Category Archives: Volunteer

Heading to Baton Rouge! SQLSaturday #64

I’ve been honored again to present at Baton Rouge. This is an excellent event from every angle. It is also getting big! This is shaping up to be a truly well rounded Microsoft focused event. If you are there please come say hi, I love to meet new people!

Check it out and build your schedule. Don’t forget the after party ether. Networking is a huge part of a SQLSaturday, take advantage of it!

I’m A Part Of Things Greater Than Myself, The POSSE Is Here.

Something Is Missing…

Some of you know I have a deep passion for the SQL Server community. I’ve always been extremely focused on local community building. As we started really planning for our SQLSaturday (SQLSaturday #97) I started to realize there was a gap between the user group level and the national level. We initially just wanted to turn CACTUSS into a nonprofit but I’m also involved with the San Antonio community and we want to do a SQLSaturday there too. So, I talked to some people I’ve known for quite a while and started moving to form a new nonprofit organization. The Professional Organization of SQL Server Educators was conseved.

This Ain’t Gonna Be Easy.

I started digging around for how to build the company and make it not only a federal nonprofit but a state nonprofit as well.  If you have ever filed all the paperwork for a federal nonprofit you know just how big a time and money investment it really is. Again, it isn’t easy. The IRS has a lot of information. Eventually I decided to use for some of the basic stuff. Luckily I have a wife who is in the legal field and is doing the bulk of the heavy lifting. The amount of information you have to put together is pretty daunting. It isn’t just a matter of filling out a form and sending it in. You have to prove that you are serving the community and make sure you have everything in place to keep the organization from being co-opted by folks who would use it for personal gain.

Why Would Anyone Do This?

Because. That’s it just because. OK, there is more to it than that. I have complained made suggestions, for the last several years about how PASS could help local chapters. After seeing what can happen when you just do what should be done, I decided to shut up and just get it done. Even if they don’t know it Steve Jones, Andy Warren, and Brian Knight are one of the real reasons I’m doing this. Every time you go to a SQLSaturday and learn something new you need to send those guys a thank you note. They didn’t wait for someone else to do it. They didn’t ask how they could monetize SQLSaturday they structured it to be supportable by the local community. They built one of the best things to ever happen to the SQL Server community.

Now What?

We keep working to get everything squared away. Am I afraid of failing? Yep, but I’m more afraid of just doing nothing.

SQLRally, SQL Saturday and The Summit

“Gotta say it was a good day…”

-Ice Cube

On The SQL Saturday Circuit

I’ve been speaking at all the regional SQLSaturday events I can go to. I kicked off the year with SQLSaturday #57 in Houston. Then did a turn around to SQLSaturday #63 in Dallas, my second one there. I have submitted to Baton Rouge figuring I could drive it but after that I’d be tapped out on vacation time and money. Lucky for me, Idera started the A.C.E. program and chose me as part of the very first group to sponsor for this year. I’m now gearing up to submit to more SQLSaturday’s. Hopefully I’ll get picked!

Is this Thing On?

From Thomas Wanhoff via Flickr

I did my first live webinar on Idera’s Secrets of SQL Server  webcast series. It was a three part series over SQL Server and storage technologies. My first part pulled in around 900 people. Part 2 around 500 and part 3 around 350. All in all, I would call it a success. I had a great time doing them. I was terrified to do them. I have done a ton of public speaking and a short stint in radio broadcasting, but this felt completely different. It was in a way. I couldn’t just ham it up like I would on the radio and not having the feed back from a live audience made it difficult to tell if I was going off the rails.

On The National Stage

I was notified by SQLRally that I would be presenting my storage talk at the very first event in Orlando. I was stunned. First, that I made the initial cut. Secondly, that I was chosen by all of you over so many other great abstracts and speakers. I resolved to make this the best presentation I could. Later, I got the call that I had been chosen for a 90 minute deep dive session. I knew I could carry 90 minutes with the amount of material I’ve got handy so that wasn’t an issue. Not wanting to disappoint those who attended was though. Just to keep things interesting, I helped perform eScan’s first move into a real data center, got the flu oh and resigned to go to work for Dell. All of this right before SQLRally. My last day at work was on a Tuesday, I left at lunch got on the plane to Florida an gave it my all. The reaction was just overwhelming. The amount of people that kept coming up to me through the rest of the conforince to let me know how much they liked the session was just staggering. People that I’ve known for years kept telling me just how solid it was. I didn’t disagree with them but when I got the evaluations back I knew I’d knocked it out of the park.  They also just announced the top rated speakers and I came in number second, Adam Jorgensen (twitter|blog) just squeaking past me. I would have been jazzed just to be in the top 10. Again, I am humbled to be in such excellent company.

