Category Archives: SQL

SLC SQL Saturday & Big Mountain Data Attendee Reminder Part 3 of 3


SQL Saturday SLC (#349) & Big Mountain Data

The Big Event is tomorrow and we are super excited! You still have time to forward the event to your friends and let the know. Even if they are not registered we welcome walk in registrations!

Thank you for registering for SLC SQL Saturday & Big Mountain Data. We will send out 3 emails to all registered attendees over the next 3 days to give you all the important information you need about the conference. If you miss an email or you registered after the email went out you can find all the email/information here.

  1. Part 1 of 3
  2. Part 2 of 3
  3. Part 3 of 3(this newsletter)

Summary of key information

  1. Cost: FREE
  2. Attendance: 500+ planned
  3. Schedule: Link to Schedule
  4. Location: Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building 1768 Campus Center Drive Salt Lake City, UT 84112
  5. Calendar file: Ics file
  6. Map Link: Map
  7. Register@: Uge Site
  8. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m.
  9. Lunch: 12:20-1:20
  10. Guidebook: Digital Schedule and info about the conference available on most phones. GuideBookSchedule

Saturday Morning

Review the Map and Parking Locations. Look for the Large Blue flags to help you find locations to park and where to go they will guide you to the building. We will also have SQL Saturday signs that will help you find the location.


You do not need to print anything to bring to the registration table. Just have your name and we will look you up in the system. You will be given a badge, lunch ticket, bag and shirt. The shirts are first come first serve, we do have a chance of running out with how many registrations we have. If you come early you have a better chance of getting a shirt. The Shirts have 4 different sayings on them. If you want to change the shirt for another saying please chat with another attendee about switching shirts or wait till after the first session to switch at the registration desk. This is so we can keep registration moving smoothly.


We have lots of great prizes to give out.

  1. Journey Team will be giving away an Xbox one
  2. Profisee will be giving away a Dell Venue pro Tablet
  3. Dell will also be giving away a Dell tablet

These are just some of the few prizes to give away. To be entered to win these prizes please visit the sponsor booth. For most sponsors they will just need to scan your badge and you will be entered. Some of the sponsors may have you fill out a form to be entered for the prizes. We will hand out prizes at the end of the day in the open area around registration. You must be present to win at the end of the day.

Ask the Experts Room

We have reserved a whole session room in the afternoon to give you the chance to chat with experts in the area of data. Consider this a chance for you to bounce ideas off others, perhaps ask some other experts about a new architecture/design you are working on. Get a review from experts on the design you just published to production and what pitfalls you might run into. This is your chance to really whiteboard with an expert something you have been considering or want to know. Bring your ideas and problems and get them solved!

Session Feedback

We will have a new way for you to provide feedback for each session.

  1. You will be able to scan a QR code with each room you go into and that will bring up a survey in a browser window on your phone
  2. The Schedule located here. Will have a link to a survey form for each session.

Good feedback is critical to speakers so they can improve their speaking abilities. We hope that you will take the time to provide feedback. Please be detailed in your feedback and tell the speakers what they can do to improve. Things like “Speaker needs to talk louder”,”Speaker needs to engage audience”,”Speaker should be better prepared and have tested demo to make sure it worked properly”. All of these things help the speakers to improve specific parts of the session.

Event Feedback

We will send out an email Saturday morning to all registered attendees with a link to take a survey about the event. We always strive to improve our events and we hope you can help us do that by providing feedback.

Be Respectful

Finally we think this barely needs mentioning because we have an awesome membership! Please be courteous and respectful of others. We want you to debate and discuss technology and find ways to make things better for everyone and we want everyone to enjoy themselves.

Thank you

SLC SQL Saturday & Big Mountain Data organizing committee



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.

Sql Saturday #153 Review

This weekend was the 3rd SQL Saturday we have held in SLC Utah.   We had a good turnout of about 130 people.   We had planned for a little higher but it was a beautiful fall day in Utah and a weekend where many school/districts had a long weekend on Friday so some people were already out of town.

As with all my events I like to wrap up a good/bad list so I can learn from that event and keep making better events for my attendees.    Hopefully this list will help you in planning and event in the future as well.  I always start with the improvements as I like to end on a good note.

Things to Improve

Doors opened late.  The building worked properly but our student worker was late so that hurt us when trying to setup registration and the sponsor area.

Printed Schedule snafu:  I forgot to put the levels for the sessions on the printed schedule and I had one session with the wrong speaker presenting.  Correct content just wrong speaker.

