Public Speaking – The Small Things


Rough Road Ahead!

Public Speaking is hard and is sometimes a rough road to go down.

There isn’t any other way to put it.  It takes work and won’t always go smoothly.  Not only do you have to generate a topic that you think will be interesting to attendees, but you also have to put a presentation together, practice it, fine tune it and then finally deliver it.

Keeping in mind that what can go wrong will go wrong, helps. As you stand to deliver your presentation, you realize that you’ve forgotten something. Perhaps you suddenly have the worst case of cotton mouth possible.  Or quite possibly, you will hear your stomach rumbling and maybe, just maybe, that burrito you ate for lunch will remind you that it wasn’t that good of an idea. Things like these are bound to happen.

Take it from someone who speaks, I can say that we’ve all been there.  From my experience over the past couple of years, I’ve put together a list of things that I carry with me to ensure that I avoid those rough roads.  Yes, things out of your control will happen.  Demo gods will raise their fists and smash your demo’s to pieces.  The bulb in the projector will suddenly reach the end of its life just as you start your presentation.  Sometimes you just can’t help those situations, even with the best of preparations.  So know this, especially if you are just starting out as a speaker,

1.  Things will happen that you cannot control.  

2.  You cannot fix rule #1.

However, it isn’t the end of the world.  Don’t fret over the bumps during your presentation. Learn from the experience, adjust accordingly and keep on speaking.  

Good?  Good!!

Now let’s have the list!


  1. theKeningtonClicker

    The Kensington. Clicker Among Clickers

    Presentation Clicker.  Get a good presentation clicker. You can spend a lot of money on one, but I recommend a mid-tier model since it will most likely do what you’ll need and not cost a bundle.  Some clickers are more fancy and have built in ways to keep your presentations on time but those options a matter of preference which I do not see a need for. Having a clicker allows you to have freedom to walk around during your presentation and not be tied to your laptop

  2. Spare batteries.  I always have a set of spare batteries for my gadgets,  Usually a 4-pack of AA and a 4-pack of AAA’s.  I have gadgets that use both so keeping both on hand is important to me.  Take a look at your arsenal of tech and see what you may or may not need batteries for.
  3. Backups.  Get a USB thumb drive and backup your slide deck, demo’s and any virtual machines that you might need.  I also back up my slides & demos to Dropbox as a secondary back up. Any type of cloud provider would also work for this.  In the event your laptop goes south for the winter (it will happen at some point), with a good backup in place you can work around it.
  4. Secondary Presentation Device.  If you have an Apple iPad or Microsoft Surface or a secondary laptop, configure it at the very least be a presentation device.  Personally, I have an iPad and can use it to present the slide deck if need be. I am told on a Surface, SQL server can be installed for demos but I’ve never done it. When you have laptop issues you can save the day by presenting from the secondary device, so make sure you have one available.
  5. VGA/Display adapters.  Carry your own.  Plain and simple.  Don’t assume that every place will have the proper adapters for your model laptop/device to connect to the projector.  This also goes for your backup device.  I’ve found that having just a VGA adapter is a safe bet, as that’s still fairly standard.  You can also get HDMI adapters, however I’ve yet to run into a projector that won’t take a VGA connection. I carry a VGA adapter for both my laptop and my iPad so that both of my devices will be usable.
  6. Travel mouse.  I have a smaller travel mouse that I use for presentations Having a mouse with me ensures I don’t have use the track pad if I don’t want to.  I find the mouse allows me to have a smoother experience while doing demos so I prefer it over the track pad.  This is my personal preference so you can adjust as needed.
  7. Watch.  If you are someone who doesn’t regularly wear a watch, I suggest you get some type of time keeping device that you can place on the desk and can see from a distance. Usually, I try to visit the room where I’ll be speaking prior to my session so that I can get a feel for the lay of the land.  This is also a good time to check to see if there is a clock within the room and make note of its location. Remember in your preparation make sure that you practice using the watch so that you know the timings of your presentation.
  8. Notes/Feedback.   Determine a good way (for you) to take notes during your presentation when needed.  As people ask you questions you’ll find things that you’ll potentially need to research and want to jot down to get back to them on.  Having a quick way to write down a note or question to remind yourself is handy.  Some presenters will use the note section of the slide deck when in Presenter mode while others will use a simple pad of paper & pen.

