SQL Saturday

SQL Saturday Denver

September is my favorite month out of the year. It is usually a seasonal transition month, going from hot summer days to cooler fall days depending on where you live. I also have several family members who were born in this month.

The weather

The weather is one reason why I am excited to be attending SQL Saturday in Denver on September 28th.  I lived in and around the Denver area in the 80’s and even met my wife there. I really liked living there with the mountains, fresh air and beautiful weather. The trip will bring back fond memories of friends and family. There is a restaurant called the Blue Bonnet Café on South Broadway I am planning on fitting into the schedule. They have an out of this world Chimi Changa.

Pre-Cons

SQL Saturday Denver is offering 3 all day pre-cons on September 27th from 9-5.

Real World SSIS: A Survival Guide/Tim Mitchell

SQL Server Internals from the Practical Angle/Dmitri Korotkevitch

Predictive Analytics in the Enterprise/Carlos Bossy

Remember these are not part of the SQL Saturday registration and a separate fee. The fee includes all day training, breakfast, lunch and snacks. This is a great opportunity for an all-day training event. Go here to check them out and register fast there are limited seats and they are filling up.

Presenting

My session Daily Checklist and Server Monitoring is one in a series I have called the DBA Survival Guide. I am looking forward to sharing and learning. It has been a while since I attended my last SQL Saturday. Another area I am looking forward to is meeting with new and hanging with old friends from the SQL Community. It should be a fun session and event over all.

Speaker Line up

There are 6 tracks BI, DBA, Dev/DBA, More DBA, Power BI, and Professional Development. With 8 confirmed MVPs and countless others who should be, presenting a wide variety of sessions sure to meet anyone’s list of new things to learn or brush up on. Take a look at the schedule here. If you haven’t registered yet and you are even thinking of attending you need to register. Today!

Conclusion

I have very good memories of living in Denver. I do pass through almost every year with my family during spring break as we head into the mountains but this trip will be much different. This trip will be about learning, sharing, connecting with other cool people in the SQL Community. I am sure when the weekend is over I will be adding the memories to the good side of the ledger. If you are attending SQL Saturday Denver stop and introduce yourself.

Cheers!

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SQL Saturday 125 in OOOOk-lahoma, where the SQLPeeps comes sweepin’ down the plain

I was picked to speak at SQL Saturday 125 in Oklahoma City and I will be presenting my session: Without A SQLTrace – Getting To Know Extended Events. By the time this event happens it will a record for me also.  It will be the  third SQL Saturday I have presented at in one year and still waiting to hear back on one other event.

One of the things I always say when writing a post about a SQL Saturday event is this. If you are within driving distance of Oklahoma City you need to attend this event. After all it is FREE training from some well-known speakers, MVPs and even an MCM. Check out the list of speakers here.

Another aspect I always mention is the networking part of any SQLCommunity event. Take a look here at who has already signed up to attend.  I am looking forward to meeting some new friends and hanging out with some ones usually in a relaxing environment with a beverage of choice. What could be better? Oh, yeah the free things usually given away. I remember over hearing someone at one of these events saying, “I never win anything”. Then went on to win two prizes in a row.

I have to say I am a little naive when it comes to Oklahoma. I really only know a few things. I know of a famous movie/musical and a song written about it, and UT always plays OU in the Red River Rivalry (usually in Dallas a neutral location) on or around my wife’s birthday. Other than that I don’t know too much

Those of you attending SQL Saturday 125 from other states and have never seen a real cowboy before I have provided an image to assist you. If you see anyone like this walking down the street dressed like this in Oklahoma City he may be a real cowboy. Now if you were in say Las Vegas or New York City, well maybe not.

Cheers!

Bright Lights and Big City

I am going to the show! I will be presenting at SQL Saturday #158 in New York City. The speaker list is fantastic. Not just because I am on it, well maybe a little. No really, there are some really cool people who will be sharing the SQLKnowledge on August 4th.

I am really excited about this event because I grew up in South Joyzey and will be home on vacation the week before relaxing on the beaches, sipping cool beverages and just hanging out with family and friends. Then I get to hang with some more old and meet some new SQLfamily and SQLfriends.

