Tag Archives: sqlpass

SQL Saturday Madison

This might be my shortest post ever!   I had a wonderful time at SQL Saturday Madison last weekend.  My photo’s are all located at the link below.   I would love to write more about my experience but I’m already off to another SQL Saturday in Las Vegas.  The following weekend after that event i’ll be organizing and presenting at Big Mountain Data(www.utahgeekevents.com).  So I might not get a chance to blog too much before then.  Have to catch up later!


2013 PASS Summit Trip report

Welcome to the PASS Summit 2013

Welcome to the PASS Summit 2013

My company requires a trip report after we go to a conference to talk about lessons learned and what we can bring back and use at the company.  So I’m using this post to share with the community and to fulfill the company requirement.

I have my notes arranged day by day so I’ll take that approach for the post. At the bottom I’ll talk about the networking/community aspect of things I did at the summit.

Day 1 (Monday SQL in the City)

Build automation

They were using continuous integration to identify issues as soon as possible.  I used a similar type of system at a previous company and am working hard to get that in place at my current company.

They did mention a great idea I had not thought of before for unit tests. If you create a Db unit test and say it can’t take more than X seconds to run then you can have a simple way to check for performance problems.  Couple key things, you’ll need an environment with consistent performance and the ability to control outside forces so you can validate this is a true performance change.  Can be a great way for some simple performance tests though.

Database Design

I enjoyed this presentation and he re-iterated many of the things I already knew about database design.  I really liked how explained the different models and what should be in each model.  My take away that I wrote down during the session was a role change we need to make to our current system.

“Users are Evil but they have checks” – Was my favorite line from this presentation.

Performance tuning

Grant gave some great tips about performance tuning some of the key ones that I wrote down.

Have a baseline, this can be generated from the previous data over time so you can understand and define “Normal”.

Currently in my world I use qlikview to put my stats together and then compare hours to previous hours or days to previous days.  Frequently I’ll compare this week to last week.  For me this is how I typically define “normal” and try to compare what’s going on.  I’ve recently added table size data into my reporting system so in the future I’ll be able to tell large growths and compare them to days without large growths.

Day 2 (Tuesday)

This was all PASS Meetings during the day and I’ll have a separate Blog post about that.

Day 3 (Wednesday)

Periodic Table of DMV’s

Tim did a great job of explaining the Dmv’s that were out in the system. The primary item I took away from this session was a need to monitor my Dmv’s closer particularly the Io Virtual File stats.  I’ve had perfmon counters on my disk’s but in my current performance monitoring set I don’t get down to the detail provided in the IO virtual file stats and I need to add that. I’ve added a task on my list to get that done.

Profiler to Extended Events

Erin Stellato did an excellent presentation of migrating and working with some of the changes between Profiler and Extended events.  I unfortunately had another PASS meeting and had to leave this session early but I did take some items away from it.  I have lots of detail notes about how the extended events work so when I get to sit down and start working with them I’ll have all the info I need.  We need to make a push to 2012 to really make this an easy change to extended events.  We can and will work on this in 2008 but we will have to put a lot more time and effort into the change.  We have a task on the books to migrate to 2012 in our organization.  I need to check out the tools and GUI that Jonathan Kehayias has for 2008 so I can get started on our project now and then continue with it into 2012.  We currently have a server side trace that always runs and collects the data we need so we have a very robust system to already do this but need to work on updating it now so we are ready for the changes.

Big Data for Business Intelligence Professionals

Jen Stirrup and Allan Mitchell did a great job of presenting the topic. This was a longer spotlight session as well  it was 1.5 hours.  I liked the original overall talk and discussion they started out with explaining big data.  I think they missed the mark when they started to talk about PIG instead of hive first.  PIG is a good tool to use but this audience is much more geared to sql queries and SQL ideas which hive fits into a lot better.  They did circle around back to hive at the very end of the talk but I think many were confused by then.  They showed HDinsight and what was available in the windows/hadoop ecosystem which is something I really wanted to understand since my Big Data implementation is using Linux and Cloudera so I wanted to understand the windows side.  The console and commands looked basically the same just the OS was different.  Key take aways that I have, Big Data is an approach to a problem.  Think of it as Volume, Veracity, Variety, Veracity and Value.  I have a feeling I’ll be writing a lot more about this in the future.

