Showing posts with label SQL Saturday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SQL Saturday. Show all posts

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Day of Data Science with SQL Server, Azure ML, Spark, Hadoop, and R

Hello Dear Reader!  Next week in Jacksonville, Friday August 11th,  I will be presenting a Day of Data Science: With SQL Server 2016/2017, Azure ML, Spark, Hadoop, & R.  We will also be working in some Power BI, and may even be building something like what you see on the page.  Here's the abstract.


The world of data is changing.  It used to be enough to collect data and report off of it.  ‘Business’ people would make ‘business’ decisions based off of reports, historical experience, and their gut. ‘Business’ people may go into meetings and say things like, “We will change our business and stop doing A.  We used to do A, and we got profit!  Now we do A, and profit is down.  Therefore we stop doing A, and now we will do B!”  They may have data to back up their decision, they may not have data.  Sometimes they got it wrong, sometime they got it right.  One day someone figured out that they could use math and science to calculate the odds of making a good decision.  In Las Vegas they call it gambling, in the business world we call it Data Science.  Data Science is not some mysterious solution that fixes everything.  It is the process of using a series of calculations to make many micro-informed-decision.  This leads to informed decision making.  Those calculations are what we would call models, and they store the algorithm that we will use to calculate our odds.  There are many different ways to create, store, and utilize models.  In this pre-con we will discuss some of the architectures and ways this can be accomplished.  We will then focus on the newest advanced analytics capabilities in SQL Server and in R to discuss on premise architectures.  Including the advantages to storing data and models in SQL Server as well as how to use Predictive and Prescriptive analytics.  We will then end the day shifting our focus to the cloud with an end to end Lab focusing on Azure ML, Spark, Hadoop, Power BI, and Modern Applications.
*Note to participate in the Lab you will need access to Microsoft Azure and an Azure account.

What does the agenda look like?

8:30 AM – Speaker & Course Introductions
8:45 AM – Data Science concepts
9:45 AM – Begin Introduction to R – Using Baseball Analytics
10:00 AM – Break
10:10 AM – Continue Introduction To R
11:00 AM – R and SQL Server 2016/2017
12:00 PM – Lunch
1:00 PM – Azure ML Overview
2:00 PM – Begin Hands on Lab Walk Through
4:30 PM – End of Class

Will I live blog it like last year?  Only time will tell Dear Reader, only time will tell.

As always Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you there!!

Thanks,

Brad

Friday, May 6, 2016

SQL Saturday Jacksonville #552 Pre-Con: A Day of DBA Fundamentals- Install- Maintenance plans-and Security

Hello Dear Reader!  I'm here in beautiful Jacksonville FL for the SQL Saturday 552 events!  Today my friend Dan Taylor (@DbaBulldog | Blog) and I are presenting our Pre-con A Day of DBA Fundamentals, Install, Maintenance Plans, and Security.

We are having a lot of fun so far, and I wanted to share.  If you are in the class or curios you can download the Deck Here.

More updates as we go!

Final Update 4:43 pm

I just wanted to say a big Thank You to all the people who attended our pre-con today and the SQL Saturday Jacksonville team!

We covered the Azure Portal, SQL Azure DB, Elastic Pools, Azure VM's, and Premium Storage.

I'm exhausted.  The class is exhausted.  It's been a great start to the event.  See you all tomorrow!

Here's the Class waving goodbye!

Update 5

We just finished up group activities working on backups and restores.  Getting the group interaction was key.  A very adapt pupil found a great way to use azure for a highly transactional system.

Not gonna lie I gave them some difficult ones to figure out.  In the process looks like Dan caught me blogging!


Alright up next Maintenance Plans, Azure, and one last group exercise!


Update 4 2:30 pm

At the beginning of the day we split the class into 5 groups.  I told them not to get comfortable and we just showed why.

In this job communication is key.  We just make all the teams regroup and reintroduce themselves.  Next we started work on discussing the importance of backups and restores.  Dan led the way preaching the importance of the right backup strategy for the right business objective.


 During lunch we had a good discussion about how to communicate with the business.  I recomended two books that have become a good starting foundation for me, and a mandatory read for everyone on my old team (Much love to the #TeamBall).

If your interested you can find them here.

Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition

Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior, Second Edition

Update 1:30 pm

Great lunch by Panera here at the SQL Saturday Jacksonville Pre-Con!  We are having a nice group exercise.  I like watching the teams interact and discuss security and what permissions should be given per scenario.


Will we use AD or SQL Authentication?


Granular permissions?


Dan never could resist a great debate on security!


Update 2 11:49 am

We've taken a break for lunch!  The class exercises so far have been a lot of fun.  We've got a smart crew here today.  So far we've covered the different versions of SQL Server, how features and licensing go together, and using SSMS to create basic options and monitor.

Great participation so far.  We had a nice side discussion on what services should sit side by side.  Lot of caveats with this and this will be a nice blog for a later day.

Oh and Devin Knight stopped by!

OK Lunch Time!