My Presentation

I am presenting on a new subject for me. I recently started using Extended Events (yes, I know they have been out for some time now). The session is geared towards those that have never used Extend Events and how to get started. Here is the information on my session. Without A SQLTrace – Getting To Know Extended Events

The Lineup

As I mentioned earlier the speaker list is incredible. The schedule can be found here. One of the best things about these events is the elbow rubbing (Networking) that will transpire. I will be able to meet some new and hang with some old friends and mates from across the country and across the pond. You can see who will be attending here. If you’re not on that list and you are within the tri-state area you need to be.

WrapUp

The excitement and anticipation is building with the event just over a month away. I will be heading east in about two weeks. We are taking a road trip this summer stopping in a few areas to visit with family and friends and eventually making it to Jersey. If you are attending this event and we haven’t met yet, stop me and introduce yourself.

Cheers!

T-SQL Tuesday 30 – DBA Ethics

This month’s edition is being hosted by Chris Shaw ( twitter | blog ). This month’s theme is about Ethics. Part of Chris’s posted a few thoughts on the subject and some additional sub-topics. Based on one of those I am throwing my hat into this challenge.

Does a Code of Ethics mean anything to anyone? How do we as a community enforce a Code of Ethics?

“A person who is fundamentally honest doesn’t need a code of ethics. The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount are all the ethical code anybody needs.” — Harry S. Truman

I agree with Mr. Truman and yes a Code of Ethics does mean something to me. I like to think that an honest person with good values and common sense to tell the difference between right and wrong. I follow the rules of better judgement and usually error on the side of caution.

I am sure there are a lot of others in the SQL Community who would agree with Mr Truman. I don’t think you’ll have a trouble finding the people who do. Where you will be trouble will be on enforcing the Code. If we did have a Code, would we need to have a governing body? Here is an idea. We could model it after the Code of the Brethren set down Morgan and Bartholomew. Then that only begs the question, “Would they be actual rules or more of a guidelines?*

Obviously I am only joking.

What I am not joking about is whether we have a code of Ethics or not people will be people and you either have ethics or you don’t. It is just that simple. Just like the saying goes, “Locks only keep honest people honest” and a Code of Ethics will only apply to those that already have ethics. Or believe having a code is important for the overall good of the order SQL Community.

Let me share with you some quotes that I find inspirational and fit with how I feel about Honesty and Integrity and  Ethics.

“Character is what you do when no one is watching” — JC Watts

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” — Mark Twain

“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.” — Edward R. Murrow

So to sum things up I guess I am on the fence about having a Code of Ethics. If we had one I would commit to following it as I do today without having one. If it would help the community over all then I would be for it. Just remembering that oversight no matter how small can be cumbersome to the natural order of things.

I want to thank Chris for hosting this month and allowing me to share my thoughts on this subject. I look forward to reading other posts in the coming days.

Cheers!

Quotes were taking from the following site:

*Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

http://www.leadershipnow.com/

SQL Saturday 107 – Houston

Living in the Austin area we are a little more than three hours from Houston. So driving to SQL Saturday 107 was a no brainer. With my normal work schedule of Sunday through Thursday I had made plans to leave mid-morning and have a nice leisurely drive down allowing for plenty of time to find the hotel, venue and make it to the speaker dinner.

The Drive

The drive was nice and uneventful. There was a weather front moving through the area and as I arrived at the hotel it started raining pretty hard. I had some time to kill before heading over to the speaker dinner so I relaxed for a while and watched some mindless TV. By the time I was ready to head over to the speaker dinner the heavy rain had moved on through but left heavy traffic in its wake. When I picked the hotel I chose one near the venue and the restaurant for the speaker dinner so the drive was a short one.

Speaker Dinner

The speaker dinner did not started off good. At least not for me, I didn’t even have a full drink in me and I spilled some liquid refreshment all over the table and on someone’s chair. (Sorry Eric). After getting that cleaned up things went much better. Maybe I was just nervous to be in the company of so many really cool speakers within the SQL Community. Nah, that couldn’t be it. J

So was the evening went along I met some new friends and chatting with some others I met this past year at the PASS summit. I also caught up with old friends from HASSUG, NTSSUG not to mention some of the members of CACTUSS. Over all Texas had a fine showing at this hoedown, shindig, event.

