SQLSaturday #209 – Rochester

Welcome to the Roc!
Welcome to the Roc!

Just a quick note that I’ll be presenting this weekend, Saturday May 11th, at SQLSaturday in Rochester, NY. Exciting to return to Central New York as I graduated right down the road at Syracuse University. Go Orange!​If you’re in the area come on down, should be a great day of training. Check out the day’s schedule (link), I’ll be presenting two sessions this weekend:


You can follow the event along on Twitter using the #sqlsatroc hashtag as well. See you this weekend in the Roc!


SQLSaturday #85 Orlando: Pragmatic Works BI Pre-Con!

I’m very proud to announce that Pragmatic Works will be presenting a Business Intelligence Workshop pre-con for SQLSaturday #85 in Orlando on Friday September 23rd! In this session you’ll have not one, not two, not three but FOUR Pragmatic Works consultants walking you through how to develop a full business intelligence solution from the ground up! Your instructors for this awesome pre-con are:

Jorge Segarra (Twitter | Blog)

I’m a BI Consultant for Pragmatic Works and a SQL Server MVP. In addition to being a member of the Jacksonville SQL Server User Group (JSSUG) I’m also a PASS Regional Mentor for the U.S. Greater Southeast region. I have also co-authored the book from Apress “SQL 2008 Pro Policy-Based Management“. Redgate Exceptional DBA of the Year 2010 Finalist.

Mike Davis (Twitter | Blog)

Mike Davis, MCTS, MCITP, is a Senior BI consultant at Pragmatic Works. He is an author of a few Business intelligence books. Mike is an experienced speaker and has presented at many events such as several SQL Server User Groups, Code Camps, SQL Server Launches, and SQL Saturday events. Mike is an active member at his local user group (JSSUG) in Jacksonville, FL.

Brad Schacht (Twitter | Blog)

Bradley is a consultant at Pragmatic Works in Jacksonville, FL. He was an author on the book SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence 24-Hour Trainer. Bradley has experience on many part of the Microsoft BI platform. He has spoken at events like SQL Saturday, Code Camp, SQL Lunch and SQL Server User Groups. He is a contributor on sites such as BIDN.com and SQL Server Central as well as an active member of the Jacksonville SQL Server User Group (JSSUG).

Kyle Walker (Blog)

Kyle is a Business Intelligence consultant for Pragmatic Works. His current and past work experience includes Integration Services, data warehousing concepts, Reporting Services, and Crystal Reports. He is active in the local and online community as a speaker for SQL Lunch, Jacksonville SQL Server Users Group, and past SQLSaturday events, as well as a blogger on BIDN.com.


In this full-day workshop, you’ll learn from the author team of Jorge Segarra, Mike Davis, Brad Schacht, and Kyle Walker how to build a data warehouse for your company and support it with the Microsoft business intelligence platform. We’ll start with how to design and data model a data warehouse including the system preparation. Then, we’ll jump into loading a data warehouse with SSIS. After SSIS, you’re ready to roll the data up and provide the slice and dice reporting with SSAS. The team will walk through cube development and data enrichment with things like key performance indicators, which are essential for your future dashboards. Lastly, we will cover how to report against the data warehouse with SSRS including a primer in how to write MDX queries against the SSAS cube.

Take Home Skills:

  1. Practical knowledge of building a Dimensional Model
  2. Designing a simple ETL process using SSIS
  3. Designing a Cube
  4. Designing simple SSRS Reports
  5. Building an integrated process that fully leverages the entire MS BI stack to load a Data Warehouse

See you all in Orlando!

SQLSaturday #62: Tampa

We’re 10 short days away from SQLSaturday #62 event and I just wanted to remind everyone about some of the amazing stuff that will be happening that weekend!

First off we have an incredible deal with a pre-con we call Day of Data. We have two all-day training options for you at the incredible price of $99 (after today 1/5, price jumps to $109)! For the DBAs we have Denny Cherry (Blog | Twitter) presenting Storage and Virtualization for the DBA.  For the BI focus We have Stacia Misner (Blog | Twitter) presenting a Day of BI. This price includes coffee, juice and donuts, lunch, and course materials. To register click here and make sure to share this with co-workers and your boss! I guarantee the ROI on this training will be off the charts!

