Tag Archives: teaching

PASS Summit Free Pre-Cons

Are you going to Seattle for the PASS Summit this year?

If you’re going to be in town by Monday/Tuesday and are looking for some free training, you have some options. I love that SQL-server related vendors have really taken up the community spirit and do as much as they can for us for low/no cost. Sure, these have some content specific to the company putting it on, but the audience isn’t beaten over the head about it. When a vendor tool is shown as a solution to a problem, the alternative solutions are typically covered as well.

These are listed in chronological order. If there are any other events not shown here, please let me know.

Red Gate SQL in the City

Monday, Oct. 26 – Hyatt at Olive 8

In this continuation of a successful touring training event, they’re providing 2 tracks of content: SQL Development (code management, CI/CD processes) and SQL DBA work (performance tuning, uptime, DR, etc.). Just as with a PASS SQL Saturday, you can choose whichever sessions you want to attend. They will also be featuring a hands-on lab where you can try their products out.

SQL Solutions Group Summit Free-Con

Tuesday, October 27 – Hyatt Place Seattle/Downtown
Small fee for lunch

This is what happens when a group of MCMs decide they want to spend their time providing 8 hours of training to anyone who wants to sign up. Specifically, it’s Jason Brimhall ( b | t ), Randy Knight ( b | t ), Ben Miller ( b | t ), and Wayne Sheffield ( b | t ).

The session content is listed on their event page (link above) and on the SSG web site. All they ask in exchange is that you pay for your own lunch, which is < $12. You do need to sign up on the event site (the link above) because space is limited. I wouldn't wait too long. This one will likely fill up fast.

Also, I do see great value in the official PASS pre-cons. In fact, I’m personally taking a mix-and-match approach this year (including a PASS pre-con). But if you’re looking for quality content at low/no cost, you can’t go wrong with these options.

T-SQL OUTPUT (San Diego SQL Server User Group)

The slides & files from tonight’s presentation on the T-SQL OUTPUT function are available.


I must say, I do have a particular affinity for language constructs that have come to the rescue on several occasions, and OUTPUT is definitely one of them.

SoCal Code Camp 2011 Sessions Added

I have just submitted 2 sessions to the Southern California Code Camp, to be held in San Diego on June 25th & 26th.

Should you be interested in either (or both) topics and will be in the area that weekend, please register on the site and vote for them.

If you’re going to be in the area that weekend, I encourage you to attend as the variety of topics is quite broad. You’ll likely find many topics of interest among the submitted session abstracts.

What have you taught lately?

Microsoft SQL Server has been the basis of a lot of success in my career and I was trying to figure out how that came to be. Without going off on a tangent that would cover many years, it all boils down to one thing: people. I have attained the technical success I’ve had thanks to the community of very dedicated people who share their knowledge of SQL Server.

I’m not going to create a list of those people because it would be too long. Besides, they’re not in it for the credit. That brings me to the blog you’re visiting right now. This is my version of “paying it forward”.

About a year ago, I looked around at the landscape of my career and noticed that I have attained a certain degree of familiarity and understanding with this product, a quite useful database platform.

It was at that time that I began to share what I know. And, boy, what an educational experience that is!! Learning by teaching is even more effective than I ever expected. The preparation needed to field a wide range of questions from an audience is not to be underestimated. Now, what I have been doing has an audience of 8 on average and they are fellow employees. Also, I’m not spending 30 hours a week preparing for these weekly, hour-long presentations (3-4 hours per week on my own time is more typical).

A year later (and wiser) and it still doesn’t feel like enough. Not that I’m devaluing what I’ve already done, but what I have received is so much more than what I’ve given back. So, I made it a point to become more active in this community.

At first, it was as a participant. Join PASS, go to a couple SQL Saturdays, find the local user group, and so on. Now that I’ve done those things, I feel comfortable enough to put myself out there even further.

So, here I am on the eve of my first presentation. It’s going to be a 15-minute description of PIVOT & UNPIVOT in T-SQL in front of the local user group.  But what is significant is not the topic nor the audience size. Rather, it is the exciting next step in what I expect to be a fantastic voyage.

It took me a while to work up the nerve to get to this point, but I am very glad I’ve done it. Therefore, for your own benefit, I ask: What [subject] have you taught lately?