The Main Event

I arrived early the next morning to lend a hand to the awesome crew from HASSUG if they needed it. As it turned out they had plenty of help and things well in hand. My presentation was scheduled for the afternoon so I decided to use the Guidebook to look for sessions to attend. There were some great speakers and a wide variety of sessions to attend and choosing what to attend was not a simple task. I attended Argenis Fernandez’s ( twitter | blog ) session Rolling Upgrades Leveraging Database Mirroring a great session with some practical information and handy scripts. I will be downloading and testing those out soon. I also attended Christina Leo’s ( twitter | blog ) session on SQL Server Internals: It’s What’s For Dinner. I loved the way she used food analogies but I do have a complaint too. Christina’s reference to food just before lunch was a little distracting. Maybe that was planned? Hmm I wonder.

Lunch

What can you say bad about a traditional Texas BBQ? The food was great and plenty of it. I even had a brief conversation with the rep from the catering company. The price was very reasonable for what was provided and it tasted great too. The way they make the coleslaw is very tasty and a favorite of mine.

Post Lunch Coma

After lunch I attended Tim Radney’s ( twitter | blog ) session You Inherited A Database Now What. Tim’s presentation had me jotting down notes on things to check when I got back to work this week. Everyone knows after eating lunch you get sleepy. Tim presentation kept me awake and alert. Good job Tim.

My session, Standardize Your Environment With Best Practices. Granted is not as glamorous as some of the other sessions with demos. I think it is a very important part of any environment and can be very beneficial in the long run or I would not have a session on it. That being said, over all it went well. Attendees were attentive and engaged and only two people nodded off. Luckily I wasn’t one of them especially after the big lunch. I felt good when I was finished. I want to thank everyone that attended I hope you got something out the session. After all, that’s the goal when standing up in front of the room. The slide deck is available here if you are interested in downloading.

Networking Social

The networking event in the evening was another great time. Again I talked and mingled and had a great time over all. I think I was one of the last ones to leave because several of us were having such a good time just hanging out. I wish more people attending the event during the day would to the after event networking session. I think that we as speakers and event promoters need to make that one of the points we try and emphasize better. That is another way we can grow as a community.

After Thoughts

The event was a hugh success. I was not able to attend last year but I had a great time. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few minor things that can be improved, as Johathan Gardner mentioned, signage and the WiFi access were two that come to mind. But the event worked even without those things being perfect. I only hope we can learn some things from this and hosting our own last year and improve on our next one. Details coming soon!

After every SQL Server Community event I attend I always come away feeling good. After this event the feeling was even better. So much so during the Networking event I was already making plans for attending and hopefully speaking at other events. I have already submitted sessions to SQL Saturday 125 Oklahoma As I was finishing this post SQL Saturday 158 New York City was announced. It just so happens I will be in South Jersey visiting family and I will be submitting sessions right after finishing this post. We at CACTUSS will be hosting an event in September in Austin, details should be coming out soon. I am also trying to decide on Minnesota or Nashville. I can attend both so I need to make a tough decision.

In a few short weeks I will also be attending SQLRally in Dallas, I am not speaking but I did volunteer to help and really looking forward to the event.  I am making plans to attend PASS Summit 2012 in November.

So the next 6-7 months are going to be full of SQL goodness. As if working in it all day long isn’t enough. These community events are the icing on the cake. So look for me at an event near you. I look just like my avatar.

Cheers!

Road Trip – Heading to SQL Saturday 107 – Houston

When

In just a few short weeks on the weekend of April 20-21 I will be heading down the road to see my good friends in the Houston Area SQL Server Users Group or HASSUG. They are holding this event some of you may have heard about SQL Saturday 107. Since Houston is just down the road a piece I will be hitting the road on Friday and driving down. Unfortunately I won’t be in town in time to check put Kalen Delaney’s preconference SQL Server Query Plans: Tuning and Management, I am sure it will be a blast. Hopefully, if you were planning on attending you already registered because it is sold out. The good news though, there is training all day Saturday.

