Scary DBA Halloween Special

October 29, 2010 at 1:29 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Not so much my special as SQL Saturday #59’s Special. These guys in NYC are pulling out all the stops. This blog post proves it. If you can make it to only one SQL Saturday in the next 5 months (I’m hosting one in 6), you should go to this.

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SQL Saturday New England: The New Date

October 12, 2010 at 3:00 pm (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, )

The real world can get in the way of important things like SQL Saturday. In the case of SQL Saturday New England, the original date was the same time as the Boston Marathon. Unfortunately, that means that Boston’s somewhat limited hotel space will be tweaked. Rather than try to compete with that, we moved the date. Please mark it as April 2nd, 2011.

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SQL Saturday New England: The Date

October 5, 2010 at 10:17 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Mark your calendars. Make your travel arrangements. Plan on being in the Boston area on April 2nd, 2011. Three of the local SQL Server users groups will be hosting a SQL Saturday event on that date. I’ll be blogging (a lot) with more details as they become available.

UPDATE: Fixed the date.

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SQL Saturday 46 (#sqlsat46) Recap

September 20, 2010 at 9:48 am (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , )

I was privileged to be able to attend and present at SQL Saturday 46 in Raleigh, NC, this last weekend. It was a great collection of people presenting some amazing stuff. I want to say, right off, I think this is the best SQL Saturday event I’ve been to. I say that despite the fact that I’ve helped put on a SQL Saturday. I also say that despite the fact that my sample size on SQL Saturday’s is fairly low. I’ve only been to three (including the one I put on).

You have to understand, the people who put on #sqlsat46, the Triangle SQL Server Users Group, did an absolutely outstanding job. They had clearly done the early work of getting sponsorships and organizing. This weekend, all that early work was on evidence. They had speaker shirts AND they had volunteer shirts. You could always tell who to talk to when you had questions. There was excellent signage, including signs on every door for all the sessions that were taken down as sessions finished, so you could tell which sessions were coming up and didn’t have to try to figure out what time it was or anything. The speaker dinner was at an EXCELLENT restaraunt called The Pit in downtown Raleigh. Sandra, the amazingly hard working volunteer responsible for the speakers did an simply wonderful job of making sure we had everything we needed to get our presentations off without a hitch. On top of that, she was really funny and fun to hang out with. There was a shuttle to get the speakers from our hotels to the speakers dinner & back. The food was excellent at breakfast & lunch and there was plenty of it. They even had an afternoon snack. They gave away a ton of excellent prizes. It was just a very well run event and a real pleasure to take part in it.

I can offer up but one criticism, and it’s pretty minor. The facilities were a little bit weak. First off, they were rather confusing to get around in and at one point Tom Larock (blog|twitter) and I got locked into a hallway that we couldn’t get out of. A little pounding on a door got someone’s attention and we were rescued (before I had to kill & eat Tom). The rooms that most of the sessions were in had an orientation such that entering or leaving the room required you to walk right in front of the speaker, so it was hard to show up late or leave early without being very disruptive. But, that’s it. Other than those two, minor, weaknesses, the facilities were nice, clean, well appointed, comfortable… you get the point.

As to people… Wow! Is the best thing I can say. I went to excellent sessions, one each by Andrew Kelly (blog|twitter) and Aaron Nelson (blog|twitter). I got to talk to and hang out with Andy Leonard (blog|twitter), Tom Larock, Allen White (blog|twitter), Tim Chapman (blog|twitter), Kevin Boles (twitter), Geoff Hiten (blog|twitter), Jessica Moss (blog|twitter), Eric Humphrey(blog|twitter)… yeah, look at that list. I’m not dropping names, I’m just in awe of who I got to talk to and I’m not listing everyone that was there. These guys at Triangle SQL pulled together an amazing group of people to present. The networking opportunities were just excellent. I got to meet a lot of new people too. Special shout out to Eli Weinstock-Herman (blog|twitter) who I met for the first time, ever, and had a great conversation with at the after party (along with Allen and a bunch of other guys).

I presented two things. A session on Red Gate’s excellent new piece of software, SQL Source Control. The room was full, the people were engaged and I had a great time. I hope everyone enjoyed the presentation. I also presented a preview of one of my presentations for the 2010 PASS Summit. Unfortunately I had spent most of my rehearsal time getting ready for 24 Hours of PASS, so I didn’t rehearse adequately for this session. I just didn’t do as good a job as I’m capable of. I’ll work on it some more and get it polished up for the Summit. But it was well received, so hopefully people got some good from it. That’s sure the goal.

To sum up, great people, great place, great opportunity. Thank you, very much to Jimmy, Brent, Sandra and all the rest of the magnificent people at Triangle SQL who put this show on. You guys should be damned proud of a job well done.

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Upcoming Presentations: #24HOP & #SQLSAT46

August 30, 2010 at 8:53 am (PASS) (, , , , )

Blogging has been a bit quiet of late. That’s because I’ve been spending a lot my spare time getting ready for presentations that I have to give. Two of them are in about two weeks.

First, and this one is going to be a big deal, is 24 Hours of Pass: Summit Preview. At the PASS Summit this year I have two spotlight sessions, both on tricks and tools for tuning queries, one on using execution plans and the other on using DMVs. Since the 24HOP presentation is supposed to be a lead-in to the PASS presentations, I decided that before you started tuning queries, you need to know which queries to tune. The presentation is titled: Identifying Costly Queries. I understand there are already nearly 2000 people registered. Let’s see if we can break LiveMeeting on September 15th. And please, try to break LiveMeeting for all the other sessions too. 24HOP this year is spanning two days, plus another four hours, so it’s really 28 Hours of PASS. There are going to be some fantastic sessions by great presenters.

