Showing posts with label PASS Summit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PASS Summit. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

PASS Summit 2014 Streaming Keynotes

Hello Dear Reader!   It's that time of the year again, time for the PASS Summit and the streaming Keynote.  Here we go!

11/5/2014 10:05 AM
T.K. takes the stage again.  Announces that Azure ML is available for free today, you just need a live ID.  He's got the slide from the beginning up.  They did a really good job of showing an end to end story here.

11/5/2014 9:53 AM
James Phillips takes the stage to talk about Power BI and Power Pivot, he's showing us the visualizations, and how to take the big data that Joseph showed us and consume it as a user.

We are getting a really nice overview of PowerBI on the web.  When the video posts I'll get a link in there, because this is moving to fast for good descriptions.

11/5/2014 9:38 AM
Demo of Stretch table was really awesome.  Not sure how much I can say about this at this point. 
But this could have huge potential.

Sanji comes out to do a demo in-store analytics using an x-box Kinect.  Showing heat map made in power maps.  They can see where people are hanging out, so they can understand shopping behavior in a store.  How do they consume that data quickly.  Using Azure Data factory to show orchestration, and lineage in the cloud. 

They are walking through Azure ML, showing how to use a work flow to process past data to make predictions on future buying patterns.

We now see how this will work on a mobile app. Cortana is on the mic talking, making product recommendations after Sanji check's in.  She recommends beer mugs.  Then she shows him where to find them on the in store map.  Very very cool.

11/5/2014 9:19 AM
Sneak peak of the technology with Mike Zwillig from the SQL Team takes the stage.  He starts with a demo on Pier 1 imports.  He talks about the issues of getting data reporting from a data mart.

Neat demo he asks the audience to go to a website and click on items to buy them.  He then shows real time reporting of what is being purchased using an *writeable nonclustered Columnstore on an IN-MEMORY OLTP TABLE*.  Awesome.

11/5/2014 9:10 AM
Tracey leaves the stage and we move on to Maximizing performance & availability.  T.K. talks about how running SQL DB across all of Microsoft has forced them to think not just as engineers but as DBA's. 

Not sure if I heard this right but T.K. just said they are working on In-Memory ColumnStore.  That would be HUGE.  We see a list of business that are currently using the cloud and on-prem in very clever and very performant ways ensuring millisecond response times.  He discusses that Samsung has achieved x24 performance with In-Memory OLTP.

We now play a video from Dell on how they are using In-Memory OLTP.  They say they have achieved x4, performance.

T.K. is announcing that SQL DB will have significant improvements in T-SQL Compatibility, larger indexes, Parallel queries, extended events, and In-Memory Columnstore for data marts.  Wow.  There it is.  If it is in SQL DB, does that mean we will see this in the box product?

11/5/2014 9:01 AM
Tracey continues his demo showing how they can use JSON files to change the schema of their search pattern, based on marketing promotions. Using the Shard Utilization heat map that shows how to add processing power, monitor usage, how to scale over different regions.  How you can change the SQL DB scale.  This was very cool.

One more thing.  They GA'ed a new feature last week, they are going to take their Pier 1 main database, they show the load on it.  They want to configure geo-replication.  On the map they show all of their deployments.  Tracey is replicating the main database to Asia.  There were three clicks to do that.  Very impressive.  I would like to see what the bandwidth requirements are for that, this may require a further look.

11/5/2014 8:46 AM

T.K. continues, we are adding 40% data in the world every year.  We need to have and form a Data culture.  Three key tenants:

1. Harness new data types
2. Tackle big data
3. Deliver solutions faster

His vision of the system development lifecycle is to transform & analyze, Visualize & decide, and capture & manage.  He puts up a slide showing how the different Microsoft platform stack relate to these items.  We will focus on capture & manage because that is where the data platform stack fits in.  He's stressing that this is an 'and' world not an 'or' world.  They want their platform to tie together like never before.  More talking points, capture a diverse set of data, achieve elastic scale, maximize performance & availability, and simplify things with the cloud.

