T-SQL Tuesday 61: A Season of Giving

Comments: No Comments
Published on: December 9, 2014

TSQL2sDay150x150Tis the season for TSQL Tuesday.  Not only is it that season again, but it is also the Holiday season.

During this season, many people start to think about all of the things for which they are thankful.  Many may start to think about their families and friends.  And many others will focus more of their attention to neighbors and other people in the community.  This is often done regardless of how well you may know the people or in spite of ill feelings that may exist for the people at other times of the year.

Yes, it is a good time of the year.  And to top it off, we may even get to enjoy snow during this time of year while we sip hot cocoa, learn SQL and eat pies of many different sorts.  Yes! It is a glorious time of the year.

I already have a couple of SQL books to read as I cozy up close to the fire with my children near.  (Oh yes, it is never too early to learn SQL.)  A little SQL roasting on the open fire so to speak.  Awesome time of year.

With all that is going well and all the SQL I can be learning, it is also a Season of Giving.  It is because of the time of year that Wayne Sheffield was probably prompted to invite all of us to write about that topic for this months TSQL Tuesday.  You can read the invite here.

But thinking about that topic and the time of year, I wanted to talk briefly about some ways I know the SQL Community gives back.

Doctors without Borders

A really well known opportunity this past year that helped people to give back to the community was hosted by Argenis Fernandez (twitter) and Kirsten Benzel (twitterhere.  The two of them had this fantastic idea to involve the SQL Family in driving a fundraiser for Doctors without Borders.  They had publicized various goals to make it fun and achieved a lot of those goals.  This was an event I would like to see again and it was one that accomplished a lot of good.

Christmas Jars

Christmas JarEach Christmas season there is a phenomenon associated to a book called Christmas Jars.  People from all across the country anonymously donate a jar to somebody in the community that may have hit a stretch of hard luck.  In the jar is a variable amount of money for the family to use to help with whatever they need during that time.  You can read more about that here and here.

The Christmas Jars is something that my children do each year.  They find a family somewhere in town and find a way to get the jar to the family anonymously.  The amount of money is never the same, but the intent and love is always the same.  They are doing it to help their neighbors without any publicity.  They know the good that is brought from the love they show to their neighbors.

Watching my children participate in a worthwhile way to give makes me happy.  I hope it is something that will stick with them throughout their lives.

Community

All of that said, the TSQL Tuesday invite asked for what we plan to do in the upcoming year for the SQL community.  This is a really hard topic to answer.  It kind of depends on what opportunities become available in the upcoming year.  I can say this though, I do plan to continue to help and give where I can.

SQLSat in DC – it’s a wrap

Categories: News, Professional, SSC
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: December 8, 2014

sqlsatdc14
This past weekend I had the opportunity to go visit Washington DC.  It was just the second time I got to stay in the Nation’s capitol for more than just a few hours.  The previous opportunity came with last years event which I talked about here.  Sadly, my time was far too limited this trip and seeing the sites was far more limited.  Thus, I only saw them from the car or plane window in passing.  But that is far better than seeing them in photos or not at all.

The reason for the visit?  It was SQL Saturday 347.  Now, it is my chance to recap the event and what I learned.

sqlsat347_web

This year I really wanted to attend to see some of my friends and to help some friends as well.  An example is that one friend was looking for some good constructive feedback to his presentation.  That friend happens to be a person I met at the event from last year: Ayman El-Ghazali (blog).  I had a good conversation with Ayman in the speaker room following his session and between some of the sessions.  Ayman is a DBA that is working hard to learn and improve any way he can.  Those are traits that are important to have as a DBA these days.

Much like last year (and I even made the comment), it was warm again (definitely shorts weather) and it also rained again.  I really think there must be a trend with SQL Saturday in DC in that it brings rain.  There may be something there.

The event was well organized.  I think that is mostly due to Gigi Bell (twitter).  She is the wife of Chris Bell (twitter) and she whipped those boys into shape. ;)

There were some things that couldn’t be controlled necessarily.  But everybody came together and helped to make it work.

I had the great opportunity this year to present the very very very short session on Murder that I give as a precon along with Wayne Sheffield.  People walked away from the session expressing gratitude for the content and how much they learned.  Many were even curious to learn more of what we could present in the all day version.  Very COOL!

I also had a great time seeing SQLFamily.  Talking with friends and enjoying everybody’s company.  I did make it to a few sessions outside of mine.  And I got to chat with attendees while trying to answer their questions in the halls.

