Tag Archives: User Group

Performance Tuning Texas Style!

If your in Texas and interested in learning some tips to help you do SQL Server Performance Tuning with free tools then I highly suggest that you attend one of these presentations coming to a city near you!

If you cannot make it out no worries, you can catch a recorded version of my presentation.

Is #SQLPASS helping their speakers?

I love the SQL Community because it usually is a great environment to connect, share and learn. With that said, I am noticing that we can do a much better job with helping the people who share, learn how to share better.  For every single, Grant Fritchey, Thomas LaRock, Andy Leonard, Brent Ozar, Mike Walsh, Allen White (I could keep going..) there are several DBA’s who speak in the community who don’t get the feedback they need to get to the next level. The SQL PASS community does a great job of providing opportunities for people to speak but we fail as a group at giving speakers the proper feedback that is needed to help them succeed.

Being a speaker and regional mentor I have attended many user group meetings and SQL Saturday’s in the past few years. I have seen a lot of great changes in the community.  Recently, I motivated some friends into giving their first presentation at the local SQL Saturday. I was able to attend their sessions so I could directly give feedback. It makes me wonder how many speakers only get the feedback provided on the evaluation forms? How is it possible to use the limited information on these forms to make a presentation better? That is if you’re lucky enough to be presenting at an user group who uses speaker evaluation forms. I admit I was guilty of this while running the WVPASS User Group.  From firsthand knowledge I know running a user group can require a lot of time and dedication so I completely see how this important feedback is missed when there are several other important pieces to the user group leader puzzle.

My call to action (this is where the rant ends). What is the answer? I wish I knew, but I defiantly can provide some suggestions. It would be nice to have a consistent evaluation process during a SQL Saturday and other PASS events including virtual chapters and user group meetings. I would like to see questions that are open ended that provide constructive feedback to help speakers improve as they grow instead of hoping attendees provide feedback on the back of a form.  I think it would be nice to give attendees  an simple online tool that allows them to provide feedback during the session.  Once again, these are just suggestions. Maybe there all wrong as they are just ideas on how the process can be improved through my experience as a chapter leader, speaker, SQL Saturday organizer and regional mentor.

In closing, I look forward to hopefully finding the answer with some friends in my #sqlfamily.  Every year at the PASS  Member Summit there is a meeting where the community can meet and ask questions to the Board of Directors. This year, I plan to attend and ask, “As a volunteer, how can I be involved in improving our current system in place to provide speakers with better feedback to help them improve their public speaking skills and get them to the next level?”

Upcoming speaking engagements

Ayyyy, matey being that today is the International Speak Like a Pirate Day I thought it was appropriate to post some future dates for my Performance Tuning for Pirates presentation.

You can download the slides, check out the reference material and videos here!

North Texas SQL Server Group

If your in the DFW area and haven’t been to a North Texas SQL Server Group meeting I highly recommend you check one out.  I will be speaking tomorrow (Thursday,  September 19th) and its not too late to sign up to attend this free event.


SQL Saturday #171 in Pittsburgh, PA

On October 6th Pittsburgh will be hosting its first SQL Saturday. It’s an honor to be speaking during the first time slot. If you in the area, there is no better opportunity to get free SQL Server training. I look forward to meeting you there. If for some reason, you cannot make it make sure you check out the Pittsburgh SQL Server User Groups monthly meetings as there also free!

First SQL Server UG Meeting in Harrisburg, PA

If you work with SQL Server and live in the Harrisburg area I have some great news for you. The newest SQLPASS User Group has been born in your neck of the woods. The Central PA SQL Server User Group (CPSSUG) will be having their first official meeting tomorrow on July 10 @ 5:30 – 7:30 pm at HACC’s Mid Town Campus 2 Facility in Room 105.

My fellow #sqlfamily and #sqlpeeps lets help CPSSUG get this party started. If you can help with sponsorship or are within driving distance from Harrisburg and would like to speak at an upcoming meeting please contact Dustin Jones (dwjones@riteaid.com)

July Agenda:

Meet and Greet

Greg Seidel from Microsoft will be doing a presentation on some of the new features in SQL 2012.

Brian Charles from Rite Aid will be covering a real world performance tuning exercise on mismatched data types.