As for the main event we have an AMAZING lineup of speakers for this free (yes, I said FREE) training event. Check out the schedule (time/rooms subject to change):

Cafeteria Room A Room B Room C
– 9:30
Introduction to SSIS Efficient Datawarehouse Design How SQL saved my Business Intelligence Platform DBA Repository Update 2010 Using SSIS and SSRS
– 10:45
SSIS Cafeteria DBA 101 Developing Date and Role-Playing Dimensions Implementing auditing in SQL Server
– 12:00
Cool Tricks to Pull from your SSIS Hat: Why I Use Stored Procedures Introduction to PowerPivot for Excel SQL Server Auditing 101
– 1:15
Accelerating BI Development with BI xPress
– 2:30
Do You Know the Data Flow? Zen and the Art of Writing SQL Query Indexing for performance Reporting Services 2008
– 3:45
SQL Smackdown: SSIS vs. PowerShell Page And Row Compression How, When, and Why SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse Revive the code: refactoring for performance
– 5:00
Iron Chef SQL Server Troubleshooting with the SQL Server 2008 DC & MDW Bad SQL SSIS and SSRS Better Together
More rooms below – keep scrolling
Room D Room E Room F Cantina
– 9:30
Why Learn PowerShell? Policy-Based Management in a Nutshell To click or to type, that is the question
– 10:45
SQL Server PowerShell Extensions (SQLPSX) Become a Bilingual DBA! Oracle for the SQL Server Sql Server Service Broker – An Overview
– 12:00
Windows PowerShell 2.0 Best Practices for DBA’s Introduction to Transactional Replication ITIL V3 for the Database Administrator
– 1:15
Lunch is served
– 2:30
You inherited a database Now What? MDX 201 Find Performance Problems by Reading the Waits WIT Discussion
– 3:45
Where should I be encrypting my data SQL Server Memory Deep Dive Spatial Data in SQL 2008 and Bing
– 5:00
DR Availability,You’re Wanted in the Recovery Room SSIS Data Flow Buffer Breakdown Creating a Metadata Mart w/ SSIS – Data

And I guess it’s worth mentioning I’ll be there presenting my Policy-Based Management in a Nutshell talk so if you come to the event swing by and say hi (even stay for my session if you’d like!). So grab yo kids, grab yo wife, grab yo coworkers and get to SQLSaturday cuz everyone’s learning up in there!*

*I apologize for the horrendous addition to an internet meme to my post

SQLSaturday #49 Orlando – Recap

This past weekend I had the pleasure of presenting at another great SQLSaturday event, number 49 actually and the 3rd one I’ve been to in Orlando. One of the greatest things about this event is not only the great stuff you learn but most importantly the amazing people you meet!

This event was especially exciting for me for several reasons. First being that this is the first event I’d be attending as a PragmaticWorks employee, which still boggles my mind that I can say that! Secondly, in addition to all the amazing people that were presenting this weekend there were a couple of folks that I’ve come to know/admire/respect online for the past year which I finally got to meet face to face for the first time. Most notably of these were Mike Walsh (Blog | Twitter), Kathi Kellenberger (Blog | Twitter), Ed Wilson (Blog | Twitter) and the SQL Rockstar himself, Tom LaRock (Blog | Twitter)! For those of you who followed along the #sqlsat49 Twitter stream that weekend, you’ll have noticed that Tom and I have developed what can only be termed as a bro-mance. It couldn’t be helped people, this is what happens when outstanding geekiness meets pure shenanigans. It’s an unstoppable force of nature and I can only imagine what the week of PASS Summit will hold in store.

Man-love aside, let’s talk about the event and the awesome schedule that was laid out for us. As I have changed my career path from being a DBA to a BI consultant I’ve decided that from here on out I’d attend as many BI-centric sessions at events as possible. I kept this goal in mind but I couldn’t resist going to see Tom’s session on Wait Stats as I had missed him give this presentation online. Wait stats are a vital thing to learn no matter which tree of SQL Server you’re specialized in so I really enjoyed the topic. Tom’s a great presenter and one of the things that really struck me is this: Tom works for Confio, Confio makes Ignite 8 which focuses on wait stats and reporting on them in an easy and generally awesome way. You’d think this session would basically be an Ignite 8 infomercial but it wasn’t at all! In fact he did something really awesome in displaying Ignite graphs without specifically telling you where they’re from. Let the fish come to the bait, so to speak. One thing that was really cool from this session is I had no idea about was the SQL Diagramming method by Dan Tow (Website). I’ll definitely try to use this in the future.

