Im At Summit Now What?

Pass Summit 2011 - Photo Provided by Pat Wright

Pass Summit 2011 – Photo Provided by Pat Wright

We are a week out from PASS Summit 2014 and there will be many there attending for the first time. You are in the same boat I was in back in 2011. To be quite honest, I’ve never seen or attended anything quite like it before.

No, it’s not some mythical place that you hear about. It is a real conference with real people who are in the daily trenches just like you are. The key that I learned back in 2011 is to step out of your comfort zone, meet some new people, network, speak with the vendors, and get your learn on.

Will you be overwhelmed, perhaps, but keep in mind that you are not the only one. This event is by far, in my humble opinion, one of the best learning opportunities in our industry and field. There will be plenty of sessions to go through and attend along with some other activities once the sessions end ~ get involved.


Here are some things to note that may help you along your way:

  1. Pass Summit Schedule Builder
  2. PASS Evening Events
  3. SQL Karaoke @ Busch Gardens – Thursday night ( (check out some of the past ones here)
  4. Twitter feeds to watch for (#TSQL2sday, #sqlpass, #sqlrun, #sqllongrun)
  5. Twitter handles to watch (@sqlpass)
  6. Download the EventBrite app; if you are scheduled for things such as the sql run your event will remind you through this app
  7. Download the GuideBook app; this app will remind you of the schedules you build out
  8. Vendor booths – yes go meet them. Some of the tools you utilize everyday will be there; stop by the RedGate booth and see some of my friends
  9. Community Zone – take advantage of some of the best in our industry
  10. Eating – this might look weird putting that on here but take advantage of eating at a table with others you don’t know. Introduce yourself I promise it won’t hurt.
  11. Miss a session – yep you will because there are so many to attend. PASS has you covered and you can purchase the full tracks

I have some commitments while I am there this year, but make sure you stop me and say hi and introduce yourself. Without a doubt I look at my career and there is one thing that stands out that helped change my career outlook – attending PASS Summit.

Safe travels to everyone attending and hope to see you there.

T-SQL Tuesday #59 – My Hero!

SQL TuesdayIt always amazes me how fast these T-SQL Tuesday block parties come about; it seems like we just finished one and here we are yet again. This month the party is hosted by Tracy McKibben (Blog | Twitter) and the monthly topic that was chosen is “Heroes”.

This topic can be taken in many different directions; this post will be geared toward the SQL environment and what I’ve learned from a professional career standpoint. I’ve been blessed to have had some influential people in my career. One of the first things that crept into my mind was the “My Fab Five” post I did earlier this year. If you haven’t read it I urge you to check that one out as well; after you read this one of course!

I see so many heroes in the SQL Community; ones that aren’t heralded but come in day in and day out and get the job done. The tireless volunteer who keeps going year in and year out and doesn’t complain one time. PASS Summit 2014 is coming up; have you ever thought about how much effort that goes into putting something like that on? So many behind the scenes people who work countless hours – those are the type of heroes that I’d like to pay tribute to.

I would be amiss if I didn’t mention 4 influential people in my own career to date. I think back from both a business, professional, and technical perspective two individuals who deserve a lot of credit in bringing me along are not technical evangelists nor are they knee deep in the SQL Community; but they taught me, in more ways than most, the ropes and expectations of business. Both of these people took a chance on me early in my career and have had a big hand in molding my psych in both the business and technical realm. I have much respect for both of these individuals for the tenacity they bring daily and focus they have instilled in me – Brad Cunningham and Chris Howard. You will not see these guys in the headlines at the PASS Summit, but it is guys like this who allow guys like me and afford guys like me the ability to enhance and further my knowledge on a daily basis.

Piggy backing onto these two guys I’ve had some of the best in the Community take me under their wing so to speak. This doesn’t mean I haven’t approached others in the community nor does it mean that others aren’t helpful, but like the 2 people I mentioned above these 2 people did the same thing. They took a chance on me and allowed me to spread my wings and flourish within the SQL Community. I look up to these two individuals greatly and thanks is not enough for all they’ve done for me ~ Thank You John Sansom (Blog | Twitter) and Chris Shaw (Blog | Twitter) for rolling the dice and taking a chance on me when you didn’t have to.

Heroes –  the SQL Community is full of them. If you are in it for the fame and fortune then you are in it for the wrong reasons. Heroes are found all around us; you don’t have to look far to find them. To the many unsung heroes I thank you for your hard work and dedication for it is all of our efforts on a daily basis that make the SQL Community what it is.

