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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Save Money On Your Training Server

Azure, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, TSQL
You can spend less money. Some of us are lucky. We work for very large corporations who can easily set aside a spare desktop or even space on a rack for a server on which we can train. Others of us are not as lucky. We work for smaller organizations that have to be more careful with their money. Not only do we not get the extra machine to train on, but our laptops could be weak things that can't run two or more VMs. In this case, how can you go about learning stuff? Spend your own money? Sure, it's an option. There are some very cheap servers available out there that won't cost you even $1000 dollars to set up. And for pretty cheap you can buy some…
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Let’s Talk Query Tuning

Professional Development, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, TSQL
I spend quite a bit of time writing about query tuning on this blog. I've written (re-written and am actively re-writing) books on query tuning. But what I like most is talking about query tuning. I love giving sessions at various events on different aspects of query tuning, but, what I like the most is spending a whole day, trying to do a complete brain dump to get as much information out there as possible. Sound attractive? Then I've got a great deal for you. Come to Louisville on June 20th, 2014. We will talk query tuning at length. You have a specific question? Let's get it answered. Then, the next day, we can all go to SQL Saturday 286 there in Louisville to get more learning and some serious…
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SQL Intersection, Spring 2014

Azure, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014
I am terribly jazzed to be involved with this amazing event, SQL Intersection. It's featuring some truly amazing speakers presenting on important topics. It's being held here on the East Coast, right near the Mouse, the Duck and Dog. This is one of those conferences you need to get to. Check out the lineup. That is some of the smartest, most capable people I know. I'm quite humbled to be on the list with them, so I'll do my level best to deliver good content. Look at the sessions. While I don't know precisely when SQL Server 2014 is coming out, I'm sure it's real soon, so this will be a great place to get a leg-up on understanding what this new set of technology offers, or just learn more…
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Painting the US Red

Red Gate Software
We are bringing Red Gate, through the free SQL in the City event, to the United States again this year. This event has been hosted in London multiple times, Los Angeles, New York, Austin, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston. It's a fun day of training, presentations, and networking, all done the Red Gate way. I'm excited as can be to get to take part in this again. Best of all, we're bringing it to a whole slew of new cities; Atlanta, Pasadena and Charlotte. So if you've missed it in the past because it was too far away, hopefully we'll be closer to you this time and you can make it. We almost always completely fill these events, so please, register early. We'll be talking about all sorts of topics;…
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SQL Saturday #187 Richmond And More

Professional Development, Red Gate Software
In just a couple of weeks I'll be flying down to Richmond, VA to speak at SQL Saturday #187. I'll be presenting two topics, Backups for the Accidental DBA and Query Tuning in the Clouds. It's going to be a great event with a bunch of excellent speakers. If you're in the area, come on down and say hello. And, if you have some time on Friday before the event, Red Gate Software is hosting a special 1/2 day seminar targeting the database professional just getting started with their career. There are only a few seats left, so if you're interested, sign up quick. Steve Jones and I will be presenting on several topics from monitoring to backups, database corruption and indexing. It'll be great way to learn, network, see…
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Final 2012 Learning Opportunity

Misc, SQL Server 2012
There's still a little time left in the year. I know some businesses have allocated training budgets and if they don't spend the money, they lose it from their budget. So a few of you might still be looking for opportunities to get your learn on. I've got one more big one before the end of the year. You can try heading down to Florida for the Live 360 conference. I'll be there along with several friends (love my #sqlfamily). I'm presenting two sessions, one on setting up an environment for performance testing using the new distributed playback capabilities from SQL Server 2012 and one on introducing the accidental DBA to backups. You can still register here to attend these sessions and all the other great ones being presented. Last…
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Learning, Networking & Wine

Let’s say, you want to spend a couple of days learning about SQL Server. You also want to spend some time networking with others. And, it just so happens, you’re a bit of a wine connoisseur. I have the event with you in mind. It’s the first ever, SQL Excursion. It’s due to take place May 17-19 in Napa Valley. The training is from two of the biggest names in the industry, Denny Cherry and Tom Larock. I learn from these guys all the time and now it’s your turn. But this isn’t going to be 60 minutes in a presentation followed by 10 minutes in the hallway at a SQL Saturday. Not, this is going to be intense sessions with these guys on topics from performance tuning to troubleshooting…
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SQL Cruise Alaska 2011

Misc, SQLServerPedia Syndication
Yes, I went on the SQL Cruise to Alaska. Yes, it was as grand as you've heard. Yes, I'm going to be putting up a series of blog posts about it. This is the first. It's also part of my class work done during the cruise. Three Reasons for Choosing to Cruise 1. My first, and most important, reason for coming on the cruise is because I thought it would be good for Red Gate Software. I’m still figuring out how to do my job as a product evangelist, so I’m experimenting with contacting audiences in as many ways as I can. This is one way to make that contact. 2. Frankly, I thought it would be fun. Fun because I knew a bunch of the people running the show…
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Practice Your Restores

SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication
Steven Jones posted an excellent editorial today all about how your backups are only good if you know that you can restore from them. He couldn't be more correct. I posted the following thoughts in the comments, but I know not everyone reads the comments in articles & editorials. Although, if it's a good article, you should read the comments, especially on SQL Server Central. Frequently the discussion about the article can be as enlightening as the article itself. But I digress. Steve's point, pretty clearly stated but I'll repeat it, backups don't matter, restores do. I'm going to pile on to this point just a bit, because it can't be emphasized enough. Nothing is more important than verifying backups, except, verifying that you know how to run a restore. You're…
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