Blog Archives

Presenting at Summit 2013

Today I was thinking about the SQL PASS Summit which begins next Tuesday and I just realized that I have yet to announce that I was chosen to speak for the very first time at the Summit.  I am so humbled and excited at this opportunity. I cannot begin to thank the program committee, PASS headquarters, and the SQL community enough for everything they have done for me in the past few years.  At this point in my career, I truly feel that my career has exploded thanks to my involvement with SQL PASS.

Rob Volk (b|t) and I had this idea to do a humorous session where we play Laurel and Hardy depicting the interactions between junior and senior DBAs.  It should be a good time for all.  Our session is Wednesday at 3pm, come by and say hi.  Enjoy!

Next Vacation: St. Louis

Growing up with a stepfather from St. Louis, Missouri, we went there at least every summer it seemed as a small child.  These were fond vacations from my memories: eating at the McDonald’s on the Mississippi River, going up in the Gateway Arch, fishing in the Ozarks, catching a  Cardinal game in the old Busch Stadium, going to the zoo, and who could forget all of the museums.  Great memories indeed.

My wife and I were trying to decide what new adventure we would take together on our anniversary.  Being that her mother is originally from St. Louis and she hasn’t seen her family there in about twelve years, we thought this would make a great vacation getaway.  I could meet some of her family, take in a Cardinals game on opening day in the NEW Busch Stadium, and ultimately relive a great many childhood memories with my wife who experienced many of those same memories separately.

What would make this even better?  Meeting up with some #SQLFamily members or even a SQL Server User Group meeting along the way.  No such luck in St. Louis as apparently they only meet once a quarter and their meeting was this month.  Does anyone know of any meetings nearby or on the way?  Any of my #SQLFamily on the way or close by that they would want to meet up?  I will be coming through Atlanta as well.  Maybe we can get together?  Enjoy!

Summit: The Final Day

Today is the final day of the PASS Summit 2012.  There are still a few great sessions that I want to see today, but I am sad that the conference is coming to an end.  However, yesterday I began looking for a hotel room for next year’s conference in Charlotte so that I can see all of my new friends again.

Last night was the Customer Appreciation Party at the EMP museum which was a fabulous venue for the rockaraoke event.  I also spent some time a group of SQL peeps from South Africa, Holland, Germany, and a Scottish-Australian.  We all had one thing in common:  a love of SQL.  This conference is simply amazing, come join in me in Charlotte next year.  Enjoy!

 

Summit Women In Technology Luncheon

Today I was honored to attend and blog live from the tenth annual Women In Technology Luncheon at the SQL PASS Summit 2012.   This is my first Women in Technology luncheon at any level.  I have attended several SQL Saturdays but there has not been a WIT event at any of those events.

There was a phenomenal turnout and many people, men and women alike, are sporting the #SQLKilts in honor of the event.  Wendy Pastrick hosted the event and the panel included Kevin Kline, Denise McInerney, Kendra Little, Stefanie Higgins, and Jen Stirrup, the PASSion Award winner for 2012.  Wendy noted that the room was setup for 720 people and from my perspective it appears that the room is close to full, I found out afterwards that their were 695 attendees from the count.

The luncheon was streamed live via PASS TV and on twitter with the #PASSWIT hashtag  and was sponsored by SQL Sentry.  The recording is available here.

Stefanie Higgins, founder of the original WIT luncheon, began by discussing the lack of women in her college computer science program which continued later into a certification course that she attended where she was the only woman in the class.  The instructor ignored her throughout the week and later admitted after she passed the course that he ignored her and was intimidated by her presence in the class.  Stefanie stated that “I think we’ve come a long way, we have more to go though.”

Denise McInerney then discussed that back at her first Summit in 2002 there were only 1 or 2 women in each session and how WIT has women’s participation in the organization as well as SQL Saturday.  She stated that in 2011, the first year that the statistics were collected by PASS, the organization consisted of 15% women among attendees and speakers for SQL Saturdays.  She also stated that women leave technology careers twice as much as their counterparts.

Kevin Kline then discussed the SQL community and how the board grew the Summit into a friendly conference as opposed to bigger conferences like those sponsored by IBM and Oracle.  He also discussed his perspective in raising six daughters and their struggles with technology coming primarily from their friends and not as much from patriarchal structure of society, which has gotten better but still exists.