Here's a couple of highlights from the past year.  Cloud first, Mobile first.  Get used to hearing that.  He is discussing advances in Azure Document DB, Azure HDInsight, Analytics Platform System, and Azure Search.
The ability to scale for 2014 is very impressive.  640 logical cores. 
A partner, Tracey, from Peir 1 imports comes out to display intelligent search using fuzzy logic.  He is demoing searching for Orange Pumpkins.  They are using Azure search and two lines of code. 

11/5/2014 8:35 AM
Tom introduces the Executive VP's of SQL Server T.K. Rengarajan, James Phillips, and Joseph Sirosh to help share the vision they have for the Data Platform stack.  A video shows of the three talking about their backgrounds and area's of expertise.  It's interesting that they are all relatively new to being the EVP's for SQL Server.  Should be interesting to see how this brings about new features, or what their view on expanding the stack is.

A video is now playing of different vendors and early adopters of the Microsoft stack, discus and how they are currently using the stacks.  T.K. Rengarajan takes the stage.  He talks about his ba

ckground and studying under Dr. Dewitt.  He speaks about his family and two daughters, he is invested in WIT because he hopes they have wonderful career in technology.

He discusses about how he loves MAPs, using maps to navigate family vacations.  He discusses using MapQuest ('remember MapQuest, he says').  Then GPS made trips even easier, and this is a natural way to see how data and technology has changed our lives.

11/5/2014 8:25 AM

PASS President Tom Larock starts off on stage.  He welcomes the first timers and points out that we are currently streaming live to over 50 countries.  Tom ask for a round of applause for Microsoft for making the best data platform on the planet.

Tom is giving us an overview of the road so far.  How PASS was started and founded.  From the first
PASS Summit with 1,200 attendees to today with 5,899 attendees.  Since it's inception PASS has produced 1.3 Million hours of training.

Tom asks us to think about where we were five years ago, and where you are now.  He asks you to look at your future in the same way.  "Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together."- James Cash Penney.

Tom is addressing the changes PASS has made to have a larger umbrella.  He is asking people to get involved in growing PASS.  Meet new people, learn & grow, volunteer, join a chapter, or talk to the Board of directors.

Tom is discussing some of the events available at the Summit.  The SQL Cat Team, 50% off Microsoft Certifications, Birds of a feather luncheon, the Women in Technology Luncheon, and Speaker Idol.  Tom Thanks the exhibitors and vendors.  There is an Exhibitor Reception tonight form 6 pm to 8 pm.


Okay Dear Reader, this was a great way to kick off the Summit.  I’m off to finish up some prep before my first presentation today.  See you soon!



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

24 Hours of PASS Preview: Zero to Hero (I'm the Zero)

Hello Dear Reader!  We are already away into the 24 Hours of PASS Summit Preview for 2014!  I don't know if you heard, but I have a pre-con at the PASS Summit!  More precisely SQL MVP Robert Cain(@arcanecode | Blog) had a great idea for a precon and invited SQL MVP/MCM Jason Strate (@stratesql | Blog) and myself to join him.

We decided early on that we have a great opportunity to showcase how we use PowerShell to complete tasks on the Business Intelligence, DBA, and Cloud engagements and pass on real world skills.  We also want to do it in a way that things are useful.  Our goal is to have things we can give you that will allow you to leave the pre-con and use right away.

We also realized with a bunch of smart guys (and me), presenting we had the opportunity to use Humor and a bit of stage acting.  I'll be playing the role of the Zero in our pre con.

"So Balls", you say, "What's a Zero, and how do you play one? (and why are you explaining this)?"

Great questions Dear Reader!  First let's talk about, what's a zero?  I will be pretending that I do not know how to use PowerShell.  That I don't understand how to use the verbiage, variables, function, modular code design, how to import modules, or do a lot of other stuff you need to know.  I will need to learn from the ground up as if I'm a beginner in the class.
Hopefully me at the Summit (without the awkward flying)

I will ask questions, get explanations, and help bring the audience along.  As the day progresses I'll become a hero using concepts and technology to deliver some end to end solutions.  I'll even take over the Azure PowerShell portion at the very end of the day.

Why am I explaining this?  PASS has an international audience and I'm not a professional actor.  I'll do my best but some may miss the humor in what we are presenting.  Robert, Jason, and myself spoke last night and we didn't want anyone to think that I didn't actually know PowerShell or give reason to doubt why I'm participating in the pre-con.