Personal Items

  1. Water.   Make sure you have bottled water with you.  Large amounts of talking dries my mouth out and having cotton mouth while presenting is not fun.  I usually carry at least 1 if not 2 bottles of water with me when I present.  Keep in mind, however, I do monitor my liquid consumption leading up to the my session so that I don’t have a sudden need to use the facilities in the middle of my session
  2. Hard candy/cough drops.  Some speakers would frown on this, but if your throat starts to dry out, you can use a hard candy or cough drops to help with that.  Sometimes water just isn’t enough. I have found that when traveling to locations where the elevation differs greatly from my normal surroundings, my throat tends to be more sensitive to those conditions.
  3. Hand sanitizer.  Pretty simple, keep the germs away.  Most attendees are polite and some will want to shake your hand and tell you “Thank You”.  This just helps to keep colds at bay.
  4. Pain Reliever.  Aspirin/Motrin/Advil/Ibproferin/etc, whatever your choice is.  Keep a small bottle with you so that you can take some if you feel a headache or something else coming on.
  5. Pepto Bismol/Tums.
    1. When I travel to another location, I love to try the local cuisine and sometimes that’s a bad decision for me.  Food can sometimes sneak up on you and if you don’t have anything to help counteract that, you could be in trouble.   Personally, I recommend the chewable versions of Pepto Bismol as it’s easy to carry through the airports.


Now that you have the list, how do you keep it organized? I’ve tried a couple of different ways to organize things within my back pack, however I’ve found using two separate cases works best for me.  Of course, your mileage may vary and you might have to try a couple of variations until you find one that works for you.

File Feb 18, 18 07 37

The one case on the left is used for most of my tech.  It holds my VGA cables, charging cables, batteries of various sorts, power adapters, my MiFi along with various odds & ends.

I bought the case from Amazon for less than $20.  So far it has served me well and fits nicely in my back pack.

personalStorageThe case on the right is what I use to keep those personal items organized.  Before traveling, I make a stop at the local Target and visit their travel section.  You can get all of the personal items listed above (except the water) in travel sizes This allows them to fit nicely within the case.

Once I have my supplies, I will usually place the case somewhere in my back pack that is easily accessible.  There are times when traveling that some of these items can come in useful and I want to be able to get them easily.

Will this solve everything?

Nope. It might not even come close.  Then again, something on this list just might help to give you a detour around that rough road and you’ll give the best presentation ever because you planned ahead.  When you set forth to put do a public presentation, don’t forget to think about the small things.  Hopefully my list will help you get started!

Do you already have a list and have something that I don’t have on mine?  I’d like to know!


Posted in General Conversations, Presenting | Tagged , | 2 Comments

SQL Saturday 358 – Albuquerque


I’m once again honored to be selected to speak at SQL Saturday 358 – Albuquerque, New Mexico.  This will be my second time actually speaking there and last year was simply epic for me.  The event was simply fantastic and I’m really looking forward to returning to the beautiful New Mexico landscape.

If you have nothing better to do on Saturday, February 7th 2015, come on out and get your learn on.  The schedule for this event is quite impressive and there will be a TON of things to learn.  Come, join us and learn something.

Oh yeah, I’m speaking!

Social Networking Is Alive!

SocialMediaIsAlive!Social media is every where these days and if you’re not on the train, you could be missing out.  This session is about how you can use social media to improve not only your professional life, but your personal one as well.  This session isn’t geared to specifically geeks (totally non-technical), but to anybody who wishes to improve their online presence through the use of social networking.  It’s a fun session and I hope that the attendee’s enjoy it!!

HINT: I will show you how to get free SQL Server help from one of the popular social networks.  How would you like to tell your management that you solved a real world enterprise level issue with the help of social media?  For free?

Yes, that has actually happened.

You might even see reference to a popular YouTube video.

Free Training

Can you really pass up on free training?  Ok, even with lunch it’s only $10!  So if you’re still on the fence on attending, get off the fence, register, come on out and learn something.  Meet some new people.  Grab some swag and a fantastic lunch.  I promise you that the speakers won’t bite.  Register now!!

