Back to SQL Saturday Washington DC

I’ve been to the SQL Saturday in Washington, DC a few times and I’m looking forward to going back. It’s a good event and since I have family in the area, I can usually take a day or two of vacation and visit.

This year the event is on Dec 5, 2015, and it’s SQL Saturday #470. Wow, we’re closing on #500, which is amazing.

I’ve got two talks I’m giving, both of which I really like. I’ve revamped them both a little, incorporating a few new items in there and I hope everyone enjoys them.

  • Branding Yourself for a Dream Job
  • Get Testing with tSQLt

The room I’m in will be the room for the day, with both myself and Brent Ozar giving two sessions around Wayne Sheffield talking T-SQL window functions. I know there are other great sessions, but feel free to camp out in this room.

If you’re in the area, come join us for a free day of training. The event is in Chevy Chase at the Microsoft building.

Webinar: Unit Testing with SQL Server and tSQLt

I ran into Sebastian Meine at the PASS Summit a few weeks ago and we were talking testing. Sebastian is the founder and developer of tSQLt, which I really like using. We’ve done some teaching together and I’ve delivered a number of sessions on tSQLt at various events, but we wanted to get more people interested in testing code.

I had a session at PASS, which was very well attended. 150+ people came, which was stunning to me. I was expecting to see 20, and afterwards Sebastian and I started talking about what else we could do.

We’ve decided to do a webinar, but one driven by you. We are looking for you to ask questions about code you’d like tested, or which you’re unsure of how to approach. Leave a comment here, or put your question in the webinar registration. The details are:

Unit Testing in SQL Server with tSQLt
Thurs, Nov 19, 2015 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

Join unit testing experts Steve Jones and Sebastian Meine for this exciting opportunity to learn about unit testing and the tSQLt framework to improve your T-SQL code quality and maintainability. If this day/time is not good for you, register anyway so you receive a link to the recording when it is available.

Looking Back at Summit 2015

Last week was the 2015 PASS Summit in Seattle. It’s the largest SQL Server specific gathering of data professionals in the world, and it’s an exciting week. If you work with SQL Server in the US and have the opportunity to attend, I’d recommend you go. If you’re in Europe, I prefer SQL Bits, but either of these events is exciting and inspiring.

The week began for me with SQL in the City 2015 – Seattle. As I work for Redgate I was tasked with presenting the event. The day started with my helping our CEO deliver the keynote. We’d done this a few weeks earlier in London, so we’d had some practice. I think the opening went well, and I enjoyed it.

Photo Oct 26, 4 46 43 PM

Immediately after I had a session on database version control. There were lots of great questions, so many that I ran a bit long. However it was good to see some great advocates of VCS in the audience as well as people interested in the topic.

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I also ran a panel on DevOps and smoother database development. I often don’t like panels, but this is a great topic, and with a number of consultants on stage, we had some good discussions. I would like to see more of these at events, especially with people that are building software successfully. They have great stories to tell.

The Monday night networking dinner went well. It was a bit crowded at the Yard House, but Andy and I spoke with the managers Tuesday and we have some different plans for next year. However we had over 150 people stop by, which is a great crowd.

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It’s always a pleasure catching up with friends who I rarely see in person. Especailly the great Pinal Dave, one of the few that’s been to the ranch.

Tuesday was a quiet day for me. I went to the SQL Saturday organizer meeting, seeing some changes coming to the SQL Saturday site as well as concerns and requests from organizers. With most of the people in Seattle at a pre-conference session on Tuesday, things were quiet. I also had some rehearsals for my testing talk to go over, so I spent the afternoon in my room going over demos.

I did take a break for #sqlyoga with Daniel de Sousa. I have come to enjoy yoga, and would like to see some organizations at other events. It’s just as enjoyable as a #sqlrun. It was the two of us and lots of young people in downtown Seattle, but a great break.

Speaking of which, Wednesday morning I met up with Allen White and a few others for a morning #sqlrun along the water. This has been a bit of a tradition for many people, and we had a good group of 20 or so jogging along.

The rest of Wednesday was a few lightning talks at the Redgate booth and a couple live practice sessions of my talk in my hotel room. Not very exciting, but this was the end of a stressful month with lots of travel.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday night have evening events at the convention center. Tuesday is the opening reception, with lots of people milling around a large room with some appetizers and drinks. Wednesday is in the expo hall, with dinner and drinks and the chance for vendors to meet attendees. It was a large crowd both nights, with the chance to see lots of friends in the SQL community and meet new people.

Thursday had me watching Dr. Dewitt and Dr. Nehme’s keynote on my laptop while I did a little other work. I have to say that the live keynote was probably better, but this was an interesting topic on IoT. You can rewatch it if you missed it. Then I went to a DocumentDB session, supposed to show case studies of who’s using the technology. We heard a little of that, but not much technical detail, and the session went sideways with lots of antagonistic, almost angry, questions from the attendees. I really wish SQL Server people wouldn’t be so upset about NoSQL technologies. They work in places, so let’s discuss where things work well.

