Coming to Dallas: Something for Everyone

ferrisEverybody loves the carnival.  It only comes around every few years, but when it does, it brings in a variety of people from all around.  Young, old, short, tall, skinny, chubby, and even Buck Woody – they stand in line for tickets, mill around for hours, and endure noise, crowds, and temperature extremes for a little dose of fun.

What brings out people from all walks of life to this common activity?  Is it the nausea-inducing Tilt-A-Whirl?  The tall, slow spin of the ferris wheel?  The allure of the midway games?  The politeness and hygiene of the carnies?

Yes.  To all of the above.

The draw of the carnival is broad appeal.  The ride-on spinning sombrero is a good fit for the speed freaks, while the ferris wheel appeals to those with the taste for a slower pace with the feeling of a little danger.  Foodies can enjoy cotton candy, turkey legs, an 1800-calorie corn dog, and rabid nachos all in one sitting.  Players can waste their money try their hand at winning prizes.  Those with a sense of humor can just sit back and people watch, noting the various fashion antipatterns represented there.

The carnival isn’t just one thing.  It’s got a little something for everybody.

Warning: Bumpy Segue Ahead

In that respect, the upcoming SQL Rally isn’t unlike the carnival.  Sure, there are no big rides, no cotton candy, and (probably) fewer visible back tattoos, but for those even remotely interested in SQL Server, this event is a great opportunity to grow one’s career.

SQL Rally isn’t a geeky exclusive event, nor is it purely a deep dive for highly experienced professionals.  Software developers, business analysts, college students, DBAs, and business intelligence professionals are all represented at Rally, and there’s something to appeal to all of these groups.  Whatever your role or expertise level, chances are good that you’ll find value in attending the Rally:

You’re not a database professional, but interested in getting into the field. Check out the list of regular sessions on the agenda – several of these are branded as “introduction”, “step by step”, etc., and are aimed at those with little to no experience in the topic.

You’re already working as a SQL Server professional but what to add or change your specialty.  Years ago you could just be a SQL Server guy/gal.  These days, though, the product is so immense, it’s hard to be an expert from top to bottom.  Whether you’re a SQL Server generalist and want to move to more of a specialty role, or you’re working as a DBA and want to change to BI, you’ll fit right in at Rally.  The deep dive full-day precon sessions are a great way to get immersed in a topic, and there’s even a regular session on making the move into business intelligence.

You’re a college student.  In addition to the introductory sessions mentioned above, there are four professional development regular sessions as well as a full-day professional development precon with Kevin Kline.

You’re fine where you are.  You have been proactive at developing your career and you like where you are and where you are headed.  Great!  As someone who recognizes the essentials of professional development, you also know that effective networking is key to building a long-term career in any industry.  SQL Rally will give you the opportunity to get to know literally hundreds of other professionals in this field.  Want proof that it works?  Read my own story of networking success – I got the job I have today by networking at another PASS event.

You’re still not convinced.  If all of this isn’t enough to convince you that SQL Rally has something for you, remember this:  There’s SQL Karaoke on Thursday night.  You simply haven’t lived until you’ve sung “Bohemian Rhapsody” with a room full of database folks.

Your invitation

We won’t have a dancing chicken, nobody will try to guess your weight, and there’s unlikely to be any games in the concourse to rip you off.  What you will find, however, is a lot of solid SQL Server and business intelligence content, excellent networking opportunities, and a friendly atmosphere in which to get engaged with others.  Get registered today, and I hope to see you there!

Speaking at SQL Saturday Houston

It’s SQL Saturday season again!  I found out this morning that I’ll be speaking at next month’s SQL Saturday event in Houston.  This will be my second consecutive year to speak at this event.

The crew in Houston is great to work with.  Nancy Hidy Wilson, Jonathan Gardner, Malik Al-Amin, and the others event planners did a great job last year, and I’m looking forward to partaking of their hospitality again.  In true Texas fashion, they’re having a big barbecue spread for lunch, and are planning an attendee party for afterward as well.

If you’re in the area, please do come by and catch one or both of my sessions.  I’ll be presenting on the following topics:

Parent/Child Structures in SSIS

SQL Server Integration Services provides the ability to nest packages within one another in a parent/child structure. By creating a multilayer package infrastructure using native elements of SSIS, you can easily encapsulate reusable components of your ETL layer, simplify logging, and make the development process more efficient. In this session, we’ll take a tour through the parent/child facilities within SSIS, including the changes for same in SQL Server 2012.

Top 10 New Features of SSIS in 2012

The release of SQL Server 2012 will bring a number of new and exciting changes to SQL Server Integration Services, making it the most significant release of SSIS since that product replaced DTS in 2005. In this session, we’ll explore the top 10(ish) new features of SSIS in SQL Server 2012, including:

  • The new project deployment model
  • Scripting enhancements
  • Logging

… among others. We’ll also walk through demonstrations of each of these new behaviors.

Also, don’t forget about Kalen Delaney’s precon on Friday – currently it is sold out but they are opening up a wait list to accommodate cancellations.

I hope to see you there!  If you are, please stop by and say hello.