Five people you should meet at the PASS Summit

imageAs I write this, I’m airborne and on my way to Seattle for the summit week (the Microsoft MVP Summit, followed by the PASS Summit).  I was struck with the notion – and not for the first time – that I’m not really looking forward to these events for the technical content as much as I’m looking forward to networking and reconnecting with my fellow SQLFamily members.  If you are planning to be at either or both of these, I strongly encourage you to make it a priority to meet people and get to know them.  This should be at least as important, if not moreso, than attending sessions.

If all goes well, I’m going to meet up with dozens of people – some of whom I’ll be meeting for the first time.  If you’re new to the SQL community, there may be lots of new names and faces to meet.  If you’re in that group, I want to share with you five folks whom I know that you should make an effort to meet while at the PASS Summit:

Argenis Fernandez: He’s one of my favorite people in the SQL Server community.  He’s an MCM, MVP, and a former Microsoftie, so his depth and breadth of knowledge is clear.  However, he’s also one of the nicest, most interesting folks you’ll meet there.  When you meet him for the first time, don’t be surprised if he wraps you up in a big ol’ bear hug.

Tom LaRock: Tom is the president of the PASS organization, and someone I’m glad to call my friend.  He’s an incredibly smart guy with a talent for getting things done.  But above that, he’s a very approachable, personable guy who really listens when you’re talking.  Tom is a good guy to know for a lot of reasons, and if you introduce yourself to him you’ll be glad you did.

Allen White: Allen is one of the friendliest folks you’ll meet in the SQL community.  He’s also one of the most versatile people in the industry, with a great deal of knowledge in database engine, business intelligence, Biml, and many other diverse topics.  If you want an honest opinion on something, ask Allen – he’ll give you a polite but fair and accurate assessment.  Allen is also a runner, but you’d better be in shape if you intend to keep up with him.

Stacia Misner: Of the various business intelligence practitioners you should know, Stacia is near the top.  I’ve known her for several years and always enjoy chatting with her.  She’s wicked smart, but goes out of her way to share what she knows.  Meeting Stacia often comes with a bonus, as you may also get to meet Dean Varga, her fiancé and also a new member of the SQL community.

Scott Currie: Scott is easily one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.  He’s the CEO of Varigence, the company that makes Biml (and my affection for that tool is well known).  But apart from that, he’s a very insightful guy, one whose opinion I would trust on just about any matter, technical or nontechnical.

By no means should this be considered a comprehensive list of people whom you should meet; winnowing this list to just five people was quite difficult.  These are just five of literally scores of outstanding people in the SQL community who would be happy to say hello to you at the Summit.

Speaking at the SQL PASS 2014 Summit

imageI’m happy to announce that I will be speaking at the SQL PASS Summit this fall.  The summit will be held during the first week of November in Seattle, Washington.  This will be my seventh year attending the PASS Summit, and my fourth year as a speaker.

This year I will be delivering a new presentation entitled “Building Bullet-Resistant SSIS Packages”:

It’s 2:30 a.m., and you’ve just gotten that call no ETL developer wants to get: an SSIS package has failed unexpectedly. Immediately, you start asking yourself: “What could have caused this?”, “What do I do to fix the data from this failed execution?”, and, most importantly, “Could I design the package in such a way that this doesn’t happen again?”

In this demo-packed session, we will examine the design patterns and logistics of building error-resistant SSIS packages. Starting with the control flow, we’ll work through various tools and patterns that can be used to prevent, or at least handle appropriately, task-level errors. We’ll then move to the data flow, and discuss and demonstrate how to proactively address problem data to prevent unexpected package failures.

I’m looking forward to presenting this session, but more importantly, I’m excited about meeting new community members and catching up with #sqlfamily.  I hope to see you in Seattle in November!

Upcoming Presentations in May

atlNext month, I’ll be making a couple of stops at SQL Saturday events in the south.  On May 3, I’ll be attending SQL Saturday #285 in Atlanta and presenting my SSIS Performance session.  I’ll be traveling with my good friend and neighbor Ryan Adams, who is also presenting at the event.  In addition, several of my Linchpin People cohorts are also in attendance, which means I should probably bring along some extra bail money.  Although I’ve been to Atlanta several times, I’ve never gotten to attend the SQL Saturday there, so I’m looking forward to meeting some new people.