Where

YES Prep Public Schools – North Central Campus, 13703 Aldine-Westfield, Houston, Texas. Like all SQL Saturdays admittance is free. Lunch is optional and a nominal fee of $10 but it is Texas BBQ. I should also mention the suggested hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn Houston/Bush Intercontinental Airport, 15400 John F. Kennedy Blvd. Houston, TX 77032, 281-449-4148. Mention “Pass” for a special rate of $79/night. If anyone is interested I am looking to share a room.

What

Free training! As many of you know SQL Saturday events are full of training and well worth the effort to attend especially if you live within driving distance. So grab some friends or co-workers, get some snacks and hit the road. There is something for everyone. I mean it. It does not matter if you are just starting out working with SQL Server and it’s components or you are a seasoned veteran there are tracks available. 4 in all including AD, BI, DBA and Professional Development. Things kick off at 7:30 AM with registration and run all day until 5:00 PM. Registration link

Who

There are some real heavy hitters in this line up folks. There are household names within the SQL Community as well as some up and coming names on the speaking circuit. So I don’t miss any or wrongly categorize someone I am taking the safe route by providing a link to the sessions. I don’t know about you, but I am going to have a hard time picking the sessions to attend, there are so many good ones. Session lineup

Conclusion

If you are within driving distance I highly recommend attending the event even if it is only for one or two sessions (mine is at 2:45) you can’t go wrong. You can learn some valuable information from professionals within the SQL Community. There
is the networking opportunity that can be priceless as well. So do yourself and maybe your career some good and come on out to SQL Saturday 107 – Houston. See you there!

Cheers!

*image borrowed from
google/http://carwoo.com/blog/advice-on-the-best-way-to-buy-a-new-car-part-1-the-test-drive/

Volunteers Are The Life Blood

Without volunteers events like SQL Saturday 97 in Austin (October 1st in case you forgot) would not be possible. Heck the PASS Summit in all its glory and pageantry would not be possible without the help of the volunteers. I am part of the team from CACTUSS planning and organizing this event and we need your help to make this event happen.

What Volunteers Do

In short, they do everything. Do you remember looking at the event page for SQL Saturday 97? No, well, here is a link, http://www.sqlsaturday.com/97/eventhome.aspx go take a look. What is the 6th word in the 2nd paragraph? One of the main reasons we can provide events as this at this price is because of volunteers on the front line and down in the trenches.

Here are a few things we will need help with. Registration desk when attendees first arrive. Room monitors to hand out speaker evaluations and collect them at the end and to help keep the speaker on track. Greeters and General Information Dispensers, Vendor Area setup/takedown, Breakfast Server setup/takedown, Lunch Server setup/takedown , Room Proctors /Monitors.

What Do You Get As A Volunteer?

Well first off you get a really cool shirt! What else do you need? No seriously, when I volunteered I was a room monitor and I used that opportunity to meet and talk with the speakers a little more closely than might be able to right after a sessions. It also helped me break the ice with other speakers and attendees later at the networking party (a must).

There is also the opportunity to get fame and fortune. Well O.K. maybe not, but at least you can say you hung out with a @SQLRockstar, Thomas LaRock ( twitter | blog ) or Jen and Sean McCown the @MidnightDBA dynamic duo ( twitter | blog ) or our very own @SQLServerIO, Wes Brown ( twitter | blog ) or any number of other up and coming local speakers.

What Do We Get From You?

Believe it or not you are giving back by volunteering. When you volunteer you are helping to keep the SQL Community alive, moving forward and continually growing. You are helping to provide a free training event to people that may be just starting out working with SQL Server or any of its related components. You are also helping to save some of the rest of us some sleepless nights and reducing our stress levels.

Final Thoughts

Volunteers are the backbone of these events without them we would not be able to host SQL Saturday 97 or any SQL Saturday events. Volunteering can be rewarding in many different ways. It’s up to you how you approach the opportunity and what you make of it. I have volunteered for several SQL Saturday events now with SQL Saturday 97 being the first I am helping to organize. I can tell you each one is different and each one has been very rewarding from the new things I learned to the people I met.

I will go out on a limb and say if you volunteer to help, even a little, you will also get this warm, fuzzy feeling that only comes from volunteering and helping make an event such like SQL Saturday 97 a success.

If you want to volunteer after reading this email me at aj.mendo@sqlposse.com or signup to attend here and check the box to volunteer.

See you there.

Cheers!