Tag Archives: sql

SLC SQL Saturday & Big Mountain Data Attendee Reminder Part 2 of 3

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
  2. Part 2 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


We have record attendance at this event and we need help! We are seeking volunteers to help direct traffic between the first couple sessions and at lunch time. If you are willing to help please email volunteers@utahgeekevents.com


You will be given a bag when you register in the morning with a ticket inside the bag for lunch. The red ticket will be for the 1st floor and the blue ticket will be for the 3rd floor. We don’t mind where you end up but please pick up your lunch on the floor based on the ticket you received. We will be separating lunch across the 1st and 3rd floors so that everyone can move through the lunch lines quickly. Our location has asked that we not eat in the classrooms but instead use the hall/open space areas. We will be providing box lunches so that this is easy for you to sit down in an open area and eat. A cafe is located on the 5th floor with lots of room to sit. Lots of other open areas exist throughout the building as well.


The session schedule has been updated on the site and should not be changing before the weekend. Now is a good time to head over to the schedule and make sure of what sessions you want to see Link to Schedule.

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.

We will have another email sent out tomorrow with the final items that you need to know.

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 (www.uhug.org).  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 www.utahsqlsaturday.com. Utah Geek Events will be hosting the Schedule/registration for the Big Mountain Data Side of things you can go to www.utahgeekevents.com 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.

Photowalk at the PASS Summit 2012

Voting is in on the photowalk location for the PASS Summit.  Pikes place got the most votes so that is where we will be going this year.  I’ve created an EventBrite event so everyone can get the information easily enough.

Photowalk Event 

Unfortunately I have to cut my walk short but everyone else should keep taking pics and enjoying the wonders that is pike place.  I will be attending a SQL Saturday meeting on Tuesday so will only be able to make the photowalk for a little while.

So please come out and join us for a great photowalk.  It’s a wonderful time to learn some new photo tricks and to socialize with more of the #sqlfamily!

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

What gift do I want MS to leave under the tree? (#Meme Monday from SqlRockstar)

Thomas Larock (aka @Sqlrockstar (Blog) )   has set a new question for this month’s #meme Monday.  You can read his original blog post here.  This month’s Question, “What gift do you want Microsoft to leave for you under the tree this year?” the simple answer is that I don’t want them to leave me a gift I want them to leave you a gift.

When I was a MVP many moons ago I was fortunate it enough to attend the MVP Summit in Seattle this is an annual gathering of all the MVP’s that get together and help MS improve their products and give feedback about the way they are doing things.  When I was there we were discussing SQL Server 2005 and what should be in each SKU/Product level (Standard, Workgroup, and Enterprise Editions).  We knew some of the new features that were coming out as Mvp’s and they wanted to get our take about where they should fall.  As MS read the different features it was unanimous most of the killer features we really wanted in the standard edition of the product since we knew lots of companies could benefit from that.  Not surprisingly when 2005 was released most of the features discussed ended up in enterprise edition.  What I would like to give everyone for Christmas is for the next release to balance this out a little better.  Every cycle Microsoft talks about the greatest features that are ready to come out during presentations and never mentions what edition they will be in until someone asks the question.  Go to most presentations from MS about new features and you tell me if they mention what versions they will be in until someone asks the question.

Now please don’t get me wrong, MS is a business and the job of the business is to make money.  I’m not saying they are not allowed to make money.  What I would like for everyone on Christmas from MS is for them to stop the smoke and mirror show and give it to us truthfully!  Tell us the HA features of 2012 will only be available in enterprise edition at the beginning of the presentation.  Why do I want this?   So I can go back to my desk and figure out ways to make my system work without these features since I only have Standard edition to use.  So I don’t have to spend an hour in a presentation with a technology I’m not going to be able to use.  Yes you will see me researching these new features and even presenting on them in the future but I will tell you the edition it applies to.  So you know whether this will be useful or not given your current situation.  Just a simple request to be clearer when you’re telling us that you made a new function that can give us Rainbows and Unicorns out of the DB.

I think it’s a simple Christmas wish. 🙂

Hope everyone finds this under their tree this year.


DBA Week 2 A follow up to your first day.

I wanted to get a follow up post to my recommendations for DBA’s for the first day on the job post.   After a very busy week last week here is where I stand on my list and what I should add for the next week.

  1.  Get a list of Servers I’ll be managing/owning: I’ve got the list, can’t say I have access to all of them but working through that.
  2. Run the SP_Blitz: I’ve got this done on several servers and honestly haven’t done a ton of analysis on it yet.  Still high on the list.
  3.  Get a DBA database created on each server: Done for known servers.
  4. Create the server side trace: Done for the primary prod servers.
  5. Create perfmon counters: Done for the primary prod servers.
  6.  Install SSMS tools pack: Done (and it’s already saved me),
  7. Check the backups/backup schedule: Taken care of by a managed host provider, many changes in store for this one.
  8. Check the security model and who has access to the DB: Figured out most of this and some changes are in plan for the future as well.

Things to Add after your first week.

  1. Developer communication/training.  We have a developer training planned this week and I’m prepping a presentation based on performance tuning and some of the procedures I’ve worked on over the last week.   It’s a great time to start building relationships with the DEV team and working with them to improve the app and server even more.
  2. Slow procedures/query tuning.  Now that you’ve had your trace and performance counters in place start researching what you can do to improve the performance of the server.   Perhaps hardware is needed or memory settings need to be changed.   We saw a big increase because of a server mis-configuration in the memory settings.
  3. DMV’s,  I want to get these into the first week list but didn’t have a chance and don’t have an automated procedure but am researching some right now and plan to have them running in the next week.  Capturing query info and index info in DMV’s are key.
  4. Optimizations, unfortunately there is still a lot of mis-informaiton out there about what needs to be re-indexed/rebuilt and checked.  I’ve found a very heavy optimization job running on the servers and need to re-factor this to really help the performance of the server.  This is top on my list as it’s running into prod time and needs to get fixed.  I’ve also found Shrink jobs running (never a good thing).
  5. Last major suggestion for this week is be cautious.   You’ll find lots of things that you want to change and you may be tempted to start making wide sweeping changes but be careful.  If your systems haven’t been looked at by DBA eyes for a while then making large sweeping changes could have a huge impact on the system.   Make sure to document and test anything you put into place.  One method I use for this is getting a mailbox setup that I can email my changes to and store them that way I have a history.  If you have a Team of DBA’s with you this works well to inform all of them at once.

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to blog out mid next week with some of the scripts I’ve been talking about.   Let’s see how this week 2 goes for me. 🙂