Get your learn on!  Expand your horizons and break out of the ordinary.  You know you want to.

Why are you still here?  Go.  Register.  Do it now! See you in Albuquerque!!


Posted in General Conversations, Presenting, SQL Saturday | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Friend of Red-Gate 2015

forg-logoIt seems that 2015 is going to be the year of new adventures for me.  Not only have I moved myself and my family ~700 miles from Nebraska to Kentucky for a new career opportunity, I also just recently joined the Friend of Red-Gate 2015 program.  I’m really honored to join the program and look forward to see what it offers!

For those that might not know, Red-Gate makes some super slick SQL Server (along with other platform specific) tools that I’ve used throughout my career.  They have a program, Friend of Red-Gate, that is aimed at active community members (in various realms) who would like to be on the inside track as they work on new products.  I know several people at the company and they are all truly top notch.  I can’t recommend them enough.

If you want to know more about the program, you can go here to find out.  If you haven’t tried any of their tools yet, I highly recommend that you do!!


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Bucket List – Achievement Unlocked!

First, a little back story.

The annual PASS Summit is truly a magical place for me and I look forward to going every year. It’s the one conference that I’ve told management that I would want to go to annually simply because of the networking & training that happens during that week. bucketListAt this year’s Summit, I got into a conversation around bucket lists, both personal and professional. Over the past couple of months (even prior to the Summit) I had been considering such a list but I didn’t really have any meat to it.  I don’t have an actual “on paper” bucket list but I’ve started to mentally keep track of things.  I even found a free website that will help you keep track of your bucket list,

One thing on my list is to “live outside my comfort zone” more.  Now, I realize that is a really broad item to have but hey, it’s my list.  Basically, I want to experience life more and if that means putting myself out there more to do so, then so be it.


Over the years, I’ve determine that I like to be rooted in my community.  Growing up as a military brat (a title I wear with honor & pride), we moved around a lot so I never felt “rooted” so to speak.  When my Dad retired from the Air Force, I told myself that I’d like to find a spot to call home, grow some roots and not really move.  That was in 1990 and I’m still in the same town we moved to from Texas.  I moved around for college and various other life events, but for the most part I’ve stayed in the same general area.  After 24 years living in Nebraska, one can grow quite a set of roots.  These roots then morph into a very large comfort zone.

Bucket List Achievement – Picking Up Roots

FCMAlogoWith that in mind, I’m very happy to announce that I’ve accepted a Database Architect position with Farm Credit Mid-America in Louisville, KY.

That’s right. You read that correctly. My family and I are leaving the good life of Nebraska for beautiful Kentucky.

I’ll wait while you pick your jaw up off of the floor.

Got it picked up?  Great!

Yes, you read that correctly.  My official start date is January 5th, 2015.  Nothing like starting the new year with a new adventure!

Needless to say, this puts me WAY outside my comfort zone.  My family and I will be uprooting and moving several states away from a very large circle of family and close friends.  Some family will be left behind (aunts & uncles, cousins & numerous close friends that are family) but I’ll be closer to other family (my dad & in-laws) and I hope to make new friends!

My wife and I have already found a townhouse to live in while we attempt to sell our house in Nebraska. The real beauty for me? It’s about 2 miles from the new office. My daily commute will go from 60 miles round trip to about 4 (give or take).   I estimate that I’ll recover about 45 minutes a day just in drive time alone!

Another piece of good news is that I’m moving to a company where I know my new manager, Mike and the CIO, Dan.  I’ve worked with them both at Farm Credit Services of America in Omaha, Nebraska and I am looking forward to the challenges that they already have lined up for me.

2014-11-23 08.51.11

This is me accepting the new position..

This new opportunity is an exciting one and one that I’m looking forward to. I think that this will be great opportunity for my family as well as myself to live outside our comfort zone and not be afraid to try new adventures! Make no mistake, leaving will be very bittersweet and it’ll be tough to say good-bye to 24+ years in Nebraska, but it’s time.

I’m very thankful for the opportunity that Farm Credit Mid-America has offered me.  I’m also very thankful for the culture and experience that Farm Credit Services of America has given to me over the past years.  They have been an excellent company to work for.  If you happen to be looking for a position in the Omaha, Nebraska area, I would definitely recommend them.


