Thursday, January 13, 2011

Introducing MagicPASS - Orlando's New PASS Chapter

After a year of planning I'm proud to announce that South Orlando has a new PASS chapter: MagicPASS! Our first meeting will take place Wednesday, Jan 19th. Details below, and please RSVP if you plan to come so that I have an idea of how much food we need.

MagicPASS January 2011 Meeting

Jan 19, 2011, 6:00 - 8:30 PM

Stetson University Center
800 Celebration Ave
Celebration, FL 34747

Register for MagicPASS January 2011 Meeting in Celebration, FL  on Eventbrite

Join us for the first ever meeting of MagicPASS, South Orlando's new SQL Server User Group. We'll have food & drinks, networking, a great presentation from well known speaker Kevin Kline, and prizes to give away.

Join us after the meeting at the Celebration Town Tavern to talk shop and socialize. (You are responsible for your own drinks)

Presentation Details

Speaker: Kevin Kline

Title: Ten Things Every Developer Should Know

Level: 200

Abstract: Stereotypes abound for different types of people in the IT world. Developers think DBAs are control freaks.  DBAs think developers are unruly cowboys. How do we overcome these differences?  If you’re a developer, your best strategy is to manage your DBAs’ anxieties and demonstrate your competence and credibility.  Attend this session to learn about 10 techniques that developers can apply to their code which will calm your DBAs’ fears and earn their admiration.

This session will answer questions like:

  • What’s the most common Transact-SQL programming mistake and how do I fix it?
  • How do database designers cause problems for future generations of application developers and database administrators?
  • Why do inexperienced database administrators make their own job more difficult and less efficient?

There are a short list of mistakes that, if you know of them in advance, will make your life much easier.  These mistakes are the “low hanging fruit” of application design, development, and administration.  Once you apply the lessons learned from this session, you’ll find yourself performing at a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness than before.

Prerequisites: Basic understanding of SQL Server architecture and tools, basic SQL query knowledge.

About The Speaker

Kevin Kline is the Technical Strategy Manager for SQL Server Solutions at Quest Software, a leading provider of award winning tools for database management and application monitoring.

Kevin’s Twitter ID is kekline.  Be sure to follow him!

Kevin is a founding board member and former President of the international Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) and frequently contributes to database technology magazines, web sites, and discussion forums.

Kevin was the recipient of the PASS 2009 Lifetime Achievement award.  Read about it here.

Kevin writes monthly columns for Database Trends & Applications magazine and SQL Server Magazine.  Kevin also serves the community as an adviser to SQL Saturday education program as well as a curriculum adviser for both the University of Washington and Purdue University at Calumet in their IT and Computer Science departments.

Kevin’s most popular book is SQL in a Nutshell (now in it’s third edition) published by O’Reilly Media. Kevin is also author or co-author on seven other IT books, including Transact-SQL Programming, Database Benchmarking: A Practical Approach, and Professional SQL Server 2008 Relational Database Design and Optimization.

A top rated speaker, Kevin appears at international conferences like Microsoft TechEd, DevTeach, PASS, Microsoft IT Forum, SQL Connections, and the Best Practices Conference.

Beginning his career as a lowly hardware jockey working with PC’s, Digital VAX, and Intergraph Unix workstations, Kevin has worked on multiple large-scale database projects throughout his career at Deloitte & Touche, NASA and the U.S. Army.

When Kevin isn’t working on technology issues, he enjoys spending time with his wife Rachel, his four kids, his three stepkids, and his Basset Hound and Ginger Kitty.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Resolutions For 2011

tsql2sdayThis post is a part of T-SQL Tuesday, a monthly event where SQL bloggers post about a common topic. This month is hosted by Jen McCown (Blog | Twitter) and the topic is Resolutions.

I've decided to focus on one overarching theme for 2011: Getting Organized.

