Category: PASS Chapters

SQLSaturday Round-Up (Dec. 9-15)

(This is Round 6 of PASS's weekly round-up of SQLSaturday recaps. PASS community bloggers love their SQLSaturdays, and they love to tell everyone about their experiences, so who are we not to share that love?)

After the conclusion of SQLSaturday #61 in Washington DC, held on Dec. 4, there are no more PASS SQLSaturdays until 2011. While we'll be going through a bit of withdrawal until then, it's worth noting that 2011 is looking like a booming year for SQLSaturdays, with 14 events already booked and many others rumored to be on the way. Until then, it's back to the future again for us!

For those of you on Twitter, follow @sqlpass and make sure to check out the #sqlsat and #sqlsaturday hashtags to stay up to date. Besides attendance at free learning events, there are many speaking and sponsorship opportunities available.

LAST WEEK BACK TO THE FUTURE IN SQLSATURDAY...

+ David Dye will be speaking at SQLSaturday #62 in Tampa

+ Denny Cherry will be delivering a pre-conference session at SQLSaturday #62 in Tampa

+ The mysterious Es Cue El is helping organize SQLSaturday #60 in Cleveland

COMING UP IN SQLSATURDAY...

There are three SQLSaturdays coming up in January alone. SQLSaturday #62 happens in Tampa on Jan. 15, SQLSaturday #45 in Louisville on Jan. 22, and SQLSaturday #57 in Houston on Jan. 29.

But being the little month that could, February refuses to be outdone - that month will also see three SQLSaturdays hosted: SQLSaturday #60 in Cleveland on Feb. 5, SQLSaturday #66 in Colorado Springs on Feb. 12, and SQLSaturday #47 on Feb. 19. 

And finally, Grant Fritchey recently announced that SQLSaturday #71 is a go in New England.

IN OTHER NEWS...

As we noted last week, SQLSaturday is a fantastic venue to hone your presentation skills. This week, John Sterrett points out that you don't have to be an expert to speak at SQLSaturdays

Of course, SQLSaturdays aren't just about speaking or learning - they're fantastic opportunities for meeting people and networking, and this week Andy Warren blogged about some real life anecdotes to inspire you.

Want to attend a SQLSaturday? Check out the SQLSaturday website or "Upcoming In-Person Events" on the PASS Home page for upcoming dates near you.

Want to put on your own SQLSaturday? Click here to get started.

 

SQLSaturday Round-Up (Dec. 2-8)

(This is Round 5 of PASS's weekly round-up of SQLSaturday recaps. PASS community bloggers love their SQLSaturdays, and they love to tell everyone about their experiences, so who are we not to share that love?)

Only one PASS SQLSaturday was held in the past week, SQLSaturday #61 in Washington DC, but that doesn't mean we're short on blog posts! 

LAST WEEK IN SQLSATURDAY...

+ Kendra Little presented at SQLSaturday #61, Washington DC

Sandra Mueller presented at SQLSaturday #61, Washington DC

+ Ryan Rastedt attended SQLSaturday #61, Washington DC

COMING UP IN SQLSATURDAY...

2010's events are all done, but there are lots of SQLSaturdays coming up in 2011. If you're in the vicinity, don't miss SQLSaturday #62 in Tampa on Jan. 15 or SQLSaturday #57 in Houston on Jan. 29. PASS Director and speaker Andy Warren notes that SQLSaturday #62 is so popular that they've had to turn down speakers

And finally, Bob Pusateri announced that Chicago will be hosting SQLSaturday #67 on March 26.

IN OTHER NEWS...

SQLSaturday is a fantastic venue to hone your presentation skills. Brent Ozar blogged about these (and other) opportunities for up-and-coming speakers in 2011. 

For those about to host or thinking of hosting a SQLSaturday, you may be interested in Kathi Kellenberger's insightful interview with SQLSaturday #53 organizer, Bill Fellows

Before we go, we have to point you to this fantastic post by Wendy Pastrick. Wendy won the 2010 PASSion Award as PASS's most outstanding volunteer -- she blogs about how this came about and the role SQLSaturday played in her success. Congratulations again, Wendy! 

