Monthly Archives: November 2012

T-SQL Tuesday #36 SQL Community how you can get involved

Today’s T-SQL Tuesday topic is on the SQL Community.   Let’s start with the housekeeping side of things.  This is a T-SQL Tuesday post.  This time hosted by Chris Yates (B|T). The Topic is SQL Community.

So how has the community helped me?   Well really everything I’ve done has been thanks to the community.  Thanks to Wayne Snyder and Rick Heiges for really inspiring me to get into volunteering all those years ago in Orlando in 2004.  That kick started my participation not only in my local community but nationally in the PASS Organization.     It helped me to meet up with great friends Allen Kinsel and Thomas Larock as well they kept me wanting to continue to volunteer and help the community.

I have spent the last 8 years volunteering for the SQL community and doing my best to give back to the community.  I figured the best way I could help with the post is to give you some ways you can start by getting involved in the community and helping out.

1.  Find your Local SQL Server SLC User Group and ask if you can help organize a meeting. PASS Chapter List

2.  Present locally, Find a topic you are passionate about and offer to present at the local chapter.  Pass chapter List

3.  Volunteer for PASS, You can find the volunteers page here to contact PASS.

4.  Volunteer at a SQL Saturday, You can find the list here and contact the organizers.

5. Mentor a fellow Data professional.  Even if this is just at your own office or a friend from another company getting together and helping others can get you started in the community.

6.  Start your own SQL Chapter.  If you are really adventurous and up for a challenge get started by starting a chapter.    You can find more information at the Chapter link above.

These are all great ways you can get started in the community, so get out there and help out!  Regardless of what you choose to do whether to help others or not you should get involved in some way you will be very thankful you did.


Don’t Panic!….The Summit is over


That’s right unfortunately the PASS summit has once again come to a close. We never like to talk about it but it never fails that all good things must come to an end? Now what?

I figured I would compile a quick list of things you should do now that the summit is over.

1. Order the sessions! Can’t tell you how great it is to have the sessions that you missed. If you haven’t ordered them do so!
2. Take the business cards you got at the summit and send each one in an email. Hopefully you wrote down what you discussed then you can continue that discussion in email.
3. Keep on twitter and following the people you met at the summit
4. Find the local user group in your area and get engaged! User groups are a great way to keep the summit fever going
5. Find the next SQL Saturday happening near you and volunteer to help out or speak.
6. Apply what you learned, take the notes you’ve written down during the sessions and apply them to your work environment. Some things will take more time than others but start making a list and getting to work.
7. Mentor someone else, take what you’ve learned and spread the word to others.
8. Edit the pictures you have taken. <;– some need this more than others.

If you keep this list in mind the Summit won't stop in Seattle for you!

Happy Travels to all my SqlFamily!

PASS Summit 2012 Photography tips

Group shot from 2009 summit photowalk

We are just a few short days from the PASS Summit and I know many have already started travelling to the summit.   I wanted to get one last post in so that everyone has all the photo information that you might need in one place for the summit.

Here is a link to the posts related to photowalking on the blog.

Here is the link to the official photowalking event at the summit this year.

I wanted to go over a few more general items for anyone out there planning on taking some pics at the summit.

All photos that get posted to flickr with a tag of sqlpass and summit2012 will show up in the official “stream” of photos.   This means that it might show up on the big screen in the morning keynotes or on the screens around the convention center.  I strongly suggest you use these tags if you are taking photos during the summit.   As with previous years I will be sending all my pics to flickr using an Eye-fi card.   This means whenever I’m in distance of a wifi location it will start transmitting my photos.   I’ll only be sending my small jpeg’s and not the large raw files to keep from bogging down any networks.   This is true for my after hour’s activities as well since I typically bring along a mifi device so if you see late night karaoke pictures it’s most likely what’s going on live at that time.

If you want to talk photowalking while at the summit or if you’re looking for the photowalk information when we are on the walk do a search on twitter for #sqlpassphotowalk  that should give you all the chatter and information about the photowalk.  I’ll do my best to tweet out location and information to those hashtags.

If you have a question related to photography at the summit (settings, where to go, and lighting suggestions) then you can use hathtag  #sqlPhotohelp   I’ll be watching this closely in case anyone has some general questions.   I’m more than happy to sit down with people and help them out with settings or some suggestions on getting great photos at the summit.

Keynote presentation from Previous PASS Summit

Here are some key tips I like to follow while at the summit.

1.  Lighting is horrible in convention centers, so find something good to white balance off in each shot, or bring a WB card for reference.

2.  Flashing the speakers is a no no, I mean with a camera flash of course!    Try to keep the flash off if you want to get a picture of the speakers while they are speaking.   Try using higher iso if there is less light in the room.

3.  If you are using a point and shoot learn how to shut off your flash at different times to save battery.  A point and shoot flash typically can go 15-30 feet at the very farthest. Being in the back of a session room you will most likely just light up the audience in front of you instead of actually illuminating your subject.

4.  Get to know your camera settings!  You will find yourself needing to take quick pictures at times (like when someone decides to jump into a fountain), knowing what your settings and how to use them make it that much easier to get the right shot.

5. Take lots of pictures and practice.  Never be afraid to take the shot just because you think you can’t get the picture you want.   Making mistakes is the way we learn and with the size of memory cards you should never worry about taking a few extra pictures.

Hopefully this information serves you well as you attend the summit.   As with anything at the summit if you have questions or not sure ask someone!   I’m always happy to help and am very hard to miss.  I’m the size of lurch and you’ll always see a camera at my side.  Feel free to seek me out anytime.

Happy Shooting!  See you next week!