I wasn’t able to attend a session during the second time slot since another exciting event took place. Recently PASS has re-launched the Regional Mentor program, of which I’m proud to say I’m one of the RM’s for the U.S. Greater Southeast region along with Adam Jorgensen (Blog | Twitter). Also in attendance at this event were several other RM’s including Patrick “The Ego” LeBlanc (Blog | Twitter) and Karla Landrum (Blog | Twitter). Since we had so many RM’s together we met with Andy Warren (Blog | Twitter) and fleshed out some thoughts and ideas for stuff we’re looking to do with and for the RM program. I’ll expound more on this meeting as well as activities from the RM program in another blog post. Suffice to say this was a great meeting and look forward to some exciting stuff to come from PASS in the near future!

Next up I headed over to the BI track and listened to Devin Knight (Blog | Twitter) present on Intro to Analysis Services. If you’re new to BI and want to learn Analysis Services (or anything from the BI stack really) I highly recommend you catch one of Devin’s sessions. Great presentation that demos that make SSAS easy to digest and understand. Unfortunately Devin wasn’t able to use some kind of drug dealer database as his data source (which would have been highly entertaining) so we were “forced” to watch him demo using the standard AdventureWorks data sets. This wasn’t the last time I’d hear about this drug dealer data set today…

After lunch I swung by Patrick’s mini session on “Why Should You Present” and watched Patrick’s ego go into over drive! For those who don’t know, Patrick is a great guy and an amazing presenter. We joke about his ego since when you see him present you can instantly see how comfortable Patrick is up there (and he’ll let you know it too). Great topic and I can’t encourage folks enough to present. Honestly it’s one of the greatest ways to learn something new as it forces you to learn a topic!

I continued my BI knowledge suck by checking out Wes Dumey’s Data Warehousing session. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to stay for the whole thing as I had to leave early to prepare for my session in the next time slot. From the time I was there though, Wes did a pretty good job covering data warehousing concepts and terminology.

After my Policy-Based Management In a Nutshell session, I shot over to my last session of the day, Patrick’s CDC+SSIS = SCD (Slowly Changing Dimensions) session as it seemed like a pretty interesting topic. I wasn’t let down. Patrick, entertaining as ever, covered a pretty topic pretty thoroughly and walked us though a bunch of code which was really interesting. Again, if you ever get a chance go watch Patrick present. If you can’t make it in person make sure to check him out at his site http://sqllunch.com where he hosts free SQL webinars on a pretty regular basis.

The day wrapped us as per usual with tons of great giveaways from sponsors which included prizes like an iPad, free software, shirts, dart boards, and even an Apple TV! A HUGE thanks goes out to the organizers Jack Corbett (Blog | Twitter), Andy Warren and Kendal Van Dyke (Blog | Twitter) for doing such a fantastic job with this event. These guys always put on a fantastic event and their experience shows with how well everything flows and is executed. Another huge thanks goes to the volunteers for the event. Without them an event of this high of quality wouldn’t run as smooth as it does. Thank you Orlando for another amazing event!

SQLSaturday #49 tomorrow!

This is just a quick note to let you know SQLSaturday #49 in Orlando is tomorrow! If you’re in the area come on down, there’s going to be TONS of great speakers/presentations. Check out the all-star lineup we have!

Tom LaRock (Blog | Twitter)

Louis Davidson (Blog | Twitter)

Kathi Kellenberger (Twitter)

Ken Simmons (Blog | Twitter)

Andy Warren (Blog | Twitter)

Aaron Nelson (Blog | Twitter)

Adam Jorgensen (Blog | Twitter)

Patrick LeBlanc (Blog | Twitter)

Kevin Boles (Twitter)

Rodney Landrum (Blog | Twitter)

Jack Corbett (Blog | Twitter)

Ed Wilson (Blog | Twitter)

Kendall Van Dyke (Blog | Twitter)

and many more!!!!

