Category Archives: SQL Saturday

Growing a community is not easy……

…… But it is a lot of fun!

Last Friday I put on a small community event in my home town (#SQLGrillen). It was no SQLSaturday, with just four sessions and only 2 months preparation time, but it was a lot of fun!

Why would you do this? Why for free?!

I’ve heard those two questions a lot recently in the run up to the event itself, but also over the last year since founding the Emsland SQL Server User Group.

It seems to confuse people greatly that I would want to spend my private/personal time on “work”. I have wondered if this is a regional bias (I live in a quite rural part of Germany), or maybe a cultural one (many people I have met in Germany strictly separate work from private life). If the cultural reasoning holds true, then it would explain some of the difficulties of getting attendees for the user group. Either way, I don’t consider it to be “work”. Of course there is an overlap, it is a SQL Server user group and I work with SQL Server. However, I find the social aspect of a user group/event to be almost as important as the technical side. I probably enjoy exchanging ideas/war stories with fellow data professionals more than the technical content – somehow, even though I’m an awkward geek, the human interaction is the source of greater fulfillment.

Why would I do this for free? Why do people run marathons? Why do they join various other clubs in their spare time? Do they get paid to do this volunteer work? I think this goes back to the work/private life separation thing and people not understanding how I can mix the two.

Why would I not do this?

I have made some great friends and had some fantastic experiences as part of the community and hope to “infect” other people with the community virus. I also gained a lot in my career through the things I have learned (that I would never have been able to see in my normal work day) and have gained so many connections that I now don’t need to really look for new opportunities. If I wanted to swap jobs, I just need to explore the ones that get sent my way on a daily basis.

I am not that good that people want to hire me all the time, but being out there in the community makes me visible to companies/recruiters like nothing else.

We want you!

I realise that I am preaching to the choir when writing here (if you are reading a blog on SQL Server, you are already investing time that 99% of others don’t), but I’d still like to suggest that you get yourself involved in the community somehow. There are a wide range of tasks that User Groups, Events or Associations have that need doing and are too much for their current members/helpers to achieve. Even if you don’t want to speak, there is plenty of opportunity to get involved in another way.

So please, for the altruistic side of you, or for the “get ahead in my career” side of you; get in touch with your local User Group or Association and see if you can help out in some way. You will not regret it, I assure you.

P.S. Thanks to Rob Sewell ( b | t ) for the reminder: A few places for you to start would be finding your local PASS Chapter, or if there isn’t one where you are, there are also the Virtual Chapters.

Full day of training in Dublin!

UPDATE! Unfortunately SQL Saturday Dublin has been cancelled. This event will be re-scheduled at a later date.

 

Hot on the heels of the news of my training day at SQLSaturday Exeter, I am announcing another training day. This time I will be presenting a day of SQL Replication and Cloud Data Management on the Friday before SQLSaturday Dublin in June 2015.

I presented a session on Replication Troubleshooting at SQLSaturday Dublin last year and ran out of time with the one hour session and could have gone into more depth. After seeing the interest of Replication in the Irish SQL Server community, I submitted a proposal to the organisers of the Dublin event and the rest is history!

This will be a day taking a deeper look into the inner workings of SQL Server Replication, followed by an introduction into how you can move data between your on-premises database servers and the Microsoft Azure platform.

You can take a look at the details of the training day and register for a seat here: Deep Dive into SQL Replication and Cloud Connected Data Movement

I really enjoyed SQLSaturday Dublin last year and I am looking forward to another visit in June.

See you there!

SQLSaturday Exeter – Third time a charm!

sqlsat372_web

SQLSaturday Exeter

SQLSaturday Exeter 2015 – I’m there!

I have the great pleasure of announcing that I will be presenting at SQLSaturday Exeter 2015 in April 2015.

SQLSaturday Exeter is an extra special event for me. Not only is it a fantastically well run event, it is also the first conference that I ever presented at, way back in 2013. I had never spoken to a larger audience before and was a little nervous of speaking. However, once my session was over, I had found a new area for me to improve on and now love presenting on SQL Server. Since then, I have spoken at a variety of conferences and user groups around Europe and (hopefully) improved my presentation skills.

This time around, I have been asked to present a new topic: “Stories from the Trenches: Upgrading SQL with Minimal Downtime“, where I plan on showing how to use the high availability features of SQL Server to help perform upgrades whilst keeping downtime to a minimum.

But wait, there’s more!

As is the tradition of the organisers of SQLSaturday Exeter, they like to mix things up a bit and also try new speakers out (hence my chance back in 2013). This has lead them to also choose me to present a pre-conference training day session!

