Category Archives: Goals

SQL Saturday Submission Completed

My first full-length session submission for SQL Saturday has been input.  Even if I do not get selected, I am moving forward in the right direction towards the completion of my goals for 2012.  The topic, Best Practices Are Not Just Hypothetical, explores the best practice settings available during the installation that will set your server off on the right foot from the very beginning.

Stay tuned to see if my topic is selected for SQL Saturday Orlando to be held in Lake Mary, Florida, on September 29, 2012.  Come on out and hopefully at the very least I can entertain you.  Wish me luck!  Enjoy!


SQL Formatting Tip

Last night was the first meeting for the new Tampa side SQL Server User Group and the turnout was great.  I gave my first user group presentation and I was a little more nervous than the last time I gave this presentation.  At this point, I am going to attribute that to the fact that I have to see this group every month where as in Pensacola  I do not.  But I am moving closer to completing my goals for the year and that is a great thing.  To be a great speaker, obviously you have to practice as a speaker, seems simple enough.

Moving forward, I wanted to pass along a great tip last night from Pam Shaw (blog|twitter), our fearless leader.  She shared a site with us called Instant SQL Formatter that provides automatic formatting and coloring of many different flavors of coding including SQL Server and Oracle.  It is a pretty nifty utility especially with all of the available formatting options.  Check it out and thanks Pam!

First UG Presentation Scheduled

It is with great excitement that I announce that next Thursday night, July 26th, I will be presenting my Seven Deadly Sins of the Database Administrator at the first user group meeting for the second (actually third if you count BI) Tampa user group.  Confused?  Don’t be.  The Tampa Bay SQL Server User Group meetings are actually held in Clearwater (also known as across the bay) which makes them difficult to attend for professionals who work on the Tampa side of  the bay.  Therefore, we have received approval from PASS to add a second group to the area and its first meeting will be next Thursday.  Now you are up to speed, so let’s proceed.

This is the same presentation that I presented at the Pensacola SQL Saturday last month, but I will try to extend it out to 15 minutes.  In other words I will speak slower and add more ‘ums’ in there.  Just kidding, I hope.

I will however do something different this time.  Drum roll please.  I am going to give this presentation from my iPad using the Keynote application and the new VGA out adapter that I ordered.  Why you ask, because I am a geek and there is no real demo in this presentation.  I will update you all after the presentation so stay tuned.  Enjoy.

Presentation Ponderings

After my first presentation at SQL Saturday Pensacola, I am ready to do another and need to submit for SQL Saturday Orlando later this month.  All of that is not a problem, I just don’t know if I should do what I did in Pensacola and expand on it because the audience seemed to enjoy it or forge a new path.  I have good arguments for both, maybe I will submit both and see which one gets picked, if they get picked, of course.  I have three weeks to decide, but I should not wait until the last minute.

The presentation that I did in Pensacola was the Seven Deadly Sins of the SQL Server DBA.  The other one I am thinking about doing is just a straight up best practices install guide.  I am very passionate about best practices and there are so many people who I’ve spoken with said that they wish they had known some of the best practices at the time of their install instead of correcting them after the fact.  It also may help that I was asked to give the Seven Deadly Sins at the next Tampa Bay user group meeting this month, so we will see how that goes, maybe it was a one-hit wonder and the decision will be made for me?  What do you think?

Personal Development Plan…Midway Status

Six months for 2012 are now in the books and I thought it would be a good time to revisit my original goals for the year and see what needs to still be done.  My updates will be highlighted in bold.

  1. I will post daily to this blog in order to give back to the SQL community that has helped me so much over the years.  So far so good here!
  2. I will spend time daily helping people on twitter, SQL blogs, and various SQL-related websites such as SQL Server CentralSo far I have only been able to help on twitter and blogs.
  3. I am setting a goal of 300 followers on Twitter which would double my existing followers for 2011. I now have 315 followers, that is awesome, thank you everyone!
  4. I will attend at least ten of the twelve Tampa Bay SQL Server User Group meetingsSo far I have not missed a monthly meeting.
  5. I will attend three to five other SQL User group meetings, such as the Tampa BI group or Orlando’s MagicPASSI need to get going on this one as I have not made one of these yet, bad boy.
  6. I will attend every Tampa VMWare User Group meetings which occur quarterly.  This is spot on, since the Tampa VMUG has not had a meeting since Dec 2011, I have not missed one yet.
  7. I will attend other events that interface with SQL Server or VMWare such as the Orlando IT Pro Camp scheduled for January 21, 2012. Missed the Pro Camp, will look for others.
  8. I will attend one Microsoft SQL training course this year, but I cannot say at this time what that course will be as that will depend upon my employer ;-).  I would like to attend Course 2778a (Writing Queries Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Transact-SQL) and Course 6234 (Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services. Even better, I got to attend a training!
  9. I will attend every SQL Saturday offered in the Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville areas.  I would also like to attend some others, if possible, within driving distance.  I am already registered for SQL Saturday #110 in Tampa on March 10, 2012.  Had to miss Jacksonville because of a final in one of my college courses, but made up for it by going to Pensacola. 
  10. I will volunteer to help with at least one SQL Saturday this year.  Volunteered at Tampa, will do others later in the year as well.
  11. I would like to attend SQL Rally in Dallas this year and I would definitely like to attend the SQL PASS Summit, but with one child in college this year and two more entering over the next two years, I may have to pass on this one for a couple of years until they are situated and my bank account returns to normal.  Rally was a no go, still hopeful for Summit.
  12. I will continue to take at least one to two classes a semester online in order to complete my degree in Business Administration.  All those Engineering and Computer Science classes I took 20 years ago are not relevant today and I would like  to possibly return to consulting in five or ten years and that degree would be more beneficial in that long term goal.  Still attending classes regularly.
  13. I will continue SQLAndy’s recommendation to meet at least three people at every SQL event.  This is a great recommendation for networking.  It is hard sometimes to break out of our introverted ways.  So far so good.
  14. I will attain my VMWare Certified Professional 4 certificate this year for VMWare.  Not going to happen as VMWare retired the exam before my one year was completed, and I have not focused on VMWare as much as SQL Server.
  15. I would like to speak somewhere this year, my local SSUG, VMUG, or even a training session at work.  I need to get over my fear of public speaking. 2012 is the year to step it up and take it to another level.  Presented at Pensacola SQL Saturday and now will do my local user group. 

