Top Ten Reasons Julie and Audrey are Excited about SQL Saturday 242

We are so excited about SQL Saturday 242 on August 10 in Indianapolis, IN!  Why?  Well, glad you asked us.  We’re going to be presenting our first-ever SQL Saturday Pre-Con, and are forever grateful to the wonderful organizers of this event for giving us this opportunity.  We’ve done this training day here in Atlanta before, but there’s just something extra-special about being part of a SQL Saturday.

The Pre-Con is titled, From Here to BI: Data Warehousing from Start to Finish, and we think it is going to be a lot of fun.  We’re most excited that we get to spend a day talking about topics that we love, including database design, ETL, and all the cool concepts and tools that go along with building a data warehouse and moving data around.  Our goal is to show that SSIS isn’t scary, and neither is dimensional modeling.  With practical examples and real-world scenarios, our audience will hopefully walk away with great ideas that they can take to their own teams on Monday morning.

We were discussing all of the reasons why we’re excited about Indy, so we decided that what we really needed was a list (we’re nothing if not organized).  So, without further ado, our Top Ten Reasons Julie and Audrey are excited about presenting a Pre-Con at SQL Saturday 242:

 

10:  David Letterman and Kurt Vonnegut are both Indianapolis natives.  It happens that Julie has something of a crush on Dave.  Audrey would have a crush on Kurt, but he died in 2007 so that’s kind of creepy.  Let’s just say she’s an admirer.

9:  Audrey gets to talk about Dimensional Modeling, which is one of her favorite topics.  Rumor has it that she has a Ralph Kimball poster hanging in her closet, but no one’s been able to verify it yet.

8:  Julie gets to talk about ETL Frameworks, a key design concept when moving data, especially in complex integration environments.  The extra time allows her to dig into the topic and discuss best practices and lessons learned.

7:  If the SQL Saturday organizers (Hope Foley (B|T), Eddie Wuerch (B|T)) are any indication, Indiana is populated by the coolest people on the planet, and we can’t wait to meet them.   Plus, Audrey gets to finally mark Indiana off of her list of states to visit.

6:  We get to discuss Master Data Services (MDS) and Data Quality Services (DQS), two products that we’re actually using at client sites and want to share with the world. Julie has been doing a lot of research and writing on DQS, so expect a great discussion about the tool!

5:  Julie gets to preach the business key gospel to a whole new audience.  By now, everyone in the South Eastern U.S. has heard her story, and it is time to take it to the Midwest.  Audrey asks that someone in the audience suggest that business keys aren’t that important in ETL development.  She promises that you’ll all be entertained by Julie’s response.

4:  We get to hang out with Bill Pearson (B|T), who is presenting his own Pre-Con, called Practical Self-Service BI with PowerPivot for Excel.  We contend that he has the best hair in the SQL Server community.  Don’t believe us?  Come see for yourself!

3:  We hear there’s this thing in Indiana called a Tenderloin Sandwich.  Deep fried pork loin on a bun?  Sign these Southern Girls up!

2:  We get to talk end-to-end development, which is almost impossible to do in a one-hour session.  There are so many great topics to discuss, and we’re super excited that we get a full day to cover them!

1:  And the number one reason we’re excited about SQL Saturday 242…  Road Trip!

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So there you have it, just 10 of the myriad reasons that we’re thrilled to present a Pre-Con at SQL Saturday 242.  Sign up before July 12 to get the Early Bird price.  Hope to see you there!

–Julie and Audrey

Mulligan–Don’t Forget to Vote for PASS Summit’s Lightning Talks–Again!

A glitch somewhere caused PASS to redo the Community Vote for Lightning Talks–Another Chance to make your choice known for your favorite sessions.  And if you need help with the menu, may I suggest the ham?

Also, if you are in the area, I hope you are considering Columbus, Georgia’s first SQL Saturday (#167) !  I am delighted to be speaking at this event!

The SQL Saturday #111 PreCon Scholarship Winners are….

Thanks so so so so much to Idera!  For sponsoring these lucky winners!

To all who submitted!  You showed initiative in taking charge of your career!  Kudos!