So sit back today, enjoy our session.  I hope you enjoy me being the Zero, and come to the Summit to find out how to be a Hero with me.

But wait there's more!! Today during out session Robert and I will do most of the talking.  Jason will be live answering your PowerShell questions using the #pass24HOP hash tag on twitter, and answering the questions in the room chat on Twitter as well.  This promises to be a fun session, hope to see you there!

Here is the link to our pre-con.   Here is a link to the 24 Hours of PASS website.  Good luck, happy learning, and as always Thanks for stopping by.



Thursday, June 26, 2014

It's not Business, It's Personal

Hello Dear Reader.  I find myself at this late hour unable to sleep.  Yesterday the slate of speakers for the PASS Summit was announced.  What should have been a happy moment was quickly darkened by the words of people that I know well within the SQL Server Community.

I would ask the MVP's and others in the SQL Server Community; Did you plan on intimidating new speakers yesterday?  

Because you did.  I have a few first time speaker that I've been working with. Not first time PASS Speakers, first time period.  Encouraging and mentoring them to get involved in SSUG's and SQL Saturday's.  At the beginning of the year I told one in particular that we should work on a plan so she would have the experience to submit to the PASS Summit this year.

Her first words to me when we spoke yesterday?  "Thank God I didn't submit, because the MVP's would be talking smack about me right now!"

Wonderful work growing the next generation of SQL Server Speakers.  Is this what community has become?

It seems every year with the speaker selection process the people I would normally count on as pillars in our community take the opportunity to bash the process.

If the process is broken so be it.  We should discuss that.  WE SHOULD NOT LEVEL PERSONAL ATTACKS.

That is ill befitting of the responsibility that we as speakers have in the community.

I remember what it was like to be a simple DBA that looked at speakers at conferences with awe and wonder.  Instead of being a community where we encourage new speakers, what.... we encourage new speakers as long as they all are from different companies?

By attacking Pragmatic Works and suggesting that the speakers did anything less than earn their spots, you demean the volunteers, my co-workers, anyone who works for my company, and you demean me.

There were a couple issues that occurred yesterday that compounded one another.  The presentation that occurred during the 24 Hours of PASS that I moderated, see Brent's blog.

Then Kendal a former board member who had knowledge of the process.  Who praised the volunteers and the way the process works, as noted by absentee presenters who didn't receive sessions this year how a speakers name did not guarantee a spot.  He instead implied that something improper had happened.  Here's his blog.  Until he accused me of having no integrity and not deserving my sessions it was a pretty interesting read, click here.

Here's the part to pay attention to: 
  • "3 Preconference sessions by Pragmatic Works employees are on the list, including one delivered by PASS Executive Vice President, Finance & Governance Adam Jorgensen who is also President and Managing Partner of Pragmatic Works. I know a lot of folks that work at Pragmatic and they're good at what they do, but having 3 precon sessions (where presenters usually make good money from the sales) selected for the same company as one of PASS's execs...smells. I'd like to give PASS the benefit of doubt on this one, but I'll it's very hard to ignore, even if Adam wasn't one of the presenters."


First I reacted in his comment sections.  I was mad and I called what he wrote Bullshit.  I stand by that.

I've reached out to Kendal.  I hope to talk to him soon.  This shouldn't be a conversation on Twitter or over the blog-o-sphere.  I know him, I consider him a friend, and this accusation is beneath him and regardless of the intention it is deeply personal to me.

I reached out to Brent.  Brent and I DM'ed very very ridiculously late at night.  Brent I can't thank you enough for taking the time to reply.  I hope to talk to you soon!

I completely understand Brent with the 24 HOP.  The reason I reached out to him was because of his comment on Kendal's blog.

In the comment's Brent had this reply:

We discussed 2 different issues over DM.  One is the transparency of the process the other was the selection.  Giving vendors preferential treatment, and that this wasn’t the case here.  Brent didn't have an issue with the Pragmatic Works folks having sessions and understood the level of community involvement that we have.

His issue was transparency.  I was really glad we could discuss this, in-digital-person.  Concerns like that should be communicated amongst friends so false insults do not fly.  I consider Brent a friend, it meant a lot that he made himself so readily available to chat.  It is what I would hope for in a friend.

