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


SQL Saturday Oklahoma City, OK: 422 August 29th, 2015!

We're proud to bring back the OKC SQL Saturday for the 5th year in a row! We have 3 precons setup and ready to cover almost any interest! You can find more information about them here.

We're hoping to see new speakers this year! 

We will still have our normal speakers I'm sure. What I'm hoping for though... I'd love to see some first time speakers. Everyone has something to share! I'd like to open this up for you. Please send in your presentations, even if it's the first time you've ever done one! If you want help looking them over, I can help find some people just for that. I want to see our local community grow too!

We'll have lots of prizes!

We're hoping to see our same list of great sponsors this year, that we had last year. I want to make sure nothing is lost or forgotten! Everyone loves win cool items! I'll update this later with ideas on all the cool stuff we'll have. (Did I mention cool?)

FOOD! Everyone needs to eat right?

I will hopefully have that sorted this week. I swear it won't be sandwiches or pizza... This will be updated as well.

New Ideas!

Honestly, I want to hear from you on this one. What would you like to see for a SQL Saturday? What have you been missing? Let's see what we can do!!

In the comments, I'd love to hear any new ideas, people that may want to speak but just don't have that push, favorite rainbow colored kittens... just about anything!


I'm Speaking at SQL Saturday 300 - Kansas City and a Few Questions About SQL Saturdays!

This is just a short update. I will be speaking at SQL Saturday Kansas City! I really hope to see you all there. This will be my last SQL Saturday this year. If anyone has seen my presentation, how do you think I did?

I've wondered a few things about SQL Saturdays from other people... Please indulge me.

How often do you attend a SQL Saturday outside of your state?

How often do you attend a SQL Saturday outside of your state that you're not speaking at?

Do you see any benefit to having multiple SQL Saturdays in the same state?

Do you see any benefit to having multiple SQL Saturdays in the same location? Basis for the idea is a twice a year thing for smaller states.

Do you learn a lot when you go?

How often have you found a vendor with a product you've never known about?

I'm really curious what your answers might be. As a reward, I'll purchase a 30 day Plural Sight card and give it away October 15th to a random person who answers these questions for me. A show of good faith, here's my answers.

1) How often do you attend a SQL Saturday outside of your state?
4-6 times a year

2) How often do you attend a SQL Saturday outside of your state that you're not speaking at?
Once a year roughly. (I need to get better about that)

3) Do you see any benefit to having multiple SQL Saturdays in the same state?
In very large states, I can see a good reason. (California, Texas, ect)

4) Do you see any benefit to having multiple SQL Saturdays in the same location? Basis for the idea is a twice a year thing for smaller states.
Currently no. I don't think we could get vendor support for something like that without having a building gifted to us as well for the event.

5) Do you learn a lot when you go?
I learn a fair bit when I can attend the sessions. I make a lot of connections as well.

6) How often have you found a vendor with a product you've never known about?
Twice actually. We bought their product within 180 days of viewing it.

See, that wasn't so bad.^.^ 


Speaker Buddy System

SirSQL made a rather stirring post recently. He talked about a speaker buddy system to help out new speakers in our community that are trying to make the jump to a SQL Saturday or any larger event. I think it's a fantastic idea. He brought on a story of a girl named Anna who felt so put off by her experience that she'll never speak again. Anna was made up for his post to emphasize his point. I'm going to add a personal story to this as well.

I've been helping with SQL Saturdays in OKC, OK for going on 4 years. I decided to get into speaking this year. I haven't given a presentation or had any face time in front of a large group (3+ people) since high school.My first presentation was at our local user group. They gave great feedback and gave me some great pointers. My second one was in Tulsa's local user group. Great people, great presentation and useful feedback. 3 days after that, me and my wife drove down to Houston's SQL Saturday and I gave my first presentation at a SQL Saturday. 