I am looking forward to this event again next year.  And I hope everybody that attended my sessions learned at least one thing.

One last thing.  Thanks to all of the attendees.  To say “the attendees were great,” at this event, would be a gross mis-understatement in my opinion.  The attendees were awake and engaged (even if they had never heard of “Clue” before the session).  They invested their time and effort and I think they helped to make the event top notch.

Murder in Charleston

I am about to set sail on a new venture with my next official whistle stop.  This year has been plenty full of whistle stops and I plan on continuing.  You can read (in full) about previous whistle stops and why they are called whistle stops here.

Suffice it to say at this point that it all started with a comment about a sailing train a few months back.

Charleston Friend

 

Time to sink or sail, so to speak.  SQL Saturday 354 in South Carolina will mark the next attempt at what I hope to be a repeat performance – many times.  I will be tag-teaming with Wayne Sheffield in this all day workshop event.  The session is one of two all day sessions for the event in Charleston, SC.

If you are a DBA or a database developer, this session is for you.  If you are managing a database and are experiencing performance issues, this session is a must.  We will chat with attendees about a horde of performance killers and other critical issues we have seen in our years working with SQL Server.  In short, some of these issues are pure murder on your database, DBA, developer and team in general.  We will work through many of these things and show some methods to achieve a higher state of database Zen.

Description

Join Microsoft Certified Masters, Wayne Sheffield and Jason Brimhall, as they examine numerous crazy implementations they have seen over the years, and how these implementations can be murder on SQL Server.  No topic is off limits as they cover the effects of these crazy implementations from performance to security, and how the “Default Blame Acceptors” (DBAs) can use alternatives to keep the developers, DBAs, bosses and even the end-users happy.

Presented by:

wayneWayne Sheffield, a Microsoft Certified Master in SQL Server, started working with xBase databases in the late 80’s. With over 20 years in IT, he has worked with SQL Server (since 6.5 in the late 90’s) in various dev/admin roles, with an emphasis in performance tuning. He is the author of several articles at www.sqlservercentral.com, a co-author of SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes, and enjoys sharing his knowledge by presenting at SQL PASS events and blogging at http://blog.waynesheffield.com/wayne

 

 

 

JasonBrimhall

Jason Brimhall has 10+ yrs experience and has worked with SQL Server from 6.5 through SQL 2012. He has experience in performance tuning, high transaction environments, as well as large environments.  Jason also has 18 years experience in IT working with the hardware, OS, network and even the plunger (ask him sometime about that). He is currently a Consultant, SQL Server MVP and a Microsoft Certified Master(MCM). Jason is the VP of the Las Vegas User Group (SSSOLV).

 

 

 

 

Course Objectives

  1. Recognize practices that are performance pitfalls
  2. Learn how to Remedy the performance pitfalls
  3. Recognize practices that are security pitfalls
  4. Learn how to Remedy the security pitfalls
  5. Demos Demos Demos – scripts to demonstrate pitfalls and their remedies will be provided
  6. Have fun and discuss
  7. We might blow up a database

kaboom

 

There will be a nice mix of real world examples and some painfully contrived examples. All will have a good and useful point.

If you will be in the area, and you are looking for high quality content with a good mix of enjoyment, come and join us.  You can find registration information and event details at the Charleston SQL Saturday site – here.  There are only 75 seats available for this murder mystery theater.  Reserve yours now.

The cost for the class is $110 (plus fees) up through the day of the event.  When you register, be sure to tell your coworkers and friends.

Wait, there’s more…

Not only will I be in Charleston for this workshop, we will also be presenting as a part of the SQLSaturday event on December 13, 2014 (the day after the workshop which is December 12, 2014).  You can view the available sessions here.

Shameless plug time

I present regularly at SQL Saturdays.  Wayne also presents regularly at SQL Saturdays.  If you are organizing an event and would like to fill some workshop sessions, please contact either Wayne, myself or both of us for this session.

TSQL Tuesday #60: Something Learned This Way Comes

Comments: 4 Comments
Published on: November 11, 2014

TSQL2sDay150x150It is once again time to come together as a community and talk about a common theme.  This monthly gathering of the community has just reached it’s 5th anniversary.  Yes, that’s right.  We have been doing this for 60 months or five years at this point.  That is pretty cool.

This month Chris Yates (blog | twitter) has taken the helm to lead us in our venture to discuss all the wonderful things that we have learned.  Well, maybe not all the things we have learned, but at least to discuss something we have learned.

