Posts Tagged ‘SQLFamily’

TSQL Tuesday #96: Folks Who Have Made a Difference

November 14, 2017 1 comment

T-SQL Tuesday
I started working as a SQL Server DBA in November of 2007. In November of 2010, I attended my second PASS Summit in Seattle. At the time I was working for a large insurance company, and our Microsoft sales rep had scheduled a dinner for my team at 6pm. The afternoon of the dinner, I went to see Paul Randal (b|t) do a 90-minute Spotlight Session called DBA Mythbusters scheduled until 6:15. About 15 minutes into Paul’s session, I texted my boss to let him know I would be late to dinner. The information Paul presented and the way in which he presented made me not want to miss a minute of the session. Walking out of the Convention Center that night, I remember thinking, “I want to do that! I want to teach people about SQL Server!”

The following March, I attended my first SQL Saturday in Chicago. For the session after lunch, I wanted to see Brent Ozar (b|t) present about SQL Server storage. By the time I got to the room for Brent’s presentation, it was SRO. Two doors down, Jes Borland (b|t) was giving a presentation called Make Your Voice Heard! In it, Jes provided advice on blogging, presenting, and leveraging social media to increase visibility within the community.

Attending Jes’s presentation introduced me to the force of nature known as Jes Borland. Her unbridled enthusiasm for the SQL community gave me the motivation to start teaching people about SQL Server. Within a year I started this blog and started presenting at PASS Local Chapters. I am blessed to have become friends with Jes. She continues to inspire me both professionally and personally.

In April of 2011, I attended SQL Skills Immersion Event on Performance Tuning and Optimization – Part 1, taught by Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp. Since then I have been fortunate to become friends with the two of them. Their involvement in the community never ceases to amaze me. To close I will share my favorite story about the strength of the SQL community.

I attended PASS Summit 2015 with a co-worker who was a first timer. At the Tuesday Welcome Reception, I saw Paul and Kimberly across the room. My colleague and walked over, and as we were waiting to say hello, Paul turned, looked at my colleagues badge and said, “Michael, first timer, how are you! I’m Paul Randal!” Paul welcoming nature and openness to new members of the community is something that I try and emulate on a daily basis.

I volunteer with PASS because I will never be able to give back as much as I’ve gotten. Paul and Jes are two individuals that have given me an enormous amount through the years and I thank them for it.

Categories: PASS, SQL Server Tags: , ,

SQL Milestones

April 13, 2014 Leave a comment

The past few months have been full of firsts for me.

  • I started working at Apparatus February 17th. I wanted opportunities to learn new things, and I have not been disappointed.
  • Last night, I gave my fourth presentation of the year. With user groups lined up from now through August, I am on pace to meet my goal of averaging one presentation per month this year.
  • March marked the second anniversary of this blog. In that time, I’ve written 61 posts. While this is well short of my initial goal of a post a week, I’m hoping the constant learning opportunities at Apparatus will help me pick up the pace.
  • I hit 1,000 views on this blog for the first time in a month. I am really excited about this, but at the same time, it shows me how much room I have to grow.

It is just about four years since I attended my first SQL Saturday. Thanks to Jes Borland (b|t) for inspiring me to make my voice heard. And it’s just about three years since I attended SQL Skills’ Interals Immersion Event. Thanks to Paul Randal (b|t) and Kimberly Tripp (b|t) for giving me my first opportunity to present on SQL Server outside of work. Finally, I want to thank the members of the SQL community who have taught, helped, and inspired me. There are too many of you to mention, but you’ve made the past four years the most enjoyable and fulfilling of my life.


Categories: Career, Presenting Tags: , ,

SQL Saturday #256 Slides and Scripts

November 2, 2013 Leave a comment

I had a great time at SQL Saturday #256 in Kalamazoo. Thanks to Josh Fennessy (b|t), Joe Fleming (t), Tim Ford (b|t) and everyone else who put on such a wonderful event. And a big thank you to everyone who attending my session. You can find my slides and scripts here.

T-SQL Tuesday #41 – Presenting and Loving It!

April 9, 2013 3 comments


I started volunteering at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. Since then, I’ve been assigned as a greeter, which means I spend most of my time giving directions and answering patrons questions about the collections. Over the years, I’ve done what I can to learn more about the collections by spending time in the galleries, attending lectures and reading.

When the museum opened the Modern Wing in 2009, the Volunteer Coordinator asked if I would be interested in giving tours of the new building. I jumped at the chance and set out to prepare myself. I put together a list of my favorite stories about the collection and spent time walking through the galleries, honing what I would say and timing myself.

The night of the first tour, I was nervous, thinking about all of the things that could go wrong. But as I introduced myself and started the tour, I realized I knew what I was talking about and the hours of practice were paying off.

Since then, I’ve led several dozen tours through different parts of the collections. Every one of them has been different, but they have all been a tremendous experience and I’ve learned something new every time.

At this point, you are probably asking yourself, “What does the Art Institute have to do with T-SQL Tuesday?” Well, it was a little over a year ago that I gave my first presentation on SQL Server. Like the Art Institute, it is a subject I love sharing my knowledge of. Since that first presentation, I’ve presented at two user groups and a SQL Saturday. I am presenting at SQL Saturday Chicago this week and at FoxPASS in June.

Each time I’ve presented, I have had a great time and learned something new. If you are interested in getting started, I would offer a few pieces of advice:

  • Present on a subject you are passionate about. Your love of the subject will come through.
  • Practice. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be and the smoother things will go.
  • Take advantage of the opportunity to learn the topic. You will be surprised how much you know when you get done.
  • Finally, don’t get discouraged. While I’ve enjoyed every presentation I’ve done, there is always room for improvement. Ask your audience for feedback and use it to hone your skills. And take this advice from MidnightDBA (b|t) about comparing yourself to others.

Thanks to Bob Pusateri (b|t) and Adam Machanic (b|t) for giving me this opportunity to blog on T-SQL Tuesday.