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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 »

SQLSaturday #21 – Orlando Update

Posted by sqlwiseguy on August 28, 2009

Event Record

This is the third year that Orlando has hosted a SQLSaturday.  In 2007, I was an attendee; 2008, I was an event volunteer and speaker; and this year I’m an organizational volunteer, event volunteer, and, most likely a speaker.  Because of my increased involvement this year I have gotten to see the event build up from nothing to what I would say is a great event.

Expanded Responsibility

My main responsibility as an organizational volunteer is selecting and scheduling sessions.  With 2 days left to submit sessions we have 65 sessions from 41 different speakers, including 2 MS employees and 10 MVP’s, which is up from 56 submissions and 38 speakers last year. Currently we are planning on 8 “tracks” with 6 sessions each, for a total of 48 sessions.

Expected Result

The goal is to have something for everyone from beginner to expert, developer to DBA, technical to professional development, traditional SQL to BI, and new technologies like cloud computing, so really there is no reason not to attend. 

Enrollment Recommended

The training is free (lunch provided for $10), continental breakfast, snacks and drinks throughout the day, post event social, and plenty of SWAG.  Why wouldn’t you attend

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

Professional Growth – Community Involvement

Posted by sqlwiseguy on August 25, 2009

As part of my professional development and to help raise my professional profile, I have become more involved with my local user group (OPASS) and with SQLSaturday #21 – Orlando.  With OPASS I have taken on the task of trying to find speakers.  This can be a bit of a daunting task as I am relatively new to the Orlando area (2 years) and have really just begun meeting the technical community in the last year or so, which means my personal network is limited.  I have found social networking, particularly Twitter, to be helpful in this area. In reality becoming involved in this task is forcing me to be more aggressive in networking, as I believe networking is not just meeting people, but also keeping in touch with them so that they can help you and you can help them.  I have been able to schedule speakers for the last OPASS meeting and the next OPASS meeting, now I just need to get someone for our November meeting.  Anyone interested?

With SQLSaturday I have been tasked with selecting and scheduling sessions.  At this writing we have had 45 sessions submitted by about 25 people.  Part of the SQLSaturday goal is to give local people a place beyond user groups to share their knowledge, so in most cases every person who submits a session will be selected, but it is still a lot of work as I have to check for similar sessions so we have a variety, group sessions into tracks, and, in some cases, deal with speaker scheduling issues.  I also need to contact speakers from past years, if they have not submitted, to make sure they know we are interested in having them back and because, to be honest, the more sessions we have submitted the more attendees we are likely to have as there is a greater variety in the sessions.  As I’ve worked through the process, I’ve definitely gained a greater appreciation for the job done by the PASS program committee as they have many more submissions than sessions available, while I basically just have to schedule the sessions submitted.

If you are interested in speaking at SQLSaturday #21 – Orlando you need to get you abstract(s) in by August 30th.  Here’s the link, http://www.sqlsaturday.com/callforspeakers.aspx

Posted in OPASS, Professional Development, SQL Server, SQLSaturday | Leave a Comment »

SQLSaturday #21 – Orlando Pre-event Seminars Announced.

Posted by sqlwiseguy on August 17, 2009

Wow!  Andy Warren has put together a week of low-cost seminars filling the entire week before SQLSaturday #21 – Orlando.  What a great list of speakers and topics.  Here’s the list:

  • Monday October 12th – Essentials of Managing SQL Server by Andy Warren
  • Tuesday October 13th – Learn Business Intelligence in a Day by Brian Knight
  • Wednesday October 14th – Real World Performance Tuning by Kevin Kline
  • Thursday October 15th – From Zero to SSIS by Andy Leonard
  • Friday October 16th – Performance Tuning Methodology by Buck Woody

I think that there is something for everyone in this list of sessions and if you don’t see what you want in this this list then sign-up for SQLSaturday as it will probably be covered in one of the sessions there.  If you don’t see what you are looking for suggest a session and someone may do it!