Update 1

Scott Gleason (@SQLScottGleason) Is helping us kick this off!


Great crowd so far!  I wonder what Scott thinks of my performance?


Tough crowd!




Thursday, June 25, 2015

Top 3 Questions Before Submitting to a SQL Saturday

Hello Dear Reader!  We are coming up upon the 9th SQL Saturday for Orlando.  Orlando is where SQL Saturday began, and the home to some pretty amazing speakers.

We, the SQL Saturday Orlando Team, are hard at work getting ready for the event.  Our Call for Speakers ends on July 10th, just 15 days from now.  

So hurry up and get those submissions in!

"So Balls", you say, "How do I deal with the rejection if I don't get selected?  How do I submit a Presentation? Why would I want to submit to be a Speaker?"

Great questions Dear Reader.  As always you are on top of your game!  Let's dive right in!


1. HOW DO I DEAL WITH THE REJECTION IF I DON'T GET SELECTED?


Simple answer, in Orlando you don't.  SQL Saturday was invented and founded by SQL MVP & SQL Saturday Orlando Committee member Andy Warren(@SQLAndy | Blog).  The main thought behind it was to grow the next generation of SQL Server Speakers.  In 2007 Andy saw the need to grow the pool of professionals that spoke at SQL Server events.  He knew the value of expanding the community.

My first SQL Saturday was #49 in Orlando as an attendee.  Since then I've been on the Speaker Selection Committee since 2011.  When I started I asked my friend, and one half of my future law firm of Biguns & Balls, Jack Corbett (@UncleBiguns | Blog) what do I need to know about this position?  How do I pick who makes it and who doesn't?  His answer (and I'm paraphrasing, it was 4 years ago).

"You make room for everyone.  This is about growing the community.  You, Kendal, Andy, none of you speak unless there is room.  Everybody who submits get's a spot.  We encourage new Speakers, friends we haven't seen present in a while, MVP's, people from Microsoft, we cast a net and we give the community a place to gather and share."

And we do.

I'm proud to say that my co-partner in crime on the Speaker Committee SQL MVP Rodney Landrum (@SQLBeat | Blog)  and I have never rejected anyone.  We've helped tweak abstracts, had experience speakers sit with new speakers, and provide direct feedback after their presentation.  We've done what we needed to in order to help them give them a spot.  In all that time we've never rejected anyone and we are not about to start now.

2. HOW DO I SUBMIT A PRESENTATION

Don't worry, it's easy.  I'll give you some quick advice, but I walk through this in a lot of detail in a blog that I had written for SQL Saturday 85, click here to review.

First write an abstract, NOT a presentation.  Why you may ask?  Because it takes  a lot of time to write your presentation.  It takes a couple minutes to an hour to write an Abstract.

What's an Abstract?  It is the description of your presentation.  Here are a couple sample abstracts below that I had previously written about.  By the way, I never used these, I never developed a presentation on them so you could have at them Dear Reader.

The Top 10 Things Your Developers Should Know

It’s not easy being a DBA, heck it’s not easy being a Developer.  Too often DBA’s and Developers are put at odds, are we two different species, are they from Venus and we’re from Mars, Why wasn't the Green Lantern the movie more successful?  There are a lot of questions and you want Answers!  Come and find out the top 10 things you Developers should know about SQL Server and a friendly way you can present them.

So there we go, we start off with the statement, “It’s not easy being a DBA, heck it’s not easy being a developer.”  We don’t want to alienate anybody you get just as many developers, managers, and other folks at a SQL Saturday as you do DBA’s.  And then the Question Why wasn't the Green Lantern Movie more successful Why do we have such a hard time communicating?  Then present the solution, and suggest a Take-Away-Item that people will get by attending your presentation. There are a lot of questions and you want Answers! Come and find out the top 10 things you Developers should know about SQL Server and a friendly way you can present them.”  

Notice I made a couple light hearted jokes in the abstract, you don’t have to do that. That's more my thing.  So let’s do one more that is a little more serious.

Surrogate Keys vs. Natural Keys – The Great Debate

An essential part of Database Design is looking at the keys that you’ll have in your tables, You want to make sure that you’ve got a Primary key right?  But do you want that key to be Natural or Surrogate? What is the difference between Natural and Surrogate Keys, What is the Sort order on a Page, and How can they affect performance?  What do I want for an OLTP system vs. an OLAP system?  Come find out as we take a step by step process that will build and compare each!

No jokes this time Dear Reader, kind of like an anti-mullet, no Party in the back and all business up front.   

Once your abstract get's selected THEN you write the presentation.  In order to do that you have to submit.

You do NOT need to be on Twitter, LinkedIn, or have a blog.  Those are optional, but they do help with your personal branding.  Long term you should consider those things.  But you have time to do that!

Submit to SQL Saturday 442 Orlando by Clicking Here.