I noticed a few things that I hadn't before. I've been to multiple SQL Saturdays in various states. I've helped presenters who struggled figuring out how that school or building sets up their projection system. I've seen speakers and people in general that were lost to where they're supposed to go. I've seen presenters rushing in the crowd with the rest of us trying to get to a room on time. The difference for them is that they still need to sit down, set up, check that the presentation view or demo comes over correctly and calm down for the presentation.

 When I sat behind the desk for my first SQL Saturday, I had to figure out what strange settings and controls their presentation setup had. I have no clue why it seems like every school and conference center insists on having a completely different presentation setup. I digress. I was a bit familiar with the drill. I got in the room, started setting up immediately, checked the screens and just waited. I was excited, nervous and a bit on edge to see how many people came in the room and what sort of questions I'd get.

I had 4 people show up. One was a couple who stared at their phones the entire time. My presentation went a bit faster than it should have since I had no audience to get some back and forth with. I was not prepared for a 4 person silent room. I had one question that was related to but off the main topic and in an area I'm not 100% familiar with. If that had been my first interaction with SQL Saturdays, it would have been my last. I had driven 9 hours down on my weekend to stand in front of 4 people to give a quick nervous presentation and not be able to answer the one question asked, even if it was off topic. 

I would have loved to have someone in there that's done this a few times. They might have been able to stir a few questions out and help me see how to spin up a crowd. They could have given me some advice on what I did wrong or right. If I hadn't worked with a dozen or so different projection setups in the past, they would have been extremely useful in helping me not stress over hooking up a screen.

Now, I know that's not how all SQL Saturdays are. Very few actually end up like that. I know my topic is a bit strange anyways. I've signed up to speak and 5 locations this year. Houston, Baton Rouge, OKC, Kansas City and St. Louis. I've been accepted to the first 4 and St. Louis hasn't closed yet. I plan on treating each and every one of these as my first event. I think a first time speaker buddy system is a fantastic idea. I hope it catches on quickly.


Come see me in Baton Rouge Aug 2nd!

I've been accepted for SQL Saturday Baton Rouge!

Yes, I am a little excited. I've wanted to become a speaker for some time. I'm excited to be speaking at my second SQL Saturday. My first session was at SQL Saturday Houston. I'll be honest, I chose the less used topic of fill factor. I honestly didn't expect it to be a session picked very often. So far I'm 2/2 on submissions. I'll be speaking at the last spot of the day,enough about that for now.

There are many other great speakers coming to SQL Saturday Baton Rouge! It's really hard to beat a free event with tons of free training and contacts you can make going forward. I honestly thing SQL Saturdays are what will keep MS SQL Server ahead in the game. I've not seen any other DB Software offer so much training and support for free or have near as strong of a community. Honestly, if you know of one... I'd love to know about it. 

Free Training?!

I've talked about a few free training sources before. SQL Saturdays, User Groups, website links I personally like, ideas on what I did as a junior DBA, Lists of many other resources and I even post scripts I find useful. You might even be able to talk your boss into a free lunch while getting some free training! 

What I'd like to see is some of you post something you've learned. I don't mean just here, I mean anywhere. What have you been learning recently? What are some subjects you wish you knew more about? Is there something you've been working with that you didn't find much information about? These can all lead to good presentations! Have you thought about speaking at your User Group? They don't bite... It's a great place to get started. 

Thank You!

Honestly, thank you all. I've been writing since November. From the people who've posted on my site, the e-mails I've received, and just the number of people who've visited the site... Thank you. This was a big motivation to start trying to present and I'm even working on a second presentation now. I encourage anyone who wants to speak to do so. 


SQL Saturday Houston

I spoke for my first time at a SQL Saturday in Houston this past week. I had a lot of fun doing so! I got to meet other speakers starting out, see some of the old hats and overall just get to give something back to the community. 

A few thoughts on SQL Saturday Houston.

It was run rather well. I really liked the food layout and the rooms. It was a very nice facility and short of finding the building, the whole event was really well done. I did show up before they put out the "SQL Saturday this way" signs in all fairness. 

The rooms were nice and clean, the food was good, the facility was well managed and the coordinators were practically jogging it seemed. They did a great job.

