Blog Archives

A Month, Really?

Wow, I just realized this morning that an entire month has passed since I last blogged.  Surprisingly, much has happened yet I could barely find time to blog.  That isn’t necessarily true, but it sounds better than I’ve been lazy for the last 30 days.

So let’s do a rundown real quick of the last month.  I spoke at the very first SQL Saturday in beautiful Cocoa Beach, Florida and had an amazing time catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.  I completed my dizzying full-time college schedule with resounding success in my first semester back to the glorious University of Florida in pursuit of a Business Administration degree. Last but not least, Rob Volk (b | t) and I were selected to present our Lightning Talk for the PASS Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina.  That is an extremely humbling and terribly exciting feeling.  Our session, titled “DBAs in Toyland: Here’s Another Fine Mess You’ve Gotten Me Into!” is going to be a lot of fun to present as Rob and I are thoroughly enjoying the process of putting it together.  Enjoy!

 

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The Chocolate Beach: SQL Style

I am humbled and honored to have been selected to present my “Backup Strategies are for Losers” presentation at the inaugural SQL Saturday for Cocoa Beach, Florida.  This is SQL Saturday #231 as well as being the first for the Space Coast SQL Users Group, so please make your way to the chocolate beach on July 27th for a great day of SQL Learning.

You can register here, come on you know you want to hit the beach for the weekend.  There is also a group rate code for the Hilton (SQLP), where the event is being held, that expires tomorrow (June 28th).  You can reserve your room here.  However, I will be staying just down the road at the Courtyard where my wife and I stayed on our wedding night before our honeymoon cruise to the Bahamas.  I look forward to seeing you there.  Enjoy!

The Chocolate Beach courtesy of Space Coast SQL User Group

T-SQL Tuesday #41 – Why I Love Presenting

T-SQL Tuesday

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday blog meme is brought to us by Bob Pusateri (blog|twitter) and the subject is “how did you come to love presenting?

For me I am not sure that I am at that point.  I love being a presenter, I love going to the speaker dinners for SQL Saturday events, I love meeting other speakers and talking about presenting, but in all honesty I am not sure that I am in love with presenting.  But I am getting there.  Presenting still terrifies the hell out of me, but it is a fear that I set out to conquer last year as a goal in my personal development plan.

For a long time, if  an activity involved a public speaking component I avoided it like the plague.  Seriously.  I am not kidding here.  I coached Dixie Youth baseball and Pop Warner football and every year I had to give a first practice speech.  I would spend a couple of sleepless nights and I would vomit several times before muttering something from my note cards and then quickly move on to begin the practice.  The last few years I stopped doing it all together and went around to the parents individually and this worked much better for me.  Crisis averted.  Problem put back on the shelf for a later date.

After several SQL Saturdays, I started to think that I could do this again.  Some time ago, I was a consultant that also provided week-long training courses in addition to programming and DBA work in Progress 4GL RDBMS, but all of the material that I presented was created by a team (similar to a Microsoft training course) of professionals.  Whenever I got nervous in those courses, I could always go back into the material as it had notes on the slides.  It was fool-proof, and after doing them over and over I was a pro at it.  But after not doing this for twelve years, the fear took over again.

After presenting a lightning talk in Pensacola, a couple of user group meetings and a few SQL Saturdays, the fight or flight reflex has lessened and the vomiting is non-existent.  I can do this, I am doing this, and I will conquer this.  I can proudly say that I brushed the fear back and now think that I am getting better at this.  I am starting to love presenting, it has a foothold in the depth of my being.  What about you?

Jacksonville SQL Saturday

In less than a month from today, I am honored to be presenting a new session called “Backup Strategies are for Losers!” at SQL Saturday #215 in Jacksonville, Florida.  This is a new session and the first session created after attending Buck Woody’s (B|T) workshop on how to be a better speaker.  If you came out and saw some of my earlier sessions over the last year, then please come back out and let me know what you think.

If you haven’t registered yet, what are you waiting for it is free training!  See you there!

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SQL Saturday 192, Tampa Has Come and Gone But Left Its Mark!