The Big Show

If all of that wasn’t enough I got the nod. For years I’ve dreamed of speaking at The Summit. I’ve been to almost every one of them. I submitted two sessions. My talk on the fundamentals of storage got the green light and my solid state storage was selected as an alternate. What do I say? I’m humbled, honored and very excited to be a speaker at the premiere SQL Server event of the year.

Now What?

I’m not sure to be honest. It is only June. I’ve got more stuff to get done for the local and regional PASS chapters, a SQL Saturday to host in Austin by the end of the year. I got to say, this is going down as one of my best years ever serving the SQL Server community.

I’m an ACE

I am happy to announce that I’ll be joining Idera’s Advisor & Community Educator for SQL Server program.

Getting More Involved

I’ve always appreciated Idera funding my local PASS chapter and funding SQLSaturday events. Recently the fine folks at Idera have decided to take a more active role in the community. Recently, you may have seen some new faces at SQLSaturday events helping out. Idera made a commitment to put boots on the ground at some SQLSaturday events to just help out. They weren’t there to sell software but to genuinely help out. Now they are taking it to the next level.

Why become an ACE?

For me, joining the program was a simple choice. It offers me the opportunity to work with Andy Warren (@sqlandy| someone I’ve known for a long time and have a lot of respect for. And to work with someone new, Mitch Bottel (@SacSQLDude| who is working hard to grow in the community. It also allows me to extend my ability to teach, mentor and generally reach out to new people. I’ve been funding my own travel and expenses for the last few years to speak at events like SQLSaturday. While I don’t mind footing the bill it does limit how far I can travel. Idera’s ACEs program changes all of that. It is just a great opportunity to reach out to others and grow as a teacher.

Do you want to join?

That’s right! Idera is looking for three more candidates go to read up on the program and decide if you too would like to work with Idera and help grow the community! Is Live!

You heard right, I’ve finished with the 1.0 release. It isn’t pretty but it works. If you need a primer check out my last post. If you need a list just fill out the form and I’ll get you taken care of.

I’d like to thank Scott Stauffer(blog|Twitter) for helping me out with some tools.

I’d like to thank Sean McCown for providing me with an MSDN subscription so I could finish this project! If you aren’t following the MidnighDBA’s (blog|Twitter) you should!

If you would like to test things out then please sign up to

Lets take a look at the features:

  • Create custom list <mylist>
  • Send to list via email or web site.
  • Only list owners can send emails to list.
  • View number of replies and who has replied.
  • Manage subscriptions and list owners.
  • See who has unsubscribed and how.
  • Automatic bounce detection and auto unsubscribe from list.
  • Automatic “out of office” detection and ignore.
  • Export subscriber list.
  • Subscribe or unsubscribe via email or web.

Lets take a quick tour.

On the front page you can see a list of recent emails that have gone out.


You can update your account information.


You can manage your subscriptions.


You can email your list.


Check to see if anyone has replied to a mailing.


Manage your subscribers.


The goal is to keep it simple as possible. I hope I have done that. There are some features I would still like to have just for managing my own lists. If you have any thoughts please leave me a comment, who knows if you use SQL Meetings I’ll probably add anything you want that makes it useful to you.

Version 1.1~1.4
Cleanup and bug fixes. I’m a believer that Great is the enemy of good. This is good, so I’m launching it. That doesn’t mean it won’t have bugs and there are a few outstanding code cleanup tasks I have already scheduled. Remember, isn’t my day job at all, this was and is a learning experience for me.

Version 1.5 features(Possible):
Posterous friendly emails.
Tweet with link to message from @SQLMeetings.
Re-email a send message, you send out a mail and want to send that same mail again.

Version 2.0 features(Possible):
Linkedin integration.
Facebook integration.
Schedule reminders using generic template, you may not have your details hammered out yet but still want to send out a reminder say one week before the meeting.