Category Archives: Professional Development

SQLHangout #28: From DBA To Consultant

As usual, work/life got in the way, so I’m a little late blogging about this, but:

I recently had the pleasure of re-joining Boris Hristov (b | t) for one of his SQLHangouts together with Matan Yungman (b | t). We spoke for about half an hour on our experiences in moving from DBA work to Consulting.

All three of us made the move to consulting in the last year and we had a great time comparing notes on how our daily work has changed. There are some topics that surprised us all and some that we are seeing from the other side of the table.

Take a look at our episode and also check out the other Hangouts that Boris has hosted, there are some really interesting topics from a wide range of SQL Server professionals.

Speaking at SQLKonferenz, Darmstadt

sqlkonferenz_banner

Jump to English Version

Ich spreche auf das größte SQL Server Konferenz im deutschsprachigem Raum, SQL Konferenz in Darmstadt in Februar!

Obwohl ich seit 13 Jahren in Deutschland lebe ist das nur das zweite Mal, dass ich als Sprecher in Deutschland auftrete. Ich kann zwar Deutsch (fast) fließend sprechen, bin dennoch mehr aufgeregt als wenn ich auf Englisch vortragen muss.

Meine Session heißt “Real World SQL 2012 -> SQL 2014: Migration einer AlwaysOn FCI/AAG Umgebung” und soll anhand eines Kundenprojektes, die tatsächlichen Überlegungen, Schritte und Stolpersteine aufführen, die zu einer Systemmigration gehören.

SQL Konferenz ist ein Konferenz über zwei Tage mit einem “Pre-Conference” Tag davor, wo einzelnen Themen etwas tiefer erläutert werden können. Schaut einfach in die Agenda rein um alle Sessions zu sehen. Es sind wirklich erfahrene und sehr gute Deutsche wie auch internationale Sprecher angemeldet.

Zudem, gibt es ein “Early Bird” Rabatt. Damit kann man €150 sparen wenn man sich bis Heiligabend anmgeldet, also schenkt euch ein frühes Weihnachtsgeschenk und registriert euch heute!

Wir sehen uns dann in Darmstadt in Februar 🙂


English Version

I have been chosen to speak at the largest SQL Server conference in the German speaking world, SQL Konferenz!

Although I have been in Germany for 13 years now, this is only the second time that I have had the opportunity to speak at a conference here. It is also the first time that I have been listed to speak in German (eek)!! I am fluent in German, using it on a daily basis, but this is still making me more nervous than speaking in English.

I will be presenting a new session this time, based on a real customer implementation of a system migration/upgrade from SQL 2012 to SQL 2014, including the addition of AlwaysOn Availability Groups. I thought it would be nice to offer a look at how a real-world project of this kind has actually been done, rather than sticking to the theory.

SQL Konferenz is a two-day conference with an additional pre-conference day with deep-dive, day-long sessions on a few different subjects. Check out the agenda to see what sessions are on offer – there are 40 sessions on the two conference days, with plenty of extremely good national and international speakers.

Also, there is an “Early Bird” offer available which can save you €150 on the standard registration price. This offer is only available until Christmas Eve, so go and treat yourself to an early Christmas present and register now!

So if you are planning your training for next year and would like to visit Germany, combine the two and come and visit SQL Konferenz.

Wir sehen uns dort 🙂

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!

Speaking at SQL Server Days 2014 in Belgium

I’m Speaking at SQL Server Days 2014 in Belgium

Back in the spring I met two Belgian guys when I spoke at SQL Saturday Exeter, those guys were Pieter Vanhove ( b | t ) and Steve Verschaeve ( b | t ) and they told me about a conference that they are involved in: SQL Server Days

This annual conference is one of the larger SQL Server conferences in Europe, with over 300 attendees and has a whole host of world class speakers providing full day pre-con sessions and the standard 60 minute sessions.

Over a beer (or three) Pieter and Steve convinced me that this conference is one of the “must attend” conferences, so when their call for speakers was announced I submitted a couple of sessions.

A few weeks ago, the first (pre-con) speakers were announced. I saw the names and realised that Pieter and Steve meant business – the pre-con line-up is extremely good. Some of the biggest names in the SQL Server community are in attendance and there are subjects to account for anyone’s taste.

After seeing the pre-con speaker names I wasn’t going to hold my breath on being chosen to speak. However, last night I got the confirmation that my session “Consolidation – Resistence is Futile” has made the list!

I look forward to visiting Belgium for the first time (I’ve driven through Belgium often enough, but never stopped) and have been promised that Belgian beer is the best in the world…… we’ll see……

So if you are thinking of attending, make sure to book soon, The early bird offer (expires 15.07) will give you a discount and the site says that the first 100 registrations are eligible for a buy two get one free offer.

So don’t wait, get registered now and I’ll see you there at the end of September.