More than a few presenters

There were 54 presentations, 9 tracks 6 deep. If you wanted any track, you may even have had 2-3 to choose from. I'd like to thank all of the presenters that mostly came out to do this for free on their own time to either get their name and brand out or just to give back to a community that gives so much. Even a vendor said they preferred SQL over Oracle just because of how open and helpful the community is. Bravo for that.

Overall it was a fantastic experience and I have to give it to the folks down in Houston. They did an amazing job. If you get time, swing by their local user group. If their user group is half as good as the SQL Saturday was, you'll surely be impressed. 

I also recently went up to Tulsa for their user group and That post is scheduled for next Monday.

To both Tulsa and Houston; Thanks for having me! It was a blast.


I'm Speaking at SQL Saturday Houston, May 10th.

I will be speaking at my first SQL Saturday. I'll be in Houston May 10th. I'm rather surprised to be honest. No, I don't have that sinking feeling that my presentation isn't good enough or that I'll show up at the event in my underwear with everyone laughing... those fears will come the few nights before. Honestly it's just because this is the first SQL Saturday I've ever submitted too. I expected to see rejections the first few times.

I have submitted to 4 SQL Saturdays this year. I will be submitting to a 5th once they solidify the date. My hopes were to speak at one event at least. I'm rather ecstatic. I would be happy to present at each and every one of them. (I'm sure the shine will wear off in time) My presentation will be on Fill Factor: Performance or Nuisance? The premise behind this presentation is not a deep dive into how the internals work. It's more built around why the changes matter, how they impact the system and how it can or cannot help. 

I'd be happy to see you all out there! I'm hoping to get out and meet more people. So far my interactions with SQL Saturdays is making sure the rooms are ready, tables setup, cookies in the speakers room... that sort of thing. It'll be a little strange seeing it from the other side.

I've written before about the list if things I'm taking with me to make sure everything works. My list has both grown and shrunk. Below is the list of what I'm planning on taking. If you have any suggestions, I'd be more than happy to listen!

Presentation Items:
Laptop and power cord.
Spare laptop (eventually something more like the Surface Pro... but for now just a spare laptop)
DVI to VGA converter
USB to DVI/HDMI converter
USB backup of my presentations, databases and installs
External mouse/Presentation mouse (I still need to pick one up... and soon)
Wireless Hotspot (Just in case)
Print outs of the slides in case the projector has issues( Thanks Andy Yun!)

Travel Items:
Extra complete change of clothes including shoes. Changes of clothes = Days Traveling +1
Travel toothpaste/brush
Power inverted (car)
Refrigerated cooler (car)
Travel pillow (plane)
Bathing suit
Cash: Tolls + 1 Tank of gas

I think that about covers everything. I'm not entirely sure. Any other suggestions?


SQL 2014 Release Date, April 1st

I'm not a fan of anything releasing on April Fool’s Day, but that's not for me to decide. I personally cannot wait to upgrade to 2014.  I want to see the full power behind PCI-e based SSDs pushing extended ram. I want to have the security of having a server go down and it not take out both sides of the Availability Group. If you haven't heard, when one goes off, it shuts them both down. I want to rebuild my partitioned indexes online. I have lots of wants, but how long will I have to wait to install?

I'm torn here. An old theory was to wait for Service Pack 1 before installing anything by Microsoft. Did we replace Service Packs with new versions? How long will we have to wait for the next "version"?  I hope I'm wrong here. I do love new features. I love upgrades. I do not like upgrading every year. 

I have this feeling that we're about to see releases every other year at most. We may quite possibly see a release per year. I do not want to see this happen. larger agencies stay on older tech longer. I think that coupled with the increased prices for SQL Server with the core licensing may in fact push people off of the Microsoft stack. They may not lose enough to hurt them bad enough, but they will lose some. 

What other Database platforms would you all consider? I personally hope we get back to seeing service packs and keep this stack strong. We have too strong of a community to see it split. 