Want to attend a SQLSaturday? Check out the SQLSaturday website or "Upcoming In-Person Events" on the PASS Home page for upcoming dates near you.

Want to put on your own SQLSaturday? Click here to get started.

What's Your PASSion?

[Cross-posted from Wendy Pastrick's blog at wendyverse.blogspot.com]

It's a little late for a SQL PASS Summit 2010 recap, but I still wanted to share some of my experience from the event.

Each year, an award is given to a single recipient for displaying a passion in working with PASS and the SQL Server Community: The PASSion Award. This year, I was honored and humbled to be that person. Looking back at this past year, I'm dumbfounded to see all the things in which I became involved. It started with a letter sent to my current General Manager trying to justify my attendance at the Summit. What did I do? Started a new User Group in the Chicago suburbs, tried my hand at blogging, brought together Team SQL Saturday for the Chicago event, worked as co-chair for the Women In Technology Virtual Chapter, worked on the WIT Luncheon for the Summit, spoke at a few UG meetings and SQL Saturdays, and became a Regional Mentor for the Midwest. You know what, even looking at that list, I still feel that I didn't do all I wanted. Most of these things were (and still are) hard work, and yes, the ball gets dropped now and then. Looks like Michelangelo's theory is true: 

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

I started thinking 'What drives passion'? What motivates any one person to get out there and spend their spare time working on things that may or may not come to fruition? Taking a look inward, I have to say that I never intended to do any of these things with any tangible goals in mind other than "bring people together". As to the question of Why? - honestly it was more the fact that I had a an opportunity to work with really fun people who wanted to do the same things I did - so, I took it. Maybe I just got lucky that those opportunities happened somewhat simultaneously. However, looking at it more realistically, each one grew out of another.

Thank you to all the wonderful people I've met, worked with and studied from over this past year. You make it fun and worth doing!

So, go now, find your PASSion and have fun, plus meet like-minded people along the way! You really can get back out of it, sometimes even greater than, what you put into it.

Consider yourself tagged :)

[posted to PASS Blog by Hannes Bez on behalf of Wendy Pastrick]

 

Mr. LaRock Goes To Washington

[cross-posted from Thomas LaRock's blog at thomaslarock.com]

Well, technically I think we would just call it Virginia, but I am speaking this weekend at SQL Saturday #61. My talk is ‘Performance Tuning Made Easy’ and you can read a little bit more about it here.

I am always trying to find ways to help people who are new to MSSQL to understand the basics and give them a solid foundation to build upon. Performance tuning is hard for a lot of people because there is little to no structure put around the idea of performance tuning. My talk helps to give some structure where none previously existed.

I even spend some time going over a process to help anyone (newbies and veterans) have some structure when trying to tune a particular query. I borrow the SQL Diagramming method from Dan Tow and summarize that into a 12-step process. Why 12 steps? Because every other program I have entered has 12 steps so it just seemed natural. In my mind I wanted to create a process that anyone, no matter how many years of experience, could follow and have the end result be a step in the right direction. I’ll give you the rundown:

  1. List all tables in the query (what??? I don’t start by examining an execution plan? NO! you need some details first in order to be efficient in your tuning process)
  2. Gather rowcounts for each table (yeah, you’ll need this. I see people who dive into execution plans only to come back later to ask ‘how many rows in that table anyway?’, so do yourself a favor and get the info first)
  3. Find all filters (get info on the JOIN and WHERE clause of the query, list out the columns used)
  4. Calculate the selectivity (remember the rowcounts? good. now using the info from the filters, figure out how many rows are being returned from each table. So if we have an orders table with 12,000 orders but we filter to only want 3,000 of those orders, then our selectivity is 3,000/12,000 or 0.25)
  5. Gather info on any additional columns used (look in the SELECT clause for this)
  6. Gather info on existing keys and indexes (some newbies may not have any idea about this stuff but now is the time to learn. Dive in and make certain you are aware what exists currently)
  7. Examine the execution plan (finally! go ahead and run the query and examine the execution plan, use SET STATISTICS IO ON and SET STATISTICS TIME ON as well, you’ll want those numbers)
  8. Record your results from step 7 (otherwise how would you ever know if things are getting better?)
  9. Adjust the indexes for tables with the lowest selectivity first (by ‘lowest’ I mean the tables that are closest to zero from the calculation in step 4)
  10. Rerun the query and examine the results and execution plans
  11. Rinse, lather, repeat on each table in increasing order by selectivity
  12. Continue onward, reducing your logical and physical reads (you can focus on logical reads, ideally you wouldn’t have any physical reads. now is a good time to remind you that this is simply a process to help people get some structure around performance tuning, it isn’t meant to be something that is infallible for each and every query in existence)
  13. And now for the disclaimer: WARNING! ADDING ADDITIONAL INDEXES IS NOT ALWAYS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!