If you don’t have a bucket list of your own, I challenge you to put a list together and work toward crossing things off.  Keep in mind, your list is just that, yours. You can put anything you want on the list. Start it. Put things on it. Own it. Work towards crossing things off. Who knows, maybe our paths will cross one day while crossing things off.

We only have a short time on this world and everybody should live it to the fullest. I know I’m going to try to moving forward. I hope that you do to.

See you in Louisville!

Posted in Personal, Philosophical | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Achievement Unlocked!

3 years ago in October 2011, I was attending my first PASS Summit in Seattle, Washington. It was a fantastic experience and I knew that I was hooked on the #sqlfamily.


One just wait and see.

Shortly after the Summit, I put out a blog post about a goal that I  wanted to shoot for.  Call it an early New Years Resolution if you will. The goal was simple.  When checking in at the event, I would check in either as a Speaker, Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), or a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP).  I was fairly certain that I wouldn’t be in the MCM/MVP camp, but being a speaker was definitely something that I could control.  I wasn’t sure when that would happen, but I  knew that one day, I’d be in that line.

PASS Summit 2014


Achievement Unlocked!!

Fast forward 3 years to November 2014.  I’m very happy to say that I’ve achieved that goal.  Yesterday morning, I was able to check in for my 4th SQL PASS Summit as a Speaker.

My great friend Chris Shaw (b|t) and I were able to deliver a full day pre-con session, Real World End to End Performance Solutions to about 43 attendees.  We had great interaction from the audience and I think that the session went really well.

It has be an absolute epic journey getting here and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ll be setting some other goals and will be blogging about it in the near future.

If you are attending the PASS Summit and get hooked like I did, do not be afraid to set  goals and strive towards them.  You never know, maybe we’ll see you in the Speaker line next year!

Enjoy the Summit!

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Compatibility Level vs Database Version

I recently had a colleague, Billy Bob,  stop by my desk and with a question about the compatibility level of a database.  Essentially, he was interested in upgrading a database’s compatibility level but at the same time have the ability to down grade it if issues were found.  Billy Bob had a concern that if we had to downgrade, this action would impact the database internal structure or version.

I know that this is an old topic since I found a post from 5 years ago by Jonathan Kehayias (B|T) that talks about the exact same thing, but I think that it’s worth repeating. Paul Randal (B|T) also has one here.

Compatibility Level

The compatibility level of a database dictates how certain language elements of the database function as it relates to an earlier version of SQL Server.  In a nutshell, this offers up partial “backward compatibility” to an earlier version.  This functionality isn’t all encompassing as only certain aspects (i.e. certain syntax) of the database would pertain to this setting.  For more details as to what is or isn’t affected, check out Books Online.

We know from various online sources that these are the following compatibility levels:

SQL Server 6.0 – 60
SQL Server 6.5 – 65
SQL Server 7.0 – 70
SQL Server 2000 – 80
SQL Server 2005 – 90
SQL Server 2008 – 100
SQL Server 2012 – 110
SQL Server 2014 – 120

It’s also worth noting that the compatibility level is only available for 3 previous (including the one that you are on) versions from the current version of SQL Server that you are working with.  Here is a listing of the available compatibility levels:

Compatibility Levels
Version Current Compatibility Level Oldest Available Level
SQL 2014 120 100
SQL 2012 110 90
SQL 2008 100 80
SQL 2005 90 70
SQL 2000 80 70
*NOTE: I do not list anything prior to SQL Server 2000 as I don’t have a way to validate what (if any) compatibility levels are available.  Also note that SQL Server 2008 R2 while a newer version still maintains the same compatibility levels as SQL Server 2008.

You can see what compatibility level a database is at by using the UI or via code.

Via UI:

  1. Right click the database
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Go to the Options tab

The following dialog window will show the compatibility for that particular database.  In the example below, you can see that the compatibility mode for the database DBVault is currently 2012 or 110.






Via Code:

For SQL 2005 & newer:

SELECT name, compatibility_level from sys.databases WHERE name = 'DatabaseNameHere'

For SQL 2000:

SELECT name, cmptlevel from sysdatabases WHERE name = 'DatabaseNameHere'

If you want to see the compatibility for all databases of the instance, just leave off the WHERE clause.

