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Speaking at SQLSaturday #21 – Orlando

Posted by sqlwiseguy on October 1, 2009

Well, I guess this isn’t a surprise since I put together the schedule, but I’m still excited to be speaking at SQLSaturday #21 – Orlando on October 17th.  I’ll be presenting Dive into the Default Trace.  Once again I am honored to be on the schedule with the other speakers including, Buck Woody, Kevin Kline, Andy Leonard, Joe Webb, Joe Celko, Andy Warren, Jonathan Kehayias, Kendal Van Dyke, and more… As Jorge Segarra has said on Twitter, it is like a one day PASS SUMMIT East!  All the people I mentioned not only will be speaking here in Orlando, but also have sessions at the PASS SUMMIT as well. 

We have over 50 sessions in 9 tracks going throughout the day and there is still time to register.  Check out the schedule and I’m sure you’ll find sessions that will help you become a better SQL Server DBA or developer.  And remember, you can’t beat FREE training that includes lunch (that’s $10), networking, donuts, coffee, water, and soda.

Hope to see YOU there!

Posted in Speaking, SQL Server, SQLSaturday | Leave a Comment »

Thanks Space Coast SQL User Group

Posted by sqlwiseguy on September 11, 2009

I want to thank the Space Coast User Group for having me over to speak on the Default Trace last night.  I had a great time meeting everyone and hopefully I presented some information that they all can take back to the office and use.

Space Coast is a relatively new user group but they have good core and are an enthusiastic group.  They asked good questions and 7 out of 9 (I think there were 9 I didn’t take attendance) attendees (not counting me) went to the after meeting get together at Holiday Inn.

The meeting started with some announcements and then I got to jump in and start my presentation.  I started by doing some marketing for SQLSaturday #21 – Orlando and the great seminar series scheduled the week before.  I then asked, “Before tonight, how many people knew that there is a trace running in SQL Server 2005/2008?”  Once again the majority were not even aware it existed.  We discussed what the Default Trace is, what it traces, where it is used, how to query it, and how to archive the data.  I went a little longer than an hour so I’ll have to trim it a little for SQLSaturday.  I’d probably grade myself a B-/B as I stumbled around as I changed applications to show code and do demos and had a couple of brain cramps.  I need to practice this one a few more times.  My slide deck and demo scripts are available here on SkyDrive and I have sent them to Bonnie Allard to post on the Space Coast SQL User Group web site so watch there as well.

We had some great discussions after the event about Powershell, hurricanes, software vendors, and the differences in diets around the world.

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Speaking at Space Coast User Group

Posted by sqlwiseguy on September 9, 2009

I have the privilege of presenting, Dive into the Default Trace, at the Space Coast User Group, tomorrow evening (Sept. 10). 

We’ll be discussing what the default trace is, what it collects, where’ it is used, how to find it, and how to query it.  I have what I think are some interesting demos and hopefully information that will help developers and DBA’s better manage and audit their SQL Servers.

I’m really looking forward to meeting Bonnie Allard and the rest of the group.

Posted in PASS, Speaking, SQL Server, User Group | Leave a Comment »

Technical Presenters – Make your point

Posted by sqlwiseguy on August 4, 2009

I caught this blog post, Who says technical presentations can’t be engaging?, today thanks to Dana Coffey (@crazeegeekchick on Twitter).  My takeaway from the post is that good speakers tell a story. 

Now, this doesn’t mean you just tell stories, what it means is that you are organized and know where you want to go and how you are going to get there.  Think about some good stories you’ve heard or read, the speaker/writer didn’t just wander around, did they?  No, they were coherent and went from point A to point B.  Everyone group of friends has someone who can’t tell a story to save their life (if you don’t know who that person is then you probably ARE that person), and the common theme is that they can’t tell a story without wandering all over the place.  Well, the same principle applies to technical presenting, “A good story has a point”.

The best feedback I ever received about my speaking was in Bible school, when I had to teach a Bible lesson to the class.  At least 3 people in the class said, “I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to learn”.  If that’s the reaction, then you haven’t told a good story.

The point I’m trying to make is that you need to know what you want your listeners to learn, and make sure your presentation takes them there.  If your presentation is “How to create SQL Server Login” stick to the point and don’t do into database roles because they have nothing to do with creating a SQL Server Login.

I hope I made my point.

Posted in Professional Development, Speaking | Leave a Comment »

SQLSaturday 21 – Orlando Announced!

Posted by sqlwiseguy on July 28, 2009

Andy Warren and crew at OPASS have announced that SQLSaturday 21 – Orlando will be held at Seminole Community College, 100 Weldon Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32773, on October 17th.  The call for speakers just opened this afternoon and we have our first session submitted, and it wasn’t by me or @SQLChicken!