Second, and I’m very excited about this one too, I’m travelling for the first time (not counting driving the car) to a SQL Saturday event. Red Gate, wonderful people that they are, have sponsored my trip to SQL Saturday #46 in Raleigh, NC, on the 18th of September. I’ll be doing an initial run through of my PASS Summit session on using execution plans to tune queries. If you can’t make the Summit this year, but you can make it to Raleigh, this is your chance to see this session. Check out the schedule for this SQL Saturday. It’s going to be a huge deal. I see a whole bunch of MVP’s and authors who are going to be giving you their best stuff. I’ll also be doing a lunch time session on some Red Gate tools (have to pay for the trip). The software they released in the spring is SQL Source Control. It’s a pretty amazing bit of programming that works within SQL Server Management Studio to get your database into source control (and if you’re not using source control with your databases, time to start).

Between getting these, and other, presentations together, working on books (tech edited one, working on chapters on another, getting ready to rewrite the Execution Plans book), actually spending time with my family, oh, and going to work (note, I didn’t say working), my blog posts have suffered a bit. I’ll get back on the stick very soon. Hopefully before Tom updates his blog listings.

If you attend any of the in-person events  where I’ll this fall (and I’m going to four, SQL Saturday #46, New England Code Camp #14, PASS Summit, SQL Saturday #59), please look me up. Say hello. These events are all about networking and building community. The people that go and present expect you to stop them in the hall and talk to them. That’s what this community stuff is all about. Meeting people and making connections.

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SQL Saturday #39, New York, New York

April 20, 2010 at 11:18 am (PASS) (, , )

A town so big they named it twice.

If you’re not excited about SQL Saturday in NYC this weekend… why not? Take a look at the schedule. There are some excellent speakers presenting there. This is going to be a great opportunity to learn a lot of stuff, network with your peers, and possibly pick up a bit of free swag. What’s not to like? See old friends, meet new friends, learn stuff and all for free. I’m presenting a session called MUQT (pronounced “MUCK” the T is silent because we shouldn’t be doing this).

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SQL Saturday #39 New York

March 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm (PASS) (, )

New York, New York, it’s a hell of a town. The Bronx is up and the Battery’s down. The people ride in a hole in the ground…

Anyway, my abstract for SQL Saturday #39 in New York was accepted a while ago, but I just got all my reservations set, so I’m going for sure. This should be a pretty exciting event based on the people and the schedule. Hope to see you there.

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SQL Saturday #34 Wrap-up

February 1, 2010 at 11:35 am (PASS) (, , )


It’s over. New England Data Camp v2, aka, SQL Saturday #34, was completed on Saturday. Going in we had maxed out our online registrations at 500, an accomplishment by itself. During registration on the day of the event, we  shut down registration and just started waving people through the door at 300. Our best guess at the total attendance was 340 (not the 375 I tweeted during the delirium of the day). There were a couple of minor glitches and one major one. The major glitch was not enough vegetarian food. We just ran out. Everyone else seemed to get a meal. We had just a few, read that 3 or 4, sandwhiches at the end of the day.

I want to personally thank Adam Machanic for all the hard work he did putting the thing together. It wouldn’t have happened at all without him and it was as good as it was because of him. Just as much thanks goes out to Jim O’Neil of Microsoft for all his assistance putting things together. We also had a lot of help from Chris Bowen, also of Microsoft. Thanks guys.

Our sponsors were excellent people. In no particular order, Confio, Expressor, Microsoft, PASS, Idera and Quest all stepped up and helped us out. I want to thank them personally, and if you attended the event and got anything useful out of it, you should thank them as well. Around the same time next year guys, please.

We also got some support from O’Reilly who sent us some swag. Same goes for Processor Magazine. We gave away everything they sent us and could have used more.

I also want to thank the speakers. We had industry heavy weights and people speaking for the first time and everything else in between. I didn’t see all the speakers or all the rooms, but I made a point of getting around and sitting through sessions when I could. I learned stuff. I saw great presentations and I saw full rooms. You guys rocked and rocked hard. Good job and thank you for all your time and effort.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who came. It was a great community event and everyone I spoke with seemed to have managed to pull something out of it, networking, learning, or teaching.

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SQL Saturday #34

January 27, 2010 at 11:59 am (PASS) (, , )

The event is this Saturday. Take a look at our sponsors, speakers and the program. It’s going to be a great opportunity to learn about SQL Server and things around SQL Server. If you’re in the New England area, please register and take advantage of this excellent event. 450 of your peers are already pledging to show up. This is going to be a good time for networking too.

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New England Data Camp v2/SQL Saturdy #34 Update

January 11, 2010 at 8:04 am (SNESSUG) (, , , )

The second annual New England Data Camp is shaping up to one excellent event. We’ve put together a great set of sponsors. Thanks to them we’re providing much better food than last year and the chance at a bit of swag, again, better than last year. But, most importantly, we have an excellent selection of speakers. The schedule has been posted so you can go and check it out and start laying out which ones you can hit. Some of the people speaking are known internationally (Adam Machanic, Aaron Bertrand), some are local luminaries, some are up and coming, and several are probably on the fast track to being MVP’s. In other words, this is the place to go to learn something about SQL Server in New England.

It’s not too late to register, and of course you can register at the door. It’s a free event and, as you can see, it’s going to be very educational and useful.

And don’t forget your local user groups. Southern New England SQL Server Users Group has Adam Machanic speaking this Wednesday, and on a different topic than he’s presenting at the Data Camp, so it’ll be worth visiting both.

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