Database Version

The database version is an internal versioning system that defines what version of SQL Server the database was a recent resident of.  If you migrate a database from an older version to a newer version, the database version value will be increased to reflect the version number of the new server’s model database.  The database version does not equal the compatibility level and should be considered as a completely different attribute of the database.

When you create a database, the database version is “stamped” with the same version as the Model database.  It’s worth noting that if the Model database was originally created on a different server edition and then subsequently upgraded, you potentially could end up with slightly different numbers than what you might expect.  As you upgrade the database to new SQL Server edition (you can’t go backward) the version of the database increases. This is done automatically regardless of what method you use to upgrade the database to the new version of SQL Server.

Here are some database versions numbers for each version of SQL Server:

Database Version Levels
SQL Server Version Database Version
SQL 2014 782
SQL 2012 706
SQL 2008 R2 661
SQL 2008 655
SQL 2005 611
SQL 2000 539

I did find this article that has a more complete listing of database version values.

It is worth noting that service pack releases will most likely increase the database version of all the attached databases.  There are a couple of ways to determine what database version a database is currently at. There is not, however, any way to do this through a UI that I’m aware of.  Here are 3 ways in code that I know how to get this information.

-- using DBCC PAGE to look at the boot page (9) of the database
DBCC PAGE('DatabaseName',1,9,3)

-- useing database property
SELECT DatabaseProperty('DatabaseNameHere','version')

You’ll note that for each DBCC command we have to turn on trace flag 3604 so that the output of the DBCC command is sent to the SSMS window rather than the default location, the SQL Server log.

Ironically, if you are still on SQL 2000, you can see this information with a simple query:

-- useing database property
SELECT name, version from master.dbo.sysdatabases

If you use the DBINFO/PAGE option, you will need to look for the hi-lighted values in the output:



In the above example, you can see that I’m looking at the AdventureWorks database, the database version is currently set at ‘706’ and it was created with version ‘705’.  This tells me that the database was initially created on a SQL Server 2012 instance (possibly a CTP version) and then subsequently upgraded when restored to my test SQL Server 2012 SP2 instance.

Bringing It All Together

Now that we understand the difference between the compatibility level and the database version, let’s bring it all back to our initial story.   If I recall correctly, the database in question started off as a SQL Server 2000 database which is a compatibility of ’80’ and an internal version of ‘539’.   As mentioned, through the course of the years we have been able to upgrade it to SQL Server 2008 and currently in the process of getting it moved to SQL Server 2012.

Since we know that the database was migrated to SQL Server 2008, the database version was increased to match the model database of that instance, so it was “stamped” with ‘655’.  The problem is that while the database version was increased, the compatibility mode was never upgraded (it slipped through the cracks as a migration step) to reflect SQL Server 2008 and remained at the SQL 2000 level of ’80’.

Since we also know that the database version is related to the version of SQL Server the database is sitting on, we know that we can adjust the compatibility level accordingly without affecting the database version.   Thankfully we have a good testing environment and were able to easily adjust the compatibility level to reflect SQL 2008 level of 100 and verify that nothing was impacted.  Once testing was complete, we made the change in production knowing that we were not going to affect any subsequent applications.

Did I mention that we tested?  Even with this change, you will want to test your applications to ensure that all of your code continues to work as you expected.

As a side note, we now have steps and/or scripts in place, so that when a database migration occurs upgrading the compatibility level to a higher level is accomplished.


Posted in Internals | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

I think that speaking engagement comes in waves, just like everything else.  Over the course of the summer I’ve had very little speaking opportunities and now within the span of a couple of months I’ll be speaking on a number of occasions.

As one who is addicted to teaching & speaking in general, this is a good thing!

Here are some upcoming speaking engagements!    Also, if you would like for me to do a presentation, either remote or onsite, please feel free to reach out to me! I’d love to present to your organization!

August 2014

pass_logoOn Thursday August 28th, 2014 I’ll be doing a remote presentation labeled “Only You Can Prevent Database Fires!“.  This presentation hi-lights some of the things that we as DBA’s we can do to prevent database fires.  A little fire prevention and/or awareness will go a long way, even in the technology world.

