Summit 15 in the Rear View Mirror

Summit was intense. I paced myself pretty well I thought but I was still exhausted by the end (even cutting out half a day early). It is a fantastic opportunity not only to learn and grow as a SQL professional but to grow and connect with other DBAs. To that end I quickly realized that the sessions were almost secondary: the value of purchasing the sessions for download or on USB drive is quite high especially once you return and start reviewing your notes and realize how much of them are tied directly back to something that was happening in the session and they make barely any sense.

Once I made the decision to get the sessions to review later (or to make the decision between schedule conflicts easier) it was that much easier to start meeting and connecting with others. This was, by far, the most important piece of PASS for me: meeting other DBAs, asking them questions and (hopefully) making long term connections. If there is anything I’ve learned from my many career paths is that you are only ever as good as your network: those people you can turn to when you find yourself stumped on a particular problem. I went into all the events I attended last week actively looking to grow my personal network, to find connections I could turn to when stumped. I was also looking to connect with DBAs like me: newly minted and fresh on their journey into the SQL community. Suffice to say I did a lot of talking last week, it’s not my favorite thing (I tend towards introversion like much of our IT community) but well worth it. Highlights from the week for me included sessions on optimizing VMs for SQL with Denny Cherry, Paul Randal‘s DBA Mythbusters, meeting Marius from Norway (I can’t seem to locate his card currently), going over my current plan for DW partitioning (more on that in future posts) with the SQL Cat team and getting my plan both validated and improved, chatting with a DBA overseeing GIS data in Vancouver (her card is… somewhere around here), a great nearly shouted discussion about professional development during live band Karaoke at the Hard Rock Cafe, discussing the potential of RedGate’s Instaclone in our environment, and generally stalking the Red Gate folks in general (really they are the friendliest folks around). I’m currently waiting to hear back about getting registered for Summit 2016 (if you have a budget conscious manager perhaps the savings of early bird registration will tip the decision in your favor). It is a fantastic opportunity to learn amazing things, meet amazing people.

So fair warning next year: I’m the one on the right. If you see me coming I’m probably going to try and introduce myself.

Just two DBAs at Summit

Just two DBAs at Summit

SQL Saturday #446 & RedGate SQL in the City

So I’m missing out on the Summit 15 keynote this morning as I was sadly paged last night. Between that and the first timers meetup and welcome reception I was completely unable to get up at an appropriate time today. While my work colleague gets ready I wanted to jot down a few impressions from the last few days.

SQL Saturday #446: Portland, OR

This was my third SQL Saturday in Portland and the event continues to be fantastic for a number of reasons. It’s right before Summit so a number of speakers at summer present in Portland that Saturday before so you can open up your Summit schedule if you get in on the sessions early. It’s a great networking event (I think there was around 400 SQL Family that showed up?).  I attended a great session on auditing in SQL Server from Colleen Morrow (bt) The really short and skinny: in SQL 2008 Standard you can only audit at the instance level but in 2008 Enterprise and SQL 2012 and above you can drill down into specific databases with your auditing. It all makes use of extended events so it’s light weight. It’s configurable in filtering, retention and handling auditing errors (lose the audit info, cancel the transaction that triggered it etc). She also shared a plan for centralizing the collection and ingestion of the audit logs that were created in a central location for reporting purposes. Scripts and slide deck here.

SQL in the City

This was my second SQL in the City and it was even better than my previous experience as well: new products like ReadyRoll and InstantClone really speak to some pain points at our organization and I’m looking forward to see we can fully implement them to make it all better. Or at least mostly better. Or at least version or databases: I hear that’s a good start!

I’m super excited and it’s time to hop on a train to start hitting Summit sessions. If you found this post and found it useful let me know!