Monthly Archives: May 2013

Some changes for SLC SQL Saturday #246

Keynote presentation from Previous PASS Summit

Striving to put on an event this large and epic some day. 🙂

We have put on several SQL Saturday’s in Utah (3 to be exact) but I felt something needed to be different with the one we are planning now.  Last year I pushed for more nosql/mysql sessions in the SQL Saturday because I saw a need in our community for more knowledge on those subjects.  This year it’s time to step it up even more.  

I started working with Hadoop heavily in January and learned of the Utah Hadoop users group in February (  I wanted to find way’s I could help the group and build the community so I started discussing with the leaders about putting on a data conference.  I wanted a combined conference that worked with all technologies and disciplines and really was just about data.  I have always said Corporations and executives don’t care what technology you use as long as your solution meets the expectations of the business.  We as engineers/developers/DBA’s/DW developers need to learn it’s not about a specific technology it’s just about finding the right tool for the job.

To this end the Big Mountain Data Conference is born.  We will have a traditional SQL Saturday taking place with 3 separate tracks of all sorts of SQL goodness.  We will have a “mixer” track showing you how SQL and other technologies can work together to make data solutions and then we will have 3 more tracks that talk all about open source data solutions (Hive,Hadoop,Mysql,Nosql and much more!).  We want to bring the data experts together in one place and showcase all the many things you can do with data and how to move forward in a world that has ever increasing data demands.  We are hoping that the attendees will stretch themselves to learn something new and visit other tools that can be used to expand their skill set.

We have assembled a great team of organizers and volunteers to help put this event together and we will be looking for presenters eager to pass on their skills to others.  We hope that you will all join us on Sept 7th 2013 for this epic data event.

The SQL Saturday #246 you can access at Utah Geek Events will be hosting the Schedule/registration for the Big Mountain Data Side of things you can go to which has open registration and a place to submit sessions.

I hope everyone will join us in learning about data and what you can do with it.

My Road Map….Someone folded it (T-SQL Tuesday #42)


This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is brought to us from Wendy Pastrick (Blog |Twitter). She wanted us to talk about the road map in our career or what we have done to get to the point we are now in our career.  

This is an interesting idea for me for 2 reasons.  1.  While you are reading this I’m driving to Las Vegas for a conference for my company.  So you could say I’m driving on my road map now!  The other reason I’ll explain below.

Personally it’s very interesting for me to look back on my Road Map since it’s changed greatly since when I started.  I can still remember being a Customer Service Lead and talking to my manager when she asked me where I wanted to be in 5 years.  I said I was hoping to get a CAN/CNE certification and be a Network Administrator.  6 months later we inherited a Database app from another company and my life changed forever.  I became the accidental DBA we all talk about and from that point forward started a path towards the data world.

Fast forward about 10 years and here I am facing another new path.  For the last several months my focus and time has been on the Hadoop Ecosystem.  1.5 years ago I started with a new company and ran into a similar problem I’ve faced many times.  Reads/Writes contending on the same SQL DB because we had no reporting environment to send the queries against, I set out to create such a reporting environment and both succeeded and failed in a lot of ways.  We’ve decided now to take the good from that environment and migrate it into a Lamp/open source system that can horizontally scale at an excellent cost to the company.  We are about a month out from some really serious testing of the system and I’m about as excited as I have ever been about any technology I’ve used.

What my “Road Map” has taught me through all these years is best summed up by one of my all-time favorite sayings.

“It’s not about the Destination, It’s about the Journey”

I’ve learned that even though I have had many destinations on my road map, the place that I’ve learned the most and grown the most as a Data Professional were the times when I went on a journey to find something.  My suggestion to anyone working on the Road Map is pick out some destinations but make sure you take that road less travelled from time to time.  I think you will find you will look back on those times more than any destination you reach.

Good luck in your Journey!

6 Billion People want to talk to you!


Socializing at the PASS Summit

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything to the blog.  I could try and write a big long post on projects, busy times and issues that have kept me away.  All these things would be excuses for simply not getting it done.  In the end why bother focusing on it I’ll just move forward and keep blogging.

I did a quick Google search and found that in 2011 it was estimated we had 6.9 billion people on this planet.  I would say that’s a lot.  But if I went to some of the Data scientists out there and #bigdata experts and told them I had 6 billion pieces of data to work with they would probably laugh at me and tell me I don’t have a big data problem.

I’m willing to bet most of those #bigdata/DBA/Developer/Geeks in the world would not laugh when I asked when was the last time they talked to a stranger in the elevator at the office?  We data professionals out there have made it our career/lives talking to data.  We have made many extraordinary ways to visualize the data around us but I find we are we losing the ability to talk to people and tell them all the cool things we can do with data.

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) “We bought a zoo” 

The line above is one of my favorites and reminds me so much of social interaction.  Many of us are afraid to talk to the person in the elevator or the person in the coffee shop or even other professionals at a conference.  It takes a brief moment of courage to change your life forever.  I had that moment at the PASS Summit in 2004 (Read the story here) and ever since then I’ve been striving to keep it going and to socialize with others whenever I can.

What can you do to get out and socialize?

1.  Talk to people!  Don’t be the one reading your phone in the elevator, don’t be the one sitting at a user group meeting reading the emails for the day or bringing a book since you just came for the presentation.  The person that can answer that burning question on why you have deadlocks in the DB could be right next to you.

2.  Start using twitter/facebook/linkedin don’t be afraid to ask people questions on these mediums you will be shocked by how receptive people are.  Sometimes it’s easier to start that conversation when you are not in front of people.

3.  PRESENT! It takes 20 seconds of courage to submit your name for a user group presentation.  The leaders and others can help mentor you to get you ready.  If you don’t have someone to mentor you feel free to email me I love to help people get started in presenting.  Remember you present everyday at work to other developers/managers/product owners when you explain something, this is just a bigger audience.

4.  Attend user groups/SQL Saturdays/Conferences/tech gatherings.  Don’t eat alone and don’t stand alone thinking you have nothing cool to talk about or don’t know what to talk about.  If you are at an event with lots of other attendees you most likely have tons in common!

Just remember you are a data professional that talks to billions of rows of data every day, what’s the harm in talking to 1 person out of 6 billion?  It only takes 20 seconds of courage to change your life forever.

Happy Socializing