Here are some details from the actual invite that you can read here.

Why do we come to events, webinars, sessions, networking? The basic fundamental therein is to learn; community. With that said here is this month’s theme. You have to discuss one thing, few things, or many things on something new you’ve learned recently. It could be from a webinar, event, conference, or colleague. The idea is for seasoned vets to new beginners to name at least one thing; in doing so it might just help one of your fellow SQL friends within the community.

The topic is straight forward but can be a bit difficult at times.  This is a pretty good topic to try and discuss.  I know I have been struggling for content for the topic.  Which makes it that much better because it provides a prime example of how to think about and discuss some pretty important things, while trying to compile that into a recap of one’s personal progress.

Let’s think about the topic for a bit and the timing of the topic.  This comes to us right on the heels of PASS Summit 2014 and in the middle of SQL Intersections in Las Vegas.  We might as well throw in there all of the other things like SQL Saturdays that have been happening leading up to and following those major conferences.

There has been ample opportunity over the past few weeks to learn technical content.  When networking with people there are ample opportunities at these major conferences to also learn about other people and about one’s self.  A good example of that can be seen in a blog post I wrote while attending PASS Summit, which you can read here.

The biggest learning opportunity that evolved from PASS Summit 2014 for me was the constant prodding in various sessions to break out the debugger and become more familiar with what is happening in various cases.  I saw the debugger used in three of the sessions I attended.  There are some great opportunities to learn more about SQL Server by taking some trinket of information from a session and trying to put it to use in your development environment.  This is where learning becomes internalized and gives a deeper understanding.

I hope you have been able to pick up on some tidbit that can be used to your advantage to get a deeper understanding of SQL Server.

Summit 2014 – Next Impressions

Comments: 4 Comments
Published on: November 7, 2014

As Summit 2014 begins to wind down, it is time for some more impressions from the week.  The week has been good so far.  It has been very busy and also can be quite a drain mentally and physically from everything that has transpired.

If you are interested, I have written about some of my other impressions from the week, here.

Several years ago, I blogged about an incident with plagiarism with both an original post and a follow-up.  I bring that up, not to rehash the negative, but instead to discuss an impression from this week.  If you read the follow-up, you will see that I had a chat, at that time, with Steinar (twitter) about the problem and how to resolve it.  I met Steinar for the first time this week.  And to be honest, I had forgotten about the conflict and had removed the RSS feed since the original domain had gone down.

Anyway, Steinar and I had the chance to chat for the first time face to face this week.  Steinar, in my opinion, is a pretty cool guy that made a simple RSS mistake.  The impression is that he remembered me for how I treated him several years ago and was very appreciative of that.  How cool is that?  I really appreciate the opportunity to chat with him and that something I did left a positive impact on him.

Another opportunity is to be able to perform random acts of kindness or service while at Summit.  Much like helping Paul White learn how to use a smart phone, I had the even more rare opportunity to help Kalen Delaney (blog | twitter) out of a sticky situation.  It was a minor but frustrating thing that all of us run into from time to time.  The zipper on her Surface case had become stuck, so I helped her with that.  It’s a little thing but it is the type of thing that, if you are watching, you will see happening all over the place during the week of PASS Summit.

So, the next time you are at Summit, and while back in your local communities after the week has ended for Summit, keep an eye out for those little acts of kindness.  But at the same time, keep an eye out for those that might be watching you.  What kind of impression are you leaving for them or for the SQL Community?

Summit 2014 – Early Impressions

Categories: News, Professional, SSC
Comments: 3 Comments
Published on: November 5, 2014

Summit 2014 is upon us.  Unless you are still under a rock, you probably know that.  And if you are under that rock, I am curious how you are reading this.

While it is early on in the week for the PASS Summit, things have really been going since Sunday for many.  A lot has happened.  A lot has already been learned.  And yes, some new people have already been met.  So far so good.

Now is a good time for me to just jot down some of my early impressions from the week.

It has been nice to receive a couple of compliments this week from a few people on various things.  It is waaaaay cool to hear things such as the following from community members.  Here are some samples.

“You taught me something.” Paul Randal (blog | twitter) in reference to a recent blog post that you can read here.  It is great to hear somebody learned something.  That is a primary driver for putting up content on the web and trying to help in the community where possible.