3. WHY WOULD I WANT TO BE A SPEAKER?


If you liked his presentation,
go buy Simon's book
It's important to start with Why.  I cannot tell you your why.  I can't.  It is for you to decide.  I can tell you my Why.  That's mine not your's, and I would encourage you to listen to Simon Sinek's great presentation on that.  It's only 18 minutes, and it has the potential to change your perspective and by proxy your life.  Go ahead and watch.  I'll wait.

Okay did you go listen?  Seriously!  After I said the whole change your life and perspective thing!  Really!?!  Go watch, click here.

Okay, if you still didn't do it I'm not going to turn into The Monster at The End Of This Book.

My Why.  I love empowering myself and people with knowledge.  I do this by trying to make complex concepts simple and relatable.  I just happen to do this through presenting, writing, and consulting.  Would you like to come to my presentation?  If you watched the video, you see exactly what I did there.

If you don't know your Why, finding it is half the fun.  Being a speaker can help you along that path as well.

Networking and opportunities are certainly a part of the package, but they are a result of What you do not Why you do it.  Look at your Why and if it leads you here we'd love to have you!

You don't have to speak.  You can be an attendee, a volunteer, or just come for the coffee, donuts, and conversations.  After all this is all about community!

WRAP IT UP

What are you doing still reading this blog!  Go submit, and if Orlando is not close to you head over to SQLSaturday.com and find a SQL Saturday near you, I'm sure they'd love to have you speak as well!


As always, Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks,

Brad

Monday, September 15, 2014

Outstanding PASS Volunteer

Hello Dear Reader!  In June this year I was recognized by PASS as with an Outstanding Volunteer Award.  In an unusual move I found myself speechless.  This is a very quick post to give the true credit where it is due.  June was a very busy month for me and I had a blog post scheduled to post it in July, but… let’s just say a couple things happened on the way to the theater.  The timing felt a bit wrong.

“So Balls”, you say, “Why blog about it now?” 

Great question Dear Reader.  The original blog was a big Thank You, and I want to say that in earnest.  The reason I received my award was for a lot of the work and presentations I’ve done this year. 32 presentations so far in 2014 with 9 more planned out and hopefully a couple more to come. 

These presentations don’t happen in a vacuum.  I’ve been very blessed as a presenter and community member.  I’ve written recently about how SQL Saturday’s impacted my life.  This year friends in the community invited me to new and wonderful locations.  Mike Walsh (@Mike_Walsh| Blog)  and 1/2 of my future law firm of Biguns & Balls Jack Corbett (@UncleBiguns | Blog) started out my January in New Hampshire from there I've presented physically and remotely in Florida, Puerto Rico, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Missouri, Texas, California, North Carolina, Virginia, Oregon, Colorado, Georgia, with more before the end of the year.  That doesn’t include Webinars where people from all over the world signed up to attend.

If you attended, were forced to attend, dragged, cajoled, or otherwise persuaded to attend I Thank You.  Dear Reader without you it doesn’t happen.

For the organizers, who put in their time, put on events, get sponsors, volunteers, and manage the process Thank You.  My time to present is a pittance compared to the effort it takes to lead a group and the hours that you put in.  Many Thanks for letting me be part of your group.

To PASS, the volunteers (the literally HUNDREDS of volunteers from SQL Saturday’s, program committees, Leadership Staff, down to the volunteer picking up coffee a noble and thankless job), Chapter Leaders, the employees whom I see and send emails to for the Summit or SQL Saturday’s, and all of those who I do not see Thank You. 

Your hard work helps create an environment that allows our community to thrive.  There have been lots of fantastic winners already this year.  I encourage you to check out the PASS page of Outstanding volunteers here.  Chances are if you’ve been to an event this year one has touched your life.

A Quick late-CONGRATULATIONS to my friend Shawn McGehee (@SQLShawn | OPASS) who is the August Outstanding volunteer.  Shawn is the Chapter Leader for OPASS and has done an incredible job.  He is leading the charge for our Pre-Cons for SQL Saturday Orlando amongst many, many other things!  Way to GO Shawn!!

To my friend who nominated me, the beers on me.  To anyone who wants me to present and I haven’t presented for you. If I’m in your area or you need a virtual presenter, shoot me a message on twitter or an email at bball@pragmaticworks.com  I’m always happy to help.


ONE MORE THING



“So Balls”, you say, “You’ve said Thank You, anything else?”

Why Yes Dear Reader!  Yes there is one more thing, actually 4 more things.  I got something big that I cannot share quite yet.  In celebration of the community and the influence you’ve had on my life I want to give something back.

So in October I’m going to blog a community script a week.  These will be scripts that people have asked for, as I’ve presented that I never found the time to get out there, plus a couple new ones.  One a week leading up to the PASS Summit in November.

As Always Dear Reader, Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks,


Brad

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why You Should Go to SQL Saturday

SQL Sat Puerto Rico
Hello Dear Reader!  Soon SQL Saturday #318 in Orlando FL will be here.  The SQL Community does a lot of work at SQL Saturday’s, present at them, and help put them on.  When talking about them, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is: “Why should I go to a SQL Saturday?” 


