Tag Archives: Events

PASS Summit 2014 Goals


As I write this I’m packed and ready to fly out for Portland Sunday.  You didn’t read that wrong and I’m not flying into the wrong city.  I tend to fly out on Sundays so I can take some photo adventure before the PASS Summit starts.  This year it’s flying into Portland renting a car and driving up to Seattle.  I did this several years ago and it was great fun.  I will not be taking anything that resembles a straight line to Seattle and I won’t be doing it quickly.  I’ll be catching up with the other Photo Nuts most likely that evening for some good beer and food somewhere in Washington.

I started attending the PASS Summit in Orlando in 2004.  Basically I’ve been to a few and every one that I go to I have some key goals when I attend the Summit.  Many are photo related but some are technical as well and all of them revolve around #sqlfamily.  I wanted to share them with all of you so hopefully some of the people I run into will help me achieve the goals.


  1. Come out of my shell: I’ve said this for years and really I’m probably seen as much more of a social person than most but still to this day I have to push myself to talk to new people.  I strongly urge everyone to meet someone new at any technical conference you attend.  If you don’t that’s a huge loss to what you could have received from the conference.
  2. Meet people that are not working with SQL Server: Now why would I attend a SQL Server conference if I want to talk to people not working with SQL Server? SQL Server is still at the core of our architecture but we also integrate and work with other nosql and opensource projects.  My goal is to learn what others are doing and how they are doing it.  I hope to find others that have found ways to integrate with other technologies not just the MS stack.  If you would like to see what I have done feel free to watch this presentation recorded at BMD/SLC SQL Saturday.
  3. Meet Organizers of events: I put on a lot of events (not just SQL Saturdays). I like to hear about the cool things others are doing so that I can find new and cool things for my events.  I have at least 3 events planned in the next 6 months and would love to find out what others do.
  4. Catch up with #sqlfamily: I have unfortunately been very out of the loop for about the last 6 months. Both because of work but also because of events.  I want to catch up with my good friends and find out what they have been working on and what they have been doing.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

  1. Get “the” shot:  At previous summit’s I would take anywhere from 700-1500 pictures throughout the week.  I’ve learned a lot through the years and know when to hold my shutter button and when to pull the trigger.  I will have 5-6 shots that I want/need at the event and my goal is to achieve those.  If you see me (I’m a large person with a camera on his waist all week) feel free to check in with how I’ve done on the shots and which ones I have planned.
  2. 50mm all day!: I have a fun lightweight 50mm 1.8 lens that would be great for some of the shots I have planned. I’m going to try and choose a day and use that lens all day long.
  3. Night shots: I will have a car on Sunday night so this most likely means a Trip to Kerry park. While I’ve achieved the shot I have wanted from this location we all know things change and getting another copy of the beautiful Seattle skyline is never a bad idea.

I hope that as you go through the summit and you see the big guy with the camera you take a minute to stop and say hi.  Would love to chat with you about photography, Data projects or events you have planned.

Super excited to see all of my #sqlfamily very soon!





SLC SQL Saturday & Big Mountain Data Attendee Reminder Part 1 of 3

I am posting these to my blog so I have a saved location for these newsletters.  I will migrate them to the UGE blog located here after the event.  For now these 3 posts are geared towards attendees of the SLC SQL Saturday & Big Mountain Data Event.

SQL Saturday SLC (#349) & Big Mountain Data

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(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

Where is it and where do I park?

Map Link: Map

We are aware of the UofU vs USC football game this weekend @8:00 p.m. All the parking marked on the map is open for Saturday. If possible using Trax is a good option as well and the link for Trax is below.

Trax: http://bit.ly/1is7I1Y this is a link to the South Campus Station you can find all the bus routes and trax lines that service this stop here.


GuideBook is a mobile app you can download to get access to the schedule and all the pertinent information about the event. We strongly suggest everyone get the guide for your phone. The App will automatically update if we have changes in the schedule. It is free to download.