Holy crap, just looking at that lineup makes me excited. If you haven’t registered, get on it! Oh yeah, I’ll be presenting too on Policy-Based Management. Come to my session and I’ll be raffling away a copy of “Pro SQL Server 2008 Policy-Based Management” as well as giving away one of my famous rubber chickens. See you in Orlando!

SQLCruise: I’m No Longer On a Boat…So I’m Sad

Pirate Cat can haz ur Swag?

Well it’s the first Monday back since this amazing trip and some folks have wasted no time in putting up their posts. I WAS going to do a recap of the week but over at SQLCruise.com Brent has done a great job recapping the week in detail. Instead this post will focus on the value returned from the experience. Before I start I’d like to give a HUGE thanks to the sponsors for making this event possible:

It’s hard to talk about SQLCruise without first talking about the SQLSaturday that preceded it. SQLCruise was purposely scheduled to coincide with SQLSaturday #40. As any SQLSaturday event, it was great but what really made this one special was its tie-in with the cruise event. Tim Ford (Blog | Twitter) and Brent Ozar (Blog | Twitter) kicked off the event with a great keynote speech. The general theme of the talk was that the true value of this event was not what you were learning up on screen (which is also important) but the real value is what you learn from everyone around you at the event and the relationships you build. This theme was solidified by Brent and Tim’s personal stories of how they journeyed from being the ones in the chairs listening to speakers to being the ones up front presenting to the crowd. If you ever get a chance to hear these two give this talk/presentation I highly recommend it, especially since it starts off with an especially cool high-wire video.

This focus on the relationships you create and foster at technical events became a recurring theme throughout the week. After SQLSaturday the revelry of the presenters, attendees and SQLCruise-ers carried over to the after party at On the Border. The next day was an event that was not officially planned for SQLCruise but Gareth (Twitter) and Jen Swanepoel (Twitter) were kind enough to host the SQLCruise attendees at their house for a bon voyage BBQ. A huge thanks goes to Gareth, Jen and their amazing neighbors for putting on such a great event! Being able to interact with everyone in a relaxed, casual environment made it that much easier for everyone to get to know each other before departing. The funny part about this whole event is that many of us already “knew” each other via Twitter/Facebook/blog interactions but for many of us this was the first time we’d met face-to-face. In addition to meeting all the great SQL folks this was also an opportunity to meet everyone’s significant others which is always great.

Finally Monday rolled around and we got to finally board the Carnival Imagination and set sail on SQLCruise! As I mentioned earlier, and as Brent said in his recap, some of the most valuable things you learn during events like this are not on a slide deck. Be it the gatherings on the back of the ship on the “SQL Lounge” or the intimate classroom settings, it was invaluable to be able to interact with everyone freely. Another great advantage of being out in the ocean the distractions are kept to a minimum as the usual hub-bub of calls from work, email-checking, and A.D.D.-fueled internet browsing was not to be found. Brent and Tim had both mentioned one of their initial plans was to keep the class size to a small size specifically for the advantages a small group provides. One of the great benefits that came out of it in the formal class schedule was the flexibility of changing up the lesson plan. Initially we had a session on “Hidden Booty in SQL Server” scheduled but as conversations developed we all realized that the entire group was more in the intermediate to senior skill level. In addition to the higher-than-exepected skill sets, many of us had lots of questions of Brent regarding the Masters program he had recently gone through. Based on this scenario Brent put together a new presentation on MCM Trivia. I believe he put this together before watching Matlock reruns on his laptop and burning the midnight oil until 7pm!

SQLCruise was an absolutely amazing experience and thankfully this social experiment went so well that there are already plans in the works for two more next year! Not only did I walk away from this class-cation with a wealth of new technical knowledge (now I know what round-robin is/how it works as well as what a merry-go-round scan is!) but also some extremely valuable relationships and friendships. When was the last time you walked away from a training event and actually MISSED the attendees and classes? I cannot stress to you enough how highly I recommend you attend one of these events in the future! I guarantee not only will you better yourself as a SQL professional but you’ll have a greater appreciation for what an amazing community we’re fortunate enough to be a part of. If you’re interested in joining a future SQLCruise adventure make sure you sign up for the mailing list to get all of the latest news and updates. Thanks again to our sponsors and Tim and Brent for putting together such an amazing event!

