Meme Monday: SQL Family

Professional Development
Tom LaRock’s (blog|twitter) question this month: What does #sqlfamily mean to me? Wow… Geez Tom, couldn’t you ask a hard question for once? Hmmm… Just saying #sqlfamily and a whole series of images of people flashes through my head. And those images are accompanied by all sorts of fun, amazing, interesting situations. And you know what, they’re all very positive. I don’t have flashes of people I dislike or bitter acrimony or really strange relationships. In short, maybe it’s not a family. I have a huge, complex, and very extended real-life family. When I compare that to my #sqlfamily, parts of the real family don’t shine quite so bright as that #sqlfamily does (parts, of course, shine brighter, I love my family). The #sqlfamily is impressive. I get so much…
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Book Review: Guerilla Leader, T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt

Professional Development
As part of my commitment to read and review 12 books in an effort to be active in my own personal development, a commitment made on the SQL Cruise back in June, I’ve completed another book, Guerrilla Leader: T. E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt by James J. Schneider. This was not the book I was scheduled to read. I’m still reading it, but, frankly, it’s boring. This book came to my attention, a history book that is also an exploration of leadership, and I got excited. I’ve long been a student of history and I’ve had a fascination for World War I for a long time. I have over twenty books on the subject that I’ve read. So the chance to combine reading about a subject that I already…
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Networking

Professional Development
No, I’m not talking about hubs and switches. I’m talking about people. Networking is a major component of an event like the PASS Summit. Whether you’re networking with individuals or with organizations, this is an opportunity to build direct, personal connections with people that can, and will, help you in your professional career. With the economy behaving as it is, having a better network gives you an edge over your peers. You’re going to be better and faster at solving the tough problems, not because you’re smarter, but because you have contacts that have already solved that problem (which, actually, means you are smarter) and you can go to them for the solution. I’ve been “that guy.” (I can’t be be “that gal” even if I tried). You know the…
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SQL In The City: LA

Professional Development
Just a reminder that there are a few seats left for SQL In The City: LA on the 28th of October. It’s a free event put on by Red Gate Software. I’ll be speaking there. But much better than that, you can listen to, and interact with, Steve Jones, Brad McGehee, Ike Ellis, Aaron Nelson, and ta-da, Denny Cherry, and double-super ta-da, Kalen Delaney (line forms behind me to talk to Kalen), plus the developers and program managers from Red Gate software that will be there. Take a Friday off work and go get your learn-on. Show your boss the agenda. I guarantee they’ll let you go. Click here to register. You know what else? If you pick up a copy of MVP Deep Dives II before the event, I’ll…
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Book Review: Smarter, Faster, Cheaper

Professional Development
In my continuing quest to not get personal visits from Buck Woody (blog|twitter) I’m making sure that I make good on my commitment to read 12 personal development books in 12 months. We’re up to #4 (again demonstrating the degree of fear that Buck can put in a person) and the book is Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business by David Siteman Garland (blog|twitter). The extended title on the book covers what it’s about quite well. David Garland is considered one of the top marketers these days and he seems to follow the processes laid out in his book. I say this because I received a tweet from him after I tweeted that I’d finished reading the book. One of the processes laid out…
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SQL Server Execution Plans

PASS, Professional Development, SQL Server
I write quite frequently about SQL Server Execution Plans. I started in that area just because that’s how you figure out what a query is doing and sooner or later, we all have to tune a query. I found I was doing it sooner and more frequently. When the opportunity came up to write a book , I jumped on it. Now I find myself presenting, rather frequently, on execution plans. One of the people I’ve learned from over the last several years is Gail Shaw (blog|twitter). I first saw Gail on stage at the PASS Summit, I think it was 2007. A co-worker of mine was picked, along with Gail, to go on stage for the Quiz Bowl. Gail was answering all the questions. If you go over to…
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Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Professional Development
I’ve finished my 3rd book as part of my year long commitment to read and review professional/personal development books. I read one of my favorite authors this time, Seth Godin and his book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us . I’ve either been very smart or very lucky in my choice of books. I’ve enjoyed all three. But this one was better than the other two. Then again, this is my third Seth Godin book, I think I’m predisposed to enjoying his writing. The core idea behind the book is predicated on two facts. First, humans tend to congregate, we’re social critters. Second, you can take the lead of your tribe. Easy stuff, right? Wrong. It’s complicated and weird and hard. The book doesn’t even remotely suggest otherwise. This…
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Google + Hangouts

Professional Development
I just finished hosting my third hangout on Google Plus. I’ve also attended one hosted by Andy Leonard (blog|twitter) and one hosted by Tom LaRock (blog|twitter). I am blown away by how useful these things are. I’m actually struggling to try to put it into words. This may be something of a ramble. Jorge Segarra (blog|twitter) brought it up during the conversation this morning, you can’t know everything. You can’t. So what do you do when you’re hitting an issue that you can’t solve because you just don’t have the knowledge? Well, you contact someone who does have that knowledge. You work your contacts and your network and track down the information, because someone you know either knows that bit of information or they know someone else who does. That’s…
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