When Will CPSSUG Meet?

Meetings will be held on the second Tuesday of every month at 7:30 pm. Make sure you go to the CPSSUG website and jump on the mailing list so you can be notified of their future events.

Where will CPSSUG Meet?

The meeting location is HACC Midtown Campus #2 , room 105.   You can park on the street or in the parking lot across the street from the Mid T building. http://www.hacc.edu/Harrisburg/Midtown/Directions.cfm.

6 ways to get free SQL Server 2012 Training

I always get excited when a new version of SQL Server gets released and rumor has it that  SQL Server 2012 will be released on March, 7th 2012. Why do I get excited? Well its quite easy, I know that each new release includes new features. These new features make my job easier. How do I know that these new features make my job easier? I know because I test them out and attend training sessions to see how other people are using them.

This year Microsoft is teaming up with the Professional Association of SQL Server Professionals (PASS) to provide several opportunities to give free SQL Server 2012 training.   Here are six ways you can learn about SQL Server 2012 and it won’t cost you a cent.

Online Labs

I love to get my hands dirty and throw things against the wall and see what sticks. Microsoft provides several virtual labs that allow you to do this without worrying about your servers.  If you want to checkout upgrading to SQL 2012, AlwaysOn Availability Groups or Installing SQL 2012 on Windows Core they have labs up and waiting for you.

Special Ops Tour

If you like to physically experience a launch event and rub shoulders with others who are using SQL Server you have to take part in the Special Ops Tour.  The Special Ops Tour is a 12 city event where Microsoft experts and local DBA’s will show you the must use features coming in this new release.  You can still sign up now. Hopefully, there is an event near you.

SQL Server 2012 Virtual Launch

Microsoft is also providing an all day virtual launch on March 7th that will include several topics on Mission Critical Confidence, Cloud on your Terms and Breakthrough Insights.  You can review the agenda and there still is room to sign up.

24 Hours of PASS

Once again, PASS is gearing up to deliver another 24 hours of PASS on March 21, 2012.  For those who don’t know 24 hours of PASS is  an in-depth look at the hottest SQL Server topics over 24 back-to-back free technical webcasts. You can gain access to the best SQL Server training and several of these session will be focused on SQL Server 2012. For more information visit the 24 hours of PASS website. If you want to speak get your abstract submitted now. The deadline is today!

SQL Saturday

SQL Saturday is an all day multi-track training event for SQL Server professionals and those wanting to learn about SQL Server. These events are spread all across the USA and the globe.

User Group Meetings

User Groups are monthly or bi-monthly meetings held to allow PASS members to connect, share and learn on a local level. There are several User Group’s spread out across the country.  Do you wonder if there is a user group in your area? You can find all the user groups here.

Speaking at the Columbus SQL Server User Group

This week on Thursday, January 12th, 2011 a 6pm I will be speaking virtually at the Columbus, OH SQL Server User Group.  I will be giving an introduction to Policy Based Management.

If you are a chapter leader and would be interested in having me speak at your user group contact me.


This talk will give you an introduction into monitoring SQL Server using Policy Based Management and Central Management System which is provided out of the box with SQL Server 2008. I will then show you how you can combine these features with the Enterprise Policy Management Framework on codeplex to provide monitoring for your whole SQL Server farm. This topic assumes you know nothing about PBM and CMS and will include lots of examples with only a few PowerPoint slides.

Top 4 ways I will contribute to the SQL Community in 2012

One of my friends, Tom LaRock asked, “What do you want to do for your #sqlfamily in 2012?” Below is how I plan contribute to the SQL Community, and my #sqlfamily in 2012.

  • Bring  SQL Saturday to a new city
    Anyone who knows me in the community knows I am a huge fan sucker for a SQL Saturday. I have had the pleasure of being a host, attende, and a speaker. This year I am looking forward to being a volunteer and sharing all my knoweledge to bring a SQL Saturday to a new city.  With that said, there is a city very close to me that has never hosted one.  The ball is already rolling and I look forward to helping this chapter host their first SQL Saturday in 2012.
  • Help Chapter Leaders
    Being a chapter leader I personally know it can be hard running a user group. I was very lucky and thankful to get a lot of help.  I look forward to helping other chapter leaders who can use a hand. I am willing to help connect leaders to a sponsors; help leaders find swag, find books, find a speaker or anyting else. I am game and looking forward to helping.
  • Give Virtual Presentations
    Typically I do at least four presentations a year.  To this point I have never done a virtual presentation. This will change shortly as I am speaking  at the Columbus User Group virtually this week.
  • Mentor
    I have been blessed with having good mentors in my career. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. There advice and guidence has been very valuable.  I reciently started mentoring a DBA but would more than willing to help others out. If you would be interested please shoot me an message.