Why are things slow

Brent never fails to disappoint when it comes to a session.  He showed us a new sp_blitz with some new features and what I really liked was the open source monitoring system in place at StackExchange.  I really liked what I saw with the monitoring system and already started to get it installed here at the office.  I intend to work on running the Blitz scipt more frequently as well to start adding it to my comparisons of what things looked like before and after releases of our code.


I spent a good amount of time in the community section and talking with many people about the community.  Here is some of the notes from just general discussions.

  1.  I explained frequently that I’ve gotten to a larger point with my community work that I formed a not for profit to handle everything and several people asked me about that process.  TODO: blog post on this.
  2. Mentor programs were a big discussion and something I’ve been focused on for a long time.  I’ve already picked up a domain for this and have worked on some documentation around it but I still have a lot of work to be done.  Andy Warren shared a lot of great ideas on this as well and I think this could be a great and needed program.  This is one of my highest focus’s currently that I’m working on in my spare time.
  3. SQL Saturdays were a huge discussion of course as well. I mainly listened in these discussion as I don’t have a lot of issues in running a SQL Saturday. I run events frequently and don’t have a ton of problems with my SQL Saturday.  I want to see SQL Saturday expand past SQL and focus more on data and the ever changing data world but that’s a much larger blog discussion.  TODO: Blog Post.  J
  4. A discussion on my comment of “Done and Done” from this blog post/comment.  This was not at the community tables but from a friend that I highly respect and intend to have a future blog post on. Not one that the friend will necessarily like but just because I respect the person doesn’t mean I’m going to agree with them.  J

Photos of the PASS Summit 2013

This is probably the fastest I have ever had my photo’s edited and available for use.  I am even sick and still got these done quickly.  🙂 I hope that all my friends will spend some time re-living the great times we had at the 2013 PASS Summit. 

As always I love to see my photo’s at use out in the community.  I give my time and expertise as a way of giving back to my community.  The only request I have is a photo credit on the picture if you are to use it in a blog post/Facebook post/or something else.  A simple “Photo Credit: Pat Wright” is sufficient.  If I do find my photo’s in use without the photo credit you may hear from me to please take the picture down.

I’ve decided this year to give you lots of ways of looking at and sharing the photographs.  I’ve outlined all the different places you can go to get the pictures below.

Smugmug is my primary photo storage tool.  It gives great backups and I love the UI experience on smugmug.  If you would like to order a print of one of my pictures as well I strongly suggest Smugmug. I send my own family photo’s up to smugmug for printing because I love the prints that it produces.  I have not marked these up and will not make any profit from the pictures it’s the same cost as any other photo service.

A link to the gallery of all general pics (evening and conference pics)







Photowalk pics





SQL in the City





If you are a photographer and want to know my stats/details here ya go.

I shoot with a Nikon d90, Carry an sb600 always attached.  Most pics were taken with a Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 I got from borrowlenses.com.  Other shots were an 85mm 1.4.  I do not have my Sunday grandfather mountain pics up yet but will soon.  Here is my picture count breakdown

2013-10-13 241

2013-10-14 96 ~75 keeps

2013-10-15 252

2013-10-16 134

2013-10-17 122

2013-10-18 20

The general pics total 528 I am publishing 464.  The 241 on Sunday will have a lower rate since I’m pickier about my landscape shots.  I have gotten much better over the years of knowing when to take the picture and when not to.  It took me a total of about 3 hours to edit all the photos in the list.  Lightroom is the way to go if you haven’t tried it.  🙂

Photography at the PASS Summit 2013

I was hoping this post would include links to my photo’s for the summit all edited and ready for your viewing pleasure. Unfortunately I have had some serious technical failures. My laptop did not survive it’s flight back from CLT for some reason and appears to be dead. My home computer that I typically edit photo’s on is not booting either and While I think it is memory related not sure yet.

I would have worked on these computer issues on saturday but I was attending Anime Banzai this weekend. Which I have some awesome pictures from as well.

So please stay tuned as I will have my pictures up as soon as possible.


Photography at the PASS Summit 2013

A lone coffee during a photowalk in seattle.

A lone coffee during a photowalk in seattle.

I started a photo journey about 7 years ago and have been learning ever since. I’ve always tried to go to the summit with a goal/plan of things I want to photograph.  For this year I have simple idea

“Capture the good times, Capture #sqlfamily and give the moments I have captured back for others to remember”

Capture the good times, Capture #sqlfamily 

I will not be everywhere all the time.  I have obligations and meetings like everyone else at the summit.  I hope that my fellow attendees will take lots of pictures and be social and capturing all those wonderful times.  Here are a few tips if you plan on shooting a lot at the summit.