Almost 4 years ago I attended my first SQL Saturday, attending was a last minute decision and one that has changed my life.  I have a real passion for SQL Saturdays, and while results may vary, my simplest answer is “they can be life changing”.  Here’s how I got there.   



Summit 2013 - Denny's awesome Party
The only SQL Event I had ever attended was the first 24 Hours of PASS.  I loved it.  I watched with eager anticipation, this was the first SQL training I’d ever been to.  Every company I’d worked for thus far had balked at sending me to training. 


I desperately wanted training.  When I discovered the 24 Hours of PASS I became a fan, FREE SQL Training on the internet!!! What a concept!  Of course it was to plug the PASS Summit, and if training was a no go you can guess what my chances of ever going to the Summit in 2009 were. ZERO.  This was as close as I could get, but closer than I’d ever been before.


So as the PASS Summit 2010 was gearing up there was another 24 hours of PASS.  I reserved conference rooms at my company, registered for the events, had a router for network connections set up, and I pumped up the “free” training to the other DBA’s. I worked for two days from there as the sessions were streamed. 
Jorge at SQL Sat Jacksonville


While talking with the other DBA’s that when the magic moment happened.  My friend Greg and my buddy Dan Taylor (@DBABulldog | Blog) said, “If you like the 24 Hours of PASS you’ll love SQL Saturday”.  What’s a SQL Saturday I asked?

A free event where Consultants, MVP’s, and SQL Community members set up tracks and have free presentations all day long.  I was stunned.  It was like I was a child hearing about “FREE CANDY” given out at Halloween for the first time.  Where was this? When was this? This weekend!  In Orlando!  I can do that!  I had to pay $5 for my lunch, but other than that no cost.  I almost felt like I was getting away with something.  As if someone would stop me at the gate and say, “Sorry Sir, you get to sit in the lobby only paying attendees get to see the sessions.”  It didn’t happen.  I got in just fine.


Tom Larock kicking
off SQL Sat OC 
It was everything I’d wanted.  Sessions on Wait Stats, PBM, CMS, Indexing, two deep dives one on partitioning and another on CPU!  I met DBA’s that understood my pains, issues with hardware stressed beyond capacity, aging relic’s with critical LOB apps that we couldn’t get new hardware for, 3rd party vendors with bad indexes, bad code, and little support.  People trying to find a way to survive with NEW insights and experiences sharing openly and free.  People who understood my issues without having to pretend that they actually understood.   


I met Tom Larock (@SQLRockstar | Blog), Argenis Fernandez (@DBArgenis | Blog), Jorge Segarra (@SQLChicken | Blog), Patrick LeBlanc (@PatrickDBA | Blog), and 1 half of my future law firm of Biguns and Balls Jack Corbett (@Unclebiguns | Blog).  There were more.  Lot’s more.  That could take me pages more.  The point is I made it and it was like coming home.


Jason and Steve at SQL Live 360 

That day started it off.  Without Kendal Van Dyke (@SQLDBA | Blog), Andy Warren (@SQLAndy | Blog), Karla Landrum (@KarlaKay22 | Blog), and Jack putting on this SQL Saturday 49 I’m not here today.  

I submitted to be a speaker at the next event I could, I started a blog (you may be familiar with this one), got on Linked-In, and even got a Twitter account.  That event, that one SQL Saturday lead me to presenting at 7 more the next year.  


Getting a spot in the 2nd chance track at SQL Rally, getting voted in by the community at the PASS Summit 2011, and being invited to be on the planning committee for SQL Saturday Orlando #85 the following year after I’d first attended.

Summit 2013 with the guys

At the end of SQL Saturday Orlando every year we stand up top of a stair case and throw out t-shirts and give away raffle items.  In 2012 Andy Warren looked at me while we were tossing out t-shirts and asked “How’s the view from up here?”  I grinned imagining about 50 different replies, but in the end it was a simple “amazing” that left my mouth.


My second job after college took me to Virginia.   A friend had recommended me for the position.  He met me at the airport, as I flew in for my interview, so I would see a friendly face.  I thanked him.  He told me “I showed you the door, you have to walk through it”.  He was right.  I did.  That job taught me a lot and led me new places.


SQL Saturday was the same way.  It showed me the door.  Walking through it brought me new acquaintances, some new friends, new ideas, to SSUG’s, the PASS Summit, Dev Connection in Las Vegas, SQL Live 360 in Orlando, two books, and a pretty awesome job at Pragmatic Works.
Summit 2013 - Karaoke at the Pragmatic Works Party
This is just the journey so far.  Funny how close yet far away 2009 feels. There is always the question, Dear Reader, of where tomorrow will take you.  We all start somewhere.  Everyone has to have the first time.  That brings us back to the question. 


Why should you go to SQL Saturday?  Because they can be life changing.  Hope to see you at one soon, click here to register for Orlando.

As always, Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks,


Brad

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

SQL Saturday 232 Schedule is LIVE!

