Want to choose your own agenda? From SQLSaturday to the PASS Summit!

Buck Needs You

OK so sadly Buck can’t be with us this year, but if he could, he would tell you to join our Programme Committee!

This year, SQLSaturday Cambridge is pioneering the first ever Global Programme Committee for a SQLSaturday and we want you to be part of it!

After being personally involved in the PASS Programme Committee for many many years and playing a small part in reviewing abstracts, speakers and anything else that needs an opinion, it might be natural that I would want to take my experiences of this process and attempt to improve things -or at very least try a different approach.

Session and speaker selection for the PASS Summit is annually subject to much criticism (some fair and some less so), and I have long been a defender of this process -quite simply because I understand how it works. It is a long way from being perfect, but the reality is that it is no better and no worse than other popular Technology Conferences at session selection. But the reason it is open to so much criticism is because PASS is continually attempting to provide transparency (in the interests of fairness) to a process that can only ever really be opaque. As all event leaders will know, agendas do not pick themselves and even when they do, sometimes sessions must be rejected for a variety of reasons which might not always be obvious to the casual observer but could relate to sponsorship concerns, speaker history or even event demographics. Simply put I believe that session selection should only have one thing in mind – provide the audience with the agenda they want.

This year, with an ever overwhelmingly burgeoning bundle of Summit abstracts, I believe it is time for event leaders to stand up and be counted and start thinking about different ways that sessions can be reviewed and feed these experiences back to PASS HQ. With this in mind (and in order to deal with our record 151 abstract submissions), we have decided to survey the World! At the click of a button you will be able to take part in the World’s first ever SQLSaturday Global Programme Committee and this process is open to ALL – speakers, attendees, non-attendees and even school children! Yes, never before has a voting system been so open.

Our aim is to:

  • Understand the technical and geographic demographics of the technical communities
  • Encourage participation from the potential and actual audience
  • Provide other events with technical insights (should we find any!)
  • Promote new ideas to the other events
  • Help PASS see how other session selection systems can work
  • Simplify the process
  • Select sessions based on actual demand not perceived demand

Our selection process will:

  • Complete the Global Programme Committee ratings
  • Aggregate results
  • Complete schedule by small internal team based upon these findings
  • Global Abstract ratings (by you guys!) will continue and be open up until the day of our event in order to alter our schedule as needed and collate the most useful demographics to share with other events

Please could you lend us your support for 10 minutes of your time and become part of the World’s first SQLSaturday Global Programme Committee and help also to promote it to your friends? This mightjust be the beginning of something big…..

To join our programme committee, click HERE!

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Delivering Precon at SQLSaturday #413 Denmark

I am pleased and proud to announce that on Thursday 17th September, I along with my good friend Régis Baccaro (web|twitter) will be delivering our full day pre-conference training day titled “Implementing Business Intelligence & SharePoint High Availability Solutions“.

Dilbert © Scott Adams

Dilbert © Scott Adams

For quite some time we have come to realize that most High Availability training sessions really fail to bridge that gap between foundational concepts and practical usage and that a large number of High Availability solutions are not just requirements for important Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) environments but also for an ever increasing number of Business Intelligence platforms (the changing dependency by your business on your Data Warehouse being a classic example of this situation).

But of course Business Intelligence solutions do not just begin and end with “the database” and with this in mind, we will be covering a broad range of topics which will cover end to end Highly Availability BI deployments looking in-depth at SharePoint, SSAS, SSIS and SSRS availability and scale. Of course a key component to every BI solution *is* the database layer, so we will not neglect this aspect either. Rest assured that we will provide comprehensive and in-depth instruction for database HA which of course will include Failover-Clustering and Always-On availability groups and also aim to look at how Virtualization and Cloud based solutions are changing the face of HADR.
This session will be ideal for Database Administrators, Windows and System Architects, and Business Intelligence/ SharePoint professionals who need to make qualified decisions about their Highly Available Analytic and Reporting platforms and we would love to see you there!

For more information and booking, please see the following links:
Implementing Business Intelligence & SharePoint High Availability Solutions pre-conference training day at SQLSaturday Denmark
Other pre-cons at SQLSaturday Denmark
SQLSaturday Denmark news and information
SQLSaturday Denmark Community day registration
SQLSaturday Denmark on Twitter

Posted in Community, Events, Personal Development, SQLServerPedia Syndication | Tagged | 1 Comment

Speaking at SQLSaturday #380 New York!

Back in August 2012 I had the honour of speaking at the last (but one) SQLSaturday to be held in New York City which marked a particular milestone in my SQL Server journey. While I had (by then) already spoken at the two American SQLRally events (Orlando and Dallas) and delivered a lightning talk at the 2011 PASS Summit, SQLSaturday New York was my first ever SQLSaturday in the U.S.A and because of that it was already special before I had even arrived.

A night in Bellevue. We all became MCMs

A night in Bellevue. This was one of our last nights together… we all later became MCMs

Because I was already committed to presenting in New York, I was also fortunate enough to be offered a slot on the SQLSkills Immersion Event 1 (now known as IEPTO1: Immersion Event on Performance Tuning and Optimization – Part 1) to be held in Bellevue Seattle the following week (a long story!). The time spent in the excellent hands of Paul and Kimberly (of SQLSkills) and hanging out for the week with a great bunch of guys helped me realize that my target was attainable, whereas before it was something that only other people could achieve. Because of those people I met (and let’s not forget the reason why I was in America in the first place – SQLSaturday #158 New York), they quite literally helped me (finally!) achieve my MCM after so many years of procrastination. So, many thanks go to Paul, Kimberly, Edwin, Sean, Ryan, Ali and NYC for the inspiration and opportunity.


Times Square, New York on a warm Summer evening

New York was an amazing experience, if not a rather surprising one. I arrived expecting the weather to be cold and remember even wearing a woolly jumper in anticipation of this -despite it being mid August! :)  I had only ever seen NY on the TV portrayed as a freezing cold City with steam bellowing out of the sides of the Sewer man-holes for dramatic effect. Too much Cagney and Lacey and Taxi had made me lose all sense of reality, for it was in fact scorching hot! The event was organised really well by those concerned and I had a great time, and a special mention should go to my good friends AJ and Martin who I shared a couple of nice beers bears (←correction :) thanks Martin!) with, but my trip was over far too quickly.

I’m really pleased and grateful to be speaking again this year at SQLSaturday #380 New York on Saturday 30th May and hope to take in a few more sights on this trip than I did last time. I will be delivering my session Lock, Block and Two Smoking Barrels (which is currently in the works), so I better really start working hard to complete it!

The moral of this story is that sometimes it is hard to see value in attending or speaking at an event or justify the cost (especially if you are travelling from afar). The return on investment is impossible to completely predict, but more times than not your attendance will be rewarded or lead onto something else. If you are coming to SQLSaturday New York this year, then I look forward to seeing you and maybe sharing a cold beer or two after the event is over.

Posted in Community, Events, Personal Development, SQLServerPedia Syndication | Tagged | 4 Comments