Presenting at SQLSaturday #40 – South Florida


This is just a quick note to say that I’ll be in South Florida this weekend presenting at SQLSaturday #40. This weekend and the following week are particularly awesome for a few reasons:

  1. My birthday is Friday!
  2. Look at this lineup, it’s PACKED with #awesomesauce
  3. SQL BBQ on Sunday
  4. SQL Cruise next week!!!!

So…yeah, it’s going to be an awesome week for sure. On Saturday I’ll be presenting two sessions:

If you’re there please come say hi, even better come to my sessions! If not, don’t worry I won’t be offended as I’m going up against some awesome sessions (although I’ve noticed a trend where I always end up in same time slots as Brent!). So if you’re in South Florida area come join us, it’s free! Sessions start at 8:30 and go until about 4:30-5. Also even if you’re not attending you can connect with all attendees and speakers via the networking page. Hope to see you there!

SQLSaturday 31 Chicago: Recap

Last weekend I had the distinguished pleasure of attending Chicago’s very first SQLSaturday event. Before I begin my recap I’d like to again give a HUGE thanks the organizers of the event: Wendy Pastrick (Blog | Twitter), Aaron Lowe (Blog | Twitter) and Ted Krueger (Blog | Twitter) as well as all of the awesome volunteers that helped out.

My wife Jessica (Blog | Twitter) and I arrived into Chicago Friday afternoon. We had time to catch a bite at Grand Lux Cafe with some friends and my sister. Pretty nice place, kind of like a Cheesecake Factory but a little better. My wife’s a foodie so she was loving it! After lunch I got the pleasure of meeting Brent Ozar (Blog | Twitter), Jeremiah Peschka (Blog | Twitter) and Jeremiah’s friend John Jakubowski (Blog | Twitter) as they picked me up and we headed out to the ‘Burbs for the speaker’s dinner. We had plenty of time in car to talk about all things geek such as NoSQL, Ruby on Rails, PASS and a few other choice subjects not fit for print. Let’s just say I learned some strip clubs in Ohio have free steaks for lunch.

Continue reading “SQLSaturday 31 Chicago: Recap”

My SQLSaturday Presentations: See Them Live!

Well the title says it all and you’re thinking “well obviously we’ll see it live if we’re there” but that’s not the big news: I’ll be broadcasting my SQLSaturday sessions via LiveMeeting this Saturday! That’s right, for those who can’t make it and want to get a taste of SQLSaturday, join us in my sessions over the internet! Big thanks to Jermiah Peschka (Blog | Twitter) for setting this up for me. Links to the LiveMeetings are listed below for the two sessions I’ll be doing:

UPDATE: Ok Jonathan Kehayias (Blog | Twitter) has brought to my attention that internet at the event might be spotty at best so this live event may or may not happen. Follow me on Twitter for updates as they happen…

Policy Based Management 101 (10:15 am-11:15 am EST) – LiveMeeting Link

Twitter and SQL Server:A Perfect UNION (1:15-1:30 pm EST) – LiveMeeting Link

I’m going to try and have the sessions recorded, let’s see how it goes!

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Contest for SQLSaturday #21 Seminars

As if next week couldn’t get any better, Andy Warren went and jacked up the awesome factor. Details of the contest are below but HURRY! The contest ends tomorrow (Sunday) at 5pm.

THE MAIN PRIZE: Free attendance at any of the seminars next week, a $149 value!

THE CONSOLATION PRIZE: We’ve got three runner up prizes, a super discounted price of $99 for any seminar next week.

THE CONTEST: Correctly answer all three of the following questions:

  1. Which speaker ‘spins’ a good story?
  2. Which session seems to be the most fishy?
  3. Which speaker (hint: could be multiple answers) is speaking at a SQLSaturday for the first time?

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email your answers to sqlsaturday21@sqlsaturday.com with a subject of ‘Seminar Contest’. Entries must be received by 5 pm on Sunday and will be announced later Sunday evening – along with one more exciting contest!

Good luck!