Hello Dear Reader!  Just a quick blog post today.  The Schedule for SQL Saturday 232 is now live!  You probably have heard me tell the story about how the First SQL Saturday was 6 years ago in Orlando.  Many people from the community participated to make it a success, and that success continues because of community members all over the world.  This year as SQL Saturday comes home for its annual event we have a lineup that is unparalleled. 

Currently on the schedule we have 13 active SQL Server MVP’s, 4 Microsoft Employees, and 1 MCM.  Speakers from all over the country are coming to Orlando for this event and now all we need now is you.

Come make a little bit of history with us in Orlando.  All of this doesn't even cover the Lunch, served by speakers and always delicious, or the prizes.  Last year we gave away an X-Box, IPAD, gift cards, software, and many other prizes thanks to our great Sponsors.

SQL MVP Rodney Landrum (@SQLBeat|Blog), Pass Evangelist Karla Landrum (@KarlaKay22|Blog), and your friendly neighborhood SQLBalls worked tirelessly on the schedule.  We scrapped and scrimped to get every slot possible to bring you the BIGGEST SQL Saturday Orlando ever.

More blogs on this during the ramp up to the event, for today all I ask it go check out the schedule by clicking here.  Signup, get some SQL Community, and make sure to stop by and say Hi!

See you there!

Thanks,
Brad

Friday, July 5, 2013

SQL Saturday Orlando: LAST CALL for Speakers


Hello Dear Reader!  I just wanted to write to Thank All of you for the submissions to SQL Saturday 232 Orlando.  This has been a crazy event and we are still several months away.  

Everything started out as it normally does, Karla Landrum (@karlakay22 | Blog),   leading the way pulling a motley crew of Shawn McGehee (@SQLShawn | Blog), SQL MVP Kendal Van Dyke (@SQLDBA | Blog), SQL MVP Andy Warren (@SQLAndy | Blog), Ben Cork, and myself behind her.

We hit a hiccup early on.  Our venue wasn’t going to be available on the date we had originally announced.  Unexpectedly we had to shift our date.  Some speakers couldn’t make it, and it brought us into conflict with other SQL Saturdays that some speakers had committed to speak at.  At that time we put out a very public call for speakers.

There's Still time to get a seat at our table!
The response was overwhelming!  So overwhelming that we are closing the call a bit early.  The call for speakers will end on July 10th and we hope to have the schedule out within a week or two after that.  Speaking with Rodney Landrum, my speaker committee co-captain, our goal is still the same.  No speaker will get turned away.



An essential part of SQL Saturday is to provide free training to the community.  Equally important is to help grow the next generation of SQL Server professionals who will be our speakers.  Look no further than myself to see proof of this.

So Dear Reader, get those abstracts in, because we’ll expand the number of rooms to fit you in!  Get ready to be part of the biggest SQL Saturday Orlando Ever!  Besides You know you want one of these!

As always Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks,


Brad

Friday, May 3, 2013

SQL Saturday 232 Orlando Call for Speakers!


Hello Dear Reader!  We are at that time of the year again.  SQL Saturdays are popping up all over the country, spring is beginning to give way to summer, and the planning for SQL Saturday Orlando 2013, aka #SQLSAT232, is gearing up.  

This year our team of unbelievable SQL Server professionals  Shawn McGehee (@SQLShawn | Blog), Karla Kay (@karlakay22 | Blog),  SQL MVP Kendal Van Dyke (@SQLDBA | Blog), SQL MVP Andy Warren (@SQLAndy | Blog), and Ben Cork are working to bring you an incredible event.

Leading up the speaker track are myself and SQL MVP Rodney Landrum(@SQLBeat|Blog).  That brings us to you Dear Reader.  I need your help, I need YOU to submit to be a speaker for SQL Saturday 232.

“So Balls”, you say, “What is SQL Saturday and why should I submit to be a speaker?”

That my Dear Reader is the $50,000 question.  The short answer, let’s go make a little history together.

COME MAKE SOME HISTORY


What is SQL Saturday?  From its humble beginnings, SQL Saturday was started as a way to give back to the SQL Community.  The statement “give back”, is over used and often clich├ęd.  It is used to give meaning to deeds, when people have trouble justifying “why” they did something with greater substance than going with the truth and saying they did it because “it was popular to do”.   True justification rolls off the tongue like drops of rain water fall off leaves.   In this case, however, I find to “give back” fitting. 

The professionals that assembled saw value in sharing knowledge.  Turning hard learned lessons, production level victories, and new and unexplored concepts into group discussions and learning.  In the end it created an amazing support group.  We are one group of professionals, which have a particular job. Sometimes we are on a team, other times alone, the people we interact with outside of our field do not often understand our challenges.

The one thing I hear over and over again from first time SQL Saturday goers is, “I feel like I arrived at a home that I never knew I was missing”.  I share that feeling, it was how I felt on my first day.  My first was SQL Saturday 49 Orlando 2010.  You can see, I arrived late to the party. 

