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.

Simple Merges KDiff3 at SQL in the City

One of the hassles of working in a development team is that you will have conflicts between your code and another developer’s. That’s fine, and it’s a natural effect of allowing each person to work on parts of a database independently.

However resolving conflicts can be a pain. Fortunately there are some nice utilities that can help make the process easier. 

If you want to see this live, come to SQL in the City 2015 in London or Seattle this October.

Here’s a quick example. I was simulating two developers, each with their own database, but linked to a common Git VCS repository. I went to commit a change and got this:

2015-08-19 16_36_42-New notification

SQL Source Control detects a conflict before committing the stored procedure on the left. As you can see, it has more fields in it, while the version in my VCS has a TOP clause. I can keep my version or update mine with what’s in VCS.

Or, if you look to the right, you can see I have the option to “Merge” code. If I click Merge, then I’ll open KDiff3, which is installed on my system. SQL Source Control has detected this and given me the chance to resolve the issue.


I get a message that there are 3 conflicts, and none of them could be resolved. If there are places where the code can be merged automatically, KDiff3 will do that.

Once I acknowledge this, I see my code. This looks like what I saw in SQL Source Control. My code is on the left, and the version from VCS is on the right. Below is the merged code, which has some placeholders where the code conflicts.

2015-08-19 16_37_28-Your file _-_ Their file - KDiff3

If I right click the first conflict, I get some choices. In this case, I’ll take the line from the left, which has no TOP clause.

2015-08-19 16_37_38-Cortana

This gets inserted into my code and I can move on to the second conflict. In this case, I’ll take the version on the right, which has nothing.

2015-08-19 16_37_58-Your file _-_ Their file - KDiff3

For the last conflict, I’ll also take the missing fields from the right.

2015-08-19 16_38_19-Your file _-_ Their file - KDiff3

If I now save and close KDiff3, I’ll get the merged code in SSMS and SQL Source Control.

2015-08-19 16_38_32-New notification

Not the “Keep mine” is selected. I’ll commit this, which will be the most up to date version in our VCS. Other developers can update their code with this version, and if they have conflicts, SQL Source Control and KDiff3 make them easy (ier) to resolve.

I’ll be showing you some basics of using a VCS with your database at SQL in the City 2015 this October. You can see this and more in London on October 16 or Seattle on October 26. If you can come to either event, register today and come pick up a few tips and tricks.

SQL in the City 2014 – Washington DC

I’m off today, traveling to SQL in the City 2014 – Washington DC to meet Grant and deliver another database delivery seminar. We’ll be talking about Version Control, testing, continuous integration, and database delivery, and showing off some of the Red Gate tools that can make the process easier.

I really think that you will reap benefits if you start to build a software delivery pipeline and incorporate some of the agile/ALM/DLM processes into your software build system. It’s some work up front, and maintenance ongoing, but it does allow you to regression test, rapidly review changes, and consistently deploy software to your production systems.

Not easy, but it does build solid engineering habits and should help you deliver software reliably, and quickly.

We’re looking at doing more seminars in 2015 and are planning things now. If you’re interested in having us some to your city, perhaps around a SQL Saturday, or maybe just because you don’t have any events, send a request to Red Gate. Use sqlinthecity@red-gate.com and let them know you want Grant and myself to swing by.

Off to London

Today I’m off across the Atlantic again. SQL in the City 2014 kicks off in London and I have 3 talks to give on Friday. Plus a keynote.

Today is keynote practice, last minute packing, and then off to the airport for my flight overnight to London. This will be another quick trip, and although I think it would be good to spend a few days in Cambridge at the Red Gate offices, I’m so focused on SQL in the City, as well as this being my third trip this month, I didn’t think it made sense. I still have a week in Seattle coming, so this has been a tough time.

I am a bit excited about the event. We have a new venue, and we’ve worked to fit a number of talks together in a sequence that I think can help get people moving forward in a Continuous Delivery software+database development process. I really think this is the way to build better software, and I want to see us jumpstart development on SSC in this manner in 2015, and hopefully get continuous work being done.