“Your index script has saved my bacon several times!” Stuart Ainsworth (blog | twitter) talking about my missing index script here.  Again, totally cool.  I am happy to hear about successes from code that I have put out there.

Those are two big impressions that would be great takeaways for the week.

But then we have to start throwing in the learning that is part of the week is.  I have attended a couple of sessions and found myself inspired by some of the content as well as hopeful by some of the other content.

By attending a session about Extended Events, I learned about an API that can expose some XE data via powershell to extend the possibilities and uses of XE.  Since the referenced blog does not contain any of the proposed material (slides or demos) it is hard to do much more with it just yet.  I will continue to check the referenced site as well as the session information on the Summit website.

By attending another session, I learned about a new feature called the Query Store.  It is basically a “Hammer that can make a lot of things look like nails!”  That session was presented by Conor Cunningham.  And while the Query Store has some extended events that are exposed in 2014, the XEs are useless and do nothing until SQL v.Next.  It would be totally awesome to have it back ported but that has no chance of happening.

And to top all of it off, it was great to sit down and get a couple of client issues fixed during the lunch break.

This is what Summit is, a huge chance to recharge, learn and to get excited about the technology and what is coming.  Oh and every now and again, one might get the chance to teach Paul White how to use a smart phone.

Murder In Utah

I am about to set sail on a new venture with my next official whistle stop.  This year has been plenty full of whistle stops and I plan on continuing.  You can read (in full) about previous whistle stops and why they are called whistle stops here.

Suffice it to say at this point that it all started with a comment about a sailing train a few months back.

goldspike

 

Time to sink or sail, so to speak.  SQL Saturday 349 in Utah will mark the next attempt at what I hope to be a repeat performance – many times.  I will be tag-teaming with Wayne Sheffield in this all day workshop event.  The session is one of two all day sessions for the event in Lehi, UT (just south of Salt Lake City).

If you are a DBA or a database developer, this session is for you.  If you are managing a database and are experiencing performance issues, this session is a must.  We will chat with attendees about a horde of performance killers and other critical issues we have seen in our years working with SQL Server.  In short, some of these issues are pure murder on your database, DBA, developer and team in general.  We will work through many of these things and show some methods to achieve a higher state of database Zen.

Description

Join Microsoft Certified Masters, Wayne Sheffield and Jason Brimhall, as they examine numerous crazy implementations they have seen over the years, and how these implementations can be murder on SQL Server.  No topic is off limits as they cover the effects of these crazy implementations from performance to security, and how the “Default Blame Acceptors” (DBAs) can use alternatives to keep the developers, DBAs, bosses and even the end-users happy.

Presented by:

wayneWayne Sheffield, a Microsoft Certified Master in SQL Server, started working with xBase databases in the late 80’s. With over 20 years in IT, he has worked with SQL Server (since 6.5 in the late 90’s) in various dev/admin roles, with an emphasis in performance tuning. He is the author of several articles at www.sqlservercentral.com, a co-author of SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes, and enjoys sharing his knowledge by presenting at SQL PASS events and blogging at http://blog.waynesheffield.com/wayne

 

 

 

JasonBrimhall

Jason Brimhall has 10+ yrs experience and has worked with SQL Server from 6.5 through SQL 2012. He has experience in performance tuning, high transaction environments, as well as large environments.  Jason also has 18 years experience in IT working with the hardware, OS, network and even the plunger (ask him sometime about that). He is currently a Consultant and a Microsoft Certified Master(MCM). Jason is the VP of the Las Vegas User Group (SSSOLV).

 

 

 

 

Course Objectives

  1. Recognize practices that are performance pitfalls
  2. Learn how to Remedy the performance pitfalls
  3. Recognize practices that are security pitfalls
  4. Learn how to Remedy the security pitfalls
  5. Demos Demos Demos – scripts to demonstrate pitfalls and their remedies will be provided
  6. Have fun and discuss
  7. We might blow up a database

kaboom

 

There will be a nice mix of real world examples and some painfully contrived examples. All will have a good and useful point.

If you will be in the area, and you are looking for high quality content with a good mix of enjoyment, come and join us.  You can find registration information and event details at the Salt Lake City SQL Saturday site – here.  There are only 75 seats available for this murder mystery theater.  Reserve yours now.

The cost for the class is $150 (plus fees) up through the day of the event.  When you register, be sure to tell your coworkers and friends.