Lunch had me in the expo hall for a bit before taking our Argenis Without Borders 2.0 picture. We raised $25k for Doctors Without Borders, which is amazing. Thanks to everyone that participated.

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My session on testing T-SQL code went well. Lots of questions, lots of people. I walked in a few minutes before my start time to find 150 or so people in the room, which was amazing. I thought I’d get 15 people to talk testing, and I’m glad so many people are interested in the topic. Hopefully I inspired a few people to start testing code.

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That was really the end of the event for me. I had missed most of lunch, so I went for a short snack before the Friends of Redgate dinner. A late night hour with the Varigence Biml crowd before getting to bed. Then I was off Friday for home, capping off 18 days of travel for the month.

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This was a quiet conference for me. With pressures to deliver a good presentation for the first time, I spent more time than I expected getting prepared. However it was great to see so many friends and fellow #sqlfamily people at the event, and I enjoyed the conversations and pictures on Twitter throughout.

I missed being there Friday, hearing about everything online, but I was also worn out from the month. My apologies if you wanted to say hi and couldn’t find me. Thanks if you took a few minutes to chat with me.

The event comes back to Seattle next year, and hopefully I’ll spend more time at the event.

A Great SQL in the City 2015 Seattle

Yesterday was the Seattle edition of the 2015 Redgate Software SQL in the City tour. I was in London a couple weeks ago for the first event, and we closed out the year in Seattle on Monday.

I had some, fun, as you can see here.


Slava Murygin has a bunch more pictures on his blog. Check them out and you can see how much everyone enjoyed the event.

The day started early for me, and with rehearsals early and the need to iron a shirt, I didn’t get a chance to work out in the am. That was disappointing. It still was a 10k step day, but I’m looking forward to yoga or running today. We arrived and practiced, working through the demos and talks with our CEO, Simon, and  Alastair, a developer working on Visual Studio stuff. We felt a little less polished than in London, and I think we were all more nervous this time.

The keynote seemed to go OK. We missed a few lines and I was hoping it wasn’t too cheesy showcasing tools, but people seemed to enjoy it.

My Version Control talk started slow, and I was a bit worried about time, but ended up going long with some questions and had to skip some of the branching stuff. I need to write more and get some things up on this blog since I didn’t cover the topic well enough. I have to apologize to Brian Randall for running long. I gave him about 3 minutes to setup before his session.

The rest of the day was chatting with people before the panel at the end. I think the panel is one of the more interesting sessions, with us debating and chatting about building software and we got lots of questions. There were 4 or 5 more hands in the air when I had to cut things off. I’d really like to see us do two panels a day, with only 3 people and the chance for more questions from attendees that are struggling with issues.

I had to rush out of the event for the networking dinner with Andy Warren, but it was an enjoyable day and one I hope we repeat in 2016.

SQL in the City Comes to Seattle in 3 Days

Last week I spoke at SQL in the City 2015 in London, and it was a great event. We had a wonderful event, and I’m looking forward to Seattle. Lots of good questions and comments in my version control talk, good feedback on the keynote, which I really enjoyed. I thought our end of day panel was outstanding, and I wish we had 2 hours for that as the questions were amazing.

I’m looking forward to a duplication of SQL in the City in Seattle on Monday, just a few days away. We’re going to be at the Hyatt in downtown Seattle, and we’d love to have you come. You can register and join us, but please don’t register unless you can come.

There are also a few workshops in Seattle on Tuesday, so if you want hands on practice, come sign up for on of these.

Traveling in Wales

It’s SQL Relay Cardiff day today. This is my first time in Wales, and it’s a busy day at SQL Relay. It’s a bit of deja vu with me delivering the same session on Version Control today that I presented 18 ours ago at SQL Relay Bristol.

It’s interesting being on part of the SQL Relay tour, with some of the same speakers, some different, the rapid travel from one city to the next, and orienting myself in a new environment. The venues are much different, with a set of hotel conference rooms yesterday and a large arena facility (the Motorpoint Arena) today.  It’s surprisingly confusing trying to find toilets, speaker rooms, and more.

However the people are nice, and friendly, although quiet. I got lots of good questions both days, on a semi-confusing topic, and that will help me revisit the session and make some changes over the next few days.

I get to help on a second session today as we have a speaker that’s ill. Then it’s some work as I prep for travel back to London and SQL in the City in London on Friday.


A Long Trip Ahead

This is my last day at home for a long time. At least long by my standards. I head to the airport tomorrow for a ten day trip, not returning to CO until Saturday, Oct 17. I rarely travel more than 4 or 5 days at the most, so this is one of my longer ones.

My first stop is Orlando. I’m heading over to help teach a DLM workshop for Redgate Software on Friday. This is our Database Source Control workshop that covers some in depth work with SQL Source Control and version control systems. I’ve done a few of these, so this should be easy for me.