If you are interested in hosting a T-SQL Tuesday party you can contact it’s creator the mighty Adam Machanic (Blog | Twitter) who is a hero in his own right.


The Question – Why?

whyThe question I get asked a lot by other data professionals at conferences, events, speaking engagements, family, friends, etc. is Why do you do what you do? Why do you put yourself through some of the things that data professionals have to endure at times with the non stop phone calls, system crashes, data breaches? What keeps you coming back for more?

Everyone is different, some may say they like the financial gains that come along with it, some may say they want that notoriety and accolades, and then some may say it is a stepping stone for climbing the ladder to future gains.

For me, being a DBA is a humbling experience. The potential for growth is great and the desire to gain continual knowledge in the skill set is prevalent. With being a data professional comes great responsibility, and it is a career that is not for the faint of heart. You will have late nights, long hours, and frustration on issues but all that molds, makes, and shapes you on your career path.

Grant Fritchey (Blog | Twitter) has one of the best articles, for myself, when he talks about Leadership Through Service. There are a handful of articles that really resonate with me over time and this is one of them. Whether you are in a shop, consultant, etc. you are providing a service and with that comes that word again ~ responsibility.


How can I get involved? This was one of the biggest areas I wish I would have learned earlier on in my career and now speak loudly about. Have you ever seen a new data professional just starting out? If you have then you know what I am talking about – the fire in their eyes and the drive and passion in their voice. That is something that I hope I never lose. I worked 11 years in the industry before really getting involved with community efforts and PASS. So the question remains how can you get involved?

Forums – some of the best opportunities lie within forums themselves. You can find information that you aren’t up to speed on and start studying to find what the answers are thus improving your knowledge gaps. Some of the ones I like to frequent are but not limited to:

  1. SQL Brit Forum
  2. SQL Server Central
  3. Stack Exchange
  4. Red Gate Forum (specializing in database professional products)

Blogging – if you aren’t blogging then you ought to try it. I have found for myself that it is a good learning tool and can be a repository of items learned along the way. As with anything writing takes practice, but be your own person. Once you have started you will wonder why you didn’t start down this venture sooner.

Email – Subscriptions – there are some golden nuggets to be had on email subscriptions from others in the industry. Some ones that would be of importance, but again are not limited to:

  1. PASS News Letter
  2. Paul Randal and the SQL Skills Team
  3. Brent Ozars LTD
  4. MSSQLTips
  5. SQL Server Central

Industry leaders – look at the industry you are in. Within any one industry you will see leaders in the community and our SQL community is no different. I won’t go into to much detail but check out the blog roll section over on the right and side of this site and you will see some renowned leaders. Follow them, see what they have to say, and learn some of there techniques. Somewhere along the way you might just pick up some good habits and practices.

Events – this is something that has greatly helped me over the years. There is a wide arrange of events both free and paid that one can attend. Some of those you don’t even realize are available:

  1. SWUG webinars
  2. SQL Saturday Events (check out my section here for most up to date events or by logging on directly to SQL Saturday’s home page)
  3. PASS Summit
  4. SQL Bits
  5. Dev Connections
  6. Brent Ozars’ weekly webinar

Social Media – what a way to connect with many people at one time. If you haven’t yet check out some of these avenues below:

  1. LinkedIn
  2. Twitter (check out the #SQLServer, #SQLHelp, #SQLCoOp tags)
  3. GoogleGroups
  4. Facebook

The list could go on; these are just a few to mention. In today’s society it is even more prevalent to take advantage of items that are free training yet still exceptional. Why not take advantage?

Speaking – I’ve heard people make the comments that they would never speak or they don’t like getting up in front of people. This is true everyone is different, but what I’ve found in speaking is that it causes you to know and learn your stuff. You can’t get up in front of 100 – 500 people and fake your way around. It has been a tool and a motivator again for learning and gaining knowledge. If you haven’t tried it then maybe try it out on some friends at work then move up to a local user group.


Your career is just that – your career. Own it and make it what you want. I’ve been told all my life I couldn’t do things; from being a 6’0 ft point guard in college to diving into a SQL Technology. Those naysayer’s have proved one thing to me – I like competition and once you’ve challenged me it is game on. I’ve been proving people wrong this long so I’ll keep continuing down that path ~ point here is you take your career by the reigns and make it yours. Don’t let others dissuade you or deter you from your goals.