This is how we should handle these things.  If you have a concern with something I'm doing, reach out to me.  

I remember well what it was like to be a simple DBA that looked at speakers at conferences with awe and wonder.  Seeing people like Brian Kelly and Andy Warren, both of whom I know, comment on this blog and not try to reign in the personal attacks is disheartening.  Andy’s were not inflammatory, but they also did nothing to suggest I or my other co-workers were above the board.

I understand I haven't been at this as long as you guys.  I'm not an MVP.  I've only been speaking the last couple years.  

As a somewhat new member to all of this, I would ask the people that are supposed to be respected Sr. members of the community to conduct themselves with a little more Integrity.

If you know me.  Yet you would say these type of things about me, how does that make new people feel looking at our community from the outside.  Do you believe it makes them want to volunteer and participate in it?


My father taught me as a child you only have your integrity once and you should not waste it.  This means something to me.  When I invest in something, I invest wholeheartedly.  I cannot love with half my heart.  I cannot commit to something while sitting on the fence. If I did not earn something then I do not want it.

The greatest things that we get in life are the things we struggle to achieve.  It is only through the labor of the struggle that the fruits of success are realized.

This year I have presented 26 times.  From New Hampshire, to Boston, to Puerto Rico, to Orange County CA, to Denver, to Phoenix, to Atlanta, to Portland, Tampa, Orlando, and more.  I have done deep dives, pre-con's, 1 day sessions, 2 day sessions, 5 day sessions, and this doesn't even include customer presentations.  This is all community.

I have evangelized to user groups and individuals about how they should get involved, present, participate.  I discuss with them how it will help them and help their career.

I would once again point to my co-worker who has not yet delivered their first SQL Community presentation said to me "And you wonder why new people feel intimidated.  I would hate it if they were talking about me".


We've all heard the phrase before "it's not personal its business".  It is typically used as the justification for doing some pretty crappy stuff.

There are some people out there that believe participating in the SQL Community is all about marketing.  That it's business.  Being out there and participating gets them business.  If it is business to them, fine.  It's not to me.  To me the SQL Community is personal.

Right now I am away from home.  I'm away from my kids.  I presented at a user group in AZ last night.  I didn't get paid for it, I didn't get "new" business leads.  As a matter of fact I spent 15 minutes of my 1 hour presentation encouraging people to volunteer.

Why?  Because I love this community.  I have received a lot in my life from the SQL Community.  I have a job I love, I've made new friends, and I’ve traveled to new places, volunteered in ways I never imagined possible.

I truly believe that within every person there is a story waiting to be told that we all want to hear.  It could be brought to life during a presentation on Professional Development, a passionate Deep Dive, or a harrowing tale of lessons learned in the trenches.  When I present I tell people there is a story in each of them that I would love to hear.  They just need to have the faith in themselves to present and the possibilities of what they can do from there are endless.

This isn't business to me.  I would never invest this much time into something I didn't love.  It's personal.

Suggesting that I submitted to the same process as anyone else and received preferential treatment isn't business.  It's personal.  And it's wrong.

I hope from here we can clear the air.  If anyone would like to talk to me about this I’m happy to.  From here on out though please separate criticism of the processes from those that are here for all the right reasons.

As always Dear Reader, Thanks for stopping by.



Friday, October 18, 2013

PASS Summit 2013 Deck and Demos Live

Ready to rock some Internals.
Hello Dear Reader!  This is just a quick blog to say that my Deck and Demo's are now live for the PASS Summit 2013.  My presentation is at 9:45 am in Room 217-A.  You can get them by going to the Resource Page, or Clicking Here for the Deck or Here for the Demos.

I did something different this time that I hope you will enjoy.  Internals are great but why do they matter?  In the world of performance tuning and troubleshooting an understanding of Internals is essential.

Understanding what's going on under the hood often tells us where we need to be looking when we are problem solving.

"So Balls", you say, "You said you were doing something new?"

Thank You for keeping me on point Dear Reader!  I'll be mixing a whole list of Why Do Internals Matter with this presentation and I'd love your feedback.

Hope to see you there!  As always Thanks for stopping by!