Jen Stirrup then spoke about the declining percentages of women in technology across Europe.  She also discussed their efforts to grow the WIT organization across Europe.  Although they have had low numbers of women attending the SQL Saturday WIT events, they are seeing many men attending and discussing the issues surrounding WIT and it is encouraging for the future.

Kendra Little, MCM and MVP, starting speaking at SQL Saturday events and she discussed how that changed her outlook as an “employee” and then she started connecting with people in her sessions and that led her realizing that she could be a mentor and a teacher.  She started to feel like she could be a consultant and own her own business whereas when she was an employee previously it had never occurred to her.  Now she encourages other women to start speaking and sharing.

It was at this point that the luncheon was turned over to the floor for questions and comments.  There were many insightful observations and questions from several audience members.  Many people wanted to find resources for their local area so that they could become affiliated with the WIT organization.  They were referred to wit.sqlpass.org, which has resources available for everyone if they are interested in starting their own WIT chapter or looking for more information in order to make their local groups more successful.  The wit@sqlpass.org e-mail address is also available.

Personally I would like to see more being done in my area with my user group as well as my local SQL Saturdays throughout the State of Florida.  Maybe the discussion will begin with this blog or sometime during the planning of our next SQL Saturday scheduled for March.  Enjoy!

Summit: The Third 24 Hours

The third 24 hours in Seattle were even better than the first two, if that is possible.  I attended Grant Fritchey’s pre-con on Query Performance Tuning yesterday and was blown away with knowledge.  I cannot wait to watch that on DVD to recap my learning.  I then attended the First Timer’s events followed by the Welcome Reception.  These were both great events with an excellent dinner and networking opportunities and I enjoyed them thoroughly.  In the evening I checked out the Tap House and realized that Seattle does not understand the concept of increased air conditioning when you have increasing amounts of people in a building.

Today began the real sessions kicked off by amazing keynote presentations.  I attended a few great sessions and spent a considerable amount of time speaking with vendors about my upcoming project to compare SQL tools.  This was a great chance to talk with the vendors and explain to them what I was looking for and how their tools could help me.  The networking opportunities today were immense and amazing.  Tonight is #SQLKaraoke, stay tuned tomorrow for the updates!

Summit: Second 24 Hours

The second 24 hours in Seattle were even better than the first, if that is possible.  I knew #SQLFamily was amazing, but never realized the level of amazing.  After Redgate’s SQL in the City event, I attended the Andy Warren (b|t) and Steve Jones’ (b|t) networking event at Gordon Biersch.  All I can say is wow, it exceeded my expectations considerably and then some.  I expected a bunch of awkward table conversations as introverts struggled to network.  There were so many conversations and people circling the rooms and introducing themselves stopping at each table.  I met so many people and several of my twitter friends.  The #SQLFamily was so welcoming at this event, thank you Andy and Steve.

From there, several people decided to move onto Bush Garden for the first round of #SQLKaraoke.  It also far exceeded my expectations, but the place was much smaller than I imagined, but I had a blast.  Jason and Sarah Strate were great hosts and now I cannot wait for the next time #SQLKaraoke night on Wednesday so I can sing.

Until next time, enjoy!

 

T-10 Days Until the PASS Summit, More Scavenger Hunt Ideas


With the DATEDIFF script returning 10 today, I thought I would continue with yesterday’s blog idea of a scavenger hunt for the PASS Summit 2012.   Here is an updated list with new items in bold:

  • Get a picture with a Brent Ozar PLF employee (each one counts separately)
  • Get a picture with Grant Fritchey
  • Get a picture with Steve Jones
  • Get a picture with both of the Midnight DBAs (at the same time)
  • Get a picture with Buck Woody
  • Get a picture with two or more Pragmatic Works’ employees (at the same time)
  • Double points if the Midnight DBAs make faces or other gestures such as rabbit ears
  • Get a picture with Robert Davis
  • Get a picture with Argenis Fernandez
  • Get as many pictures as possible with other MCMs
  • Get a picture of an MCM or MVP sleeping during a session
  • Get a picture of a presenter sleeping during their own session
  • Negative points if the person is a Sharepoint MCM or MVP
  • Double points if any of these people are in kilts or mullets
  • Double points if any of these people are wearing costumes such as StrateSQL’s Unicorn
  • Get a picture with five or more MVPs in the shot
  • Get a picture with five or more people holding Starbuck’s cups
  • Get a picture with a 2012 Summit Presenter
  • Get a picture of your tweet popping up on a presenter’s screen while he/she is presenting
  • Get a picture singing #SQLKaraoke with any of the people on this list
  • Get a picture with an Ambassador giving you directions when you cannot find your session
  • Get a picture at a bona-fide tourist location with any of the people on this list

Therefore if you sang a song with five MVPs, had your picture taken during the process, all five of them had their MCMs and were wearing a kilt or mullet during the process you could end up with 12 points unless one of the five were listed specifically on this list which would be an additional point for each person.  Sound like fun?