Paul being...well Paul.

Paul being…well Paul.

  1.  Charge those batteries. I’ve spent almost the entire day away from my hotel and by all day I mean 7:00 a.m. till 2:00 a.m.  The summit has a lot of late night activities and you may not have time to stop between events. Make sure you are charging each night when you finally do go to sleep.
  2. Flash the right people.  Conference lighting sucks.  The fluorescent bulbs look horrible and white balance will be your friend in post process.  Use flash when you need to in the halls and at night.  I would suggest bouncing the flash whenever you can.  DO NOT FLASH the speakers!  This is distracting to them and everyone else trying to attend the session.  You should go for High iso Large aperture (2.8 or better),   get closer in the session if you need to.
  3. Capture the moments. I don’t ask a lot of people to pose at the summit.  Sometimes I will want to get a specific group but I will frequently shoot from across the room and get pictures of people being people.
  4. Share the work you have done.  I will discuss this more in the next section.
Jason giving back, Although he ended up drinking both of these.  :)

Jason giving back, Although he ended up drinking both of these. 🙂

Give back

I am a firm believer in giving back to my community.  I publish all my photos after the summit.  Many I stream directly to flickr while I am shooting at the summit by use of an eyefi card.  Regardless of what you do consider sharing your photos on flickr, facebook or smugmug.  For flickr you can use the tag sqlpass and you just might see it in one of the monitors you are watching at the summit.


If you are an attendee and you find a great picture you want to use  PLEASE ask permission to use the photo.   We work very hard for our craft as I know you do as well please be respectful and ask permission to use it on facebook/blog post or whatever.

Finding my work 

My Eye fi card has been giving me troubles lately so I’m not sure my photos will all stream to flickr. If I have that working here is the link to where they will be.  Also some events are not publishing friendly.  Meaning I do hold back what goes to the public stream late at night. Certain pics need editing.

Asylum photos on flickr 

My finished and polished pictures (usually months later) will go to smugmug which you can find here.


If you just can’t find my photo’s anywhere or you want to know what has happened to them feel free to email me.  You can leave a comment on this blog or email me directly.  

The most important thing you can take to the summit is the words of Chase Jarvis.

“The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You ”

You don’t have to be a professional to capture a moment.  Have a good time and remember those moments.  You never know when one will change your life forever.

The moment that started Jaeger for all of us.  :)

This is where the jaeger stories come from. A truly defining “moment”

See you all at summit.

Packing list for Summit 2013

Quick post listing out my Tech/Geek essential packing list for the summit, I’m starting my summit adventure very late Saturday evening so I can get some photo time in on Sunday afternoon.  Because of that I need to make a reminder list of everything I need to take from the gadget side of things. No I have not listed clothes/bathroom needs that would be a separate list or just something easy enough to figure out.    Many of these things already reside in my laptop bag but I double check to make sure I have them.


o Phone
o Ipad
o Laptop
o Camera (little one) – I have more than one.
o Portable USB Drive
o Usb mouse(small travel one)
o Speakers (I like listening to music in the hotel)

Camera Gear (Probably won’t have all of this on your list) 

o Camera w/battery grip
o Camera Batteries X2
o 11-16mm lens
o 85mm lens
o 50mm lens
o 2 X sb600 (flash)
o 4 X 4 sets AA batteries (16 in total if saving weight buy these on site)
o Remote trigger release
o Lens cleaning cloth
o Bounce card
o 4 X Sd cards

Cables /Connectors/Chargers

o Phone charger
o Ipad charger
o 1 x ipad cable
o Extra phone battery
o 2 x usb micro
o 2 x usb mini
o Mac  cable for vga/hdmi connections

o Laptop power cable
o Surge protector
o Camera charger
o Car USB Charger (I’m planning some driving)
o Network cable(rarely need this anymore)
o Logitech Presenter( if presenting)
o Mouse Pad mat (doubles as a lens cleaning cloth)

Those are all the geeky tech things I need to get around for summit.  If I was doing larger photo shoots at the summit I would have more gear like light stands and soft boxes and so forth but I’m not this year so really I’ll be packing “light” in the camera world.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the summit in a few days!

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.