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

PASS 2013 Keynotes Live Day 1

Final thoughts Dear Reader.  This is a big launch year for Microsoft and we are getting some very cool toys to play with today.  Make sure you go get the SQL 2014 CTP 2 bits.  I was telling Brent Ozar before the keynote that I thought they would extend the supported upgrade path from SQL 2005 to 2014.  I was 50/50 on that.  After the keynote I'm 90/10.

As always Thanks for stopping by!



9:50 am  We slice by International and Domestic, and using Power BI through the Office 365 portal we are able to use the power of Bing and get a world map breakout of calls.  Using a simple typed search you get a scatter plot.

The slicing on the fly via simple English language queries.  They look at the data by country, by platform, then they add additional countries receiving different reports by typing in a simple text box.  Just like using a search engine.

ANNOUNCING a Power BI contest that is aligned with the BACON, PASS BA Conference, coming in April.  You can vote on the winner on facebox

The winner will get a paid trip to BACON.  Who doesn't love BACON.

We review how we've pushed the boundaries.  Looks like we are wrapping up.

9:40 am We will be pulling from multiple data sets and area's.  Power Query they are pulling scrubbed user data, nice dig at Google and respecting users privacy.  Couple clicks we've gone from big data to structured data.

Now we are going to pair data and graphics with our data.  We head over to Power Query, you do an online search and you can tie that data to columns.  The data is shredded and displayed in a relational format.  Dig at Quentin's ability to do joins by the speaker.  Lot of funny banter between the two.  Population statistics are pulled in to pair up with the country, divided by population to show what the Skype calls per capita are.

They are using M behind the scenes to, for lack of a better word, power Power Query.  M is how they internally refer to the language.  It is some powerful stuff.

We we get a display of how this works on a Surface, Android Tablet, iPAD, Chrome laptop.  It just works, and it used HTML-5.  No more Silverlight.

We get a great breakout of the data calls per-capita.

9:30  am  We get a video about how the City of Barcelona is using Hadoop and Big data to manage all the city services.  Nice plug that reminds me of how IBM advertises their infrastructure services.  Nice to see a Microsoft video showing how they do the same.

Every organization has an IT need, and must be an IT organization to better handle their data and distribute services.  Interesting to see a large international city that recognizes that.

NOW for some BI!

Quentin is telling us all about Power BI, Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View, and Power Map.  Sense a trend here, you are empowered via excel.


Very cool, looks like we will be using Skype data, 35 TB's a day are produced.

9:20 am We have a nice slide highlighting the improvements for HA/DR and how they utilize the cloud.  Next up Redefining mission critical data.

So how do we make the Cloud mission critical.  Resource Governor in the cloud using Premium Cloud Services.

Next up Big Data.  Hadoop has a lot of ways it is being integrated.  HDInsight is Microsoft Hadoop in the cloud.  Horton Works is the premier MS partner for Hadoop.  It runs on Apache, not Windows Server.

There are workloads not made for SQL Server.  Dr Dewitt did a great deep dive on Hadoop at the Summit 2011.  His keynote is online, and should be watched by any SQL Server person.  It contains the roadmap of what their team was looking at.  Hadoop tackles alot of those non-SQL Server based workloads and data sets.  In PDW v2 we have PolyBase to be able to run queries against Hadoop.

Lot of cool stuff coming with PolyBase.

9:10 am  We are getting more about hybrid DR and Availability can be used with on prem and the cloud.  Backup all versions SQL 2005 - 2014 directly to Azure storage is announced.

Natively encrypted backups for SQL 2014.  More to come on that. We also get a little more info on Managed Backup.  For shops without a full time DBA this will be a great feature.  If you're paying for a DBA managing Backups should be part of their job.

I would bet DIFF_MAP's are being monitored to trigger this.  Could be some interesting threasholds with this.  I do love good blog fodder.

Backup to Azure is being Demo.  We are walking through registering the Azure storage.  Nice thing is once you configure it, it can fire off automatically from there.

I understand that people are a little scared of the cloud.  But this is IaaS, Infrastructure as a Service using Azure Blog Storage.  Think backing up to a VM in another datacenter and the on-prem translation is easier to understand.

9:00 am Enough about the slides, let's do a DEMO!  Tracey from the SQL team comes out to do the demo.

