to share a beer with:

  • Tim Mitchell
  • Paul Randall
  • Mark Russinovich
  • Itzik Ben-Gan
  • Kimberly Tripp
  • Remus Rusanu
  • Grant Fritchey
  • Brent Ozar
  • Alice Goldfuss
  • Pinal Dave
  • David DeWitt
  • Erin Stellato


Best database book published in the past year:

  • 45 Database performance tips for developers, Redgate.
  • Pro PowerShell for Database Developers, Bryan Cafferky
  • Applied Microsoft Business Intelligence, Patrick Leblanc, et. al.
  • Applied Microsoft Power BI, Teo Lachev
  • T-SQL Querying, Itzik Ben-Gan
  • Big Data: Principles and best practices of scalable realtime data systems, Nathan Marz
  • R in Action: Data Analysis and Graphics with R, Robert Kabacoff


The most useful technical article published:


The most informative and intelligible IT book of the year:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Query Tuning & Optimization, Benjamin Nevarez
  • T-SQL Querying (Developer Reference), Itzik Ben-Gan, Dejan Saraka, Adam Machanic and Kevin Farlee
  • Regular Expressions Succinctly, Joe Booth.
  • Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Ashlee Vance
  • Exercises in Programming Style, Cristina Lopes


The hippest NoSQL database:

  • Cassandra
  • Neo4j.
  • Redis.
  • MongoDB
  • Hadoop
  • CouchDB


The most useful open-source project:


The most esoteric presentation at a tech conference in 2015:

  • Adam Machanic – Query Tuning Mastery: Clash of the Row Goals, SQLBits
  • Mark Whitehorn – Analytics Master Class-exploiting exotic patterns in data, SQLBits
  • Cortana Analytics Deep Dive: Preconfigured Solutions- ‘dedicated to pre-built solutions and APIs for natural interactions to … engage your customers through natural interactions.’


The most desirable technical gadget of the year:

  • Lenova Yoga laptop
  • Raspberry Pi 2.
  • DJI Phantom UAV Drone.
  • IPad Pro
  • Synology DS415+
  • Microsoft Band 2
  • Microsoft Surface Pro
  • Bowers & Wilkins P5 Bluetooth headphones

Reached a decision? Cast your votes here! Remember, voting closes on April 6th.