Inside My PASS Summit

PASS
As you read this, I'm in Seattle for the PASS Summit 2017. I have four roles that I satisfy at Summit; Vendor through my glorious employer Redgate Software, Board Member of the PASS organization, Speaker, and Attendee. Let me tell you about my Summit that's coming up. What is PASS? But first, a word from... well, they're not a sponsor of this blog in any way, but PASS and the community that creates and runs it made my career what it is today. PASS is the single largest organization in the world today supporting training, networking and knowledge sharing in and around the Microsoft Data Platform. The organization runs Local Groups around the world that offer free training all year round. PASS supports SQLSaturday events globally. There are also Virtual…
Read More

Luck and the PASS Summit

PASS
I recently read an article asking the question whether or not we downplay the role that luck plays in our lives and I immediately thought of the PASS Summit. Obscenely Lucky I am, quite frankly, embarrassingly, obscenely, stupidly lucky. I just am. I married WAY over my head. I stumbled into an amazing career. I can safely say that I've arrived where I am through a great amount of luck. I am quite grateful for it all too. I will only suggest a single point of agency on my part that has put me in this wonderful situation. I showed up. PASS Summit 2005 I went to the PASS Summit in 2005 in Grapevine. Mostly, I attended sessions and then went back to my hotel. However, one night, after talking…
Read More

Gratitude

PASS
I want to take a moment to thank a few people for being amazing. First up, Thomas LaRock is wrapping up his tenure on the PASS Board this year. He has one more in-person meeting at Summit 2017 and then he's basically done. I followed Tom to karaoke during my 2nd PASS Summit and have been following him around ever since. I'm honored to count him as a friend. Tom, you set an impossibly high bar. Thank you for everything you've done for me and for this community. Second, Denise McInerney is also completing her time on the PASS Board this year. Denise has been a fixture in the leadership of PASS ever since I first volunteered. I had no idea just how much guidance and advice and flat out…
Read More

Food On Your Table

PASS
I was asked, "Who here thinks that PASS helps people put food on the table?" To my shame, I initially said no. I mean after all, it's just training and networking that could lead to improved knowledge and abilities which... hang on. Just how wrong I can be sometimes when I don't fully engage my brain prior to speaking. The Table and the Food I'm almost entirely self-taught when it comes to IT. I make that claim all the time. You know it's not true. Do I have formalized educational training from any type of certified body? You know, a university education? Nope. Not at all. Instead, I've learned from a combination of experimentation, books, blogs, videos, friends, contacts and some classes at a variety of venues. Notice what's wrong there? Only…
Read More

PASS Board: Year-End Wrap-Up

PASS
This month concludes my second full year on the PASS Board of Directors and my first full year on the Executive Committee. This year has been exciting, challenging, educational, and, I truly believe, useful to the organization. We've accomplished a lot. We will do more. Year In Review I have two primary responsibilities as the Executive Vice President – Finance and Governance. Firstly, I am responsible for PASS’ budget.  Secondly, I am responsible to oversee the governance of PASS. Here's how the year went on these two topics. Finance At the beginning of the year, our primary focus is to ensure that the various directors in charge of different portfolios are getting ready for the annual budget. Our fiscal year runs from July to June. A significant amount of work is spent…
Read More

Presentations for SQL Server Beginners

Azure, PASS, PowerShell, Professional Development, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, SQL Server 2016
[caption id="attachment_2548" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tired from all those blog posts[/caption] For my final blog post in the #gettingstarted, #iwanttohelp series, I decided to curate a set of presentations from the PASS Virtual Chapters. This content is available online. It's free. Most importantly for the person just getting started as a SQL Server data pro, it's good. I'm going to marry each of the presentations with my eleven blog posts in this series. The Importance of a Full Backup in SQL Server For this one I'm going to recommend Tim Radney's session Understanding SQL Server Backup and Restore. I know Tim personally and guarantee this is a good session. Why Is The Server Slow Jes Borland is a very close personal friend and an absolutely outstanding presenter (and person). She has…
Read More

PASS Board Update: Post-Summit 2016

PASS
Monday I got in on Sunday and chose to have a small dinner with a couple of friends, quiet, preparing. Monday was a less hectic day than the others . The Board had the morning off, although Redgate had me go and give a session at an event. Monday afternoon was one of our three in-person board meetings. The minutes will be published soon. I was responsible for running the meeting. I also presented two topics, first, and most importantly, our current financial status. Then I presented the initial set of thoughts towards some SMART goals for Global Growth, which I will share once they are further developed . Monday evening I had two events I had to attend. First, as part of the Executive Committee, I attended the kick off dinner…
Read More

Pre-Summit PASS Board Update

PASS
Busy, busy, busy. A lot of the work around PASS currently is getting ready for Summit. I'm prepping my part in the keynotes. I'm involved in lots of community discussions including SQLSaturday, Chapters and Regional Mentors. We're setting up the Community Zone for all sorts of activities throughout the week. We're also going to have one of our few in-person board meetings at Summit. Putting on the single largest gathering of data professionals around the Microsoft Data Platform is actually labor-intensive. The majority of the work is done by the amazing individuals at Christianson & Company, but the board is involved in the necessary decisions and, being the guy who handles finance, I'm in on a lot of those decisions. Personally, I think we're putting together, say it with me, THE BEST SUMMIT EVER.…
Read More

Volunteering With PASS

PASS
I was just asked how many times I've been to the PASS Summit. This year will be my 12th consecutive one. That made me start thinking. At my very first Summit, I met a couple of volunteers for PASS (Allen Kinsel was one of them, I'll blame him forever). They were having so much fun that I decided to volunteer. I've been volunteering now for eleven years. I couldn't stop. Here's what I've done over the years at PASS: Book Review Committee (my first PASS "job") Editorial Committee (I wrote stuff) Editor of the SQL Standard (I had other people write stuff) First-timer Mentor (I wasn't very good at this one) First-timer Event... Chair? (I got up in front of the room, this one might not count) Founder of SQL Kilt Day (and…
Read More

Networking and the PASS Summit

PASS
PASS Summit 2016 is fast approaching. If you're going, time to start making plans. If you're not going, sell your boss on the idea and get registered. It's only the largest Microsoft Data Platform event on the planet. There are over 200 sessions given by some of the most knowledgeable people you'll ever get the chance to learn from. The schedule is posted, just look it over. However, I want to drill down on another aspect of the event that it's way too easy to miss out on, networking. Lots of people miss this aspect of events like the PASS Summit. I know I used to. I went to all kinds of IT events over the years, but all I ever did was attend the sessions. I didn't spend any time…
Read More