This is the third SQLSaturday in Orlando and second at this location, so hopefully we have the kinks worked out.  There is one change this year that there will be a $10 charge to cover lunch, likely from Jason’s Deli.  You’ll still get water, soda, donuts, coffee, and fruit throughout the day for free, plus the usual swag.  That’s not to mention the excellent FREE training.  I attended the first SQLSaturday Orlando and was a speaker/volunteer at last year’s event.  I’ve yet to meet anyone who has not thought it was a terrific event.  I’ve also spoke at the SQLSaturday 14 – Pensacola and everyone there enjoyed that event as well.

If you work with SQL Server there’s no better way to get a free day of training, so register now.  If you work with SQL Server and are passionate about it, then there is no better place to share that passion by presenting.  I don’t think that there is anything more rewarding than sharing your experience and expertise with others.  I’ll be submitting at least one session.

If you have any questions about SQL Server then suggest a session.  I know I check the suggested sessions for ideas and if I have the necessary knowledge I’ll submit a session based on a suggestion.

I’ll be there, and hopefully I’ll see you there as well.

Posted in Code Camp, Community, OPASS, Professional Development, Speaking, SQL Server, SQLSaturday, Training, User Group, Volunteering | Leave a Comment »

Speaker/Session Evaluation Results from SQLSaturday 14 – Pensacola

Posted by sqlwiseguy on June 9, 2009

I received the results of the speaker/session evaluations from my session, Getting Started with SQL Server Profiler, so here they are:

Expectations:  0 Did not Meet, 7 met, 10 Exceeded. 

Overall quality:  Zero 1’s, Zero 2’s, 1 three, 5 4’s, 11 5’s.


Overall pretty good results and slightly better than the results I got in Orlando, which it good because it means I have gotten better.  I would like to have seen some comments, but and introductory level session on Profiler isn’t exactly the sexiest topic.  I did have one attendee tell me later that it was a “great session”, so that made me feel pretty good.  Also, it’s good to know that the session didn’t disappoint anyone.

Posted in Speaking, SQL Server, SQLSaturday | 1 Comment »

SQLSaturday 14 – Pensacola Wrap Up

Posted by sqlwiseguy on June 7, 2009

Great day today in Pensacola for SQLSaturday 14.  There were 170+ attendees and I am pretty sure everyone was pleased with the event.  The day started out okay, there was a little confusion when check-in first started and the rooms were a little hard to find at first, but both issues were corrected fairly quickly.  One thing they did very well was having volunteers placed at strategic places directing traffic.  Also this was the first SQLSaturday I had been to where the volunteers had different shirts than speakers, so they were easy to identify.  The other thing that they did that I liked was that there was name tag for every attendee.  This definitely made it easier to introduce yourself. 

I sat in on Tim Mitchell’s session, Unconventional ETL using SSIS Scripting, which was well-done and covered areas where the controls built-in to SSIS do not meet the specific need.  It was a well attended and received session.  I think SSIS sessions are always popular because people are always looking for better ways to use SSIS. 

I was doing my Getting Started with SQL Server Profiler session in the afternoon and was going to be followed by Brad McGehee doing another Profiler session.  Needless to say I was a little nervous at first since he has written a book on Profiler.  We were able to discuss our sessions a little before lunch and it turned out that our sessions really meshed well.  I was giving an introduction and overview on how to use Profiler, while his session was more advanced and gave examples of how to use Profiler to troubleshoot specific problems.  His session was the session I attended in the afternoon.  My session went well and had about 15-20 attendees.  As usual I asked who had used Profiler and I was surprised that only 4 had used Profiler.  It went well and I had some good questions, all of which I could answer, and the feedback I got was all positive.

During lunch I wandered in and out of Andy Warren’s talk on What is PASS?”.  Unfortunately, there are still many SQL Server developers/DBA’s that aren’t aware of PASS and what PASS does.  It was good to hear about the direction PASS is going and to see the time being taken to promote PASS.

The day at Pensacola Junior College ended in the auditorium to raffle of the swag.  The 2 big items were a $200 Amazon gift card donated by Bitwizards and an XBox 360 (I don’t recall who donated it).  There were also “smaller” items donated by Confio, Redgate, and other sponsors.  It looked like over 100 folks hung around for the raffle although 1 person who did not stay had their name drawn twice!

After the raffle it was of Rosie O’Grady’s in the Seville Quarter for the after party.  This was also well attended with about 50 in attendance.   Overall a really good day with great learning and networking opportunities. 