SQLSAT308_SPEAKINGThe following weekend, I’ll be visiting the good folks in Houston for SQL Saturday #308.  At this event I’ll be sharing two of my favorite topics: SSIS performance and SSIS scripting.  Having previously attended SQL Saturday in Houston, I know a little about what to expect (Texas barbecue for lunch…. holla!), and I always dig hanging out with fellow Texans down south.  This event will be a first for me in that I’m taking along my whole family for the trip.

If you’re in Atlanta or Houston for either of these events, come by one of my sessions and say hello!  I hope to see you there.

SQL Saturday Lisbon

sqlsatportIt’s a little over a week until this year’s SQL Saturday festivities kick off in Lisbon, Portugal, and I’m very excited to be a part of it.  Registration is nearly full, so if you’re in the area and are planning on attending, register now!

For this event, I’m delivering a full day workshop entitled “Real World SSIS: A Survival Guide”, during which I’ll share design patterns and practical lessons I’ve learned over my 10-ish years in the BI/ETL space.  This workshop will be held on Thursday, April 10th (the Thursday prior to the main SQL Saturday event), and there are still some seats available.  You can register for this workshop online.  I’ve also recorded a teaser video of what’s to come in this workshop.

In addition to the full-day workshop on Thursday, I’ll also be presenting two, one-hour sessions on Saturday.  I’ll be sharing “Handling Errors and Data Anomalies in SSIS” and “15 Quick Tips for SSIS Performance” during the regular SQL Saturday event.

If you plan on attending SQL Saturday in Lisbon, please stop by and say hello!  I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

My event schedule for Fall 2013

As I was browsing my calendar of upcoming events for the remainder of the summer and the fall, I realized two things:

  1. This will likely be the busiest, most travel-heavy three months I’ve ever had, and
  2. I’m going to have to buy my wife something really nice by the time I finish my travels.

Between client travel and community events, I get to spend some quality time with my friends at American Airlines.  But even better, I get to hang out with some of you fine folks!

Among the events at which I’ll be speaking:

SQL Saturday Oklahoma City (Saturday, August 24).  I’ll be presenting “Handling Errors and Data Anomalies in SSIS” while doing my best not to make jokes about Oklahoma.

SQL Saturday Orlando (Friday, September 13 – Saturday, September 14).  On Friday, I’ll be presenting a full day preconference seminar entitled “Real World SSIS: A Survival Guide”.  Since this will be held on Friday the 13th, you can bring your black cat for free with paid admission*.  I’ll be staying for the main event the following day, and will present a brand new presentation entitled “Maximizing SSIS Package Performance”.

SQL Saturday Denver (Friday, September 27 – Saturday, September 28).  I’ll spend Friday with some of you talking again about Real World SSIS, followed by my “Maximizing SSIS Package Performance” presentation on Saturday.  Somehow this lineup seems strangely familiar.

SQL Connections (Monday, September 30 – Thursday, October 3).  I get to present two sessions at the national SQL Connections event in Las Vegas.  I’ll be again delivering “Maximizing SSIS Package Performance” (this is turning out to be a popular selection) along with “Cleaning Up Dirty Data in SSIS”.  Both of my sessions are on Tuesday, which means I’ve got three unallocated days in Las Vegas.  Is there anything fun to do in Vegas for three days?

Biml Workshop (Tuesday, October 15).  I’ve been spending a lot of time using Biml lately, and I’ve finding it to be a centerpiece in my toolset these days.  In this full day workshop, I’ll be presenting with Andy Leonard and Scott Currie to demonstrate how Biml can be used as a tool for rapid development and easy maintenance of SSIS packages.

SQL PASS Summit (Tuesday, October 15 – Friday, October 18).  The SQL PASS Summit remains my favorite SQL Server event, and I get the opportunity to present for the third year in a row.  I’ll be delivering a session entitled “Data Cleansing in SSIS”.  I’m also planning an after-hours session entitled “How to Embarrass Yourself at Karaoke”, which may or may not appear in your event guide.

SQL Saturday Tampa (Friday, November 8 ? – Saturday, November 9).  I’ll be delivering a full day precon ahead of the Saturday event (presumably Friday, or perhaps Thursday) as well as one or more sessions at the main event on Saturday.

In addition to the events that have already confirmed, I’ve also submitted for the SQL Saturday BI event in Charlotte just after the PASS Summit, and may also submit to our hometown SQL Saturday event in Arlington, TX in November.

It’s going to be a busy and fun fall travel season.  I’m looking forward to getting to catch up with many in my #SQLFamily during the next several months.

* Not really. Please leave your cats at home, or I’ll be forced to bring my vicious dog to keep them away.