This past weekend was SQL Saturday 192 in Tampa.  Being my home user group event always makes this event special, however this was the first time I spoke at my home SQL Saturday and that made it an event that I will always cherish.  In addition, this year, I took in a full day pre-con training on Friday with Buck Woody (b | t) and quite frankly it changed my life.  How many times can you say that about a SQL training, let alone a $99 training?

I know what you’re thinking, believe me I do.  How can a one day training change your life?  I have spoken at two SQL Saturdays prior to this event and a couple of times at a couple of user group meetings so to say that I was a speaking novice would be an accurate term in my eyes anyway.  In addition, I have had no formal training in public speaking except for the semester speech class that I nervously tried to avoid and almost vomited every time I stood up in front of the class.

This journey began in 2011 as I resolved myself in Andy Warren’s Professional Development Plan session at the Tampa BI SQL Saturday.  I wanted to conquer this fear of public speaking and give back to the community.  It seemed pretty simple.  I had no idea how hard it would be and with my fight or flight instincts many times I wanted to just run away, but I did not want to embarrass myself in this community and that held me accountable.

After taking Buck’s class entitled “Creating Your Best Technical Presentation: A Speaker Workshop,” I now feel that I have the skills necessary to put together a decent presentation and deliver it without embarrassing myself.  The presentation this past Saturday went well considering that I did not rewrite it, I also did not want to run or vomit and those are great things in my book. Now I have to go back and rewrite my presentation with the skills that I have learned.  If you ever get the opportunity to take this class at a local SQL Saturday near you, do it!

Enjoy!

SQL Saturday #192 Tampa in a Few Days

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We interrupt our series on replication, to remind everyone that this Saturday is SQL Saturday Tampa.  Our Tampa user groups are proud to present a stellar lineup and three pre-con trainings this year focusing on DBA, BI, and professional development.  The pre-cons are as follows:

  1. For the DBAs: SQL Server Internals from the practical angle by Dmitri Korotkevitch
  2. For the BI enthusiasts: Taking the Next Step with Reporting Services by Jessica Moss

  3. For Professional Development: Creating Your Best Technical Presentation: A Speaker Workshop by Buck Woody (Come sit with me in this session with all of the cool kids!)

Keep in mind that we have moved to Hillsborough Community College Ybor Campus to accommodate our recent growth and to allow us to host more speakers featuring eight tracks this year with 46 sessions lined up.  Here is a map of the layout so that you do not get lost:

HCCYbor

If you have not registered yet, what are you waiting on?  Register now and avoid the rush!

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SQL Saturday #192 Tampa

sqlsat192_web

We interrupt our series on replication, to remind everyone that next week is SQL Saturday Tampa.  Our Tampa user groups are proud to present a stellar lineup and three pre-con trainings this year focusing on DBA, BI, and professional development.  The pre-cons are as follows:

  1. For the DBAs: SQL Server Internals from the practical angle by Dmitri Korotkevitch
  2. For the BI enthusiasts: Taking the Next Step with Reporting Services by Jessica Moss

  3. For Professional Development: Creating Your Best Technical Presentation: A Speaker Workshop by Buck Woody

Keep in mind that we have moved to Hillsborough Community College Ybor Campus to accommodate our recent growth and to allow us to host more speakers featuring eight tracks this year with 46 sessions lined up.

If you have not registered yet, what are you waiting on?  Register now and avoid the rush!

sqlsat192_speaking

SQL Saturday Updates

It is an honor and privilege to be selected to present at SQL Saturday Tampa on March 2, 2013.  We will be at a new location this year, Hillsborough Community College in beautiful Ybor City, due to our growth over the last couple of years.  In addition, we have three pre-cons this year and I will be attending the “Creating Your Best Technical Presentation: A Speaker Workshop” by Buck Woody (b|t).  Hopefully, after this session, my presentation skills will continue to improve before my session on that Saturday.  If the winter blues got you down then head down to beautiful Tampa for a warm weekend of SQL learning and register for SQL Saturday #192.

This year I will finally get to attend two other SQL Saturdays that are in the relative vicinities.  In the past there was always something going on during those two weekends.  As it stands, I am planning on submitting my newest session, Backups: Getting the Most Out of Your Storage, to both of those events.  Curious as to what they are?