Better lunch:  I knew Pizza going in wasn’t the best option but it’s what met the budget and I didn’t want any chance someone went without.  Next event we will look at a higher budget so we can make sure we get another option

More Speakers:  Make no mistake our speakers rocked, that doesn’t mean I don’t want more people speaking not only to grow the speaker community but to give more variety.

Organizing too Rushed:  Hopefully most of you never saw it but organizing the event was very rushed because of some time constraints I had.  As always we try and prep earlier for the event and I plan to focus on that for future events.

What went well? 

Lunch: While I said it was bad above we have to admit no one went hungry it was smooth no one waited a long time so overall it went well.

Sessions:  In general the sessions moved along well.  I noticed some pack rooms and that’s a scheduling point I’ll look at dealing with in the future but overall it was a smooth day for the schedule I even managed to make it to 2 sessions.

Speakers: No last minute cancellations and I feel all the speakers did a good job.  I heard lots of compliments from attendees.  Surveys will give us more feedback on this.

Socializing:  I saw a lot of conversations/chatting going on and I know many knew each other from other jobs many were also just discussing new ideas/procedures at the event.  I love to see people working together to come up with solutions.

Open source:  We had 2 hadoop presentations and one Nosql!  My goal for the SQL Saturday is still a full track devoted to open source db technology and we get closer to that all the time.

Shirts:  The shirts I think were well received and lots of people will enjoy them and wear them around.

Overall I was very pleased with the event and was excited to be part of it.  I know some people think I do this all myself but that’s far from the truth.  Tjay Belt (B|T), Ben Miller (B|T) and Scott Heffron (B) all helped out greatly in putting this event together and making it a success.  A huge thank you to Randy Knight and SQL Solutions group as well since they donated family (literally) to the registration booth so they could handle checking people in.

Now it is time for me to gear up for Utah Code Camp will be on March 23 2013. We have big plans for the event and expect it to top the charts.    Don’t worry we will have another SQL Saturday next fall and we will make sure it’s a great event!

Attending the PASS Summit for First Timers –Summary

Thanks to a very busy work week last week it took a little longer for me to get all my summit blog posts published.  I wanted to make sure I got a summary out today so that you had all the info you need at your fingertips.  I’m working on my emails to my first timers group and this where I’ll be sending everyone.

Here are my posts about preparing for the Summit.

Pre-Summit (planning/Packing)

Sunday Day 1 

Monday Day 2

Tuesday Day 3 

Wednesday Day 4 

Thursday Day 5

Friday Day 6 

I noticed I missed a few key points in these Posts.

  1. Schedule, you will find it here.  Many people like to prepare this before the summit if so the schedule builder is for you. Personally I pick my schedule when I get to the summit after talking with others on what they want to see.  I like to get interaction with others and find out what they like to see and which speakers they really like to hear from.
  2. Water is important make sure to drink lots of it.
  3. Sleep is important.  There is a very good chance you will get very little sleep. If you don’t work well on little sleep don’t push yourself and stay up with the super late crowd you want to be fresh for the sessions during the day.  This is something you have to realize on your own many people have no problem staying up very late and they can function on little sleep.

Finally I wanted to add some other great Blogs I have been reading for first timers.  I strongly suggest you look through them as well.  If you know of other great blogs leave them in the comments.

Midnight Dba’s Blog for PASS First Timers

MS SQL Girl PASS Summit 2012 Tips

A Simple Update Statement

I had a new developer this week ask me a good way to write an update statement with a join across two tables.  He was new to set based processing only having worked with procedural logic in code.  Set based allows you to update many rows all at the same time and is almost always faster than doing each row one by one.  His suggestion of using a cursor to update every row just wouldn’t have worked well.

After explaining what set based processing was I also showed him a simple trick I’ve always used to write my set based update statements.  I’ve added a simple script below and I’ll walk through what I typically do to write the statements.

The simplest method I’ve always found is to just write a normal select statement with the join’s you need and all the columns you want to see and then replace the select statement at the top with an update statement.  This lets you see the data and test that the data is exactly what you want to update.  I’ve enclosed a script showing this simple method and how I use it.  Hopefully it will make your life a little easier as well.

