Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February OPASS Meeting

Don’t forget to join us tonight for the OPASS meeting sponsored by RedGate and Signature Consultants.

Event Date/Time: Tuesday February 8th @ 6:00 PM
Location: Hampton Inn
850 Village Oak Lane
Lake Mary
Map/Directions: Bing Map to Event Location
Speaker Bio: Brian Knight

Brian Knight, SQL Server MVP, MCITP, MCSE, MCDBA, is the owner and founder of Pragmatic Works. He is also the co-founder of SQLServerCentral.com and JumpstartTV.com. He runs the local Microsoft SQL Server users group in Jacksonville (JSSUG). Brian is a contributing columnist at several technical magazines and does regular webcasts at Jumpstart TV. He is the author of ten SQL Server books. Brian has spoken at conferences like PASS, SQL Connections and Tech·Ed and many Code Camps. His blog can be found at http://www.pragmaticworks.com.

Title: Introduction to PowerPivot

In this session, you’ll learn how to use PowerPivot to create self-service analytics in your organization. You'll see how Office 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2 will help your users answer their own questions and bring together datasets that may be heterogeneous like a SQL Server table and data feed from a website. Then, you’ll see how to take that data and create a striking report for your end users and collaborate with the data in SharePoint.

DevShot Speaker: Karl Lambert
Speaker Bio: Karl currently is a Business Intelligence Developer @ Universal American Corp. Roots in software engineering/development (VB, VBA, C++) moving on to database administration in early/mid 2000’s. Beginning focused on SQL Server security, more recently focusing on Integration Services and SSIS performance tuning & optimization.
Title: Dependency Services in SSIS Denali
Abstract: We will take a look at Dependency Services in SQL Server Integration Services, and how it can be used to determine Object Impact and Data Lineage. We will discuss the requirements for using Dependency Services and extracting object metadata. We will also get an introduction to the Dependency Designer UI, and how to quickly identify Object Impact.

Please RSVP:

If you are planning on attending the meeting, please RSVP here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

SQLSaturday #62–Tampa Recap

I had the privilege of attending and speaking at SQLSaturday #62 – Tampa the weekend of January 15th and this is my belated recap post of what I did for the weekend.

I headed to Tampa from Sanford on Thursday afternoon as I was attending Denny Cherry’s (Twitter) pre-conference seminar, Storage and Virtualization for the DBA, on Friday.  I was able to have dinner with one of my college roommates who I had not seen in over 15 years that evening.  I had a great time with him.

Friday morning I headed to Denny’s seminar and there was a great turnout, with I think 30 people in the seminar.  It was good to re-connect with Denny, Mike Nelson (Twitter), Ron Dameron (Twitter), and Mike Wells during the breaks in the seminar.  I selected this seminar because both storage and virtualization are areas that I have no experience with and I want to understand them so I can speak credibly with storage and virtualization admins.  Honestly I need a couple of weeks training on both, with some hands on experience, but I definitely know more than I did before the seminar.  This was the first time I’ve sat in on a session by Denny although I did listen to his session on Service Broker on the PASS Summit 2010 DVD, and I was impressed.  He does a great job teaching and explains things in a way a complete noob like me can understand.

Friday night I attended the speaker/volunteer dinner at Spaghetti Warehouse and there was a great turnout with I would guess close to 50 people there.  I wish I had written this sooner so I could remember the names of the new people I met, but I can’t.  I talked with a lot of people there and had great conversations.  The opportunity to see friends is one reason I love the events, especially the Florida ones.  I’d list names, but I’ll leave someone out.  I always feel some awe because of the great talent in the room.  It makes me thankful for the opportunity I have to be part of the SQL Server community.  I’m always amazed at how willing the “names” of the SQL world are to share their hard-earned knowledge.

Pam Shaw (Twitter) and Jose Chinchilla (Twitter) did a good job with the event on Saturday.  They had a great idea for check-in that they called, SpeedPass.  They sent out pdf’s with all your printed materials (name tag, lunch ticket, raffle tickets), so you could print them out ahead of time, and then at check-in you went to the SpeedPass line where you got a bag with just the generic information.  It definitely made check-in, which was an issue at last year’s event in Tampa, go more quickly. 

After getting my t-shirt from PragmaticWorks, I went to Rodney Landrum’s session, DBA Repository, and picked up some good tips.  Then I sat in on part of Andy Warren’s (Blog | Twitter) session on having a professional development plan.  I definitely picked up some good tips and need to develop a better plan for myself.  I left his session early because I was presenting the next hour.