To our speakers!  Thanks for putting on these training events and enriching the lives of other professionals.

To Midlands PASS (Bobby Dimmick (web | twitter) and Brian Kelley (web | twitter)) for picking the winners–tough choices I know!

The winners are:

Scott Murray for No More Guessing with Adam Machanic

Alex Salyer for A Day of SSIS with Andy Leonard and Matt Masson

Vanessa Miller for Learn Reporting Services in a Day with Jessica Moss

Congratulations!

Atlanta MDF Presents Three Awesome PreCons at SQL Saturday 111 in Atlanta, GA! April 13, 2012

Atlanta MDF presents:

SQL Saturday #111 Pre-Conference Sessions

Attend a session presented by Microsoft SQL Server MVPs (and one Microsoft Guy):

Andy Leonard and Matt Masson– A Day of SSIS – http://dayofssis.eventbrite.com/

A Day of SSIS was developed by Andy Leonard to train technology professionals in the fine art of using SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) to build data integration and Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) solutions.  The training is focused around lectures and emphasizes a practical approach. The target audience for this training is database professionals, application developers, and business intelligence practitioners interested in acquiring or expanding their existing SSIS skill set. No experience with SQL Server or SQL Server Integration Services is required before attending this training.  It is helpful (but not required) that students possess some knowledge of and experience with relational databases. SQL Server knowledge / experience will be more helpful than experience and knowledge with other technologies.

Adam Machanic – No More Guessing! An Enlightened Approach to Performance Troubleshooting – http://nomoreguessing.eventbrite.com/

Scratching your head, you stare at the screen. Should you rebuild an index? Create a new one? Reboot the server? Why is this query so slow?!? Figuring out performance problems can sometimes feel like fumbling your way through a dark room. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find the right solution―or maybe you’ll stub your toe. Either way, it’s a slow, potentially painful process. Yet finding the root cause of most performance issues is a simple exercise, once you understand where to look and when. In this full day seminar, you will learn a proven methodology that can be used to approach virtually any performance problem. Created and refined by Adam Machanic over several years, this strategy leverages core SQL Server performance tools (including dynamic management views, Extended Events, and WMI counters), applying them to various performance troubleshooting techniques (such as waits and queues analysis, baselining, and real-time activity monitoring). Each of these tools and techniques has a unique role, and you will learn to use them cooperatively to quickly and adaptively find the actual cause of performance issues. All of this will be illustrated through complete demonstrations that will teach you how to drill from high-level problem detection all the way to specific spot in a query plan or deeper―pinpointing the exact problem and helping you to quickly solve it. Attend this seminar to take full control of your databases—and never again stumble blindly through the dimly lit world of performance troubleshooting.

Jessica Moss – Learn SSRS in a Day – http://ssrsinaday.eventbrite.com/

SQL Server MVP, Jessica M. Moss, presents an exciting, introductory, full day training session on SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 R2. In the three-part class, Jessica will teach you how to build reports from the ground up. In Part 1, learn the basics of report development, including picking a report development tool and creating your first report. Part 2 delves into visualizations, groupings, and drill-down functionality. Finally, Part 3 highlights core administration tasks in Reporting Services. In addition, Jessica will point out industry-wide best practices for report development and show numerous live demos using a variety of data sources.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Georgia State University – Alpharetta

3775 Brookside Pkwy

Alpharetta, GA

Register for pre-conference sessions by March 15 for $99!

($109 after March 15)

For registration to the Saturday Event and more information visit  http://www.sqlsaturday.com/111/eventhome.aspx.

The 89: Official Cocktail of SQL Saturday #89

I need to put out an “official” SQL Saturday #89 debrief (hint: it was pretty great), but I want to throw out one cool piece of SQL Saturday history that was made last weekend.  As far as I know, SQL Saturday #89 in Atlanta is the very first SQL Saturday to have an official, original cocktail.

