PASS Summit Day 3: Dr. David Dewitt

PASS
Two quick points, I'm putting this blog together using the Surface.. ooh... and this isn't a keynote, but a spotlight session at the Summit. Still, I thought I would live blog my thoughts because I've done it for every time Dr. Dewitt has spoken at the Summit. Right off, he has a slide with a little brain character representing himself. But, we're talking PolyBase, and futures. This is basically a way to combine hadoop unstructured nosql data with structured storage within SQL Server. Mostly this is within the new Parallel Datawarehouse. But it's coming to all of SQL Server, so we need to learn this. The information ties directly back to what was presented at yesterday's keynote. HDFS is the file system. On top of that a framework for executing…
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PASS Summit 2012 Day 2: Keynote

PASS
Welcome to Day 2 of the PASS Summit! It's been a very exciting event so far. Today I'm presenting two sessions, one on tuning queries by fixing bad parameter sniffing and one on reading execution plans. Please stop by, or watch the one on execution plans on TV as PASS is livestreaming events all day long on SQL TV (which is what I used to call Profiler). The intro video, which can be good or goofy was really good this year. They had people from all over the world talking in their native language, making the point that the PASS organization is a global community. It really is. Doug McDowell is giving us the finance and governance information for the PASS organization. I find this boring and vital at the…
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PASS Summit 2012 Day 2: KILT DAY!

PASS
Welcome to the fourth Kilt Day at the SQL PASS Summit. It might be a little silly, but it's fun. It's also Women in Technology day with the WIT Luncheon. Guys are invited. A short word about the bloggers table. Last year we were... a little loud. So this year, we were cautioned... well, more like told to be quiet or they'd take away our toys. I agree with the intent of the message, please keep it down. But the delivery... it hurt PASS at the bloggers table and upset people. As I was reminded last night by a dear, dear friend who I accidently hurt, how you deliver a message is as important as the message you deliver. But, that's OK. Let's learn from our mistakes, grow & move…
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PASS Summit 2012 Day 1

PASS
We're off and running here at the PASS Summit. New this year is live streaming all day. Bill Graziano is introducing the Summit. More importantly, he's introducing PASS. Further, he's introducing speakers to everyone. He doesn't mean just speakers at the summit, but anyone who has spoken at a SQL Saturday or a user group, and it was a scary large group of people. PASS has created a new web site to make it easier to find local Chapters. Track one down. On the one hand, it's weird that we're sitting at the PASS Summit and introducing the PASS organization, but I think they're right to do it. It's a great organization and I'm always surprised at how many people don't know about it. Bill's big announcement is the all…
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PASS Summit 2012: Day -3

PASS
The Summit proper starts on Wednesday, but the Summit starts at registration. I left a little early from work setting up for SQL in the City: Seattle in order to run up the hill and get to the convention center around the time that it opened. Why? Cause I get to meet my SQL Family for the first time this week. Lots of people are there and it really is like a family reunion. Smiles, hugs, catching up, stories. It's the best way to launch the event. Not a lot to report, but I just had to share. I love my SQL Family.
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SQL In The City: Seattle

PASS, Red Gate Software
If you missed all the great speakers on the five city tour of SQL in the City, don't despair. Many of the same people will be back at SQL in the City in Seattle. It's scheduled on Monday before the PASS Summit proper starts, so if you're looking to get your learn on early and you can't sign up for a pre-con, this is a great, free, opportunity to pick up some additional instruction. Check out the list of speakers. It's going to be an event worth attending. I've seen the early drafts of the feedback forms from the prior five events. People really seem to enjoy this slightly different approach. In short, Red Gate puts on a heck of a show. During the five city tour, I was able…
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Why Tune Queries?

PASS, TSQL
It's just a query against the database. If things are running slow, buy some more memory, a faster CPU or get a few more disks. Right? Seriously, tuning queries is just a pain and there's no clear evidence that writing them correctly or tuning them has a major impact. Right? Yeah, I'm being facetious. I've spent a considerable portion of my career  trying to make T-SQL code run faster. The fact is, throwing moneyhardware at the performance problem can fix it in many instances. At least temporarily. But let's face it, you're constantly changing the code. There are new queries, changes to old queries, it's always changing. The code is probably the most volatile aspect of a database system because it is the easiest to change. So, you may think…
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Interviewing a DBA

PASS, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2012, TSQL
I'm not a fan of trivia style interview questions. Yes, I ask a few because you have to in order to immediately eliminate the completely unqualified applicants. Even those types of questions, in my opinion, need to be focused on concepts and not syntax. The reason we have the Books Online with SQL Server is because you shouldn't have to memorize every possible command along with all their parameters. Want to know how to write a MERGE query? Look it up. What does a MERGE query do? That you ought to know. I think concepts are important. Questions about the recovery models within SQL Server aren't trivia about the system, they're trying to get to your understanding of how point in time recovery works. I don't really like posting interview…
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SQL Server vs. Oracle

PASS, Red Gate Software, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2012, TSQL
Just so we're clear, I use SQL Server. I like SQL Server. But, this doesn't mean I have anything against Oracle. It's fine. It's good. But, I know very little about it. However, throughout my career I've found myself needing to understand it better. Either because I'm trying to train Oracle people to better use SQL Server and I need to be able to speak a little of their language to facilitate translation. Or, because I'm defending SQL Server on some technical point that the Oracle people don't completely understand. Or, because I've said something stupid about Oracle in my ignorance. Now, you know how busy you are, and I know how busy I am, so I doubt either of us has the time we really need to learn Oracle…
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24 Hours of PASS, Fall 2012

PASS, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, Tools, TSQL
It's time to get your learn on again. The schedule for the Fall 24 Hours of PASS is up and ready for registration. This is the Summit preview session, so many (most, all) of the speakers are showing off some of what you can learn at their sessions at the PASS Summit 2012 itself. It looks like a pretty exciting bunch of topics given by some of the best professionals in the industry. I'll be presenting Three Ways to Identify Slow Running Queries on September 20th, 1400 GMT. This is just a sub-set of the information that I'll be presenting during my all day pre-conference seminar, Query Performance Tuning: Start to Finish. The full seminar I talk about how to measure the performance of your systems, identify which queries are…
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