Kilt Day

November 3, 2010 at 8:00 am (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , , , )

A week from now will be Kilt Day at the PASS Summit. It’s probably way too late to order a kilt at this point. But, don’t despair. You can still take part. Just a short walk from the Summit is the headquarters of Utilikilt. These are not classic tartan wraps with sporans and socks. They’re the modern equivalent, come in fun fabrics & colors and are actually pretty practical. So if you still want to participate in Kilt Day, and we’d love to have you, plan a trip to Utilikilt.

And no, they’re not sponsoring me or anything (more’s the pity). I just like them.

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Kilt Day at the PASS Summit

October 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm (PASS) (, , , , )

Last year, with the infinite power at my disposal (read, zero), I declared Wednesday, Kilt Wednesday at the PASS Summit. It took off… a little ways. Three people wore kilts. Now, you’d think that three out of 3000 would almost not get noticed, but the three people wearing them… well, each for different reasons, we stand out in a crowd. Heck, I was even told one of us looked good in the kilt (wasn’t me, of course). Anyway, where was I, oh yeah, we were noticed (and it might be because I jumped up on the bloggers table during one of the the key notes…) and now, this year, LOTS of people are planning on wearing kilts on Wednesday, November 10th, 2010.

If you don’t have a kilt, don’t panic. You can always run down the street to Utilikilt, who has their headquarters right there in Seattle. There are lots of other sources. You don’t want to miss out, this year. It’s going to be fun. Follow the hashtag #sqlkilt on Twitter to keep up to date on what’s happening.

Also, Wednesday is the Women In Technology lunch. So, you can get extremely creative and supportive WIT you should track down Jenn McCown (blog|twitter) and get one of her cool t-shirts.

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PASS 2010 Submissions

June 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm (PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication) (, , , , , )

Since all the cool kids seem to be posting the sessions that they submitted to the PASS Summit, nerd that I am, I’ll follow along and do the same. I submitted four sessions, two by invitation for a Spotlight session and two for regular sessions. I tried to branch out a bit from where I’ve been in the past to see if I can start talking about different topics. With that in mind, the first session was: Spatial Data: The Business Case

We’ve all seen the cool presentations showing all the pizza joints near the conference center or all the bicycle shops on a biking route, but what’s the case for spatial data and business? This session sets out to show how spatial data can be of interest to almost any business that has more than one location to worry about. Are weather events or natural disasters affecting your locations? Without the ability to precisely map them, how can you know? Is your new building on a flood plain? If you’re planning a visit to a customer, are there other customers near by that you could also visit? The session focuses on a business case for using spatial data, but it also shows some of the technical means that spatial data can use to solve those cases using the spatial data type, Microsoft Bing Maps and Reporting Services.

The next “different” session was: Database Deployment in the Real World

Deploying databases can be a difficult challenge. This session will provide a general approach to database development and database deployment that seeks to alleviate the issues around getting databases deployed. There will be general methods on display, such as the use of source control as a part of database development, and scripting methods for production deployments. There will also be specific methods using a variety of tools to meet this deployment methodology. Tools from Microsoft, such as Visual Studio and the DTA, and various 3rd party vendors will be demonstrated. The goal of the session will be to provide mechanisms for attendees to apply to their own databases in order to arrive at a safer and more reliable deployment process.

After that I went back to my usual topics: Identifying and Fixing Performance Problems using Execution Plans

This session will demonstrate how SQL Server execution plans can be used to identify problems with the database design, or the TSQL code, and address those problems. The session takes the user through various common issues such as poor or missing indexes, badly written code and generally bad query performance, demonstrating how to identify the issues involved using execution plans. The session will then demonstrate different methods for addressing the issues and show how the fixed query’s execution plans differ. Multiple methods for accessing execution plans including graphical, DMV’s, and trace events are demonstrated. All this is meant to lay a foundation for a general troubleshooting approach to empower the attendee to make their own queries run faster and more consistently.

And even recycled a session from last year, again, as an experiment: DMV’s as a Shortcut to Procedure Tuning

Dynamic Management Views (DMV) expose a wealth of information to the database administrator. However, they also expose information that is vital to the database developer. More often than not people gather performance metrics through server side traces. This session will show how to gather information from the DMVs for currently executing, and recently executed queries. The session will demonstrate combining this information with other DMVs to get more intersting information such as the query plan and query text. I’ll show where you can get aggregate information for the queries in cache to determine which queries are being frequently accessed or using the most resources. I’ll show how to determine which indexes are being used in your system and which are not. All of this will be focused, not on the DBA, but on the query writer, the developer or database developer that needs information to tune and troubleshoot data access. 

There are absolutely glorious sessions that have been submitted this year (and if you haven’t looked them over, you should). The competition is going to be fierce, which will make for an excellent Summit.

Oh, and don’t forget that Wednesday is Kilt Day at the Pass Summit.

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PASS Summit, Kilt Wednesday

April 27, 2010 at 11:43 am (PASS) (, , , )

Last year at the PASS Summit we held a silly little event called Kilt Wednesday. Only three people took part, but it was very popular nonetheless. Here’s a sample of what it looked like. This year is looking to be a lot bigger. Keep an eye on Twitter for updates under the hash tag: #sqlkilt.

If you’re going to the 2010 Summit, bring your kilt for Wednesday. Ladies, you’re invited too.

This is an unofficial event and has nothing to do with the PASS organization. We’re just having a little fun. Remember, Seattle is home to Utilikilts, so you can pick up a kilt while you’re there.

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