We've got a game website for X-Box 360 games.  We see the load times when games are recommended.  We see a 10x improvement just by converting the table to an In-Memory table.  converting the natively compiled stored procedure gives us another x11 improvement.

Look ups taking almost 10 seconds are now sub-second.   We have a lookup process that runs for 26 minutes.  Using a Clustered Columnstore index we get down to less than a minute.

No need for application coding changes to use Hekaton and Clustered Columnstore.  I can't tell you how many calls and presentations I've done on those two technologies.  They are the big two for 2014 and they are going center stage.

Back to pushing the boundaries, next up Breakthroughs in availability and recovery.

8:50 am  Quentin says "Good Morning"!  He Thank's the community for the work we do to evangelize SQL Server.  There are a lot of pictures they were taking at the Pre-cons that are subject area's surrounding Cloud and Big Data.

Quentin is giving us a story about On-Premises and Cloud.  We are going to hear a lot about the merger between cloud and on-prem.  SQL 2012 CU 2 had a lot of integration, SQL 2014 takes that even further.  Nice graphic of climbing the Himalayas to signify the journey of bringing cloud and on prem together.

We will only be talking about product in GA, in preview, or that will be in GA soon.  Nice chuckle from the AZURE CAT team.

PDW V2, Power BI for Office, Power Map, SQL Server in Azure VM, HDInisght, 2012 SP1, SQL Server 2014 CTP 2.  (*There it is).

Quentin has announced that CTP 2 is the last publicly available CTP before RTM!  Next up, all about SQL 2014 and "Pushing the boundaries".  The keywords begin.

1st Up In-Memory, nice jab at Oracle. We are covering the high points of Hekaton/In-Memory OLTP.

8:40 am Amy Lewis has received the PASSION award for volunteerism.  Way to go AMY!!!  Honorable mentions are given to another nominee Ryan Adams.  Ryan does a lot of work in his local user group and the DBA performance virtual chapter.  All of the volunteers, speakers, and chapter leaders are asked to stand.  There is a myVolunteering link at the PASS website.  Bill is asking everyone to update their profile.

Quentin Clark is introduced to the stage.  We get a nice video about how SQL Server is awesome, nice community pictures, Plug for SQL Server 2014.

8:30  am     Bill Graziano is on stage making the PASS announcements.  Over 700,000 hours of free training where given this year.  The main focus will be volunteers.

Really cool video using Power BI to show the history of SQL Saturday, nice shout out to Andy Warren, Brian Knight, and Steve Jones for starting what has become a great community mainstay.

Hello Dear Reader!  It's that time of the year again, I'm sitting at the PASS Summit and I'll be live blogging the keynotes.  Read it from the bottom up!  With the 2014 CTP 2 bits already live on the web, I expect that announcement shortly!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Speaking At the PASS Summit!

I’m Speaking at The PASS Summit 2013!

Hello Dear Reader!  Big news.  I’ve been selected as a speaker for the SQL PASS Summit 2013 in beautiful Charlotte NC!  I graduated High School and College in North Carolina.  

My roommate and best friend lived there and I made the trip with him to his family’s house on holidays.  I’ve not been back for several years, and I’m really looking forward to being in Charlotte for more than just an airplane stop.

Getting selected for the Summit is a huge honor.  My initial reaction….. 

Upon Learning He Was Speaking at the PASS Summit, SQLBalls  had this reaction

Excited, doesn’t begin to describe it Dear Reader.  My session this year will be different for the first time since I started submitting to PASS.  The past two years I did a Deep Dive on Page & Row Compression.  I love this presentation, and it is a lot of fun to give.  This year I got selected for something different. 

“So Balls”, you say, “What did you get selected for, why so excited?”

Excellent question Dear Reader!  The excitement?  This session is not just a session.  It’s a Spotlight Session.  That means 90 minutes and a little more pressure to do a really good job.  The Topic Data Internals Deep Dive.  Here’s the abstract:

Data Internals Deep Dive

As a DBA we learn backwards.  Most of the time you get a DBA job and you have Databases, that have tables, and in those tables you have data. Nobody tells you that we have records, stored on Pages, grouped in Extents, assigned by Allocation Bitmaps, with IAM Pages and Allocation Units that span Partitions and Filegroups.  Today is your lucky day, we will start at the bottom and build our way up.  We'll cover byte swapping, bitmaps, and dive a little into decoding Hex & binary.  Working to give you a full understanding of database internals, and how you use them every day! 

