Pre-Conference Seminar Abstracts for Voting: Miscellaneous

The following three abstracts are the finalists in the Miscellaneous pre-conference seminar category for PASS SQLRally 2011. Vote for your favorite pre-conference seminar now.

Option A:

Title: Finding Your Dream Job (Half-Day Pre-Con)
Speaker: Chris Shaw & Steve Jones
 Level: Beginner
Abstract: The job market is becoming more and more competitive all the time as employees become more and more efficient at accomplishing more work and employers look to reduce their headcounts. This session will present the attendee with practical tips, tricks, and skills for enhancing their marketability. They will learn how to better use networking to their advantage, both online and offline, develop a technical blog, and build a better resume. Once someone has an interview, we provide them with techniques to prepare for the interview, and how to not only impress the potential employer, but also assess if this is the job they really desire.
Take Home Skills:
  1. A technical blog not only shows your expertise but your dedication to your trade. Come out of this session learning what works well with a blog and how to leverage it in the job search.
  2. Does anyone hire without researching a candidate online? Learn how to use the internet to your advantage.
  3. Come away with a method you can use to see how well you and an opportunity match up.
  4. Spend time learning the do's and don'ts of a resume. Bring your resume along with you for an opportunity to have it reviewed.
  5. Interviews are the decision point in most employment decisions. Make sure you are not making one of the common mistakes that will eliminate you from the running.
Speaker Bios:

Chris started his database career in 1993 while in the Marine Corps working with Lotus Ami Pro databases. From there, he went on to companies such as Wells Fargo, Pulte Mortgage, and Yellow Pages Inc., and later consulted with insurance companies including Anthem Blue Shield. Chris has enjoyed writing and speaking about SQL Server over the last 10 years at events such as SQL Connections, PASS, and SSWUG Ultimate conferences where Chris was the Conference Chair. A Microsoft MVP, Chris is the founding member of the Colorado Springs SQL Server User Group and is currently blogging on,, and writing his book, How to Find Your Next DBA Job.

Steve Jones is the current editor of SQLServerCentral where he writes and comments on SQL Server issues on a daily basis. Steve has written hundreds of articles on SQL Server and contributed to multiple SQL Server books. In his two decades of work with SQL Server, Steve has worked for large and small companies in a variety of industries. He maintains a blog at where he writes regularly on how modern employees can build a better brand and find a better job.

Blog: Chris:
LinkedIn: Chris:
Twitter: Chris: @SQLShaw
Steve: @way0utwest


Option B:



So I Got Promoted, Now What?

Speaker: Joe Webb
Level: Intermediate

"In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." That's the premise of Dr. Laurence Peter in his 1969 book, "The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong."

We've all seen instances where someone who is very good with technology is promoted and flounders. Horribly. And the worse they do, the more stress they feel. And they flounder even more. So what happens? They don't make changes in their daily work required by the new position.

In this session, you'll learn how to do your job better once you've been promoted. You'll become aware of the new dynamics required by your new role so you adjust and excel. You'll learn how you can leverage the same successful tactics that made you a great technologist in your role as a director, manager, or team lead.

Take Home Skills:
  1. How to employ the same tactics that made you a great technologist to your new role.
  2. How to get to know your peers and why that's important.
  3. How to create a trusted system to manage your work.
  4. How to use techniques to manage your email and calendars.
  5. How to work more effectively with your team.
Speaker Bio:

Joe Webb is the Chief Operating Manager for WebbTech Solutions, a Nashville-based consulting company. He has over 15 years of industry experience and has consulted extensively with companies in the areas of business process analysis and improvements, database design and architecture, software development, and technical training. Joe is an experienced speaker and has authored or co-authored three books including "SQL Server MVP Deep Dives," "The Rational Guide To: SQL Server Notification Services," and "The Rational Guide To: IT Consulting." Joe served for six years on the Board of Directors for the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS), culminating as the PASS Executive Vice President of Finance, and currently serves on the MBA Advisory Board for Auburn University and the Computer Science Advisory Committee for Nashville State Community College. With a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Joe has also earned Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) accreditations as well as other non-Microsoft certifications such as the Linux Professional Institute Level I (LPIC-1). Joe is a six-time recipient of the prestigious Microsoft MVP Award for demonstrating a willingness to share his expertise with the SQL Server community.

Twitter: @joewebb


Option C:



Leadership and Team Management Skills for the Database Professional

Speaker: Kevin Kline
Level: Intermediate
Abstract: Most IT leaders earned their promotions based on technical competency, not on leadership or managerial skills. Technical leaders rarely advance into leadership positions with the complex mix of social and soft skills that best facilitate their success and the success of their teams. Successful IT leaders require a combination of:
  • Earning the respect of your team
  • A deep understand of effectively motivating technology professionals
  • Specific skills to lead database professionals competently that broadly fall into the categories of:
    • Coaching team members to effectively meet goals and deadlines
    • Facilitating change and navigating organizational disruptions
    • Promoting communication within the team and with management
    • Keeping teams and projects on task and within scope
    • Dealing with difficult team members
    • Practicing good team time management techniques
This one-day seminar equips attendees with training content, fun exercises, and reference material to further develop their leadership potential and achieve excellent results, both for themselves and for their teams.
Take Home Skills:

The seminar has three main goals that teach several skills each:

Goal 1: Developing skills which promote an understanding of your own personal motivations and what motivates the IT professionals on your team. Skills taught:

  • Personality assessment
  • Motivational analysis
  • Goal analysis
  • Interviewing
  • Building a team

Goal 2: Developing skills which enable you and your team to meet goals set by management, including:

  • Visualization
  • Project planning and execution
  • Communicating upward to executive management

Goal 3: Developing the specific skills needed to lead a team of technologists, including:

  • Leading meetings
  • Resolving impasses
  • Dealing with performance problems
  • Delegation and gaining the support of the team
  • Dealing with change and disruption
Speaker Bio: Kevin Kline is the Technical Strategy Manager for SQL Server Solutions at Quest Software. A Microsoft SQL Server MVP since 2004, Kevin is a founding board member and past president of the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS). He has written or co-written several books including "SQL in a Nutshell (O'Reilly & Associates)," "SQL Server MVP Deep Dives (Manning)," "Pro SQL Server 2008 Database Design and Optimization (APress)," and "Database Benchmarking: Practical Methods for Oracle & SQL Server (Rampant)." Kevin is a columnist for SQL Server Magazine and Database Trends & Applications Magazine. Kevin is a popular blogger and top-rated speaker at conferences worldwide such as Microsoft TechEd, PASS Summit, Microsoft IT Forum, DevTeach, and SQL Connections, and has been active in IT for over 20 years.
Twitter: @kekline
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