Allow me to set the stage… It’s Friday evening.  Pre-con sessions are done, printing and badge assembly isn’t.  The whole volunteer crew heads to our HQ at the Staybridge Suites to finish up.  Aaron Nelson (blog | Twitter) is driving Adam Machanic (blog | Twitter) about town.  Before getting to the hotel, Aaron and Adam hit the package store.  Adam arrives with an armload of liquid motivation.  He heads to the kitchenette and begins to Concoct.  We less savvy cocktail drinkers ask what he’s making.  He announces that he’s making it up with a few things he picked up.  We realize that we might possibly be in the midst of a genius moment, so we step away and let the man work.

A few moments later, Adam begins to distribute drinks to the volunteers.  I taste mine.  It’s heaven.  Refreshing and crisp, with just the right amount of bitter.  It makes the super-slow printer that we named something very derogatory and inappropriate (hint: think harlot with very poor hygiene) look just a little bit better.  It brings a smile to my face, and the carpal tunnel syndrome I’ve developed during the paper-cutting-filled day begins to ease.  The whole crew feels the weight of the biggest SQL Saturday ever in Atlanta begin to lift.  We decide that we must name this masterpiece.  After a brief discussion, we settle on it.  The 89.

Once there is a drink in every hand, Mr. Machanic jumps in to help.  That, my friends, is exactly what the SQL Server community is all about.   Friends, teamwork, volunteerism, and one hell of a good cocktail.

And now, the recipe:

The 89 (Invented by Adam Machanic):

Materials:  Abuelo Anejo Rum, Cranberry Juice, Lime Juice, Cointreau, Angostura Bitters, Ginger Beer, Highball Glass, Ice

— 2 oz Abuelo Anejo Rum (or similar aged rum)

— 1 oz Cranberry Juice

— 1/2 oz Lime Juice

— 1/2 oz Cointreau

— 5 dashes Angostura Bitters

Build in highball glass with ice, top with Ginger Beer, Stir

An Ode to a Pre-Con– John Welch is Completely Awesome.

I am honored to be part of the team which is bringing SQL Saturday 89 — Atlanta, GA  to the community on September 17th. As an extra special treat, we are also bringing two Pre-Cons on the Friday before the Pre-Con for only $99.

Troubleshooting and Performance Tuning with Kevin Kline

AND…..

Data Warehousing with SSIS Deep Dive by MS SQL MVP —-John Welch

Today I want to tell you why you should attend John Welch’s Pre-Con.

At $99 –This is a bargain. Some phrases become trite with overuse. Phrases like: “A Fraction of the Cost”, “Gubernatorial”, “Buy now and get this personal pizza oven”.  But Google “SSIS training” and look at the prices.  Also look at the fact that this is only one day off of work, and if you are local, no travel. Also, you get John Welch live and in person. You can ask him questions!

John Welch (Blog | Twitter) is completely awesome.  He’s a skilled practitioner and a great speaker. He’s a Microsoft SQL Server MVP and was a contributing author to MVP Deep Dives. I learn something from John every time I see him–see this blog  post for how John helped me with Error Handling in SSIS. He’s been doing this ETL stuff for a long time and he’s got more tricks for doing it quickly and properly than Jason Bacani (another team member– Blog , Twitter) has shoes (next time you see Jason, ask him how many shoes he owns and report back, it’s astounding!). There have been many times when I have been completely stumped with a problem and found the answer on John’s blog  (he’s really good at working with XML in SSIS!).

Do you use BIDS Helper?  John Welch worked on that project. That’s right. John Welch helped write the code that turns your connection managers blue and pink and resets your GUIDs when they are trying to ruin your life ! Wouldn’t you like to learn from the man who helped tame SSIS with BIDS Helper and other similar projects ? Shouldn’t you thank him?!!!

Survival. If the subject matter in this session is not part of your job today, it will be soon. You will always need to know how to move data from Source A to Destination B. No matter the size your organization or your relationship with said organization’s data, there is almost always a moment when you are faced with importing or exporting data. It comes with being a DBA. While there are as many ways to accomplish this as there are DBA’s out there to do it; SSIS is actually built exclusively for this purpose. It may have bulky bells and whistles, but SSIS at its core is THE tool given to us by Microsoft to move data. Shouldn’t you learn how to bend it to your will? Could there be a better opportunity? So come on people: click the button!

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1804919563