Haven’t registered for Summit yet?  Why not?  Come on you know you want to!  See you there!  Enjoy!

T-11 Days Until the PASS Summit, Scavenger Hunt?


With the DATEDIFF script returning 11 today, I thought I would share a fun idea that I had last night while discussing the PASS Summit 2012 on twitter.  Several people were discussing that they had a list of people that they wanted to meet up with in Seattle.  An idea was hatched, a plan, a scheme…I thought I would take it to the next level and turn this into a scavenger hunt, mainly because I am competitive and I try to make life fun at every turn possible.  Maybe we could even get a sponsor, who knows.  Here is a starting list:

  • Get a picture with a Brent Ozar PLF employee (each one counts seperately)
  • Get a picture with Grant Fritchey
  • Get a picture with Steve Jones
  • Get a picture with both of the Midnight DBAs (at the same time)
  • Get a picture with Robert Davis
  • Get a picture with Argenis Fernandez
  • Get as many pictures as possible with other MCMs
  • Double points if any of these people are in kilts or mullets
  • Get a picture with five or more MVPs in the shot
  • Get a picture with a 2012 Summit Presenter
  • Get a picture singing #SQLKaraoke with any of the people on this list
  • Get a picture at a bona-fide tourist location with any of the people on this list

Therefore if you sang a song with five MVPs, had your picture taken during the process, all five of them had their MCMs and were wearing a kilt or mullet during the process you could end up with 12 points unless one of the five were listed specifically on this list which would be an additional point for each person.  Sound like fun?

Haven’t registered for Summit yet?  Why not?  Come on you know you want to!  See you there!  Enjoy!

T-14 Days Until the PASS Summit,Budget Day


With the DATEDIFF script returning 14 today, I thought I would share how I spent the last hour of my day in preparation for the PASS Summit 2012.   Today is budget day, so breakout the spreadsheet.  I spent the last hour thinking about my week at the Summit and planning my activities as well as getting a mental image of the amount of money that I need to have available to ensure that I have a great first time experience.

This spreadsheet will help me during the week to ensure that I remain within my projections so that I do not have any surprises art the end of the week when I go to check out of the hotel.  It is also a great guideline in case new activities come up within the next two weeks before I arrive in Seattle.  I can simply add them into the spreadsheet and either shuffle priorities or make adjustments as needed.

Haven’t registered for Summit yet?  Why not?  Come on you know you want to!  See you there!  Enjoy!

T-16 Days Until the PASS Summit, The Great Karaoke Crisis?


With the DATEDIFF script returning 16 today, I thought I would share a personal crisis that I am having in regards to the PASS Summit 2012.   Denny Cherry (b|t) announced during the first timers conference call earlier this week that the #SQLKaraoke event would be held Wednesday night at Bush Gardens around 9:30pm with Idera sponsoring the event.  Sounds great, this is the after hours event that I have most wanted to attend because of the #SQLFamily that attends.  This seemed like good timing because the Exhibitor reception ends at 915pm.  Life is good because now I have dinner plans and an after party to go to, right?  Not so fast my friend.

The guys over at Pragmatic Works announced yesterday that they were also throwing a #SQLKaraoke bash along with Microsoft and HP at the Hard Rock Cafe on the same night.  Their party is fronted by a live band, which sounds like a real blast.  In addition, I have a few friends over at Pragmatic Works and they are from Florida so I see them at all of the SQL Saturdays.  Is this normal for Summit, awesome competing events that is?  I will attend both, but what a bummer to have to split time at both.  It looks like everyone will benefit from this #SQLAwesomeness so this is a good problem to have.

Haven’t registered for Summit yet?  Why not?  Come on you know you want to!  See you there!  Enjoy!

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