Saturday is SQL Saturday #442 in Orlando. I haven’t been to a SQL Saturday in Orlando in a long time, so I’m excited to get back to the place where these all started. I’ve got one talk on Saturday, talking Encryption, around which I’ll be hanging out with friends and trying to learn a few SQL things along the way.

Sunday I travel, though at a relaxed pace. I’ll spend the day making my way to Houston before an overnight flight to London on the Dreamliner. It’s a leisurely day, where I’ll probably spend time catching up on Python work because Monday is crazy.

Monday is a day I dread a bit. I land in London and immediately drive to Cambridge for a few meetings. I’ve got some SQL in the City rehearsals planned before I turn around and head back to London to catch the fun bus to Bristol for SQL Relay. If you map this out, it seems silly, but that’s what I got myself talked into somehow.

Tuesday is SQL Relay in Bristol. I’ll be previewing my talk for SQL in the City, so I’ll apologize in advance if things aren’t 100% set. However after a day at the conference, I’ll be heading over to Cardiff where I’ll get dinner and try to fix all the things I did wrong during the talk.

Wednesday is SQL Relay Cardiff.  A repeat of Tuesday in a new city. I’m not sure if everything is the same, but I’ll be (hopefully) delivering a better talk on Wednesday. Wednesday night Grant and I aren’t doing anything, so it’s a few hours to unwind.

Thursday morning we make our way back to London. Hopefully we manage the train system fine because we have lunchtime and afternoon meetings with people coming down from Redgate during the day. This is the final SQL in the City prep time, as well as a few other in person events, including seeing my boss for only the 3rd time this year.

Friday is SQL in the City 2015 London. Redgate puts on a great event, and I’m looking forward to another exciting day. Three times on stage for me, so I’m sure when things wrap up around 5 I’ll be quite tired. However no rest, I head to Heathrow for a night in my 5th hotel on this trip.

10 days. Orlando, Cambridge, Bristol, Cardiff, London.

I have the feeling I won’t be doing much on Saturday night or Sunday when I return.

SQL Saturday #403–Louisville

This weekend I’ll be attending SQL Saturday #403 in Louisville, KY. If you’re in the area, think about taking a few hours out of your Saturday and coming to learn some SQL Server stuff. There’s a great schedule, with 6 tracks and 6 sessions per track.

That’s 36 opportunities to improve your skills and career!

I’ll be delivering two sessions during the event. I have my Branding Yourself for a Dream Job first thing in the morning at 8am. I know it’s early, but I like to give you some ideas for networking and planning your career for the rest of the day.

My second session is Continuous Integration for Databases at 10:30. I’ll give you a taste of how to improve your software development process by using version control and a build server to verify and test your database code.

There are some great afternoon sessions, but I likely won’t be there as I have family in town and want to spent a few hours with them. However come grab me in the morning and say “hi”. I really enjoy meeting the SQL Server community and look forward to another great SQL Saturday in Louisville.

Window Functions at IT/DevConnections

I’m honored to have been chosen to present again at the IT/DevConnections conference this September in Las Vegas. It’s being held once again at Aria, which so far has been the only conference center I’ve seen that handled the bandwidth needs of a tech conference.

I’ve got a few sessions, but one is on windowing queries in SQL Server. It’s an intermediate T-SQL session, looking to get you started in using Window functions in your code. It’s good if you’ve never used them, and I expect I’ll get some developers at this session, perhaps more than DBAs.

If you’re looking for advanced usage, this is the wrong place. I’m not covering complex scenarios. I’m just trying to get you started.

If you can get your boss to invest in your career, this is a good conference to attend, especially if you wear multiple hats or are responsible for multiple roles. You can get the chance to see an amazing set of sessions from some of the best people working in technology. You can learn about SQL Server, Visual Studio, SharePoint, ASP.NET, C#, Powershell, Azure, Windows Server, and more.

The event is in Las Vegas, which is always fun for me. I don’t gamble, but I can take a night and see a show, which is always fun. If you want to come out for a few days, Hoover Dam is nearby, some great hiking outside of town, and of course, lots of music at various venues.

It will be a good time, and I hope to see some of you there.

Connecting, Saving, Discarding, Branching, and Merging in the Big Apple

We’ve got another DLM workshop on Database Source Control taking place in New York City on August 27. It’s in Manhattan, at the Microsoft office all day, with lots of hands on labs to help you learn a number of skills:

  • connecting your database to a VCS with SQL Source Control.
  • discarding changes and recovering an older version of your code from a VCS.
  • branching your database code
  • merging changes from branches together.
  • using migration scripts for custom code changes and preserving these in your VCS.
  • and more

Register today, and spend a day with Ike Ellis and myself  learning about database version control. The class is only $100 for a limited time, so make plans to join us.

You’ll need to bring a laptop, but we’ll provide a VM ready for you to practice the skills on, and we’ll provide the food and refreshments for the day.

Using a Version Control System is essential for application developers, and it should be for database developers as well. Learn how you can start to ensure your database code is protected and versioned, just like all your other code.