The very first SQL Saturday happened in Orlando on November 10th 2007.  It was the brain child of Andy Warren.  There was only one SQL Saturday in 2007.  The concept was simple, get MVP’s, Authors, first time presenters from the SQL Community, and put on a FREE day of training.

Six Tracks, Seven different time slots, and a total of 37 different sessions throughout the day and we had our first one in the bag.  The very next Year saw SQL Saturday 2 in Tampa, followed by SQL Saturday 3 in Jacksonville, SQL Saturday 4 back home in Orlando, and SQL Saturday 5 (the first one out of Florida) in Olympia Washington.  Five SQL Saturdays in 2 years.  Last year in 2012 there were 50 in many different States across the US and 32 in other countries and US Territories, for a total of 82 different events.

Now it’s time for SQL Saturday to come back home.  Now it’s time for SQL Saturday Orlando.  Once a year we do this.  We come back home to where it all started.  It is fitting that Orlando is associated with attractions from far across the globe.  There is a magic here that draws us in (no not just the Mouse).  This is where it all began and this is your chance to be a part.  I wouldn’t want you to miss it!


WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

If you want to give a talk but don’t know where to begin, read this blog I put together ( I WANT YOU to Present at SQL Saturday 85).  I discuss Abstracts, how to write one, and how to put together an author biography.

Once you’ve done that all you need to do is click here to submit, the call closes 7/23/2013 so get yours in now!

“So Balls”, you say, “I already see some SQL BAD @$$es like Tim Ford, Devin Knight, and Andy Warren have already submitted?  What chance do I have?”

Not just good, but a GREAT chance Dear Reader!  SQL Saturday not only has the goal of educating people for free, but we grow local speakers. I was in charge of speakers for SQL Saturday 85 and my mission was to give everyone a slot especially first time speakers.    Rodney and I have talked about this, it took longer to drink the beer than it took to set our guidelines.

I want you to succeed Dear Reader, and so does the rest of the SQL Saturday Team.  If you have the fire in your belly to go out and give a talk to a group of IT professionals, newbie or Pro, you cannot find a better venue than SQL Saturday Orlando.

I hope to see you there!  As always Thanks for Reading!

Thanks,

Brad

Saturday, April 27, 2013

SQL Saturday 215 Deck and Demos Live

Hello Dear Reader!  I'm up in Jacksonville for SQL Saturday 215. Today I'm presenting SQL Internals, Backups, and Recovery Models!  OH MY!  

I'm also going to be the MC for the SQL Iron Chef BI presentation today.  Before the festivities being I wanted to upload my deck and Demo, a few tweeks from the last presentation I did up in Boston. One of the big differences, more data for the partitioning & Peicemeal Restore demo.  I got an SSD this week, and it's time to have some fun with it!

Early morning outside the main hall SQL Saturday 215 Jacksonville

I'll be in the DBA Auditorium from 1:15 - 2:15 today.  If you'd like a copy of the deck Click Here, if you'd like a copy of the demos Click Here.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

SQL Saturday 203 Boston, Deck and Demos Live!

Hello Dear Reader!

A quick note I'm presenting today at 1:30 pm for SQL Saturday Boston #203.

I'll be giving my presentation on the 4th Floor!  The topic today is SQL Internals, Backups, and Recovery Models!  OH MY!

Here's a quick link to the deck and the demo's, all live on the Resources page.

Also I'll be giving away a seat or two to the Pragmatic Works Performance Tuning Workshop here in Boston in June this year!  Make sure to stop by!

Hope to see you there!

Thanks,

Brad

Thursday, September 27, 2012

SQL Saturday 151 Interview: Stacia Misner





Hello Dear Reader SQL Saturday 151 is just around the corner.  If you haven't registerd there is still time to sign up now, click here!

Tomorrow kicks off with our Full Day Pre-Con's at the with Kevin Kline(@kekline | Blog) of Quest Software and Stacia Misner (@StaciaMisner | Blog) of Data Inspirations.  Click Here to read more about our DBA Pre-Con  and Click Here to read more about our BI Pre-Con.  There are still a few seats remaining so if you haven't signed up do so today!

Stacia was kind enough to sit down and have an interview with me running a wide gambit of topics.

We talked about Teaching being involved in the SQL Community and of course the up coming Pre-Con.

I hope you enjoy!


1.       What got you into IT and then into SQL Server as a Career?  Was the move to work with SQL Server straight to BI or where you ever a DBA?

My first official job in IT was as a installer/trainer for a software company that developed applications for tractor dealerships (which eventually customized for car dealerships as well). My mom had been one of the original employees there as a developer and thought it would be a good opportunity for me.

 She wasn't working there when I started working there, but in later years she did rejoin the company although we worked in completely different departments. My job was to travel out to tractor dealerships and get their IBM System 36 installed and configured and then to teach the personnel how to run their business using the computer.
Most of them had been on manual systems. I did some custom reporting development for them because, of course, canned reports in the software never answered the questions that management really had.