2011 was a crazy year!

Now that we are finishing up the last few days of the year its time to take a few minutes and reflect on my accomplishments for the year. To be honest, looking back at the blog posts I have no idea how I completed so many mile stones.  Last year I privately established some long term goals and I knocked several items off my three year and five year plan in the first year.

Major Accomplishments in 2011

PASS Member Summit 2011 Ribbons

Vendor said, "Wow... it looks like you had a very big year. Would you like to attend our vendor party?"

My first child was born in February.  Typically having a child would slow you down but somehow I still completed several milestones. I have to give huge props to my wife for all her help and support.

This year I gave presentations at the first SQL Rally; the SQL PASS Member Summit; SQL Saturday in Houston, TX (presented multiple sessions); the Pittsburgh SQL User Group and several session at the West Virginia SQL Server User Group.

One of my good friends and I co-founded the first SQL Server User Group in West Virginia. I also helped relaunch the Pittsburgh SQL Server User Group and was truly honored to  speak at the relaunch event. I also organized the 2nd  Annual SQL Saturday in Wheeling, WV. Its was truly an honor to bring my peers and friends to my hometown for some free SQL Training (photos). Towards the end of the year I also became a PASS Regional Mentor for the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Personally, I also had the following accomplishments.  I was included in a local

Reading with my baby

It's never to early to get started on your professional development.

magazine article on “Digital Generation.” Finally, I changed jobs and became a SQL Server Consultant.  I am truly blessed to say that many of these milestones couldn’t happen without my #sqlfamily and  my tech giants mentors .

My 11 Favorite Blog Posts in 2011

The following are my favorite blog posts and tips written by me in 2011.

I look forward to sharing some goals next week as we break in the new year!

PowerShell User Group starts in Pittsburgh!

Recently, it has come to my attention that there is a PowerShell User Group being born in Pittsburgh.  The first user group meeting is December, 13th and  Ed Wilson also known as TheScriptingGuy will be their first presenter.   There are still a few seats available. If you are interested in developing scripts to automate processes I recommend you follow this user group.

Speaking at WV SQL User Group on August 25th

I look forward to giving my Evaluate your Daily Checklist against your SQL Enterprise with PBM and CMS presentation at the WV SQL Server User Group in Wheeling, WV on August 25th at the Orrick Building.
You can still sign up and registration is free.  In fact, everyone is a winner because there will be free pizza and every user group attendees knows there is no better prize than free pizza!


You will walk away from this session with an understanding of how to use the Policy Based Management and Central Management Server to complete a daily checklist against your whole SQL Server farm. We will cover the basics to evaluate, monitor and apply best practice policies, which are included out of the box with SQL Server 2008. We will also make custom policies to cover additional best practices to evaluate daily checklist items. Finally, we will combine Policy-Based Management and Central Management Server with the Enterprise Policy Management Framework on codeplex to automate the monitoring process and create manager friendly reports to monitor your checklist items against the whole SQL Server farm.

Session goals include:
  • You will be able to install, configure and run scripts against the Central Management Server
  • You will be able to use Central Management Server and/or Policy-Based Management to complete a daily checklist
  • You will be able to evaluate and build custom policies.

John Sterrett is a database administrator at Remote DBA Experts and a member of the Integrations team. John has been active within the SQL Server community, including hosting the first and second annual SQL Saturday in West Virginia. John also presented a lightning talk and chalk-talk at the SQL Server 2010 Member Summit, presented sessions at three SQL Saturday’s, and presented to the Pittsburgh SQL Server User Group. John is a syndicated blogger at SQLServerPedia and contributes tips at MSSQLTIPS. You can find his blog at www.johnsterrett.com