Interview with Himanshu Sharma - SQL Server forums contributor and TechNet Guru Transact-SQL Gold medal winner

Today I am introducing Himanshu Sharma who is frequenting the same forums as I do. 

Hyderabad HO. 3 AM in the morning.

Ganga Back Waters (picture is taken by Himansu)

Selfie Time

Chandigarh Rising

Let's start the interview:

Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?

I am Himanshu Sharma and I am 25 years old. Currently I am residing in Pune, India. I work for a Microsoft Gold partner as a Business Intelligence Developer and has been outsourced to a client (finance industry) where my role is of Marketing Analyst. I have completed my bachelors in Computer Science + Mathematics in 2011 and have been working since. My specialization lies in Data Warehousing. In addition to this, I love SQL and OOP. I often find myself indulged in deep dive into SQL and C#. I have also worked on SAP BOBJ environment, have created dashboards and reports using Xcelcius, WebI, Crystal reports. I am a certified Rational Application Developer (RAD for Java) and Rational Functional Tester (RFT for Java) from IBM. 

As a Marketing Analyst I create ideas and identify opportunities for several business’ verticals in the company. These ideas can be based on existing customer base with the company or can also include to procure new data set of customers from various sources. Once the ideas are finalized, I write algorithms to identify the best customer base (Sample data to work upon) to communicate with. There are various parameters which help me identify the best base, such as Customer’s age, marital status, location, designation, social networking sites’, income, market capital, stock market, and many more. Communication to these customers is done via various channels such as SMS, EMAILS, SOCIAL NETWORKING, COMPANY’S CUSTOMER PORTAL, IVR, DIRECT CALL, etc. The best channel to be used for customers is also identified by the various algorithms and filters. A detailed recon is done to calculate the success of the implementation. If successful, this is implemented as a full-fledged project in the company.  

For implementing these requirements and ideas I use SSIS, SSAS, SQL, C# extensively and most often.


In my free time, I love to read. I am an avid reader, listen to music. I also have an edge towards photography and physics. I often read articles on various topics such as Meta Physics, Quantum condensate, String Theory, LHC, etc. (Basically I read everything which interests me). These days I am also learning to play guitar. (Let’s see how what comes up). I am a big movie buff too, love to watch TV Series, my all-time favorite would be famous sitcom FRIENDS.  Apart from it Game Of Thrones, Sherlock, PB, and the list continues.


 What are your big projects right now?

There are always multiple projects I am working upon. Currently two big projects under me are termed as “Prospect Marketing” and “Dynamic Communication Framework (DCF)”. In DCF, I am trying to maximize the success rate from minimum quantum of communication to customers. Let’s take an example of Email as a channel. In this case the email template will be dynamically generated for individual customer based on several parameters. Each customer will have an unique email body and graphics which is best suited for him to respond. No more boring similar templates for all. This way we are maximizing the probability of any customer to respond.


Currently I am also working on an article for TechNet Wiki and learning about implementation of “The Game Theory in the Selection process of a Solution to any Problem.”


What is TechNet Wiki for? Who is it for?

TechNet Wiki is for every developer who is working on Microsoft technologies. The thing I love the most about TechNet Wiki is its diversification among users. TNWiki does not limit itself for advanced users. Any user, be it a beginner, a rookie, or an expert can use it. Sometimes asking for solutions, and sometimes providing the solution.


What is it about TechNet Wiki that interests you?

Most interesting thing as I already mentioned is diversification. Apart from it, I also liked expertise of its users. Users like Kalman, Ed, Naomi, Joe, Dan and many more, sometimes imparts very useful knowledge in the most basic problems. The availability of answerers is good. Usually I get solutions to my problems very quickly.


On what Wiki articles do you spend most of your time?

For me the most of the time is spent upon the formatting of the article.  I am slow in that. Actually here I would like to suggest something. “Post an Article” page should also have formatting features. Such as table creator, font editor, etc.


What are your favorite Wiki articles you’ve contributed?

My favorite article among those which I have contributed. hmmmm….. I think “Geocoding using SSIS and C#” would be my favorite. (Well it grabbed me a gold J)


What are the top 5 Wiki articles or areas that need more attention and development?

Unfortunately I have not seen great articles on MS core BI tools like SSIS, SSAS, SSRS, PPS and SharePoint. It would be good if there are various articles on these topics too. Forum members can post simple articles in starting which gives basic idea about these ETL and Presentation tools, which later include detailed articles on topics such as SCDs, ADO.NET, Dynamic MDX, Dynamic Lists in SharePoint etc.


What could we do differently on TechNet Wiki?

Instead of sending emails on alerts, there should be an inside alert mechanism. The moment I log in, I should be able to see all my alerts on one page under “Alerts” section.

Right now the searching of an article is also very difficult. There should be an advanced search feature which also searches the replies inside a forum thread. Apart from it, whenever any moderator is moving any thread, an alert should come to the owner of the thread.


If any thread is not answered in a span of time (per se 7 days) then Senior members should take initiative to close that thread. This way TNWiki and forum would gain confidence in the eyes of users.


Who has impressed you in the Wiki community, and why?

There are several people who have impressed me in the forum. Latheesh is one of them. He understands the problem very carefully and then replies in a proper manner. Ed Price, XAMLGuy are  also impressive. They keep on posting encouraging threads on forum. Every month XAMLGuy posts this monthly competition page. This seems very monotonous but I know and understand how important this is for the forum.


When I incepted on the forum and TNWiki, I was deeply impressed by Joe and Naomi. Their articles and replies were bang on. “Infamous Joe’s” way of criticism and teaching have been very important for me. I don’t know about others but his writings have helped me a lot in a manner.  


How did you start contributing into MSDN SQL forums?

I remember I had a problem regarding SSRS. I was searching for the solution and suddenly my eyes were laid upon MSDN Forums. All of a sudden my search was deviated into learning of different topics available on the forum. I thought that this is a great platform to learn. I started posting my problems to this forum. Meanwhile I was also helping other fellow users. That was the time when it struck that I should also write articles for MSDN and TN. I wrote my first article titled “Traversing a Node in a Tree”, and since then whenever I am getting time to write, my first priority is MSDN SQL Forum.

Please congratulate Himanshu and feel free to ask more questions.