My session, Why I Use Stored Procedures, went very well, and was very well attended.  In fact it was my largest crowd for this particular topic with between 30 and 40 in attendance.  I don’t have a lot of slides for this session, but spend time telling stories about why I like stored procedures of ORM tools.  I do some very simple demos of Linq to SQL and Entity Framework, showing the queries they produce using SQL Server Profiler.  I demo both .NET 3.5 and 4.0 as they do behave differently with 4.0 being a big improvement.  I don’t claim to be an ORM expert, but in the experience I do have I have seen things that cause some concern as they proliferate.  There were several good questions and comments throughout the session and I had a few people hang around and ask some further questions after the session.  I was very pleased with how everything went and had a great time delivering the session.

There was a great catered lunch and I left pretty much after lunch as I had been gone from my family since Thursday and I was ready to see them.

Overall is was a great event.  The pre-con was great, speaker party was good, SpeedPass was a great idea, and lunch was fantastic.  There were 2 things I think could have been better:

  1. Better signs in the morning as there were 2 rooms in another building and it was not clear where to go after check-in.
  2. The schedule in the event guide didn’t list the speaker names, just the session name.  I like to know who is speaking as that helps me decide when there are multiple sessions I’d like to attend.

Thanks Pam and Jose for a great event.  Sorry I didn’t get this recap up sooner.

Friday, February 4, 2011

January OPASS Meeting Recap

On January 20th OPASS was pleased to have had Kevin Kline (Blog|Twitter) from our sponsor, Quest, present 10 Things Every Developer should know.  This was the first regular OPASS meeting to take place at the Hampton Inn in Lake Mary instead of the SQLShare offices in Altamonte Springs.  Due to the change in venue and the startup of MagicPASS in Celebration, we had several new faces attend, along with a few of the old faithful attendees.  As OPASS has transitioned to my leadership from that of Andy Warren (Blog|Twitter) we are trying some new things including the new location and adding some more developer-centric topics.  This topic was a good mix of information for the DBA, but also with good information for developers, so it was a great kick-off to the new leadership.  I couldn’t run the group alone the way Andy did for several years, so I’m thankful to have Karla Landrum (Twitter) as VP of Community Outreach who has gotten sponsors for almost the entire year and has helped with speakers and food.  She has brought some fresh ideas to try.  We had about 18 in attendance out of 27 RSVP’s.  Because Kevin also represented the sponsor for the night we gave him 90 minutes and he used it all.  He shared some good tips, and honestly, each of his 10 points could be a presentation all on their own (hmmm, maybe I’ll do that Smile).

As usual I had a great time, although having the meeting away from Andy’s office means a lot more work as all the drinks, swag, and miscellaneous other necessities have to be hauled in and out.  I needed to get there a little earlier than I did, so that I can do a better job greeting everyone and having a real check-in process, so I know true attendance.

Lastly, I’d like to see a few more people hang around afterwards for networking and social time, but it is harder for me with cleanup needing to be done, and trying to get everything in.  We need to work on setting and sticking with a schedule, but we will get there.

Up next is Brian Knight speaking on PowerPivot.  Visit the OPASS web site for more information.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Time’s Makin’ Changes

Some History

Almost exactly 7 years I ago my wife and I decided to apply to be missionaries with New Tribes Mission.  We decided at that time to pursue what NTM calls Associate missionaries which allowed us to serve with NTM for 1-4 years.  In May of 2004 our applications were accepted and we began the road to service with NTM at the US Headquarters in Sanford, FL.  Because NTM is a faith-based, non-profit organization our journey began by contacting and visiting churches in New England to raise the prayer and financial support that we would need to serve with NTM.  We finally made it to the point where we could move to Sanford in June 2007 and I started my ministry with NTM July 2nd.  All that to say that our commitment with NTM is ending this summer.  We did have the option of continuing on, but we have chosen not to pursue that option.

So What’s that Mean?

I’m looking for work starting in July of this year.  My preference is to work in northern New England (New Hampshire or southern/central Maine) or central Florida (Orlando area).  So, if you hear of anything feel free to contact me.

What Else Has Changed?

I’ve learned that I’m quite a different person than when I moved to Florida.  I’ve grown spiritually, personally, and professionally.  I’ll keep this post about some professional growth.  When I moved to Florida and began serving with NTM, I thought I knew a lot about SQL Server, but then I met Andy Warren (Blog|Twitter) and became involved in the SQL Server community.  My community involvement hasn’t just led to more knowledge about SQL Server, but also about community, communication, and leadership.  I hope and pray that this next change leads to even more growth.