Saturday, October 31, 2009

SQLPASS 2009 Schedule

As I have been thinking and planning, and hoping to capture all the various events I will be attending during the SQL PASS Summit in Seattle starting soon.
This is mainly for me, so I can reference it when i get confused or lost or sidetracked. It will also serve as a cheatsheet for those playing Twitter Bingo to more easily find me.

Before the whole Twitter Bingo thing took off, I tried to come up with my own similar idea. I fell short. But what I did do was purchase a few items to give away to the first 3 folks that find me that I do not know currently. I thought long and hard about what to give away. Something of value to the recipient, yet indicative of the local where I reside. A bunch of different items came to mind, but i ended up purchasing some simple items to hand out to those winners.



Virtual Chapter breakout 900pm - 1100am Room 208
Chapter meeting 1100pm - 1230am Room 208
Networking Seminar 430pm - 630pm
Welcome reception 630pm - 800pm
SSC party 800pm -


Regional Mentor meeting 100pm - 300pm
Ambassador for PASS 130pm - 600pm
SQL Sentry Party 900pm - 1200am


Quest breakfast 700am - 830am
MS Appreciation 700pm - 1000pm


Chapter Lunch 1200pm - 100pm Hall 4B
Red-Gate dinner 730pm -

Thursday, October 22, 2009

SQL Query Processing doc

just a few minutes ago, i completed presenting on SQL Query Processing for SSWUG vConference.
One of the attendees was unable to download the word doc that contained the steps. I'm posting them here, so that this attendee, and any others, can grab a text version of it, and keep it for themselves

Logical query processing steps

(8) SELECT (9) DISTINCT (11) Top
(1) FROM
(3) JOIN
(2) ON

Monday, October 19, 2009

my SSWUG vConference Schedule

I got an email today detailing the schedule of SSWUG. I quickly went over there to see when I am presenting. Even though I am done with my part of the recorded presentation, I still get nervous about it being aired. Worry overtakes me that it will be good, that it wont stink, that it will be helpful. It does help to have recently heard from someone via email that they had recently watched me present some topic about auditing. It turned out to be at the last SSWUG conference, and the person relating it, had recently watched it at their office. That was a huge ego boost.
In any event, its only a couple days away. If you would like to see the schedule, click here. I present on the 21st and 22nd at 9am and 10am. Right there in the morning, right after each other, and bam, im done. I so look forward to being part of the forums and talking with folks, as the presentation is going on. I also look forward to the sure to be entertaining hijinks that will occur in some of the forums, and sponsor booths. Last time, quite the time was had by the SQL Community folks. (as a side note, i had an idea, and googled 'SQL Community' images. Keep traversing through them, and on page 7 you see me. wild. Others show up that I recognize as well).

So, here are the sessions
10/21/2009 9:00Professional Development / Social Networking
10/21/2009 10:00On Call Duties
10/22/2009 9:00SQL Server Logical Query Processing
10/22/2009 10:00Database Change Process

Thursday, October 15, 2009

SSWUG vConference is coming, again!

The SSWUG Ultimate Virtual Conference starts October 21st and runs for 3 days. I had the opportunity of participating last time (April) for the first time. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and think that a nitch has been created and filled with a virtual conference, that still lends itself to a lot of social interaction between presenters and attendees, and even between attendees. And all this can be done from the comfort of your favorite chair and computer.

If you have not registered yet, do so. Here is a link

There are many reasons to go. Check out the website for more information.

To plagiarize the SSWUG website,
Learning, learning and more learning

Being able to watch videos of prerecorded sessions, and interact with other attendees and the presenter, from wherever you want to watch the conference, is an incredible opportunity. You can ask questions, get clarifications, even rewatch sessions over and over. There are many sessions, and they are repeated a few times, giving you ample time and opportunity to learn.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

It's all about that other stuff

A couple times a year, we take our hot DB system and switch it to the warm DB system. Sometimes this warm DB system is a newer system with better hardware and the like. Its often a step up from where we are currently. We've gotten pretty good at switching from one hot system to a warm system, flipping statuses of these as we go. There are a lot of moving parts, and a lot of people involved, and a lot of prep work and practicing that goes into these switches. Its not for the faint of heart, but like most of our tasks, its not rocket science either. Just takes time, planning, and execution. The more of each we can put against these items, the better the outcome.

We just had a successful switch that we've been prepping for for weeks. Lots of dry runs occur prior to the fateful task. Today, I've been applying these same principals to another project I'm working on. Trying to envision all the possible tasks needed, creating a project plan, seeing thru the cracks, a little fortune telling, and even some guessing all were on the menu today. A Word doc was started to get the day rolling, a Visio diagram was created, and some project plans were also created. Some days, its not about the SQL. Its about the database. Its about the business. Its about, wow, all that stuff we claimed we were interested in when we interviewed for the position, but secretly only wanted to write TSQL.

I just wanted to note that it did happen, and be able to reach back in time, sometime in the future, and remember today.