September 2014

24HOPOn Tuesday September 9, 2014 at 7PM CST, my good friend Chris Shaw (B|T) and I will be presenting during the next segment of 24 Hours of PASS (24HOP).  This segment will hi-light some of the sessions and speakers that will be presenting at the annual PASS Summit in November.  Chris and I will be going head to head during our session “Real World SQL 2014 Migration Path Decisions“.  The 24HOP offers 24 hours of free training so it’s a great (and cheap!) way to get training!

sqlsat300_webI’ll be heading down to Kansas City, Missouri for the 300th SQL Saturday that is being held on Saturday September 13, 2014.  I’m always honored to have been selected to speak, especially as this marks the 300th SQL Saturday.  I’ll be speaking about Social Network and how it can improve your life!  Much like the 24HOP event, SQL Saturday’s is another great way to get free training.  If you can make it, I highly recommend these events.

November 2014

PASS Summit 2014 Banner_200x200

To round out the fall, my good friend Chris Shaw and I will be doing a pre-con at the annual SQL PASS Summit 2014.  This event will be held in Seattle, Washington and it’s another event that I highly recommend.   Like the 24HOP session, Chris and I will be going head to head discussion “Real World End to End Performance Solutions“.  While these events (the Summit & Precons) are not free, they are worth the investment.  See you in Seattle!

It’s going to be a busy schedule this fall but I’m really looking forward to it!


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Argenis Without Borders

You never know what might come out of a twitter conversation these days.  Several weeks ago, I was involved in a twitter conversation with Argenis Fernadez and Kirsten Benzel. During this conversation, Kirsten brought up the notion of purchasing a unicorn hoodie, bringing it to the 2014 SQL PASS Summit later this year and getting Argenis to wear it.

argenis_hoodie_3I mentioned that we could probably raise money for a charity if we could get Argenis to agree to some terms.  Of course, being the awesome guy that he is, he quickly agreed.

Just like that a challenge is born!  If we raise $5,000 for Doctors Without Borders, our very own Argenis will wear the magical hoodie during one of this sessions at the Summit.

Update: To donate, please click on the link above or you can use the image located on the right hand menu labeled “Make a Donation”.  Either location will take you to the right spot!

Of course that’s not the end of the story.  It gets better.  Our original goal was $5,000, thinking that it would be completely awesome if we could raise that much by November.  We hit that mark in less than a month.  So we upped the goal and the anty.  Now we’re talking about “rainbow fluffies” and tattoos in additional to the unicorn hoodie.

Did I mention that Kirsten got others to take on the challenge as well?  You got it!

$10,000 In Donations

If we hit this level, Steve Jones (B|T), Grant Fritchey (B|T), Brent Ozar (B|T), and Adam Machanic (B|T) will wear these fantastic Rainbow Fluffies at some point in time during the SQL PASS Summit.  In addition to the fluffies, Kirsten will run the #SQLLongRun while wearing the aforementioned unicorn hoodie.

Here’s what Grant has said about it:

See what Brent wrote:

$25,000 in Donations

If we hit this level Gareth Swanepoel (B|T), Jason Strate (B|T), Ed Watson (B|T), and Kirsten Benzel (B|T) will get SQL Server tattoos! Yes, you read that right.  TATTOOS!

At the time of this writing, we are currently at $6,802 (68%) of our $10,000 goal so more donations would be appreciated!  Remember that Doctors Without Borders is a 100% tax-exempt so your donation is tax deductible!


Can you feel the awesomeness?

So donate!!  Come see our good friend Argenis wear this fantastic hoodie in the name of charity!!

For those that have already donated, we can’t thank you enough for your generosity.  Doctors Without Borders is a great cause and we really appreciate your help!

Did I mention that the hoodie has a rainbow tail and wings?

See you at the 2014 SQL PASS Summit!!

Posted in Community, PASS, Summit | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Don’t Miss Your Vote!

PASS Summit 2014 Banner_200x200On July 2, 1776 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress cast a historic unanimous vote to adopt a resolution declaring our nation’s independence from British rule.  On July 4th, 1776 the final wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved and sent to the printer.