That’s right, you need to examine the other DUI (Deletes, Updates, Inserts) statements that are hitting those same tables. If you are working with tables that have lots of modifications being done then adding the additional indexes could hurt performance in other areas. Oh, sure, your query may run better, but you would have hosed someone else. And while I have come across MANY developers that don’t care about anyone else except their own performance I am here to tell you as a DBA it is your job to stand up and make certain that you help maintain a performance balance for all users, not just one user and one query.

I hope to see you this Saturday!
 

PASS Update #48

[cross-posted from Andy Warren's blog at sqlandy.com]

It’s the end of November and this will probably be my last update on PASS for the year as things slow down for the holidays. This seems like a good time to update you on ongoing projects and to think about where I’ll be headed next year.

As I look back at 2010 it’s a mixed bag. I started the year with speaker bureau (SB) project, one that I was enthused about, a good project that would have a nice impact on both speakers and chapter leaders. Then I had to change course to manage the adoption of SQLSaturday by PASS and had to put SB on hold. That adoption took a while, and then I also ended owning the initial implementation of SQLRally which pushed SB back again. I kept Rushabh in the loop about the delays, only so much time in the day. In hindsight I wish I had gotten a little further in the beginning and tried to hand off to a volunteer team.

The SQLSaturday transition has been slow and not without some minor pain internally as we worked to divide the work up at HQ and learn how to make it work, but it’s been almost seamless for the event leaders and certainly so for the attendees. My work on this now consists of long term vision, making sure we’re finding the efficiencies where we can, budget, and driving lessons learned back to our event leaders. HQ owns the day to day stuff, from making sure email goes out to coaching first time events to sending out checks at the end of the event. A successful transition, and one that has had a tremendous positive impact on PASS.

SQLRally is of course still in flight, but we’ve been working on it hard since July. There were definitely times prior to the November launch that we were behind the curve, not having a web site ready was one, but the choice was to say nothing until ready, or start talking about it even though not fully prepared. We opted for the latter just to get the news out early enough in 2010 that people could try to get it worked into their 2011 budget requests. At this point we’ve opened registration, completed a community vote to pick the pre-con speakers, and the call for speakers is now open through Dec 15th. Our next real challenge is marketing. We have some ideas and it’ll be fun to see if a true grass roots effort works as well as we hope.

Going into next year I’ll have two projects, SQLSaturday and SQLRally. SQLSaturday I’ve covered already, SQLRally the goal is to have another one in the US in 2012, but also take the event international which brings a whole new set of questions and lessons. PASS is working hard to develop an international strategy and this is part of it, doing some mid size events and finding out what works and what doesn’t. Rushabh and had a long talk at the Summit about where to best use my time, and the result was that the SB project is being transferred to Allen and Jeremiah. Hard to let it go, but it needs to be done, and I’m not likely to find any more time in my weeks.

My other current commitment that will run some months into 2011 is the Election Review Committee (see the web site at http://erc.sqlpass.org). That effort is under way and as a group we’re still working to understand the various view points and problems before we start to work on recommendations. I hope in the end our recommendations will be simple, but getting to them is going to be a lot of work!

It’s easy to think (and for me to make it look like) that I’m just a project manager, and sometimes the doer as well. There is some of that, though I expect to spend less time doing in 2011 and put a lot more time into thinking. It can’t just be throwing ideas on the table and hoping someone grabs them, it’s got to be coming up with ideas and testing them through conversations, and figuring out which ones make sense to work on. There is no shortage of ideas for PASS, but we’re going to have to get better at figuring out which ones we should do. We can’t do them all, and that’s part of the thinking process – should we do it, how can we do it with less time, is there something else that would be of greater benefit?