Wow, I am well on track this year!

#GetHawt Habits

This is just a quick note in preparation of the #GetHawt competition beginning tomorrow.

The bad habit that I will be giving up is tweeting and facebooking while driving.  Although I live in a rural area and this is relatively easy today with the slightly slower paced lifestyle (trust me I do not do it when I am in the city), I know that it is dangerous and sets a bad example for my young teenage driving children.  This will be a very hard habit to break, trust me!

The new habit that I will starting is helping out around the house.  Since I started back to school last year, I have pretty much neglected my household duties, paying teenagers to do them for me.  With blogging, school work, overtime, video games and my wife, the house needs some serious TLC from me.  I have a long list of honey-dos to get to.

I have no real exceptions to the food although I am not real clear on the portion size that constitutes a meal.  I see the spreadsheet with the individual portion sizes but who knows how many of those make up a meal.  Help?

Excellent Article Entitled – Why I Blog – The Atlantic

Today marks the completion of six months of daily blogging.  I am half way through my goal of 365 days of blogging.  It has definitely become a habit that I do not want to break, although I think next year I will reduce the goal to 5-7 blogs per week so that I am not a slave to the blog.  I think some days the posts are forced out of necessity to meet a goal.  This will allow some flexibility if I am just not feeling like I have anything to say that day.

I found this excellent article entitled Why I Blog in The Atlantic magazine.  The quote that spoke to me was:

Blogging is therefore to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.”


Time for #GetHawt, Wanna Talk Smack?

If you follow me or the Midnight DBAs on twitter then you may have seen lately a challenge to get healthy not only in time for the PASS Summit but also in time for the rest of your life.  This contest appeals to me, not only because I enjoy getting healthier but because I enjoy talking smack and I would challenge my own mother to a contest if there was a prize.  And there is!

Don’t just take it from me, read about on Jen’s blog, take a look for yourself at the #GetHawt GameOn Challenge.  Come on you wanna do it too and talk smack with me.  Game on!

I Am Passionate About Best Practices

After writing for the Tribal SQL project, I think I’ve realized just how passionate I am about best practices.  For example, the other day I asked my wife if she could change our bed sheets to which she replied that they had only been on there two weeks.  My retort was that best practices dictated changing the sheets weekly for optimum comfort in sleeping performance.  Yes, I’m coocoo for Cocoa Puffs over best practices!

In the shower this morning, as that is where most of my brilliance comes from, I decided to start preparing myself to do a presentation.  That has been a long time coming with my left side usually talking my right side out of it.  Or was it the other way around?  I can’t recall, moving on.  Part of the stumbling block for doing a presentation was finding a niche in the SQL Server community and now I think I have resolved myself to that niche so I am slowly chiseling away at my excuses for not presenting at a SQL Saturday or my local user group.  There are only a couple of excuses left now and those are slowly fading away, so now I must harness the power of the SQL Force!  Next stop SQL Saturday, then possibly a SQL Rally and then SQL PASS; whereby my plan for global domination will be complete.


DBAs, MCMs and MVPs, Oh My!

In the #SQLFamily, there are several great MVPs and MCMs (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and Microsoft Certified Masters, respectively) that are always available to help a SQL database administrator in need.  Personally, I have not seen this kind of family atmosphere or camaraderie in any other area of technology that I have worked within.  There is a great sense of pride in this family and a great sense of honor in helping other administrator and even developers.  This is simply unheard of in today’s environment.

There is a flip side to this wonderful community and please do not get upset for what I am about to say as this community has been good to me and I appreciate everything they have done for me.  With that being said, it can be intimidating for new people coming into our family.  For example, on Friday night, I sat next two big names in the SQL Community, Andy Warren (Blog | Twitter) and Kevin Boles (Twitter), at dinner and quite simply I was awestruck.  I should have relished at the chance to bask in their SQL knowledge.

How do you talk to guys of that  level?  I was intimidated, plain and simple.  Can I talk to them on twitter, absolutely as I am not intimidated by their #SQLAwesomeness at that level.  Maybe it is just me?  Anyone else have trouble with this?


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