SQL Saturday Jacksonville (#SQLSat215) will be April 27th and SQL Saturday Atlanta is tentatively scheduled for May 18th.  Come on out and join me at all three of those events and maybe one of them will have some SQLKaraoke for the after event!  Enjoy!

 

 

T-SQL Tuesday #38: Speaking of Resolve

This month’s topic for T-SQL Tuesday #38 hosted by Jason Brimhall (b|t) is an aptly themed variation on the word resolution.  I personally chose the word resolve.

In 2012, I made a resolution to begin presenting at the local level.  That sounds like a normal enough resolution for most, however being an introvert standing in front of people is quite terrifying.  After attending many user group meetings and SQL Saturdays, I decided that since I have met many of these speakers and they are not much  different from me, I should be able to stand up and do that too!

In the past, when called upon to speak in public or in front of a group my fight or flight instinct would kick in and generally I would want to run with every fiber of my being.   Sometimes, I did run shamefully.  Interviews are no different in many cases therefore it is safe to assume that I do not interview well.  In the past, I have probably missed out on some good job opportunities simply because they thought I was an idiot based solely upon my presentation skills.  It is because of this that I resolved to improve upon the skill.

Sounds good, huh?  Make a resolution and then you do it, right?  Easy as pie.

Not so fast, my friend.  I still wanted to run Forrest run!  Karla Landrum (b|t), the SQL Community Evangelist for SQL PASS, realized what was going on and she gently nudged me along to speak at the Pensacola SQL Saturday last summer.  This is not unusual as historically I have been talked into doing stuff by women (and I probably should not have put that out there, so now you know).

That day in Pensacola, my fight or flight instinct kicked in again all morning long, but now I was on the hook and I did not want to disappoint Karla.  Plus many of my colleagues knew I was speaking.  Quite honestly this held me accountable for I did not want to ruin my reputation in the SQL community before I really even had one.  My resolve that day held firm and I spoke quite nervously.  But I did not run.  I climbed the proverbial mountain and planted my flag upon its peak.

Since that time I have spoken at SQL Saturday Orlando and a user group meeting.  It is getting easier with each event, but I still need to resolve myself to get better each time.  Maybe one day I can speak at the PASS Summit?  I will resolve myself to accomplish that goal and now you can hold me accountable.  Enjoy!

Personal Development Plan for 2013

After yesterday’s review of 2012, it is time to set the bar a little higher for 2013.  Let’s soar to new heights!

Community

  1. I will post daily during the work week to this blog in order to give back to the SQL community.  Last year I had planned to blog 365 days of the year, but there were many days when the content was less than stellar because I was on vacation, holiday, or simply having fun with my family.  I think this year if I limit it to the days that I am actually working on SQL Server then the content should stay consistent.
  2. I will spend time daily helping people on twitter, SQL blogs, and various SQL-related websites such as SQL Server Central.  This was hard to do last year but it is still a noble goal and thus should be listed.
  3. I am setting a goal of 600 followers on Twitter which would increase my existing followers 33%.
  4. I will attend at least ten of the twelve Tampa Bay SQL Server User Group meetings.
  5. I will attend three to five other User group meetings, such as the Tampa BI group, Orlando’s MagicPASS, or the Tampa VMUG.
  6. I will attend at least one other event that interfaces with SQL Server such as the Orlando IT Pro Camp.

SQL Conferences & Training Events

  1. I will attend at least one formal Microsoft SQL training course this year.
  2. 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.
  3. I will volunteer to help with at least one SQL Saturday this year.
  4. I will attend the SQL PASS Summit in Charlotte.
  5. I will submit to at least two different SQL Saturday events in addition to SQL PASS.  Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to present somewhere in 2013.

Health

  1. I will be in better physical shape in time for Summit 2013.
  2. I will lose 100 pounds by the end of the year.

Five Year Goals

  1. I will continue to take at least one to two classes a semester online in order to complete my degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida.  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.
  2. I would like to become a Microsoft Certified Master within five years.
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