Wait, there’s more…

Not only will I be in Utah for this workshop, I will also be presenting as a part of the SQLSaturday event on October 25, 2014 (the day after the workshop which is Oct. 24, 2014).  You can view the available sessions here.

Shameless plug time

I present regularly at SQL Saturdays.  Wayne also presents regularly at SQL Saturdays.  If you are organizing an event and would like to fill some workshop sessions, please contact either Wayne, myself or both of us for this session.

October 2014 Las Vegas UG Meeting

Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 8, 2014

The Las Vegas User Group is happy to announce our monthly meeting.  The meeting is available for in person and webinar style.  The start time is 6:30 PM Pacific and the details are listed in this post.  We hope to see you there!

invite_oct2014

This month we have a special treat brought to us by fellow MVP Argenis Fernandez (blog | twitter).  If you had a devilish little trick to upgrade SQL Server without an outage, would you do it?  Argenis will show you a good set of tricks to put your upgrade nightmares to rest.

You can read all about what Argenis is planning to present and read all about Argenis on our meetup page.

We hope to see you either in person or virtually for our monthly UG installment.

Microsoft, Me and the MVP

Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: October 2, 2014

Microsoft_MVP_logo_thumbOctober 1st is one of the quarterly dates that Microsoft announces all of the new people into the MVP program.  It is also a day in which Microsoft recognizes many already in the program and renews their status for the upcoming year.

This time around, I had the distinct honor and pleasure of joining the ranks of so many people who have been a part of this program for some time or who might have also been recently named to the program.

The MVP program is a program designed to recognize people for their efforts in teaching about various Microsoft technologies.  In my case, that happens to be SQL Server.  It is a humbling feeling to have been nominated and to be welcomed into the program.

To top it all off, I found it really cool that my welcome letter came in French rather than the standard English.  This is perfectly acceptable to me since it is a language I speak fluently and do try to keep up to date with it.  It was also interesting to see the MVP Lead call me within minutes of receipt of one of NDA email to make sure it was ok.  He was thrown by the NDA being in French and was concerned whether I could understand it or not.  At which point we had a good chuckle because I had no qualms with the language in use.

Attached are a couple of screen grabs with the welcome letter and so forth.  I geek out every time I look at them and it is totally cool.

In addition, I have also attached a link to my updated MVP profile.  You can find that here.

notice

CongratsSo what does it mean now that I am an MVP?

Well, to be truthful, it means status quo.  Having this means that a recognition was given.  It also means that, in my opinion, I am on the right track in doing good things for the community.  Because of that, I will continue to do what I can where and when I can to help teach others about SQL Server.  I am indeed grateful to be in pretty good company with people who also try to teach about SQL Server.

To all who helped this happen, I am grateful for your support.

I am also grateful to SQL Solutions Group who first broke the news.  You can read about that here.

 

September 2014 Las Vegas UG Meeting

Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: September 10, 2014

Who is up for a little free learning this week? Besides the opulence and feast that was the 24 Hours of PASS (Summit Preview), we have more training in store for you from the people in Las Vegas. Let’s call this a preview for next week which happens to be DevConnections (which also happens to be in Vegas)!!

The Las Vegas User Group is happy to announce our monthly meeting.  The meeting is available for in person and webinar style.  The start time is 6:30 PM Pacific and the details are listed in this post.  We hope to see you there!

Capture

Abstract: PowerShell: The Way of the DBA Dragon

In this introduction to PowerShell, attendees will learn how to start from scratch with PowerShell 3.0 or newer, use the pipeline, run T-SQL against multiple instances, use transcripts, and be shown martial arts usage of one of the SQLPSX cmdlets.  Scripts will be provided.

BIO

Lars Rasmussen was born in Illinois, but considers Utah home.  He does not play video games, is learning to camp and hike, and is happy to have shared the summit of Mt. Timpanogos with two of his sons.  Lars’ wife and four children help him smile and laugh, and the family dog is teaching him patience.  Playing board games is one his favorite pastimes.  He considers SQL Server, PowerShell, and CMD.EXE some of his dearest frenemies.  Lars enjoys the company of SQL Server professionals and sysadmins – he used to be one of the latter, and is employed as a database administrator for HealthEquity.

LiveMeeting Info

Attendee URLhttps://www.livemeeting.com/cc/UserGroups/join?id=MR7C92&role=attend

Meeting ID: MR7C92

«page 1 of 10






Calendar
December 2014
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
Content
SQLHelp

SQLHelp


Welcome , today is Monday, December 22, 2014