When we started moving our applications to PC-based systems, we had a database backend and that's where I started to learn how to write SQL queries but I didn't know anything about database management. Fast forward many years and I was in another software company as a project manager for custom development in the legal industry. I stumbled on Business Intelligence while I was looking for information on the Internet to use to train up a new employee on project management skills.

I read about cubes and thought this had to be valuable to the types of reporting and analysis that we were trying to incorporate into our software, and that's when my career veered off into BI. At the time, I managed a team of Lotus Notes and Java developers, and we extracted data from our Lotus Notes databases into Oracle databases so that we could do more sophisticated reporting than we could in Lotus Notes. I went straight from that in to BI - I've always been involved in one way or another in getting data out of computers into a format that people need for analysis. 



2.       You just moved to Alaska, why Alaska and what do you love about it?

I moved to Alaska because my husband told me when were dating (many, many years ago) that he would be happier living with me in a shack in Alaska than he would in a mansion in (somewhere I forget now).

So I wanted him to prove it to me! But more seriously, he's a country boy and was never very happy in our city homes. To rectify that, we were looking for property out in the country somewhere in the Western states a couple of years ago and a long-lost childhood friend of my husband's called during that time and described where he was living in Alaska. It had everything we were looking for, except it wasn't as close to an airport as I required. So I said I would put up with the travel inconvenience as long as I could get a decent Internet connection, which we made happen, and so here we are!

 Travel inconvenience is putting it mildly. It's quite an ordeal to get in and out of here - but it's an amazing place to be while I'm home. We're still getting set up and stocked up, but I love the access to fresh foods from the sea and from nature - we have all the salmon and halibut and other types of fish that we could ever want, plus wild mushrooms (chanterelles and morels) and a variety of edible seaweeds. We'll be building a greenhouse for year-round veggies. I go for a walk almost every morning when I'm home - rain or shine - and walk about 3 miles with a neighbor and see more deer (and sometimes bear and bald eagles) each day than I see people in a week. It's a beautiful view and environment, and I'm really glad to be here!



3.       You’ve had the opportunity to travel to many different places and teach to many different people and audiences.  What has your favorite experience been as a teacher?  What was your favorite location to travel to?
I have lots of favorite experiences as a teacher.  I really like to experience a place through its foods and I had a list of foods to try during the week I was there. It was my personal food scavenger hunt!

Each day at lunch I would ask my students to help me identify what was on our lunch menu to determine what I could cross off my list. On Thursday, I was asked if I would join some of the students for dinner to get some of the other items on my list. I assumed we would be going out to a restaurant, but I was invited to a flat that one company had rented for the students they had sent to my class and they cooked dinner for me.

Meanwhile there was an incredible storm outside - hurricane force winds in Warsaw! But we had such a wonderful time enjoying homemade food and they were telling me Polish folk tales as we waited out the storm. And to cap it off, one of the students told me she had used one of my books in a college course (which she had neglected to tell me all week until that night!). That evening was truly a memorable experience!

 As for my favorite location, that's more difficult question to answer because there have been so many places and so many wonderful people that I can't single out just one!


4.       How has the SQL Server Community, and/or being involved with it, affected your life?

Being involved in the SQL Server Community has given me the opportunity to meet people from all around the world. On a personal level, my husband is on a mission to acquire a certain breed of dog which is not commonly found in the US, so he found breeders in other countries and suggested I go to these places and I thought - I KNOW people in those countries who I could ask for help with the language, etc. How nice is that?

On a professional level, it's extremely helpful because I have a network of like-minded people that I can connect with regularly which is so important as an independent consultant who doesn't have an office full of co-workers. I've been able to participate in many projects as a result of having met people through community and I've been able to connect people that I know with clients that need their sort of expertise.

Having this network as a result of the SQL Server Community also helps me keep aware of important happenings and trends in the industry, provides a sounding board when I'm dealing with challenges, and keeps me motivated to keep learning more and to see the same old things in new ways. 

5.       Last year you attended SQL Saturday 62 in Tampa and later you were at SQL Rally in Orlando, this year it is back to Orlando for SQL Saturday 151.  What keeps you coming back to visit the SQL Server Community in Florida?
I have a lot of friends I like to see in the SQL Server Community in Florida and it's a nice place to visit most times of the year!

6.       Your Pre-Con looks fantastic, if I was speaking to someone at an HR/Training department who should I tell them they should send to attend?

The Pre-Con is going to cover a lot of ground, although it is specific to the BI features in SQL Server 2012. The people who will benefit the most will be those who have some familiarity with earlier versions of SQL Server BI because I will talk about the things you need to know to make the transition more easily and I'll point out what's most important in the new features. If you're completely new to BI, you won't have the right context.

Anyone responsible for BI architecture, solution development, or BI support would benefit from this Pre-Con if a SQL Server 2012 upgrade is on the horizon, or if you're wondering why (or if) you should bother with an upgrade. 

7.       Why is BI so important to the business world?  Do you have any stories about how BI investments help change or shape a company that you worked with (that you can tell without breaking any confidentiality agreements)?

