Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Use Your Tech Skills To Help Haiti

By now you've heard about last week's earthquake in Haiti and have seen the devastating impact that it had on Port-au-Prince. Money to fund relief efforts is at the top of the needs list right now, but given the state of the economy in the U.S. many people are not in a position to give a monetary donation. So what do you do if you want to help?

I came across an article on cnn.com which highlighted "Crisis Camp Haiti", a group of volunteers working to build digital maps, mobile apps, and searching through data to help relief groups in Haiti coordinates their efforts. They've got a website up at http://crisiscommons.org/ and you can follow them on Twitter (@crisiscamp). More importantly, they've got Crisis Camps happening this Saturday, Jan. 23,  in major cities around the U.S. that are open for you to attend. They are also looking for volunteers on an ongoing basis, so even if you can't make it to a Crisis Camp this Saturday please consider donating your time and tech skills for a good cause and sign up.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We Interrupt Your Regular SQL Blogging For This Announcement…

EXEC sys.sp_addextendedproperty 
@name = N'IsWifePregnant'
@value = N'True',
@level0type = N'USER',
@level0name = N'Kendal.VanDyke' ;

EXEC sys.sp_addextendedproperty 
@name = N'ExpectedDueDate',
@value = N'August 2010',
@level0type = N'USER',
@level0name = N'Kendal.VanDyke' ;

Woo hoo!! (For those of you keeping score at home, this will be junior DBA #3)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2009 PASS Summit Presentation Results

I opened my inbox Wednesday morning to find the evaluation results for my presentation on Transactional Replication at the 2009 PASS Summit. Here's the summary of the 31 evals that were returned:

How would you rate the usefulness of the session information in your day-to-day environment?
Average: 2
Good: 11
Excellent: 18

How would you rate the Speaker's presentation skills?
Average: 1
Good: 13
Excellent: 17

How would you rate the Speaker's knowledge of the subject?
Average: 0
Good: 10
Excellent: 21

How would you rate the accuracy of the session title, description, and experience level to the actual session?
Average: 2
Good: 13
Excellent: 16

How would you rate the amount of time allocated to cover the topic/session?
Average: 2
Good: 14
Excellent: 15

How would you rate the quality of the presentation materials?
Average: 1
Good: 12
Excellent: 18

I received one comment which was simply "Beyond the basics?" I can only guess that this person thought I was going to go a bit deeper than I did.

In any case, I'm really pleased with the results. I think these are really good numbers, but I'd also like to know how I fared against the other DBA sessions and where I fit into the big picture of all sessions. Regardless, I'd love to be given the chance to present again at the 2010 PASS Summit.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

10 Goals For 2010

As is the traditional thing to do at the beginning of a new year I'm making goals for what I'd like to accomplish. I'm going to avoid goals like "Do better at this" and stick with tangible things that I can measure a pass\fail on at the end of the year. So that said, here's a list of 10 things I'd like to do in 2010:

1. Start a PASS chapter
Andy Warren (Blog | Twitter) and I have been talking about a South Orlando chapter for a few months now. More on this to come in another blog post.

2. Implement a BI solution
For years I've made "Learn SSAS" a goal, but there was never a good way to measure success. So this year I'm restating it as something more concrete: get an SSAS based solution deployed to production and available for users. Users can mean people inside my company only as far as I'm concerned.

3. Present 6 times
There are plenty of local and regional events that should make this easy enough to meet. Last year I made it to SQL Saturday Atlanta and the PASS Summit in Seattle and I'd like to continue to make a few out of state events if possible. The challenge is coming up with the $$ – my employer doesn't pay for me to present so anything I do at this point is out of my own pocket.

  • More than likely:
    • SQL Lunch
    • SQL Saturday Orlando
    • SQL Saturday Jacksonville
    • SQL Saturday South Florida
    • OPASS
    • Space Coast SQL Users Group
    • Tampa SQL Users Group
  • Would like to do if all the pieces fall into place
    • SQL Saturday Pensacola
    • SQL Saturday Charlotte
    • SQL Saturday Baton Rouge
    • PASS Summit

4. Write 4 articles
I've got two articles already lined up to write for SQL Server Magazine, one idea for SQLServerCentral.com, and a few other ideas that might be good enough to turn into articles. I've also been considering submitting something to the re-launched SQL Server Standard.

5. Meet 50 new people in the SQL community
LinkedIn seems like the easiest way to measure this. My network stands at 155 connections right now, so that means I need to be at 205 by year's end. I realize not everyone's on LinkedIn so I'll count their business cards if they're not.

6. Answer 100 forums questions
That's less than 10 a month, or roughly 2 a week. I'm not really a forums guy but this seems like a realistic goal if I put 20-30 minutes a week into it.

7. 100 blog posts
Less than 2 a week, but more than I actually managed to do in 2009. After this post I've only got 99 more to go. :-)

8. Go to the 2010 PASS Summit
After last November that would have been a foregone conclusion. But if I don't make it a goal it's possible I may not make it to Seattle this year.

9. Redesign this blog
I've never been completely happy with the way this blog has looked, and I've tinkered around once or twice with changing it. I feel like I need something that is uniquely "me". Even better would be a unified theme that I can extend to my Twitter background and business cards.

10. Lose 10 pounds
This doesn't have anything to do with SQL Server, but I did notice that I gained a few pounds last year. Losing 10 to put me back at my ideal weight would be good for my health and productivity (healthy bodies result in more energy and focus, after all). I'm shooting for 170 by year's end.

I've been tagged by Lori Edwards (Blog | Twitter) in a meme started by Tom LaRock (Blog | Twitter) to post my goals and themeword for 2010. Goals – see above. For themeword…I'll go with "consistency", because to meet my goals I need to be consistent throughout the year. In other words, no waiting until the middle of the year to get started and make sure I devote time each week to accomplishing them.

Everyone else seems to have posted their goals for this year so I'll abstain from tagging anybody else.