Keeping this historic event in mind,  if you are attending the 2014 SQL PASS Summit later this year in Seattle, Washington you could be missing out on performing one of your civic duties; one that was made possible with the actions of the Continental Congress in 1776.  The right to vote.

All across the United States a general election is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 4th, 2014.  Given that the PASS Summit 2014 starts on that day, and if you are like myself and do not live in Seattle, you could potentially miss out on getting your voice heard in this years election.  Even if you do live in Seattle, the ability to vote and part take in the all of the Summit’s glory might prove to be difficult.

You do have an option though, and that’s through the use of an absentee ballot.  You should be able to contact the Secretary of State department for the state that you reside to find out what the process is.


There are usually deadlines for requesting & submitting an absentee ballot so please make sure that you confirm the dates and mark them on your calendar.  I usually set two reminders in my to-do list, 1) when I need to obtain the ballot by and 2) when I need to submit it by.

While I am a huge proponent of the PASS Summit and the SQL Community in general, please do not miss the opportunity to have your voice heard because of it.  Using an absentee ballot will give you piece of mind that while attending the first day of the 2014 Summit, your voice will be heard.

Vote.  Make a difference.

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PASS Summit 2014 – All Day Pre-Con

sqlsat271_web It all started at SQL Saturday #271 in beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico.  My good friend Chris Shaw and I were sitting outside the event catching up on things as we usually do. Our topic of discussion turned to one of presenting and comparing notes of our most recent speaking engagements.  After a few minutes of chatting, we both realized that relating the topic of choice to real world examples was turning out to be a great way to further ingrain the technology to the attendees.  What better way to learn about things than to speak about real world scenarios?

As our ramblings continued, we stumbled on the notion that having two data professionals, both with a wide range of skills and backgrounds, present in a “rumble” type of fashion could potentially be a fun and entertaining session.

PASS Summit 2014 Banner_200x200

As simple as that, a pre-con abstract is born!

So, come, join us for our full day pre-con at the PASS Summit 2014 in beautiful Seattle and see who is the victor!  There might even be a trophy! I can assure you that it’s going to be a day filled with technology and real world solutions brought to you by two guys who have a lot of passion for Microsoft SQL Server and the PASS Community!

In case you wanted to see the official Abstract we have included it here. We hope to see you there!! To register check out this link.

Real World End-to-End Performance Solutions

Do you ever wonder how other people approach real world business objectives from start to finish? The success of a project can be hampered from decisions that are made before a single row resides in a database, and yet often there is no one single best solution, because different people will approach a problem from different angles and there are countless variables along the path that are critical to success. If you make a mistake at the beginning, costly redesigns may haunt you for years to come.

In this powerful yet entertaining full-day pre-conference session, we will start with two different database professionals with two different skill sets. The speakers both have very different ways of approaching a project (and are both set in their ways!), but both have the same measurable goal. Whose process runs faster? Join this session and see the results.

In other words . . . “Let’s get ready to Rumble!”

What may appear as the end of the session is really only the beginning as variables and limitations are added and various questions are answered: What happens to our project when we are forced to use GUIDs (Globally Unique Identifiers), or when we push our solution to the cloud? Does the introduction of new hardware improve the overall outcome of our test? Do we see faster performance with SQL Server 2014 over SQL Server 2012? Join us and find out!

The Combantants

chrisshawChris Shaw:  In the red corner representing Colorado Springs, standing tall at 5 foot 6 nothing but attitude. Armed with a staggering 17 years of experience for a right hand and striking fast wit for the knock out on the left. Your 5 year SQL Server MVP, Pass Regional Mentor, and Colorado Springs User Group leader… Chris Shaw.

You can find Chris on Twitter at @SQLShaw

jmorehouse_preconJohn Morehouse: In the blue corner, backed by corn huskers and fire fighters, a true hero dedicated to destroying poor database performance and the sharing of database knowledge. Lighting fast reflexes and in depth knowledge is unleashed to deliver lethal blows. The towering, the intimidating and the inspirational to so many… John Morehouse.

You can find John on Twitter at @SqlRUs

So go, register, sign up and come see Chris and I battle it out to the bitter end.  Fun & learning will be had by all!

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