Guidebook: Digital Schedule and info about the conference available on most phones. Map


We will have an open wireless access point at the event. Yes the wireless has a chance at being slow (or worse than slow). Please be patient and understand this is a free event, with free wireless and most likely 500+ tech geeks with an average of 2 devices per person. We will do everything we can to keep the wireless working well and quickly. If you can avoid putting multiple devices on the wireless please do so.


We have lots of awesome sponsors for this event. When you visit a sponsor booth you will be asked if they can scan your badge. Doing so opt’s you in for that sponsor only. The organizers of the event will never send out your information to anyone without your permission. We do suggest you visit the sponsors since they will have great prizes to give away and we will do drawings based on the scans at the booth.


We have 500 t-shirts to hand out at the event and they will be first come first serve. We have various different sayings on them and you are welcome to trade with your friends. Please do not trade around the registration desk so we can keep registering people. This is a good chance to chat with someone new if they have a shirt that you want.

We will have more information about the event tomorrow we hope to see you this weekend!

Thank you

SLC SQL Saturday & Big Mountain Data organizing committee


Upcoming Speaking Events

This is going to be a very busy next few months for me. Besides putting on some really cool and rocking events in the next few months I will also be speaking.  Hopefully in several different states.  I’m working on blog posts to go along with these presentations but for now here’s what I’m currently presenting on and when.

Building a Cost Effective Reporting system.

This presentation is all about using the right tool for the job.  At my current company we moved from a vertical scale system to a horizontally scalable system.   SQL Server does a lot of things really well but scale horizontally is not one of them.  Using a mix of open source technologies and SQL Server we were able to get a highly scalable system at a much better cost.  If you have been looking into #bigData technologies and what you can do with them(or what all the buzz is about) this is a great presentation to get you started and show you what can be done when you use the right tools for the job.

I will be presenting this at SQL Saturday #271 in Albuquerque NM coming up on the 25th of this month.  This is going to be a really fun event with lots of great presenters.  Check out the schedule to see the great lineup.   It will before the First SQL Saturday that I am presenting at that I did not in some way organize or help put on so this should be very interesting for me to observe just as a speaker and attendee.

I’ve submitted this same topic to Sql Saturday #287 and Sql Saturday #295.  I hope to be able to present at both of these events in the next few months.

Along with presenting I’m working on 2 other Major events coming up in the next few months.  Utah Code Camp will be held on March 15th 2014.  This will be our largest event to date and the most diverse with many varied topics all related to technology in some way.

Big Mountain Data is coming up April 12th 2014.  This will be an event all about Big Data.  Whether you are an expert in the field or just getting started and want to know how to work with big data we will have something for everyone.  You can register now and we hope to have the schedule up very soon for this event.

I’m looking forward to a very busy next 4-5 months and hopefully I will see many of you at one of these events.

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!

SQL Saturday #54 Salt Lake City Utah

Tomorrow is the big day for us! It’s the first SQL Saturday in SLC. We have lots of great sessions and prizes to give away. You’re not going to want to miss these excellent sessions and learning we have planned! You can find all the details about location time and getting registered at www.utahsqlsaturday.com we would love to see you out at the event!

Utah SQL Saturday

Just a Quick note about an upcoming event to those of you Local to the Salt Lake City area. We will be putting on our first SQL Saturday on October 23 2010 at Neumont university. You can find all the details located here at our website. www.UtahSqlSaturday.com We will have some great presenters from around the country and locally here in our area! We’ll have lots of drawings and giveaways. This is going to be a great full day of training and networking with others from around the area.

Here’s some good reasons to attend a SQL Saturday. 

1. Networking, Networking and Networking.  I can’t say enough about how much networking and having a great SQL community to turn to have helped me in my career. 

2. Free training. Your going to get great sessions you can take back and immedieatley use in your job to make your life and your employers life better. 

3. Giveaways!  oh yes we’ll be giving things away!  Lots of it. 

4. Swag,  Yes we will have swag as well.  Who doesn’t need more swag?  🙂

5. Did I mention Networking?  Let’s mention that one again! 


Hope to see you out to the event!