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Archive for the ‘Volunteering’ Category

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 »

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 »

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 »

PASS Sessions Submitted, Should I Be Committed?

Posted by sqlwiseguy on April 11, 2009

Well, even though the deadline was extended 2 weeks, I got 2 sessions submitted for the PASS Summit submitted by the original deadline.  Now the question is, should I be committed for even attempting to speak at a national (international) event?

Here are the sessions:

Profiler: An Underused Tool

Profiler has been around for awhile, but is often left in the DBA’s toolbox. Profiler is a flexible tool that can be used for Auditing, Monitoring, and Performance Tuning


  1. Understand when, why, and how to use Profiler
  2. Understand the differences between Profiler and server-side tracing.
  3. Understand performance and security considerations for using Profiler.

Dive into the Default Trace

Beginning with SQL Server 2005 there is a server-side trace installed and started by default in every SQL Server installation. Not many DBA’s take advantage of the wealth of information collected through this trace. This trace includes 34 events in 2005 and 35 events in 2008 that audit non-DDL activity on your SQL Server.


  1. Learn what events are included in the Default Trace.
  2. Learn how to query the Default Trace
  3. Learn how to process the Default Trace files to keep the information beyond the default amount of data (5 20MB files).

Now that I’ve submitted, how about you?

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

Update on my 2009 Goals

Posted by sqlwiseguy on April 2, 2009

Since we are 1/4 through the year I thought I should give an update on my goals.  Overall I think I am doing okay, but I need to work toward them with more purpose.

  1. Learn SQL Server 2008, particularly policy-based management, resource governor, and service broker.
      Not a whole lot of progress here.  I do have it installed on my laptop, but I have not done much with it, nor have I bought any books.  I really need to get started.
  2. Write 1 Article per quarter for SQLServerCentral.
      Well, I did get an article submitted in the first quarter which will be posted early in the second quarter so I am on target, especially since I have the information for at least 2 more articles already, so I “just” need to write them.
  3. Record and submit 1 video per quarter for JumpstartTV
      Again I did get one done in the first quarter so I am on target.  I also have some ideas for others so it is all about getting them scripted and recorded.
  4. One Blog post per week
      Another one I am meeting with 19 posts in the first quarter.  I have to admit to this being a struggle for me.  I really want the posts to have good content and not just be announcements and recaps of meetings I have been to.  There is nothing wrong with those posts, but I’d like to be sharing something others can learn from more often.  I think that as I write more, it will get easier and better, not just to write, but also to find topics.
  5. Become more involved in leadership in my local user group (OPASS).
      I’m trying to do make the time to do this, but I need to be more purposeful about it.  I am trying to help out by pursuing speakers from within my network.  Of course, a bigger network would make it easier.  Time is limited and whatever I do try to do I want to do well.  Also I have become more involved in PASS as my friend Andy Warren (the OPASS president) is on the board of directors, so I’m trying to help out there as well.
  6. Speak at 2 community events.
      I have a submitted a session to SQLSaturday – Pensacola and will be submitting at least one session for the PASS Summit, so I am making some effort.  I do need to contact some of the other User Groups within driving distance (Tampa, Jacksonville) so I can get more experience.  Odds are I will put together another presentation for OPASS this year and at the next SQLSaturday – Orlando.
  7. Attend the PASS Summit
      I am working on this one.  I have spoken to my boss about possibly getting some funds for it, but, regardless, I plan on going.  As I already mentioned I will also be submitting at least one session.  This is probably the easiest one to do as all it takes is a little money and some vacation time.

Posted in Community, Goals, JumpstartTV, OPASS, PASS, Professional Development, Speaking, SQL Server, SQLSaturday, SqlServerCentral, User Group, Volunteering | Leave a Comment »

Why Speak at a User Group?

Posted by sqlwiseguy on April 1, 2009

This post was going to be a plea for volunteers to speak at my local SQL Server User Group (OPASS), and, in reality, it still is, but as I began writing I thought I would share some reasons why I think you should consider speaking at a User Group, hopefully OPASS and why I did.

  1. Share your passion.  People will listen to anyone speak on any topic if they can tell the speaker is passionate about it.
  2. Become an expert.  There is no better way to become an expert than to teach someone else.  I spoke last year on SQL Profiler, which I thought I knew, until I prepared for my presentation.  Now I am an expert, but one who knows there is more to learn.
  3. Build your brand.  Steve Jones writes and speaks about this.  By speaking, you build your professional profile.  If you are willing to share your knowledge with “strangers” this can set you apart in your next job search.  Being a team player and a good communicator comes up in almost every job posting and interview, if you speak publicly you’ll have evidence to support your claims.
  4. Contacts, contacts, contacts.  In real estate they say it’s all about location, in the business world it’s all about contacts.  Not just for job searches, but for people you can contact for help on that issue you just can’t solve.  You may become that person for some, but you’ll also gain people who will be that person for you.
  5. Personal growth.  Public speaking is scary, but very satisfying, and you know what, everyone wants you to succeed, so our fears are usually unfounded.  Once you get started you’ll be more confident.
  6. Respect of your peers.  Don’t we all want that?  There is nothing I respect more than someone willing to take a chance.  No matter what people think about the presentation, they will respect you for daring to do it.

I have to be honest, I have only spoken twice on SQL Server (same presentation) and I was very nervous both times, but once I got started it just flowed and was over before I knew it.  Both times there were questions I couldn’t answer, but no one was upset by that because I didn’t bluff, I just admitted it.  As I said earlier, the audience wants you to do well, so relax and go for it.

If anyone is interested in volunteering to speak at OPASS, we do need a speaker for our next meeting which is in May, and to the best of my knowledge the rest of the year, you can contact me at corbett.jack@gmail.com and I’ll pass along your information to our president, Andy Warren.  We usually meet on every other month on the 2nd Tuesday, but we can be flexible with advanced notice, so if you are going to be in the Orlando area at another time and want to speak let me know and we’ll try to arrange it.

Posted in Community, Goals, OPASS, Professional Development, Speaking, User Group, Volunteering | 2 Comments »

Volunteering for PASS

Posted by sqlwiseguy on February 16, 2009

My friend, Andy Warren, was elected to the PASS board of directors in November and has been tasked with managing content. He has asked several people, myself included, to help out as PASS is a volunteer driven organization. You can see Andy’s goals and current volunteers in this blog post. If you look at the list you’ll understand how honored I am to be a part of the group. So far the PASS blog directory has been updated and now lists close to 200 blogs that deal primarily with SQL Server.

I have volunteered to put together a Top Ten list of articles/blog posts about SQL Server Profiler, so be looking for that and several other top 10 lists on the PASS web site over the next couple of months.

I was not a PASS member until early last year, but with the new board members and a renewed focus on becoming the SQL Server organization, I think you will see a lot of change coming over the next year.

Posted in Community, PASS, Professional Development, Volunteering | 1 Comment »