This is a quote from their SQL Saturday posting, "We are encouraging participation in our food drive to benefit the Westside Cares food pantry located at the facility where the SQL Saturday event will take place.  Toward the end of the event, we plan to give people additional chances to win SWAG based on the amount of items each person brings for donation to the food pantry."

I really hope we can we can get enough people to bring food to make a large difference. 

If you disagree, please let me know. I'd love to hear other opinions.


SQL Saturday OKC 309!

SQL Saturday OKC is coming up!

The event will be August 23rd, 2014!

Now is the time to get signed up. We already have three great precons ready.




All three of these sessions are being done by well respected authors. These are all on an early bird special until July 15th. The normal price is 120, currently they're 99$. We will are excited to host this great event again. If you're not familiar with the SQL Saturday concept, SQLCenturion wrote a rather extensive blog post on his experiences running them here. I have my own take on them from an attendee perspective as well.

I will be submitting to OKC and I hope many other speakers do as well. Given the list we've had in the last few years, I think we'll have a fantastic event once again. I really hope to see you all there.

If you  plan on coming out and would like any local information such as where to find a good restaurant, where is the good theater, or where can I play some putt-putt, feel free to drop a line. I will be at the event and the after party for it. I'd love to meet the people willing to endure this blog. ^.^

While we're on the subject of free training, don't forget to talk your boss into a free lunch or to work on the other free training sites available to you. 

Never stop learning or growing. 


First Presentation Ever And My 50th Post

Last Monday was the first time I've ever presented anything. Honestly, it was the first time really speaking in public in front of a large group. I learned a few things then. This may seem obvious to anyone who's done this even  through high school... but I didn't really do that.

Brent Ozar has a good blog on how to start a blog right here. I decided after reading multiple blogs on SQLServerCentral and other sites that I wanted to start one. I started watching Sean and Jen McCown's Midnight web show, Friday at 11pm central, and going to multiple SQLSaturdays. I decided I wanted to present for the first time.

I did a presentation on fill factor. I chose this topic because I didn't see much around on it and I really wanted to explore what all it meant. I've come to understand a lot more while building the presentation. I'm going to share a few things that helped and didn't along the way.

I started off recording my presentation and giving it to just myself, then I made my poor wife listen to it a few times. It is surprisingly helpful to have someone with no knowledge on the subject sit there. They ask the questions you never expect. That added two slides a bit better explanation and a reminder that I repeat my self way too often. I noticed that I talk a little to fast and I do not transition well. I'm sure that will be easier when the nerves aren't acting up. I made an emergency run to best buy two days before the presentation because I didn't own a web cam so I made an emergency run to best buy. I plan on going back and recording my presentation a few more times until I become a lot more comfortable with it before I try to take this into a SQL Saturday style setting.

I brought along laser pointer presenter device. I was using SQLCenturions. It does the job rather well. The timer alone makes it worth it honestly. I could see that I was 20 minutes ahead of schedule. I also had to borrow my poor daughters laptop. I have a lovely alienware laptop and couldn't use it due to not owning a Display port to anything adapter. It has HDMI out and that doesn't register for the HDMI to VGA adapters. I have recently purchased a   converter. It honestly works rather well.

I found out 5 minutes before my presentation that I had planned it on a 4th gen i7 with 16 GB of ram and a 1TB SSD and was going to go live with a 2nd gen i3, 4 gigs of ram and windows 8 that I finished installing on the way to the event. I was not prepared near well enough. I am very happy I had a backup at all.

Now this all sounds bad and like a bad experience... but it was quite the opposite. I had a fantastic time. I received great feed back that I can actually work on and ideas on how to do so. I felt like I was finally giving back to a community that for so long I've used to train. I would do it again in a heart beat.

I'm way to the left out side of this picture... I'm fine with that. This is the Dell room that Dell has given us to use once a month for free. GDH brings us the pizza and all of these people came to listen to my first time presentation with snow in the forecast. I think it was amazing. First time presenting, on a subject that most don't really use on a daily basis, and we had a rather good turn out.