SQLHangout 21 with Boris Hristov – SQL Community: Why Bother?

SQLHangout 21 with Boris Hristov – SQL Community: Why Bother?

I met up with Boris Hristov ( b | t ) online again last night to talk with him on his regular webcast SQLHangouts.  We talked for about half an hour about the topic “SQL Community: Why Bother?”

This was the second time that I have spoken with Boris in the SQLHangout format after our first talk back in January and I really enjoyed it again.  We chatted a bit about how getting involved in the community is really easy and also really important.  You can get personal gratification from helping people out (it really feels good to help solve problems), but you are also investing in your career at the same time.

One point that I tried to squeeze in at the end of the talk was involvement in the community at a non-technical level.  This is an area that is full of “unsung heroes” and I always try and make a point of at least saying thanks to the group of people who do all the work behind the scenes.  Booking locations, arranging schedules, liaising with speakers, cleaning/setting up rooms etc. These people do a lot of work that just doesn’t get seen.  Having helped out as a non-speaking volunteer with a couple of events, I know that there is a *lot* of leg-work involved in making an event run smoothly.  So even though I only give them a small shout out, I really appreciate their commitment and support and if you don’t know how to get involved in your part of the SQL (or any) community, start out with volunteering.  There is always something you can do, and it is a very nice starting point.

Thanks to everyone that takes part in the SQL Community, it is a really strong group of people and gets stronger each day.

My call to action here is: Get involved, go and speak with your local UG and see how you can help. Register for your nearest SQL Saturday and tick the box as a volunteer and offer to do anything you can think of to help them out. Submit sessions to your UG or a SQL Saturday, then present – it is a really fun and exciting experience and can lead to greater things. Whatever you decide on doing, just get involved!

Thanks again to Boris for inviting me to his webcast, I’m more than happy to join you again in the future.

So, enough of my waffling on! Here is the recording of SQLHangout 21:

 

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 at the Weekend, Southampton UK

I have had this down on my calendar for a while and forgot to mention it, but I will be coming over to speak in the UK again in July this year.

The SQL Soton User Group leaders John Martin (twitter) and Steph Middleton (twitter) are putting on a one-day SQL Server event (not a SQL Saturday, but similar in setup) and asked me if I would come and speak,

I will be presenting my seemingly popular “Replication: What, How and Why?” session along with a bunch of other speakers from around Europe.  We’ll be a single track of one hour sessions, starting in the morning and going into the late afternoon. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunity to chat about all sorts of topics on the sidelines too. It looks like it will be a fun time and it would be great to see some new or old faces around.

The whole thing is taking place in Southampton on the 12th of July – the weekend before SQLBits, so if you can’t wait for that (or can’t make it to Bits), then SQL at the Weekend is the thing for you.

You can check out the line-up and register for the event here: SQL at the Weekend

Hope to see you there!

Emsland SQL Server User Group

I have lived in the Emsland for over a decade and have missed visiting a user group that whole time.  The nearest one to me is about 90 minutes drive away, so was not really a viable option.

After starting to speak at conferences last year, I understand the need for local user groups. This is where people can meet more regularly than at conferences, where they can find like minded people who also live nearby (some conferences are on entirely different continents, which is cool, but makes it difficult to keep in touch).

With that in mind, I have decided that it is about time that the North West of Germany, or rather the Emsland, should have its own SQL Server User Group.

We are rushing the start a little, because I want to take advantage of having Jonathan Allen ( b | t ) over for a visit in June.

Our first meeting will be on the 19.06 starting at 17:30 (CST) at the IT Emsland in Lingen. Jonathan will be presenting his session “Extended Events – Not so tricky as you might think” (in English) and I will be presenting my session “SQL Server Consolidation – Resistence is Futile” (English or German).

If you want to attend (or attend future meetings), please let me know. We have a contact formular setup or you can get in touch with my via Twitter or email (william_durkin at live dot com).

I look forward to how this turns out.

See you there!

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!

SQL Hangout with Boris Hristov

I spoke at SQL Saturday in Slovenia just before Christmas and had a great time.  Whilst I was there I made a new SQL friend – Boris Hristov ( t | b ) a SQL Server expert from Bulgaria. He attended my session on SQL Server consolidation and joined in to an interesting discussion towards the end of the session.

After Christmas, Boris got in touch with me and asked if I would like to be a guest on his regular SQL Server Hangout “show” and talk with him about consolidating SQL Servers. I liked the sound of that, so we met up on G+ and had a pretty informal/unplanned chat about our experiences with consolidation and what we think needs special attention.

Boris said he will be posting more details about the Hangout on his blog, but in the mean time, here is the recording:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFbnOXPKLYI

Please make sure to check out the other Hangouts in the series, as Boris has managed to record some really interesting topics with experts from all over the world.