It’s been a good two years. I’ve learned a lot and helped drive some change, and hoping that I can do more of both in the next two years. I plan to continue writing these update over the next two years, so look for #49 sometime in January!

SQLSaturday Round-Up (Nov. 25-Dec. 1)

(This is Round 4 of PASS's weekly round-up of SQLSaturday recaps. PASS community bloggers love their SQLSaturdays, and they love to tell everyone about their experiences, so who are we not to share that love?)

No PASS SQLSaturdays happened in the last week, but that doesn't mean we don't have things to talk about. This week, we decided to go back to the future instead!

Today's round-up features posts on SQLSaturday #61, happening in Washington DC on Dec. 4, and SQLSaturday #66 which will take place in Colorado Springs on Feb. 12, 2011.

LAST WEEK BACK TO THE FUTURE IN SQLSATURDAY...

+ Joel Cochran is presenting at SQLSaturday #61, Washington DC

+ Thomas LaRock is presenting at SQLSaturday #61, Washington DC

+ Karen Lopez is presenting at SQLSaturday #61, Washington DC

+ Jeremiah Peschka is presenting at SQLSaturday #61, Washington DC

+ Chris Shaw is helping organize SQLSaturday #66, Colorado Springs

IN OTHER NEWS...

PASS Director and SQLSaturday co-founder Andy Warren reviews his year on the Board and assesses the SQLSaturday transition.

Want to attend a SQLSaturday? Check out the SQLSaturday website or "Upcoming In-Person Events" on the PASS Home page for upcoming dates near you.

Want to put on your own SQLSaturday? Click here to get started.

Upcoming Changes to 24 Hours of PASS

[cross-posted from Thomas LaRock's blog at thomaslarock.com]

Last week I told you that I would let you in on what changes we have in mind for the 24 Hours of PASS event. Well, today is your lucky day!

At the PASS 2010 Summit I was asked by our President, Rushabh Mehta, to focus on the 24 HoP event for the first part of 2011. This event has become so popular that it is now a dedicated portfolio for a PASS Director at large (namely, me!) Rushabh and I sat down to talk about where the event is heading and we both agreed on where it needs to go.

Last year I realized we needed to make changes but was not able to get them implemented in time. Before our next event I want to make certain we get a few things rolling. First, lets talk about the four areas that needs to be re-thought:

  • Platform – do we stay with LiveMeeting, or go with a different platform for the event? A new platform means we would have to incur some costs.
  • Format – do we go back to one day and 24 hours, or stay with the 2×12 format?
  • Speaker selection – this needs to be done as a community choice, no question, and I have some ideas.
  • Sponsors/ads – in addition to selling some title sponsors we need to think about selling slots to vendors (“this hour sponsored by Confio” sounds nice)

Rushabh and I also agreed that the event itself needs to be driven by the Community and less than from a BoD member. To that end I am putting together a committee of three trusted people to help ensure we can transition the 24 HoP into the hands of the Community. My selections for the committee were based upon their proximity to myself last week, combined with their current country of origin. So, for Europe I asked Charlie Hanania, for North America I asked Jorge Segarra, and for Australia I asked Rob Farley. All three have agreed to serve. It is my hope that once we get through the four items listed above we will be in good shape to announce the theme for the next 24 HoP event.

Just to be clear, the committee will be leading the event. My role will be to help steer them through the next year and two events and for future BoD members to provide oversight only. It is very important to me that this event be placed into the hands of some respected Community members, as that will ensure it continues to be a successful vehicle for spreading the good word of PASS in the future.

 

 

SQLSaturday Round-Up (Nov. 18-Nov. 24)

(This is Round 3 of PASS's weekly round-up of SQLSaturday recaps, back after its Summit hiatus. PASS community bloggers love their SQLSaturdays, and they love to tell everyone about their experiences, so who are we not to share that love?)

PASS SQLSaturdays covered this week include SQLSaturday #59, held in New York City... and that's it! Guess the Summit might've gotten in the way a bit.

LAST WEEK IN SQLSATURDAY...