–Simple Setup section

Create table #toBeUpdated
(id int identity(1,1) not null Primary Key,
Keycolumn varchar(255) not null default ‘Tasty’,
UpdateColumn varchar(255) null

Create table #UpdateValue
(id int identity(1,1) not null Primary Key,
Keycolumn varchar(255) not null default ‘Tasty’,
UpdateValueColumn varchar(255) null default ‘Bacon’

Insert into #toBeUpdated (Keycolumn) values (Default)
Insert into #UpdateValue (Keycolumn,UpdateValueColumn) values (Default,Default)
–How the original table looks
Select * from #toBeUpdated
–this shows what column needs to be updated and what it will be updated to
Upd.Updatecolumn as SourceUpdateColumn,
Upv.UpdateValueColumn as TargetUpdateColumn
#toBeUpdated as Upd
#UpdateValue as Upv
upd.Keycolumn = upv.Keycolumn
–To create the update statement simply comment out the select statement and
–write the update at the top.
Update #toBeUpdated
Set UpdateColumn = Upv.UpdateValueColumn
— Upd.Keycolumn,
— Upd.Updatecolumn as SourceUpdateColumn,
— Upv.UpdateValueColumn as TargetUpdateColumn
#toBeUpdated as Upd
#UpdateValue as Upv
upd.Keycolumn = upv.Keycolumn

–shows the results of the Update
Select * from #toBeUpdated

SQL Family

Thomas Larock aka @SqlRockstar (Blog|Twitter) has put on a monthly meme with a different topic each month.  I’ve decided to participate in this topic as it’s an important aspect of my life.Thom asks “Write about what #sqlfamily means to you.”#SqlFamily started for me way back in 2003.  I was a DBA at a large health care organization and I heard about a SQL users group starting in my area I wanted to check it out since any help I could get in my current role as a DBA would be great.  I started to attend the meetings and found others that enjoyed SQL Server as well.  This then lead me to start presenting and shortly after attending my first PASS Summit.  At the summit I met even more people like me that not only enjoyed SQL Server but gave of their time freely to help others.For me the #SQLFamily has always been about people helping people.  The community is very giving to everyone.   There is no membership in this family, it’s never a question of have you been here before or are you a “regular”  it’s the place that welcomes you with open arms regardless of who you are or what you do.  If you have a problem we’ll help you try and solve it.  It’s that simple it’s that easy.  To me that’s #SQLFamily.

The family extends so much further than a discussion forum or a specific website.  It’s there when your son/family member is in the hospital and you need some positive reinforcement.  It’s there to wish you congratulations when a new baby is born or you celebrating sending your kids off to college.  It’s people taking care of each other and looking out for one another.

To answer Thom’s original question.  #sqlfamily means people helping people.  Something I think all families should strive to do more often.

First day on the job as a DBA

So I’m starting out a new job today and figured I would write up a checklist of things I needed to complete to own the Databases I have to start managing.

  1.  Get a list of Servers I’ll be managing/owning.  This can be done with a script or just by the company letting you know which ones.  It’s not a bad idea using the script to find some other servers that might be out there that the company was not aware of.  Pinal Dave has a good example of this on his blog.
  2. Run the SP_Blitz script from Brent Ozar (blog | Twitter) this is full of all sorts of good tidbits on what you need to look at for a server.  Check out the blog post in the link above and it will fill you in on the many great things this script can do for you.
  3. Get a DBA database created on each server.  I typically use this to house all sorts of maintenance type things and monitoring and alerting.  Every DBA should have a DB to call their own.
  4. Create the server side trace.  Years ago back in SQL 2000 I wrote a server side profiler trace that would run all the time and store the contents down to a table that I could later review to watch performance of queries hitting the DB.  Over the year’s fellow DBA’s have made updates to the script and made it better and it’s one of those key things I still depend on now.  I should get a future blog post out on this one.
  5. Create perfmon counters.  I store perfmon counters down to a db through an odbc connection in perfmon.  This way I can use a custom set of reports I’ve created to report trends on my server/db performance.  This also gets me started on my benchmark and knowing where things are when I started.  I should have some future blogs on this.
  6.  Install SSMS tools pack.  No one should go without this tool.   Saved me more times than I can count I would suggest it to everyone.
  7. Check the backups/backup schedule.  Blitz script is going to tell me some of this but I want to make a point to check with the business as to what the backups schedule is and make sure that matches what is really happening.
  8. Check the security model and who has access to the DB.  Again Blitz script might tell me some of this but I’ll make it a point to make sure something like domain admins don’t have full rights to the db and there are 100 people in domain admins (yes I’ve seen this before).

This is all the primary things I could come up with on day 1.  There’s still more items I’m sure but these are key and all have to be in place so I can continue moving forward from here I should have a good base to work with.

If you have other suggestions  let me know!