My next post will be a follow up on networking results and people I met.  I’ll also plan on posting the results from my speaker evaluations when they come out.

Posted in Speaking, SQL Server, SQLSaturday, Volunteering | Leave a Comment »

Pensacola, Here I Come for SQLSaturday

Posted by sqlwiseguy on June 4, 2009

I’ll be leaving tomorrow morning to head to Pensacola for SQLSaturday #14.  I’ll be doing my Into to Profiler session that I have done at OPASS, SQLSaturday Orlando, and TSSUG.  Immediately following me will be Brad McGehee with more advanced Profiler session that I hope to attend.

There’s a great roster of speakers for the day with Brad McGehee, Steve Jones, Andy Warren, Tim Mitchell as some of the highlights (see the full schedule here).  I’m really looking forward to Saturday as I have never met Brad or Tim, although we have interacted via Twitter and other on-line mediums.  I’m also looking forward to meeting you if you’ll be there.  I’ll be around the whole day, attending sessions, chatting, and helping out where I can so feel free to walk up and say, “Hello”. Even if you have not registered you are welcome to come as there will be a registration table setup for walk-ins.  

The only thing I’m not looking forward to is the drive as it is about 7 hours.  Oh well, that’s not that much of a price to pay for a day of training and networking.  Hope to see you there.

Posted in Community, Speaking, SQL Server, SQLSaturday | Leave a Comment »

Tampa SSUG Recap

Posted by sqlwiseguy on May 20, 2009

I had the opportunity and privilege to present Introduction to SQL Server Profiler to the Tampa SSUG last night.  I was impressed by the turnout as it was a full house with about 40 in attendance.  I arrived early, and had a chance to meet a few people, and attempt to work on my networking skills.  I learned I need more practice as I’m still having trouble remembering names of people that I met for the first time.  Some of the people I met were Jonathan Kehayias, @jmkehayias on twitter; Carlos; Andres (I hope I spelled it right); @SQLChicken, Jorge Segarra; Ron Dameron and Nathan (Fraggle on SSC), who I had met at SQLSaturday 8 – Orlando last fall; and, of course, Pam Shaw (@pamshaw) who does a great job leading the group.

After Pam went through the announcements Jorge led a discussion on the pros and cons of social networking (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc…).  Some good stories were told about how problems had been solved through the active SQL Server community on Twitter, and a couple of attendees shared how that they had used LinkedIn to either find a job or a candidate for a job.  I think some attendees may have been convinced that there are business/professional reasons to use social networking tools.

After that discussion I was up with my presentation on Profiler.  This was the first time I’ve done the presentation on my new laptop with SQL Server 2008 installed so I had a couple of minor technical glitches like not having reporting services running as I expected and adjusting to how Vista handles presentation mode.  I still need some work on that.  I always start by asking who has used or uses Profiler and I am always surprised that every hand doesn’t go up.  The other question I ask is how many people know that SQL Server 2005/2008 has a server-side trace running (the Default Trace) on install.  Again, the majority of attendees do not know this.  Overall I covered everything I planned in time and had some good questions around the difference between SP:Completed/RPC:Completed and SP:StmtCompleted/RPC:StmtCompleted and good discussion about why you even have the option of having Profiler write to a file or table while running the GUI, since it is recommended against and you can save to a file or table when the trace is done.  Jonathan Kehayias gave me a couple of tips on things I missed or should have said, like when tracing lock events DON’T trace Lock:Acquired as that will fill up a trace fast.  Remember locks are good, deadlocks are bad.  It felt like everyone was pretty happy with the information presented and several people let me know they enjoyed the session, so I guess it well. 

Even though it went well, I know I can do better, but the more I present the better I’ll get.  I’ve got SQLSaturday 14 – Pensacola coming up on June 6th where I’ll be doing my Profiler presentation and Space Coast User Group in September where I’ll be doing a presentation on mining the Default Trace.  I hope to see you at one of the upcoming events!

Posted in Community, PASS, Professional Development, Speaking, SQL Server, User Group | Leave a Comment »

Speaking at Tampa Bay SQL User Group

Posted by sqlwiseguy on April 28, 2009

I will be speaking at the Tampa SQL User Group on Tuesday, May 19th.  I’ll be speaking on SQL Server Profiler which I have presented at OPASS and SQLSaturday #8 – Orlando. 

I look forward to meeting everyone who is part of the group and re-connecting with those I have met at other events like SQLSaturday.  Please don’t be offended if we met and I can’t remember your name, it is a MY failing, not yours.

Posted in OPASS, Professional Development, Profiler, Speaking, SQL Server, SQLSaturday, User Group, Volunteering | 1 Comment »