If anyone else in the OKC area want's to come to any of these meetings, they're free. Check us out at would be excited to see you all there.

Below are the links to the three things that I referred to above. There may be cheaper and better versions of these... If you know of them, please let me know. I'm still building my travel bag so I can be better prepared. So far it includes:
1)  Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920
2) Logitech Professional Presenter
3) USB 3.0 to HDMI and DVI Dual Screen Adapter
4) A spare laptop cord
5) A tablet with internet access (through my phone works for now)
6) My presentation setup on Amazon's web service... Just in case
7) A spare mouse
and the more ovbious
8) My laptop
9) (days of travel + 10% rounded up) changes of clothes.
10) Spare shoes
11) Enough cash to use a taxi

This is all I have so far. I have been bitten by the presenting bug and hope to do this a lot more.


SQL Saturdays Coming Up!

Don't forget! Monday is the final give away! I will be giving away a free copy of the Professional SQL Server 2012 Internals and Troubleshooting. Any previous winner can win this as well. If you live outside of the continental US, I will send you a code for a 25% gift card for Amazon. The only requirement is to have an E-Mail address that I can either use to get your address or to E-Mail you the gift card code.

2014 SQL Saturdays

There are SQL Saturdays all over the world. A full list can be found here.Now I'm from Oklahoma. My company does not pay for my mileage or airfare. They do occasionally give me the Friday off to make the trip and if my lead is going, I can steal a bed in there. I'm grateful for it since my last company wouldn't even do that much.

Things I'd Love To See

I normally see a lot of 100 level classes. I Think these are great. My one want would be to see a better ratio of 300's as well. something like, 50% 100, 25% 200, 25% 300 level classes. I'd like to see some summit material at the SQL Saturdays so that those who are a long way off from affording to go to the summit can get that level of training.

SQL Saturdays I Plan On Attending

Apr 05, 2014 - LasVegas
Apr 26, 2014 - Chicago
May 03, 2014 - Alanta
Jun 21, 2014 - Louisville
TBA - Kansas
TBA - Dallas

What I Normally Bring

2 Changes of clothes. You never know what will happen.
Swim Suit.
Jogging clothes. (weather dependent)
Travel toiletries.
Tablet (If the site has no power in the rooms, A tablet may be the only thing that will live.)
Random movies
Cell Charging cord

If I Were Presenting, What I Would Bring

External HD and large USB Drive
HDMI cable
mini-HDMI cable
USB to VGA connector
Presentation Mouse
Cell Phone cable for hot-spot use
Spare Power Cable
VGA to DVI converter


SQL Saturday Dallas

I've been to five SQL Saturdays so far and this was my first year to attend the Dallas conference. There
were a lot of good presentations and good speakers present. The venue was well placed and the rooms were nice. The only issues I saw were that the tables were too far out limiting the walking path, the building has no cell reception (Verizon), and the internet that was available didn't allow remote desktop for those of us still working.

All in all, those are very minor complaints. The event it self turned out really well. There was a sizable group of people new to to SQL Saturdays. That's a great thing to see. Our community is growing all the time. I saw Shawn Weisfeld there this year as well, (Hi Shawn!). He's the founder of I've seen him around the SQL Saturday community more than a few times. It's great to see faces often enough at yearly events (per location) to actually recognize them.

I think on a personal note, something is missing in this world now. Community. We see day to day rushing, competing, trying to get to the top... and seldom do we see people helping out. This entire community does just that. We come together, build training, answer questions, watch #sqlhelp and see how we can better the community. I've not found a single A list person yet in this group who has refused to help answer a quick question or help them find self help. ^.^

Originally this blog was opened to setup 101 style training, basically the questions I'm asked - I wanted to document the answer, and to document my training towards the MCM. Given that the MCM is dead now.... I took a break from the idea of blogging. I think this was a mistake. I'm making this my new official first blog post. I am working still towards learning PowerShell, SSIS, proper performance tuning, and overall how to be a good admin.

I think this will be a good start.