Posted in Professional Development, SQL Server, SQLSaturday, Training | 1 Comment »

No Training Budget Still No Excuse

Posted by sqlwiseguy on August 12, 2009

When I first started by career in IT and SQL Server about 10 years ago I lived in a small town in northern New Hampshire.  I used my location as an excuse not to attend user groups and other events, unless the boss was willing to foot the bill.  Now I realize my mistake, I’m in charge of my professional development, and now, location is no excuse.  Here’s a list of just some of the FREE training available online:

  • JumpstartTV – short (3-5 minute), specific how-to videos for SQL Server and .NET.
  • Channel 9 – MSDN’s video training library. This has videos on just about everything microsoft. Over 200 on SQL Server 2008 alone.
  • PASS – the Official Professional Association of SQL Server web site. PASS offers Virtual Chapters (user groups that meet online monthly).  Be sure to check out the upcoming 24 hours of PASS
  • Quest Software – Quest offers free webcasts on several technologies including SQL Server and some on Quest products but many general ones. Check out Quest Connect
  • SQLServerPedia – has video podcasts as well as blogs, wiki, and articles.
  • SQLServerCentral – forums, articles, scripts, blogs, and videos. What more can you ask for?

I’m sure there are other resources as well.

Now on to the FREE events. 

  • The biggest one for SQL Server, well, at least in my opinion, is the SQLSaturday franchise.  There have been about 20 over the last 2 years from Florida to Oregon.  I should make a disclaimer that I have spoken at 2, attended another, and the franchise is owned by my friend, Andy Warren and his partners.  Actually the first SQLSaturday event was when I met Andy, actually the day before at the Day with Celko event done in conjunction with the SQLSaturday.  It’s a full day of free SQL Server training with some national speakers along with the best local speakers.
  • Code Camps – these one day events for .NET are what SQLSaturday is based on, so if you need .NET training here’s a way to get it.
  • PASS – offers a SQLSaturday like event support with it’s Community Connections
  • User Groups – just BING or GOOGLE for [your technology and location] User Group.  I’m sure you’ll find something in your area.  PASS has a list of official chapters for SQL Server.  I know of Sharepoint, Java, .NET, and Agile user groups.  I’m sure there are others.

As you can see there are plenty of training options that will only cost you time and maybe travel expenses and that’s really an investment in you. 

Posted in Community, JumpstartTV, PASS, Professional Development, SQL Server, SQLSaturday, SqlServerCentral, Training, User Group | 4 Comments »

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 »

SQL Saturday 14 – Pensacola Networking Wrap-up

Posted by sqlwiseguy on June 8, 2009

For me the event actually started Friday night at the Speaker/Volunteer party at The Fish House.  We spent the evening out on the deck with appetizer’s and drinks meeting and greeting old and new friends.  It was great to re-connect with Rodney Landrum, Karla Ramail (the event organizer, thanks for a great weekend), Nathan Heaivilin, Pam Shaw, Brian Knight, and Steve Jones, all of whom I had met at SQLSaturday – Orlando and at other events.  Then I was able to meet Brad McGehee, Ken Simmons, and Tim Mitchell, each of whom I had interacted with on-line, but had not met in person.  Finally there are all the new people which included Sven and Li from Troy University, Ryan Duclos from Mobile,  Shawn, Tony Davis of RedGate/Simple Talk and others.  To be honest I’m pretty happy that I remember that many names the next day.  Oh, and of course, old friend, Andy Warren was there, pushing me to meet new people.  I was able to meet Jessica Moss who is an MVP and regular speaker at these events, on Saturday morning.

At the after party I spent most of my time with a group including, Andy Warren, Steve Jones, Tim Mitchell, Nathan Heaivilin, Pam Shaw, Jessica Moss, and Don Demsak.  This is definitely an interesting group to spend time with as the topics range from technical, to professional, personal, and politics, and with Andy around you know there will be some interesting discussions as he likes to be controversial to get other people involved.  Add in the fact that most technical people tend to have strong opinions and see things as black and white, you never know what will be said.  Then this group, minus Don and Steve, adjourned to the Fish House for dinner although we took a round about way there.  How many techies with smart phones does it take to find a restaurant within walking distance of your location?  Well, in our crew it took 2 with the help of the rest of us.  We ended up walking around a couple of blocks before circling around the the Fish House, which was pretty much in sight of Rosie O’Grady’s.  Needless to say it was quite amusing to think we walked about 2 times further than we needed to.  Again, it was a good time of discussion and fun.

Tim Mitchell is from the Dallas area and now the idea is to get him to spearhead a SQLSaturday in the Dallas area.  I’d like to get over there as I have a brother in Texas (about 4 hours away from Dallas) and I could take my family to visit him and do the Dallas SQLSaturday in one trip.  Plus, Tim is a great guy and it would be nice to help him out and get to spend some more time with him.  Not to mention the opportunity to meet more new people from the Dallas area.

Posted in Networking, Professional Development, SQLSaturday | Leave a 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 »