Category Archives: SQL Saturday

What a Great SQL Weekend

My wife and I have just returned from a wonderful weekend in Lake Mary, Florida at SQL Saturday #151.   We enjoy getting away for the weekend and staying in our beloved Marriott chains.  This time fortunately, we had earned two free nights from previous stays this year and being a gold member we were able to score an upgrade to a fabulous room.  My wife met with some of her friends for a day of shopping while I enjoyed a great day of SQL Learning thanks to the great user groups in Orlando, OPASS and MagicPASS.

We enjoyed a great breakfast at the hotel and a couple of hours in the pool before checking out and heading home.  These little weekend getaways are a great break from our every day routines.   It was also great spending time with my #SQLFamily and seeing so many of them for the first time and so many of them again.  Until you have experienced the #SQLFamily, you have no idea what you are missing.


I Survived!

Well my first SQL Saturday presentation has been completed. No one was injured, I didn’t respond to my flight (as in fight or flight) instincts, and no one heckled me. It didn’t go as well as I imagined but it was a learning experience. I will get better, so if you attended my session today, I apologize, but thank you for being my guinea pigs.

To be honest, I think I did better than my lightning round presentation last June. I understand that it is an evolutionary process, but I was confident that I was more evolved than I really am.

If you’ve never presented a topic, I highly recommend it. Enjoy!

SQL Saturday #151, T minus 3 Days and Counting

SQL Sat 151It’s Wednesday and the 6th annual SQL Saturday for Orlando is around the corner.  This is where it all started, it is also home to the first SQL Saturday that I went to.  You know you want to get some free learning and eat some great barbecue.

There is still time for you to register and come see some of SQL Server’s greatest speakers.  Then when you finish their sessions, stop in for mine so that you can fully appreciate how great they really are.  There are also two excellent Pre-Cons by Kevin Kline (twitter | blog) and Stacia Misner (twitter | blog).  If you have never attended a Pre-Con, then do yourself a favor and try it, it is worth the $99.  Enjoy and see you there!

SQL Saturday #168, Tampa BI Edition

Yesterday I received some terrific news, I was selected to speak at the Tampa BI Edition of SQL Saturday on November 17, 2012.  I will be giving my “Best Practices Are Not Just Hypothetical” presentation at 2pm.  I would like to thank the Tampa Business Intelligence SQL Server User Group; I am humbled by their selection.

Register for a great day of free SQL Server learning highlighting Business Intelligence but also featuring database administration and professional development.  It will be located again this year at KForce Professional Staffing in beautiful Yboy City.  Check out the two excellent pre-con trainings provided as well.  I cannot wait to see you there.  Enjoy!

SQL Saturday Orlando

SQL Saturday OrlandoWhen looking back over the past month to determine things that I have no blogged about while doing my series of question’s and answers, I realized that I did not get a chance to announce the biggest news received during that months.  The fine organizers for SQL Saturday #151 Orlando have chosen my submission to speak on September 29, 2012.  This will be my first full-length speaking session and needless to say I am nervous and excited.

This past weekend, I began laying out my slide deck and starting to really think about the format of my session.  This in itself is exciting trying to visualize what I want to say and how I want to convey the message.  Stay tuned and I will let you know the progress of my slide deck.  If you haven’t registered yet, please do so now!

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!

Never Heard of SQL Saturday?

Karla Landrum (twitter|blog), Community Evangelist for SQL PASS, made the comment this morning on Twitter that there are many people out there in the SQL community who still have not heard about SQL Saturday, the free training event that is taking the world by storm at a location near you every Saturday of the year.

This does not shock me even though I have been in the know for a while now because I was once that guy who did his job and did not know much about PASS or SQL Saturday.  There was a point where I had belonged to professional associations and decided that annual fees with little to no interaction was no longer for me.  Thus, when I started focusing on SQL Server several years ago, I did not seek out any professional associations for the simple fact that I had associated them with an annual fee for a nice little add-on to my resume.  I had belonged to the HTML Writer’s Guild, the International Webmasters Association, and the Capital PC User Group in Washington, D.C.  I joined that group and then could never make the meetings because of my work schedule, but it looked great on my resume.  There were a few other groups, but I honestly cannot remember them now.

This is not a knock on these groups as I am sure that they are wonderful groups for some people, but that to me was what these professional associations were.  SQL PASS is so much more and then some.  I honestly wished someone had told me about it years ago.  So make it your mission today to tell someone about PASS.  They may already know, they may not.  Do them a favor and spread the word.  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!

Final Thought from SQL Saturday Pensacola Pre-Con

For my final blog about SQL Saturday #132, I wanted to leave you with one all-encompassing piece of advice that I received from the pre-conference training on Friday prior to the event.  The pre-con titled “Demystifying Database Administration Best Practices” was presented by Microsoft Certified Masters Robert Davis (twitter|blog) and Argenis Fernandez (twitter|blog).  

Of course, I will preface this advice with the fact that I am passionate about Best Practices and I also love using the Best Practice Analyzer from Microsoft to detect new violations of best practices.  It is great to run on an instance when I am in a hurry and do not have time to go through a check list.  I simply want to see if any new changes have been made since the last time I ran the tool also known as has anyone changed anything on the server without my knowledge.  With that being said, I give you the advice.

“Do not always rely or trust the information from Best Practice Analyzer”

I do not remember if Robert or Argenis said this pearl and it really doesn’t matter because it is great advice for you and me.  Do not mistake all of my previous posts on the BPA as gospel.  It is a great tool, but it is an automated solution.  It simply cannot know all of the specifics of your server, applications and environments.  Hopefully you do! 

This is the reason that you can choose to disregard some items so that you never see them again.  I personally do not like doing that because if something changes in my department then I forgot all about the warning because I disregarded.  If I see it is a warning then I know it is still there but there is nothing I can do about it. 

Mixed mode authentication is a great example.  We have to run it on some servers because of vendor applications but we are not happy about it.  This will trigger a warning every time, but I do not disregard it because at some point that may change.

 Have a great weekend and enjoy!

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