Friday, June 25, 2010

What Has Jack Been Up to?

It has been awhile since my last post mainly because I was on a working vacation in northern New England with limited internet access, but also because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about. 

Working Vacation

You may be wondering how a technical professional can have a working vacation without internet access so I’ll give you a quick overview of how that works for me.  Technically, I don’t have a job, I have a ministry.  I work for/at New Tribes Mission as support missionary.  This means I don’t go out an evangelize, I work in an office building and maintaining business systems that allow others to evangelize the world.  New Tribes Mission does pay me a salary, I had to go out and meet with churches and individuals who believe in the ministry and mission of New Tribes and fund raise a salary.  These churches and individuals send money to me through New Tribes because they believe in the work that New Tribes is doing and that the work I do at New Tribes.  Since my salary comes from these churches and individuals I have to go back to visit them on occasion and tell them what I have been doing and how it has helped New Tribes accomplish its goals, basically a performance review.  So that’s what I did over the last three weeks.  My family visited 7 churches and many individuals over three weeks to tell them what we have been doing with their money.  That’s a real quick overview, if you have any questions feel free to email me ( or check out our ministry/family blog.


Also while in New England, I had the opportunity to present Profiling: It's Okay in SQL Server to the SeacostSQL User Group in Portsmouth, NH.  I was looking forward to this since I would be able to see my friend Mike Walsh (@mike_walsh) and meet many new people.  Unfortunately, for me, I only got see Mike very briefly because he had to bring his wife and new child home from the hospital that evening (congratulations again), but I did get to meet about 25 new people which was great.  I also had the opportunity to work on my User Group leader skills because Mike had asked me to run the meeting since he couldn't be there and one of the other leaders was on vacation and the third person had a production issue at work (he actually made it a bit later).  The evening went very well and the session was well-received.  I’m very excited to see a user group started and hopefully thriving in New Hampshire.


I’ve also had the privilege of being on the 2010 Summit Program Committee as part of the selection committee for the Enterprise Database Administration and Deployment track.  I’ve spent many hours the last 10 days or so rating abstracts and talking with the other members of the committee to try to make that the 2010 Summit is the best ever.  Based on the abstracts I’ve seen, I think that’s a good possibility.  One of the best parts is that I’ve learned what makes a good abstract by reading so many.  I’m planning on taking what I’ve learned and putting it together in a blog post once the entire process is done.  I’ve had the opportunity to review abstracts for SQLSaturday here in Orlando, but there is definitely a difference in the quality of the abstracts.

What’s Next?

Coming up I have couple of remote speaking engagements, one for the PASS DBA Virtual Chapter and one for the SQL Server Society of Las Vegas (SSSOLV).  Blog posts with more about this up-coming.  Then there is continued planning and begging contacting sponsors for OPASS and SQLSaturday #49 – Orlando.

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