Monday, October 05, 2009

I'm headed to #SQLPASS 2009

For a while, there, I was not sure if I would be going. After some discussions, some stress, some worry, I was allowed to attend. Excitement coursed through me, and I tweeted about it, and started getting excited to return. So much can be learned at PASS. If one could only attend a single day of sessions, and go home, I bet that person would feel satisfied that they had learned more than expected.

Multiply that by 3 days of intense learning, the chance to sit at the feet of contemporary authors and experts, rub shoulders with the leaders of the SQL Community, participate in learning with tons of other folks with similar experience and knowledge as you, and we come closer to what SQLPASS gives the attendee.

However, we're not done yet. You need to add in the SWAG that you can pickup from the vendors. Even in slow economy years, a couple tshirts makes you feel like a winner. My kids still play with some of the items I have brought back. However, don't just waste time getting SWAG from the vendors. Pick their brains, share with them your systems and see where they can help you. Look at as many booths as you can, and see where they may help you, or you them.

Let's not stop at the vendors. Near the vendors, you'll find experts from Microsoft eager to sit with you and hash out problems, questions, concerns and the like. Make sure that you think long and hard for some examples and ideas you can bring to this table. How often do you sit in your office wishing you had a connection to someone that could help you out with an issue you are experiencing? This is that chance. Bring to the table all the issues you can and take advantage of this opportunity.

Think we're done? No, we are just barely done discussing some of the structured events that will occur. I haven't mentioned the keynotes or any of the misc events like WIT luncheon. I have not mentioned the volunteer training, or the various parties put on by SQLPASS, SQLServerCentral, and vendors. Each of these provides yet more opportunity for knowledge to be gained. In some cases, its just for fun, but do not be naive enough to think that a party is just that. Its like the ogre once said, its an onion, with layers and layers. You must find your way through the layers and the meaning of each one.

One would think that if you crammed all this into 3 days, it would be enough. But it's not all. I'm only describing the goings on that may occur from 8 to 6. There is still time before and after for more. Its up to you to fill in this time. My first PASS, in Florida, I had no idea that I could fill this time with more networking, more knowledge, more. I went back to my room, and did nothing. I've since learned that this is not the time to be wasting either. Each evening there is something better you can be doing. Since this is a once a year event, why not maximize it? Why not fill it in with as much as possible? You'll be going home in a small while anyway, and you will regret not spending every waking minute filling your SQL bucket with as much as possible.

I booked my flight, and am leaving my home Monday morning, and will be in Seattle by 10am. I do this so that I have more time to fill my SQL bucket. I don't know what i will do with the time yet, but will fill it with something, for sure. I don't leave until late Friday evening either, well after the Summit proper has completed, giving myself more time to fill my bucket. While at the summit, I will spend time in my room, but only enough to sleep enough to be able to function the next day. And maybe a shower or two.

Others have blogged about their ideas of PASS. You should read them as well.
Jeramiah Peschka's Random thoughts
Bill Graziano's suggested sessions

Make your list, check it twice, and make sure you bring the properly sized bucket. Fill it with as much as possible. Bring the bucket home, and slowly, over the next few weeks and months, sift thru it, and absorb whatever you can. Use these things to make you work better and easier.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

SSWUG October 2009

I recently had the distinct privilege and honor to return to Tucson, Arizona to record 4 sessions for the upcoming virtual conference. This is my second time, and i loved it even more than the first time. This time around, I knew what to expect, and was more at ease. I was able to prepare 3 new presentations and 1 I had had presented previously in User Groups and at work. I spent a fair amount of time preparing these presentations, and worried about how to best present these topics. Knowing that the presentations are combined with forums and the attendees get the opportunity to speak about the topics amongst themselves and the presentor, helped me try to interact more with the audience than the first time thru. I hope that I was able to accomplish this, and bring the audience more into the presentation and forums. Speaking to an audience is always, for me, a scary proposition. Someone once told me that I do it well. This was a long time ago, I was young, and it was at church. I believed them, and have tried to improve this ability over time. I do enjoy it, and its such a learning experience for me, that I am selfish in pursuing it.
The presentations I chose were, SQL Query Processing, On Call Duties, Release Process and Professional Development and Social Networking. The first presentation is a book report about chapter 1 of Itzik Ben Gan's book on SQL Server 2005. Each time i present this, I remember all the things I learned and forgot and relearned. On Call Duties brings to light the tasks we should think about and prepare for if this task lands in our lap. There are many things that can be prepared and practiced to make yourself more ready to perform these duties. Release Processes have been around in each company I've been at. Each company dealt with these in different ways, and I hope to share these ideas with you thru this presentation. The last topic is near and dear to our hearts as we have all embarked on this new fangled social networking fad, but i attempt to show that this is just a new way to do an old trick.

There is a code that can be used to sign up for the vConference that will get you a discount. If you have not attended this conference before, you should really check it out. Being able to sit at your own desk, and participate in a well organized conference is a great boon to your career development. Being able to join in on the forums with other attendees as well as the presentor allows you the chance to interact with folks as well as you do in a physical conference. There are many sessions available, and unlinke a physical conference, most are re-presented if you could not make an earlier session. Check it out. Learn, interact, grow!