+ Robert Pearl helped organize SQLSaturday #59 in NYC

+ Roman Rehak presented at SQLSaturday #59 in NYC

+ Aaron Stanley King presented at SQLSaturday #59 in NYC

+ Matt Velic attended and kept a LIVE BLOG of SQLSaturday #59 in NYC

COMING UP IN SQLSATURDAY...

There will be one more SQLSaturday to round off 2010: Washington DC sees off a fantastic year for the franchise on Dec. 4 with SQLSaturday #61.

IN OTHER NEWS...

PASS Director and SQLSaturday co-founder Andy Warren blogs about taking risks, one of which was SQLSaturday itself. Check it out.

Want to attend a SQLSaturday? Check out the SQLSaturday website or "Upcoming In-Person Events" on the PASS Home page for upcoming dates near you.

Want to put on your own SQLSaturday? Click here to get started.

 

Twice the fun in 2011! Register early to save on PASS SQLRally and Summit

PASS is offering not one but TWO great conferences in 2011! 

PASS SQLRally (press release) will be held in Orlando, Florida, May 11-13, and will feature two full days of sessions as well as a pre-conference day. PASS Summit will run from Oct. 10-14 and will again happen in Seattle, offering attendees 5 days of unmatched SQL Server content as well as premium direct on-site access to Microsoft developers and staff.

There is no better way to Connect with, Share with, and Learn from your fellow SQL Server professionals - PASS Summit is the premium SQL Server conference in the world, and SQLRally will extend that excellence to the East Coast of the US on a smaller scale. Booking early guarantees substantial savings (compare Summit 2011 prices below to the full registration prices for Summit 2010), so get this in the budget ASAP and join us in-person in 2011. We're excited to see all of you! 

  • PASS Summit 2011, Oct. 10-14, Seattle$1295 for the full bundle, including 3 days plus 2 Pre-Cons until Dec. 15; $995 (for 3 days) until Jan. 15 - www.PASSsummit.com
  • PASS SQLRally 2011, May 11-13, Orlando - $449 for the full bundle, including 2 days plus the Pre-Con until Dec. 31; $299 (for 2 days) until Apr.12 - www.SQLRally.com

To see what's happening at Summit 2010, check out the Summit Live site or follow #sqlpass on Twitter.

 

SQLSaturday Round-Up (Oct. 27-Nov. 3)

(This is Round 2 of PASS's weekly round-up of SQLSaturday recaps. PASS community bloggers love their SQLSaturdays, and they love to tell everyone about their experiences, so who are we not to share that love?)

PASS SQLSaturdays covered this week include SQLSaturday #54, held in Salt Lake City, SQLSaturday #56, a BI-focused event held in Dallas, and SQLSaturday #58, held in Prior Lake, Minnesota... on a Friday.

LAST WEEK IN SQLSATURDAY...

+ Pat Wright helped organize SQLSaturday #54 in Salt Lake City

+ Ryan Adams helped organize SQLSaturday #56 in Dallas

+ David Stein also helped organize SQLSaturday #56 in Dallas

+ John Sterrett presented at SQLSaturday #56 in Dallas

+ Jason Strate helped organize SQLSaturday #58 in Minnesota

+ Dan English also helped organize SQLSaturday #58 in Minnesota

COMING UP IN SQLSATURDAY...

There will be two more SQLSaturdays to round off the year after PASS Summit ends. New York City hosts SQLSaturday #59 on Nov. 20, and the nation's capital sees off a fantastic year for the franchise on Dec. 4 with SQLSaturday #61.

IN OTHER NEWS...

For those going to PASS Summit (Nov. 8-12), SQLSaturday is coming along! Tuesday (Nov. 9) has officially been dubbed "Wear Your SQLSaturday Shirt Day", so if you have shirts, bring them with you. This follows PASS Director and SQLSaturday co-founder Andy Warren's scheduled SQLSaturday Round Table on Monday (Nov. 8); here's his newest post with an updated itinerary. Monday, Tuesday, Friday... looks like every day's a SQLSaturday!

 

Want to attend a SQLSaturday? Check out the SQLSaturday website or "Upcoming In-Person Events" on the PASS Home page for upcoming dates near you.

Want to put on your own SQLSaturday? Click here to get started.