Check out the full list of speakers/sessions in this video created by the SQLSaturday Exeter team:

 

Being chosen for a pre-conference training day is another first for me and I am excited/scared/humbled/ecstatic to have been chosen to do this – many thanks to the SQLSaturday Exeter organisers, you brave fools!! 🙂

I will be presenting “SQL Server: An Introduction” and as the title suggests, this will be an introductory day, covering a set of basic information on SQL server. It is designed for accidental/occasional DBAs that have been using SQL Server for <12 months.

You can find a full description/abstract for my training day here: SQL Server: An Introduction

The training days are full day training sessions on one topic, priced at £150 per attendee (early bird rate).

The full list of available sessions is here: SQLSaturday Exeter Training Day – if you don’t fancy my session, there are 7 other sessions to choose from. I dare you to not find a session that could be useful to you! 🙂

See you in April!

I’m off to prepare my sessions and look forward to seeing you in Exeter in April.

Speaking at SQLSaturday 356 Slovenia

SQLSat Slovenia

I have been selected to speak at one of my favourite SQLSaturdays – in Ljubljana. I will be presenting my session “Replication: What, How, Why” which I have presented before at a few other events.

As I understand it, the event is actually full up. This means two things:

  1. You are registered and will be attending: Yay for you, please make sure you do attend. If you can’t attend, please make sure to de-register so that other people may have the chance to attend instead.
  2. You are not registered and would like to come: Put your name on the waiting list and hope that you can attend.

I’m really looking forward to coming to Ljubljana again, it is one of my favourite cities and is especially beautiful in the winter.

If you can make it to SQLSaturday Slovenia, come and say “Hi”. I’ll only be on a flying visit, landing in Slovenia on Saturday and leaving again on Sunday, but I intend to enjoy myself for the brief time I’m there.

See you in 9 days!

SQL Saturday Dublin 2014 – I’m speaking!

I have been fortunate enough to have been chosen to speak at SQL Saturday Dublin. I am especially excited about this one for two reasons:

  1. I will be delivering a different topic to my other speaking engagements of late, although not too far from the usual.  This time my session will be “Replication Troubleshooting and Monitoring“. This is a topic that I wrestle with on a regular basis and know how difficult it can be when you are staring at seemingly useless error messages.  I hope to be able to show some common errors that I have encountered and how to go about solving them.

  2. I will be returning to Dublin! I spent an excellent weekend in Dublin in Decemeber 2013, where I got the chance to take part in a mini-conference at the Dublin SQL Server User Group along with André Kamman ( t | b ) and Mladen Prajdić ( t | b ). Going by that weekend, SQL Sat 310 should be one hell of a time.

So, now I have to get back to making these demos work. I’ll see you in Dublin on the 20th of September!

Speaking at SQL Saturday 313 in Sankt Augustin (Germany) – June 28 2014

sqlsatrheinland

Just a quick post to say that I have been chosen to speak at SQL Saturday 313 in Sankt Augustin near Bonn in Germany!

This is my first speaking engagement in my home country and I am really looking forward to it.  I will be doing a talk on Replication Troubleshooting where I hope to explain how replication can go wrong and how to go about fixing it.

I am unsure whether to try out a session in German or English, I will make the choice on the day – depending on the audience,

Either way, I’m sure it will be a fun day.  There are a lot of really good speakers and sessions lined up, so you are guaranteed to have a good time.  If you are attending, come and see my session or just have a chat.

Bis in 5 Wochen!

Speaking at SQLSaturday #269 in Exeter

I received some great news last night; I have been chosen to speak at SQL Saturday #269 in Exeter on the 22nd of March.

I will be presenting my session “SQL Server Consolidation – Resistance is futile” where I will be going over some details and stumbling blocks when trying to approach a consolidation project.

This is a return to my speaking roots – I gave my first ever public speaking session at last year’s SQL Saturday in Exeter.  I enjoyed myself so much that I went on to speak a further 4 times last year and have been bitten by the speaking bug,

I am really looking forward to coming back to Exeter – the hosts Jonathan Allen ( t | b ) and his wife Annette ( t ) have been good friends and mentors to me over the past few years, so seeing them is always good.  Speaking at SQL Saturdays is really fun and I really enjoy getting to meet people in the community and discussing all things SQL, so if you spot me there, come and have a chat.

If you want some really good free training (not forgetting the pre-con day the day before!) and would like to see a bit of the South-West of the UK, head on down to SQL Saturday #269 in Exeter on the 21st and 22nd of March., going by last year’s event you will *not* be disappointed!

I hope to see you there!