There is nothing wrong with having a mentor. I’ve had some of the best and they have lead and guided me through my SQL journey. Wait a second, just the paragraph above you said be “your own person”. Yes I did, and you should. With that though comes the ability to differentiate and think on your own two feet, that doesn’t negate the fact that having a seasoned mentor who has been in the trenches would not be beneficial. Will you always agree with a mentor – no; but the insight into some of the mistakes made along with knowledge that can be provided is priceless.

To those that have mentored me, and you know who you are, I thank you for it is because of you I am that much further along in my career.

The Why

So back to the infamous question “Why”. I do what I do because I enjoy coming in everyday and being a DBA/Data Professional. I get to work with some of the finest people in the profession and learn from some of the best. I’m not in this game for the notoriety; I enjoy seeing and helping others succeed. Each day presents knew obstacles or hurdles to overcome; while some days are longer than others (as any data professional will tell you) there is a passion there that I have for the SQL Community as a whole and I hope that passion never burns out.

Some people have jobs they go to that they hate and it is just a job and sure you’ll find some data professionals like that. I’m blessed to say that I enjoy what I do on a daily basis and that I enjoy coming into work. There will always be that hunger to learn new things within SQL and the SQL Community and that will continue to be my driving force.

One thing I’ve noticed about the SQL Community is, while a passionate group, and one that sometimes disagrees that is okay because that means we are a healthy community. When I’ve seen someone hurting or needing a hand with a question it is a mere minutes before responses start flowing in. That’s the kind of group we are; dedicated data professionals who for the most part enjoy helping others.

I had a coach who I thought a lot of growing up….one time he told me as I was huffing and puffing at 3:00 a.m. from conditioning drills – “Somewhere, someone is practicing getting better than you. What will it take for you to be motivated?” That has kind of stuck with me. I know right now as I sit here and type this that there will be others that know more about certain topics, but just like basketball did it drives me to get better. Don’t settle.


So, now it is my turn to ask you – instead of why my question to you will be “Why not?”

Are you knew to the SQL game? Good then get involved

Are you a season vet who has been jaded so many times? If so then I ask you to remember back to when you first started out and the fire you had within you to conquer the SQL world. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about – find that fire once again and get involved.

For those that are involved my hats go off to you as coming from experience I know what it takes. I’m proud to be apart of this SQL Community and I plan on being here for a long time or as long as they would have me.





C-R-U-D The Basics

C-R-U-D The Basics

What is CRUD? Well, there are a lot of things I can think of when I use the term CRUD; however within the wonderful world of technology CRUD is an acronym that surprisingly enough, when I polled, didn’t really give a straight answer. That really surprised me; so with that said I will walk you through the basics of the concept.


The letter “c” stands for create; more specifically inserting some form of data by various methods or means into a repository or holding take. I want to take this down to its simplest form which the below example will depict:




Inserting data into the PastHist table is as simple as the T-SQL query; but don’t just limit the thought of creation by this simplest form. You could have data being created through front end apps, SSIS packages, or many other methods.



Depends on who you ask or talk to. The letter “r” can stand for read or retrieve. A simple retrieve statement can be a Select as below:






What is this he didn’t use a NOLOCK – don’t worry I can save that for another blog post but as you can see in its simplest form retrieving the data out of the table you just inserted into is not that cumbersome.



The letter “u” can mean update or modify if you will. Let’s see how easy it is to do a simple update statement below:

Let’s update the name for our record to be John where the id = 1






As you can see the data has been updated and John is now our data set in the name field column.



The letter “d” stands for delete or destroy. Below is a simple script to delete the data out of the table:




There are some methods I could have used to remove the data; such as Truncate Table but this is not the time or place for me to distinguish between the two. I chose the delete method on the search criteria of id = 1

Results after the deletion:





This is breaking down C-R-U-D into its simplest form. Please do not limit your thinking to these very basic simple queries. Expound on it and your thought process on what all C-R-U-D entails. As with anything you find on the internet DO NOT take queries and just execute them blindly on any environment. Doing so makes you assume the risk.

What else are others saying?

I tell you what; check out what my other colleagues have to say on something they learned recently around C-R-U-D:


CollaborateImageOn a SQL Collaboration Quest

Four SQL professionals gathered from the four corners of the world to share their SQL knowledge with each other and with their readers: Mickey Stuewe from California, USA, Chris Yates from Kentucky, USA, Julie Koesmarno from Canberra, Australia, and Jeffrey Verheul from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. They invite you to join them on their quest as they ask each other questions and seek out the answers in this collaborative blog series. Along the way, they will also include other SQL professionals to join in the collaboration.