How to Convince the Boss to Send You to PASS Summit

PASS, Professional Development
August two years ago I originally posted, Make the PASS Summit Work for Your Employer. After conversations at several SQL Saturdays over the last couple of months, I decided to refresh and update that original content and post it again. I keep hearing how the job market has changed. That companies just don't want to pay for training any more. However, I don't recall any of my employers in the past ever actively wanting, desiring, begging me, please, oh, please, can't you go out to a little training? In fact, for the most part, I pretty much always had to beg the boss to send me out to training. I had to sell it. I don't think that's a new development. Let's review the selling points to help you convince the boss.…
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Leadership Lessons

Professional Development
Not for you, for me. I'm sure you've heard the statement: Praise in public. Criticize in private. I agree with this approach. However, I find it extremely difficult to do. It's one of the fundamental proofs that all leadership, all life for that matter, is about constant practice and discipline. It's not enough to know something. It's not enough to practice something occasionally. To get good at this stuff, you need to practice a lot. Let me tell you about a recent failure on my part. My 17 year old daughter had friends for a sleepover (yeah, they still do that). She makes her own breakfast and starts eating. I remind her to ask her friends what they want. She does so in this really irritated manner. Of course, the…
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Book Review: Connected

Professional Development
I heard about Connected from a show on NPR (Yes, I listen to NPR, why do people keep saying that?). It was right after another segment talking about how positivity affects your mood and your ability to think and act in a clear fashion. I've long been a believer in the ability of your network to impact you, but I really didn't think about it beyond that. Hearing about the book Connected changed my thinking, so I ran out (meaning, connected to Amazon) and got a copy. The premise of the book is pretty simple. You have close friends and acquaintances. Your close friends and acquaintances also have friends and acquaintances, that may or may not over lap with yours. Those people also have another set of friends and acquaintances.…
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I Am Better Than You

DevOps
That is a patently false statement and total BS. It sure does crawl up your spine though doesn't it? Why then do we need to do this? I read an article, "How DevOps is Killing the Developer," and, frankly, was a little put off by this: Good developers are smart people. I know I'm going to get a ton of hate mail, but there is a hierarchy of usefulness of technology roles in an organization. Developer is at the top, followed by sysadmin and DBA. QA teams, "operations" people, release coordinators and the like are at the bottom of the totem pole. Why is it arranged like this? Because each role can do the job of all roles below it if necessary. Nice to know I'm almost as good as…
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Sausage Making

Professional Development
For those who don't know, I work for Red Gate Software. I'm not a developer, but I work directly for the development teams so I spend a lot of time with them. This week I'm over in the UK, where they are headquartered, meeting with the different teams and discussing our products, their future, issues with them, enhancements, and all the rest. Suffice to say, I'm excited by the future. But the really fun bits are when you see behind the scenes stuff. Red Gate is pretty well known for polished, intelligent, elegant UI design (yes, they keep me away from that stuff). Behind those pretty pictures though is code. And our developers are just like your developers, smart, capable, skilled, but still learning. And it's those learning bits that…
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Speaking in 2014

Professional Development
I love that I get to travel around and learn from my #sqlfamily. We're still filling in the majority of the 2014 schedule, but the plans are to go to as many events as Mrs. Scary will let me. I'd like to alert you to a couple coming up in January, and then I should be able to get a fuller schedule for the first quarter posted soon (that way you can complain to me in person about Managed Backups). On Friday, January 10th, I'll be presenting a SQL in the City Seminar on Database Deployment in Cambridge, UK. Presenting in the UK is just fantastic. And this is a live event. And it's at the stately Red Gate Towers. Oh, and this is a free event, but seating is…
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For the Aspiring DBA

Professional Development
Getting started as a data professional is an incredibly daunting task. If you’re not concerned that you’re going to mess stuff up and cause a system to crash and burn, maybe you’re in the wrong job. The amount of information you have to learn is insanely huge, coupled with the fact that you are straddling application development, system administration and business needs, multiplied by the factor that all the apps, all the code and the very server structure on which you’re building everything is constantly changing. Concerned now? Good. Stay that way. The one piece of advice I want to offer you is that very state of concern. You are in a wonderful and horrifying position. If you’re working in the database administration space, you’re tasked with protecting the data…
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Book Review: Business in the Trenches

Professional Development
I'm trying to improve. That's at just about everything too. I know I don't know enough or have enough skills to always get things done in an efficient manner, so I'm trying to learn more. One way is by reading, a lot. I've read a number of management and leadership books, many of them reviewed on this web site. I just finished the book Business in the Trenches. I really enjoyed it. It combined two of my passions, self-improvement and history, specifically history of World War I. Now, this is a tech, community and business blog, so I won't go on & on about the Great War (although I could if you wanted). Instead, I simply want to provide you a link to my review of this book. It really is a…
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Plans for 2013

Professional Development
I have lists. Lots of lists. I even have them in different locations sometimes. Some of them are carefully written down in my notebook, others are typed into OneNote and I've been experimenting with Remember the Milk and Trello (Trello is winning). These lists include ideas for presentations, blogs, articles. Notes from sessions I've attended or meetings. Lots and lots of plans and ideas and all that sort of stuff. I try to keep it organized, but sometimes it runs away from me. However, I find writing things down helps me to keep things organized. Between very carefully scheduling out my calendar and all these notes, I only occasionally completely drop the ball. One ball I dropped was coming up with some goals, some plans, for 2012. I just plowed…
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SQL In The City: London 2012, Recap

Professional Development, Red Gate Software, SQL Server 2012, Tools, TSQL
Wow! How's that for a recap? The concept for the SQL in the City events is pretty simple. Put on a free event that instructs people on SQL Server, Azure, and related technologies along with a healthy smattering of Red Gate tools. All teaching is done by some of the best people in the business (and me). This was the second event in London. The concept was launched there last year and succeeded quite well. This year the event filled it's registrations so quickly that Red Gate felt obligated to have a second day, which almost completely filled up too. There were more than 350 people in attendance on Friday, and then, on Saturday, a day off, another 250+ people showed up. That's well over 600 attendees over the two…
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