BI is so important because there are so many questions and there is so much data, but it's not so easy for a business person to find the answer to their questions. The structure of the data that is necessary for capturing transactions just doesn't lend itself well to summarization and comparative style queries. I don't think any of my clients would say that BI revolutionized their business.

 Instead, they would say that having BI has freed up their time so that they can spend more time thinking about what to do in response to what they learn from BI rather than spending all their time trying to gather the data and piece it together to make sense of it somehow. 


8.       I’m a DBA, why would I want to learn about BI?
I know enough about DBAs to know that there are different types of DBAs, so I would say it depends... I think you need to understand enough about BI to determine which tool is right for which job and then shift the work where it will get the best performance with the hardware and BI developer resources available.

You might even be an accidental BI developer, if not now, maybe soon. There is no escape from BI! The bottom line is that the business wants data for analysis, yesterday. The easier you make that process and the faster you can deliver, the more of a hero you can be.

9.       Your presenting Data Visualization in Reporting Services during the SQL Saturday 151 event, how does this tie into the pre-con?

They're actually unrelated. My Pre-Con focuses on SQL Server 2012 whereas my Data Visualization presentation talks about what you can and should do in Reporting Services to tell the right story, and that's applicable regardless of what version of Reporting Services you're using.

That said, I will also delve a bit into spatial data visualization which is SQL Server 2008 R2 feature along with some other items that were introduced in that version, but the main theme of the session is about design techniques - good and bad.

10.   If you could give one bit of advice to someone starting out in the IT field what would it be?

Find your passion and run with it, as long as you can see how it solves a business problem. Everybody likes different aspects of technology, which is good thing else we'd all be in each other's way.

When you find what you're passionate about, you don't mind spending extra hours learning about it, whether you're getting up early or staying up late. You want to eat, breathe, and live it while everyone around you thinks you're nuts! But that passion pays off when you can use it to help others solve their problems.

The more problems you can help people solve, the more valuable you are, and the more you want to learn so that you can expand the range of problems you can solve. It's a vicious cycle!


As Always Dear Reader Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you Tomorrow and this Saturday!

Thanks,

Brad


Thursday, August 16, 2012

SQL Saturday 151 BI Pre-con: Stacia Misner




Hello Dear Reader, SQL Saturday 151 Orlando is picking up steam.  The Pre-Con’s have been named and they are fantastic.  SQL Saturday Orlando is always a big event, the schedule has been posted, and the planning is well underway.  First stop the BI Pre-Con Featuring Stacia Misner(@StaciaMisner|Blog) taking place at the beautiful Lake Mary Hyatt Place hotel.

“So Balls,” you say, “Who is Stacia and why should I attend?”

Great question Dear Reader, I work with a lot of really great people in the BI world, even though that area is not my forte, and everyone agrees Stacia is one of the TOP BI experts in the world.  She is one of the instructors for the Microsoft SSAS Maestro Program.  Stacia has been the author of over 12 different books on the subject of SQL Server.  

Her most recent is Introducing SQL Server 2012, available as a free PDF download click here to get it!  I first met Stacia at SQL Saturday #62 back in Tampa in 2011.  She had also written the book introducing SQL Server 2008 R2 and I had some questions about Master Data Services.  I was trying to figure out if Master Data Services in the 2008 R2 release was right for a project I was working on.  I asked her if I could get her advice and she was polite, candid, and very helpful.  Now it is your chance to get to meet Stacia.


A 360-Degree View of SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence

One of the greatest things about SQL Saturdays is that the top SQL speakers and consultants will offer their training services for an unbelievable deal.  Stacia has taught BI Immersion Courses, Pre-Cons, and spoken at seminars that cost thousands of dollars to attend. You can attend her SQL Saturday session, and get one on one time with this expert, for just $99.   So now let’s look at the plan for the day.

In this session, we’ll take a holistic look at the BI features in the latest version of SQL Server by reviewing the architecture requirements, exploring the implications for existing BI applications, and introducing new capabilities that support the transformation of data into business insight. We'll start with data integration and management by reviewing the overhaul that Integration Services received in this release, how to formalize the data cleansing process by using the new Data Quality Services, and how master data management is improved with the updates to Master Data Services. Then we'll discuss the improvements to analytical capabilities by exploring updates to Analysis Services, including the new Tabular Model, and enhancements available in PowerPivot. Last, we'll cover the new presentation layer options available in Reporting Services and the new release of Power View. Of course, you’ll see demonstrations of the new features, but the primary purpose of this session is to give you a chance to ask lots of questions and to get a look “under the hood” to better understand what you’ll need to do to get these BI features up and running properly. You’ll also learn how to prepare your data environment to leverage these features and how best to manage the user experience.

If you are in a BI shop, or are looking to expand your career and get more in-depth in the BI field this is a great training opportunity.  Click here to sign up for the pre-con.  Click here to register for SQL Saturday 151 if you haven’t already.  I hope to see you there!  As always Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks,

Brad