Speaker of the Month: April 2016

Professional Development
THIS IS NOT AN APRIL FOOL POST! Seriously. My Speaker of the Month for April 2016 is Keith Tate (b|t) and his session at SQL Saturday Chicago called Profiler is Dead, Long Live Extended Events. I actually suspected very strongly from the start of the session that it was going to be good. The reason for this, Keith was having issues with his machine, but he started the session anyway. It was an excellent beginning. Then, he started to talk about Extended Events and use his slide deck to emphasize the points he was making, and it was wonderful. For example, as he talked about the way the number of events has grown in each version of SQL Server since 2008, he used larger and larger fonts with the bigger…
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Speaker of the Month: March 2016

Professional Development
I'm finally getting back out to community events so I should be able to avoid giving this gigantic honor to professional speakers for a month or two. My Speaker of the Month for February 2016 is Ron Dameron (b|t) I saw Ron’s presentation Monitoring & Alerting for Azure SQL Database at SQL Saturday Tampa. It was a good presentation (or it wouldn’t be here would it). I especially like the topic. As more people move on to the Azure platform, this is the sort of information they’ll need. Ron spent a lot of time setting up slides to avoid overusing bullets. Nicely done. His delivery was clear and solid. He used Zoomit quickly and smoothly, it looked like it was just part of the presentation. His demos worked (unlike a couple…
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Speaker of the Month: February 2016

Professional Development
I've been a little remiss on this. I just haven't been getting out to see people speak for a while (no travel is nice). However, I'm back in the airplane seats again, so these blog posts are off and running again. Speaker of the Month for February 2016 is Jason Hall (b|t) for his talks on SQL Cruise. Jason covered two topics, TempDB and SQL Sentry Plan Explorer. I missed the talk on TempDB, but I heard it was great. I was there for his presentation on Plan Explorer. Excellent stuff. I had never seen Jason present before. In fact, I didn't know he did presentations. He does. He spoke really well to the crowd. He knew the material down (not surprising since he's been responsible for developing the tool)…
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Speaker of the Month: December 2015

PASS, Professional Development
The hardest presentations I've ever given in my life were not to large audiences or in big rooms. They weren't even when I had to present in front of people that I respect and admire (although presenting in front of Paul Randal (b|t) & Kim Tripp (b|t) gives me pause every single time, not sure why). I don't mind presenting all day sessions. In fact, I love the all day format. Nope, the hardest presentations for me are five minute lightning talks. They're brutal. They're unforgiving. You have to stop. You only get five minutes to tell people whatever it is you're going to tell them. Then its over. I've done three lightning talks. One of them, a rant on backup testing, I've given four or five times. The others all died…
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Speaker of the Month for November 2015

Professional Development
A great benefit that I get with my job is that I get to travel all over the place to see people present. This means I can expand out beyond my own country to see good speakers. That's the case this month. My Speaker of the Month, with all the glory it entails, is Rob Sewell and his session "Using PowerBI With My DBA Database" delivered at SQL Relay Cardiff. Rob delivered a very interesting, useful and entertaining session. It was all about how to gather data about your databases and their behavior and then put it into different types of reports in order to be proactive about stuff within your managed environment. I loved the way he put his slides together, the graphics and the lack of bullet points.…
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Speaker of the Month: October 2015

Professional Development
Working on my third year of "Speaker of the Month" posts now. The good news, I haven't run out of people to award it to. Most months, if I've been able to go to a community event or two, I have three or four candidates.  Same this month. Speaker of the Month for October 2015 is Rob Volk and his presentation, Revenge: THE SQL, at SQL Saturday Las Vegas. What can I say about this presentation? Let me start by saying that you never, ever want to make Rob angry. Next, I think Rob needs a hobby that will help him turn his mind away from EVIL. Next, Rob has to be one of the smarter people that I know. Next, Rob is very funny. Oh yeah, and there was…
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Speaker of the Month: September 2015

Professional Development
Feast or famine. The last several months I just haven't seen that many speakers, let alone that many community speakers. Then, in the last month, I've seen a ton. Contests being what they are though, someone has to win. To everyone I saw speak at SQL Saturday Oklahoma City and SQL Saturday Omaha who doesn't see their name here, apologies. I saw great presentations this month. The winner though is Ryan Adams (b|t) and his presentation: Backup and Restore Tips and Tricks. Ryan started off great, walking around the room, looking people in the eye has he talked and using the slides as a guide, not reading from them at all. He had a bunch of slides that visualized different aspects of backup and restore. I really loved the one…
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Speaker of the Month: June 2015

Professional Development
With my travel schedule, I don't always get out to events where I can see a community speaker. Sometimes, I just see pros. That's the case this month. Instead of skipping the month entirely, which feels wrong, I've decided to do a special award. Speaker of the Month for June 2015 are all the speakers (except me) on SQL Cruise Mediterranean 2015. I've said it before and I don't mind repeating myself, SQL Cruise changes people's careers. There are a lot of reasons for this. The number one reason is all the work that Tim & Amy Ford do to put together the cruise, create the itinerary, ensure plenty of structured and unstructured time on the boat to ensure intense interaction, and all the rest of the stuff that they…
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Speaker of the Month: May 2015

Uncategorized
When I attend sessions at events, I try to mix it up. I'll go to a session that, really, I probably will never use the information, just to expand my knowledge level a little. I also go to sessions by the masters so that I can try to expand my skill set. I go to sessions on topics that I feel like I know well just to reinforce my own learning and understanding. That's where I got the Speaker of the Month for May 2015, Denis McDowell (t). I went to his session titled DevOps for the DBA at SQL Saturday #380 in New York City. I present pretty regularly on this topic and I've helped build multi-day training courses on it. Seriously, I feel like I probably know it.…
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Speaker of the Month: May 2015

Professional Development
I finally got out to some community events last month and got to see a bunch of great speakers. Not that you don't see great speakers at paid events, you do. It's just that they're usually professional speakers and I want to encourage others when I can. The Speaker of the Month for May 2015 is John Sterrett (b|t) and his presentation Automate Your Daily Checklist With PBM and CMS at SQL Saturday Boston. The very first thing that impressed me about this presentation was how John entered the room and immediately started interacting with the attendees. You see a lot of speakers hiding behind the lectern, fiddling with cables, nervously sipping water. Not John. He was chatting as he set up, immediately getting control of the room. It's a great…
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