For years I've managed to get along without following any particular system. While I've done a decent job at keeping up with things I've also noticed a few (bad) habits emerge that will make efficiency experts cringe:

  • I keep to-do lists on paper (and usually only when I feel like I'm overwhelmed)
  • I'm a digital hoarder. Current inbox count: 13,220 in Outlook and 3,598 in Gmail. Then there's the multitude of notes and documentation spread throughout my My Documents folder and desktop, plus random stuff on 5 USB thumb drives I carry around in my backpack.
  • I open web pages I want to read later in a new tab. Before I know it I've got 20 tabs open and eating up memory. When I have to reboot I save all the open tabs as bookmarks which I promptly open again as soon as I'm logged back in.

I felt like the flood of information and lack of organization caught up with me last year; although I accomplished a lot, I still feel like I was constantly doing just enough to keep my head above water. In July Mike Walsh (Blog | Twitter) wrote a series about how he uses Evernote to stay organized (which I finally read in December!) and it lead me to believe that for me to have a productive, successful 2011 I need to take control.

The Plan
Here's how I plan (so far) to get organized this year:

  • Use OneNote. I paid for it when I bought Office 2010 so there's no sense in not using it. I plan to migrate everything I can into it: meeting notes, emails that I want to keep for documentation, accomplishments throughout the year (good for review time), blog posts that I want to keep handy, and all those random text files with notes scattered throughout my computer.
  • Adopt A Task Management Methodology. I need to use some kind of system. I'm not sure what just yet, but I know if I continue to keep it all in my head important things will get forgotten.
  • Inbox Zero. If I'm keeping notes in OneNote and managing my tasks properly there's no reason to use my inbox as an archive anymore.
  • Focus. I need to do a better job at minimizing distractions and staying focused so that I can get the other three things I just mentioned done. That means closing Twitter, Outlook, Gmail, etc. for periods of time throughout the day and saving that web page I must read for later (I'm going to give Instapaper a try for that).
  • Sleep. I short myself on sleep which makes me less productive the following day; on that note I'm going to try for at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

Aside from Inbox zero I realize that these are resolutions which are hard to measure so I'll just have to go off gut feel to know if I've accomplished them. Considering how I felt about 2010 I know what it will feel like if I don't.

I'm looking forward to the potential of an exciting, productive, and organized 2011!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Presenting At SQLSaturday #62 - Tampa

Even though I live in Orlando - just a hop, skip, and jump away from Tampa - I've missed their SQLSaturday for the last three years due to scheduling conflicts. This year I'm happy to say that I will finally make it to SQLSaturday #62 on Jan 15 and will be presenting Paging DR Availability, You're Wanted in the Recovery Room. Here's what I'll be talking about:

There are a lot of options when it comes to disaster recovery and high availability with regards to SQL Server. Most business owners (and many DBA’s) lump disaster recovery (DR) & high availability (HA) together and while they do share some pieces, they call for different strategies. Do you pick one or more than one of these options, and based on what? It’s incredibly important that you understand the decision tree that helps you pick the right one(s) for your business, and that you can explain the choices clearly to the stakeholders. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, but it is complicated – and in this hour presentation we’ll give you a high level understanding of the options, the costs, complexities, & reasons for using each of them.

There's a great lineup of speakers on the schedule and registration is still open. They're also hosting a Friday pre-con (Jan 14) called A Day of Data with 2 sessions to choose from: For DBAs there's Denny Cherry (Blog | Twitter) presenting Storage and Virtualization for the DBA; for those focused on BI Stacia Misner (Blog | Twitter) will present A Day of BI. The cost for each is $109 per person and includes coffee, juice & donuts, lunch, and course materials.

Register for SQLSaturday here and for Day of Data here.

I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

SQLRally Session Voting Schedule Change

Jack Corbett posted the official announcement to his blog - I'm posting here as well to make sure we reach as wide of an audience as possible.

I know how anxious speakers get when you're waiting to find out if your abstract has been selected for a major event so it's disappointing that we had to make the change. However, we also want to make sure not to rush into voting and have it end up being a debacle. After weighing the options the best thing to do seemed to be to wait a week - not entirely a bad thing as it gives people more time to opt in for voting that we hadn't factored into the schedule before the holidays began.

We hope everyone understands the reason for the change and appreciate your patience.