I’ve also got a new talk based on the DBA Team articles, and I hope everyone likes it. I tried for a bit of humor, so we’ll see. If it does well, I’ll do it in Seattle. If not, I’ll be reworking things next week.

Once again work blends into the weekend, though not by much. I’ll be heading back from the UK Saturday morning, so I’ll miss a half day in Denver, though it will be a long day in all for me. My flight will leave around 1am Denver time, so by the time we hit Saturday night, I’ll be a bit worn out.

Final Prep for SQL in the City

I can’t believe this will be the fourth SQL in the City in London next week. It’s amazing to me that we’ve managed to build this great series of one day events that is so popular with SQL Server professionals.

I’m heading back to London next week, a quick trip, but one I enjoy (once I’m there), as I get to see lots of old friends and meet new ones at the event. It’s always fun, and despite the long trip, it’s worth it.

However I still have lots of prep. A few days off  this week to spend with my kids (I’ve been gone too much lately), so I’ll be pressed to finish my talks this week, and then have lots of rehearsals next week before I fly (and probably more while flying).

If you’re in the UK and can get to London next Friday, we still have some space, and we’d love to talk to you about better database development, and administration, for your SQL Servers.

SQL in the City 2014 – Two countries in two weeks

I have had a fairly busy travel schedule the last few years. While I don’t love sitting on airplanes and being away from home, I do look forward to the events and seeing the amazing #SQLFamily and community we have for SQL Server. I’ve also learned a few tricks to make travel smoother, which reduces stress.

It’s a good thing since the SQL in the City 2014 event schedule is going to be short in duration, but long in miles. We have two days coming this fall: London and Seattle. We open in London on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 and then a little over a week later will be in Seattle on Mon, Nov 3, 2014. It’s a packed schedule that has me flying 6,000 miles to the UK before returning home and getting ready for a 1,300 mile trip up to the Pacific Northwest.

However I’m excited for both events. London draws a bit crowd, with a variety of SQL Server professionals that are excited to learn new ideas, tips, tricks, and tools to help them in their professional work. We’ll once again be near the center of town, at St Grange, just off the St Pauls and Blackfriars Underground stations.

Seattle is a great town, and while I’m sure I’ll see some Summit attendees, I look forward to meeting lots of local SQL Server data professionals that won’t attend the Summit. I hope that if you’re in the area, you come to our event. After all, how can your boss say "no" to a free day of training? Especially if you’re not attending the Summit later that week. We’ll be at McCaw Hall, near the Space Needle.

It’s a short tour this year, but an exciting one. We’ll also continue to expand our SQL in the City seminars to other cities in the future, and hope we get the chance to meet more of you as we look to support, educate, and participate in this amazing SQL Server community.

SQL in the City This Fall

We’ve got a couple of large SQL in the City events coming this fall.  I’m speaking at both, which I think means my boss is happy with my work for Red Gate Software. At least, that’s what I’ll tell myself.
In a little over a week I’ll be in both London and Seattle, delivering a variety of sessions on DBA and development topics. I start the day off with a session for the DBAs with Avoiding a DBA’s worst days with monitoring. This is based on The DBA Team’s 5 Worst Days in a DBA’s Life where we look at some of the situations you can avoid by keeping an eye on your environment. I then cover Version control and CI Fundamentals for databases, looking at how you can get your database code in a VCS and build a Continuous Integration (CI) process. I’ll also cover testing, using the free tSQLt framework to write some tests against your databases.
It’s a quick set of sessions for me, but I’ll be around all day to talk to you about your database delivery, deployment, development, or administration issues. Or just shake your hand if you’d like.
I fly to London for our event on Fri, Oct 24 and then will be in Seattle on Nov 3 for the second stop on the tour. A lot of travel for me, but I’m sure it’s an easier commute for most of you.  I hope you’ll join us and come learn a bit more about SQL Server than you might know today.