As much as I love data internals, the really cool part?  We have no idea when SQL V-Next is going to land.  If it is before the Summit, then expect we’ll cover some of those internal components as well!   Guess we’ll just have to see. 

As always Thanks for stopping by!



Monday, August 20, 2012

Please VOTE for Me: PASS Summit 2012 Lightening Talks
Hello Dear Reader the PASS Summit is approaching and with that the program committee sent out a request for Lightening Talk Submissions.  Last year I was able to give a lightening talk, 24 a 5 minute Horror Story, about one of my worst on call shifts ever that unfolded during a 24 straight hours.  It involved the wrong RAID Drive being pulled, having to rebuild transaction logs, Master going nuclear and having to rebuild the system tables and restore from backup, and finishing off with a little DBA Prayer called “Please God let DBCC CHECKDB run clean so I can get to sleep….”.  It was fun and I tried to do it with as much humor as I could given the situation.

This year the Lightening Talks have been extended to 10 minutes, and I’ve submitted another that is now up for community vote. 

“So Balls,” you say, “What are you presenting on?”

A very important topic Dear Reader and it is all about how to be a better DBA.  We all will go to the Summit and spend hundreds and in most cases thousands of dollars to attend.  What about the time in between?  

Once a year we have the largest get together in the World of SQL Server professionals.  After you go home how do you keep up with it?  Knowing where to look is the first step.  There are many many organizations that work tirelessly to keep the spirit of the Summit alive until we meet again, and you can get it without breaking the budget.  My topic is Get Top Notch Training for Free or Next to Nothing.


Top Notch, You've said it all.

  The greatest thing about Microsoft SQL Server is the SQL Server Community.  I would use it as a major selling point if I were a Microsoft Rep.  

Save thousands of dollars, yep.  Get features included with Enterprise Edition that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars with other vendors, check.  Has a community of millions of users who bust their butt’s regularly to give free training, documentation, assistance, and put on over 100 free training clinics in 2012 alone, Check.   

I admit I am biased here.  Most technologies have a gathering and professionals that go out of their way to help others.  You would be hard pressed to find one as grand in scale and scope as the SQL Server Community.  Without further ado here’s my Abstract:

The greatest thing about SQL Server is its Community. This is always spotlighted at the Summit, but throughout the year there is Free Training offered by Top SQL Minds, MVP's, and MCM's alike. Learn about Webinars, User Group Meetings, and SQL Saturdays and how to keep your SQL Learning going all year long.

There’s a lot to be gained by going to the big conferences, but if you’re in a shop where the budget isn’t there you don’t have to miss out.  My company Pragmatic Works has free training on the T’s (Tuesday and Thursday’s), SQL Skills has their Insider video’s, The Brent Ozar PLF has weekly webinars, Idera has the Ace program, and you name it (and sorry to anyone I left out) we've got it!

Not to mention the PASS Virtual ChaptersDBA, DBA Fundamentals, Performance, PowerShell, Big Data, Business Intelligence, and more!  Want a preview of the great content you will get at the PASS Summit 2012 look no further than the 24 Hours of PASS, once again completely free.

Want to be able to reach people in person and network?  Maybe you should attend a SQL Saturday, check out SQL Saturday 151coming up in Orlando Saturday September 29th, where the same people and many of the same presentations given around the globe are brought to the local community.  

Want community more than once or twice a year?  Check out your Local SQL Server User Group to the uninitiated), where you meet the DBA’s that make up your local community, once again absolutely free.

Many conferences will give you a chance to get training that may not make it out to any of these channels (the Microsoft PSS team the CAT team and other Microsoft guru's), and I would argue that they are still very important and valuable reasons to attend.

However, knowing where to look when those conferences are gone and just a memory and notes on a page is priceless.  So this will be my presentation.  It will be chock full of links to resources, how to find information, what sites to go through (I still haven't mentioned forums!).  Better yet being a lightening talk we'll have some people in the room that may be able to contribute more as well!