Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I’m A Manager Why Should I Care About SQL Saturday 85

Hello Dear Reader SQL Saturday 85 is just 5 weeks away!  And while we were doing all of the preparations I came across a really great blog by Karla Landrum (@KarlaKay22 | Blog)  Who’s Attending Your SQL Saturdays?.    In conjunction with this I had a great conversation with Kendal Van Dyke (@SQLDBA | Blog) about writing suggestions for what to attend at a SQL Saturday.

“So Balls”, you say, “You get to pick a job to blog about and the first one you pick is Managers? Lame.”

Not so fast Dear Reader.  In most cases when you have IT management they are one of three types A. non-technical and just a manager, or B. Used to be Technical and are now a manager, and very rarely you find type C. a manager and still heavily technical.

In each case this matters because you need to have a manager onboard with learning.  Bottom line.  If your manager doesn’t want people to better themselves, run and get a new job, then you end up in a spot where people are spinning their wheels.  When your manager is supportive of training opportunities then it makes all the world in advancing your career.

So let’s start out discussing why a manager should care about SQL Saturday and then I’ll propose a schedule of what they could attend.


Should I have a conversation with a manager that has never heard of SQL Saturday, and let’s say they are being difficult I would assume the conversation would be something like this. 

If you are asking “Why you should care?”  I’ve got two big words for you, FREE TRAINING. 

Their next question should be “If it’s free is it any good?”  “Yes,” I would say,” it is you have people from Microsoft coming, SQL Server MVP’s, and speakers that will be at this year’s PASS Summit that others will pay thousands to see as well.”

Okay so back to the questions, They ask “If it’s so freaking good why is it FREE?”

 “Great question!”, I reply, “The answer is it is not.”

“AH HA!”, They exclaim, “There’s a catch, it’s not free, you want something from me!”

“There is, I need your time as an attendee.  And as a non-profit we have Sponsors, in some cases paying thousands of dollars, so you can have a quality experience.  We have a staff that volunteers and works really tirelessly raising sponsorship money, contracting a venue, contacting & scheduling speakers, setting up schedules, and generally spreading the word about this event.”

“So this isn’t a second rate freebie, this is organized, it has the sponsorship of a Internationally known group that is purely for the sharing, education, and networking of SQL Server Professionals.  The group PASS, The Professional Association for SQL Server.”

At this point if they should be paying attention.  Even if they don’t like you and they are not letting on that they care about this, trust me they are probably trying to figure out how to repackage this and sell it as their idea paying attention .

So Dear Manager I would say this is an event that is Free to attendees, but it is not free.  They are nationally know, and Orlando, Tampa, and South Florida is where they originated from.  So you are getting one of the most established as well.  If you have people that work for you that are SQL Server Professionals you should encourage them to attend.  I would then encourage you to have a short meeting on Monday to get everyone’s thoughts and see what you all go out of it.


“So Balls,” you say, “You’ve sold me!  I’m off to SQL Saturday what should I see?”

First I would say go take a look at our Schedule by clicking HERE and see what we have to offer.  But here are my recommendations.

Today I want you to focus on being a Manager, and that doesn’t mean that you have to do techie Deep Dives, you can, we’ve got them if you’d like to.  But there is a lot you can learn just by still being true to the job you do every day.

Here’s the lineup
Andy Warren – Building a Professional Development Plan

Janis Griffin- Performance Management-2008 MDW- How & Why

Rob Collie- PowerPivot: BI & Massive Data Analysis for Humans

Norm Bowen- Data Conversions Steps, Tips, and Best Practices

William E. Pearson III- Becoming DAX: An Introduction…

Jorge Segarra- Policy-Based Management in a Nutshell

Andy Warren is one of the co-founders of, don’t know what that is?  Just ask your DBA’s.  He founded the concept of SQL Saturday’s, he is on the PASS Board of Directors.  If you where ever going to gleam insights of how to manage SQL Server DBA’s and how to encourage their career growth this is the man you would get that from.

Janis Griffin will be presenting on a topic called MDW or Management Data Warehouse.  This is a FREE, included feature if you are already paying for an Enterprise level license.   If you aren’t already paying for a 3rd party software product to do this same task, this will help you get a better understanding of how SQL Server can be leveraged to manage itself.

Rob Collie will be talking about Power Pivot and it is a very hot topic right now.   If you aren’t using this already you will be.  If your business users aren’t already clamoring for this they will be.  Go sit in his session.

Norm Bowen is covering Best Practices for upgrades and conversions.  Something every Manager of a DBA team should be concerned about.  Go get some great tips based off of personal experience.

Bill Pearson is presenting on DAX, and it may sound funny but it is all about the language that is used in side of SQL Server Analysis Services to ask the really detailed questions.  You don’t need to be a guru, but when you are Interviewing for that BI position this could give you some good questions to ask.

Jorge Segarra co-wrote the book on Policy Based Management.  As a manager you look for quicker and easier ways to do thing.  PRESTO!  Policy Based Management.  Jorge will show you how you can literally manage hundreds of servers with this tool.  It was rolled out in SQL 2008 and every DBA should be using this.

Well Dear Reader as always Thanks Again for Reading!



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