August HRSSUG/HRNUG Combined Meeting

August 14, 2012

Tonight I presented SQL Server 2012: The Grand Tour to a combined meeting of the Hampton Roads SQL Server/SharePoint User Group and the Hampton Roads .NET User Group. It was a packed house and a great time!

The presentation materials can be downloaded from here.


#MADExpo 2012 Slidedeck

June 27, 2012

This morning I was lucky enough to present SQL Server 2012: The Grand Tour at the 2012 Mid Atlantic Developer Expo. Thank you to those that attended my session. In case you missed it today, I will present the same material again tomorrow morning in the second session time slot (11 PM to 12:15 PM).

MADExpo is a great conference with something for everyone, including even a kids track today and tomorrow. If you aren’t here this year, I’d strongly urge you to consider putting it on your agenda next year. Along with the kids track, the inexpensive cost of admission and proximity to Williamsburg and Virginia Beach make it a great candidate for a family get away built around a technical conference.

My presentation materials can be downloaded here. I strongly encourage you to make use of the reference and resource section for further reading on the topics of my talk.


PowerShell: A Tale of Two Checklists (Slidedeck)

October 24, 2011

In the past couple of weeks, I have been fortunate enough to deliver my new presentation, PowerShell: A Tale of Two Checklists, at the Richmond Code Camp and to the Hampton Roads SQL Server and SharePoint User Group. Thank you to all that attended either and especially those that offered me feedback. As promised, there are the slides from the presentation.

As for my demo script, based on some feedback that I received, I have decided to tweak it a bit before posting it. I want to take some of the custom stuff out and make a version that could be universally applicable. I also want to make it driven by a configuration file so that the file itself does not need to change each time you run it. So, stay tuned and thanks to those that offered these suggestions!

If you missed these events, don’t fret! I am slated to deliver this presentation again at the SQLSaturday event in Washington, DC, on November 5th. This event is free and sure to be a blast! Get more information and register here. Hope to see you there!


Presenting at Richmond Code Camp 2011.2

October 4, 2011

I am honored and excited to have been chosen to present at the upcoming Richmond Code Camp on Saturday, October 8, 2011. My presentation is titled “PowerShell: A Tale of Two Checklists” and is scheduled for just after lunch. This will be my first time presenting at a Code Camp and my first time presenting on PowerShell!  The examples in my presentation are geared towards using PowerShell with Server Management Objects (SMO) to automate SQL Server configurations, however many of the concepts and lessons apply to any use of PowerShell for automation. I have included the session abstract below.

PowerShell: A Tale of Two Checklists

It was the worst of times.  It was the age of foolishness.  I had a long-winded, manual, GUI-intensive checklist for configuring new SQL Server installations.  Automating that checklist with PowerShell and SMO ushered in the best of times and an age of wisdom.  In this session, we will walk through my new automated checklist, make the case for using PowerShell for such tasks, and point those still mired in the winter of despair and manual drudgery towards the spring of hope that is scripting and automation.

If you are in the Mid-Atlantic area and are looking for an excellent learning and networking opportunity, you cannot do any better than the Richmond Code Camp. The folks that run this event have been doing it twice a year for a number of years and it is very well run, free of charge, and there are usually quite a few giveaways at the end of the day. Register here and I hope to see you there!


Presenting to Hampton Roads SQL Server Users Group, Thursday, April 15

April 14, 2010

I am reviving my “Integration Services in the Real World” presentation from last weekend’s SQLSaturday #30 in Richmond for the Hampton Roads SQL Server Users Group (HRSSUG) this Thursday, April 15, at 6:30 PM.  More details available here.


“Integration Services in the Real World” Slide Deck

April 14, 2010

I want to extend a HUGE “thank you” to everyone who attended my presentation at this weekend’s SQLSaturday #30 in Richmond.  I think I was lucky to be the only one talking about SSIS as the room was packed.  I really appreciated everyone’s attention and participation.  I only noticed one guy in the front fall asleep and I saw the same guy fall asleep in another session later in the day so not bad at all!

To those who stopped on the way out or came up to me later in the day to mention that they enjoyed the presentation, I really cannot say how much that meant to me.  This was my first time stepping out of my comfort zone and giving a presentation.  If one person had said something nice about my presentation, that would have meant the world to me.  The fact that maybe 10 or 15 did was absolutely incredible.  Even the guy who fell asleep gave me a “thumbs up” on the way out.  Maybe he was just looking for someone with a soothing voice and mine sufficed.

I would also like to thank Tim Mitchell (blog | twitter).  At one point, Tim and I were both presenting SSIS topics.  I felt a bit nervous to share the SSIS bill with Tim as he is quite an experienced and polished presenter.  I reached out to Tim both as an opportunity to pick his brain for advice and as an opportunity to network with someone before the conference since I did not expect to know too many folks ahead of time.  Tim was gracious enough to schedule a call with me and spend the better part of an hour answering my questions, giving me pointers, and reassuring me that I was on the right track.  I was disappointed that he was not able to come to the rescheduled event, but look forward to meeting him sometime in the future when our paths cross.  Thanks Tim!

Finally, I would also like to thank Jessica Moss (blog | twitter), one of the conference organizers.  Jessica spent some time talking with me when I ran into her at SharePoint Saturday here in Virginia Beach back in January.  At the time, I was a bit nervous regarding my approach for my presentation.  Jessica was very encouraging.  She reassured me that my plans for the session fit what they were looking for at the conference and that my abstract did a decent job of conveying those plans.  Knowing that a conference organizer and experienced speaker knew exactly what I was planning and was happy with it really boosted my confidence.  Thanks Jessica!

My slide deck is attached to this post.  During the presentation, a request was made for me to make one of my projects available for download.  Not considering this ahead of time was probably the biggest rookie mistake that I made.  I am still considering whether I am going to be able to do this.  I am torn at the moment because the project in question was not strictly a demo in the sense that it did nothing but explain a concept or illustrate a method.  It was a finished product.  It was something my employer paid for me to develop and deliver.  I am going to give this some more thought and will follow-up in another post.

Update:  Here is the link to the deck:  Integration Services in the Real World


Come on out to SQLSaturday #30 in Richmond

January 19, 2010

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago here, I will be giving a case-study style presentation on SQL Server Integration Services at the upcoming SQLSaturday event in Richmond on January 30, 2010.  I will be presenting several of the SSIS projects that I have built at work.  Through a review of these projects, we will discuss some of the advantages SSIS presented as opposed to alternate approaches or technologies that I could have employed, look at exactly how I accomplished these things in SSIS, and lay out some best practices for SSIS development.  My slot on the schedule is at 11:00 AM, on Track 1.

It will be a day of firsts for me.  This will be the first opportunity that I have had to attend a SQLSaturday.  I have heard about these events for sometime now and think its great that we have one within a couple hours of where I live for the first time (I believe).  I had a blast at the recent SharePoint Saturday here in Virginia Beach and am not really a SharePoint guy (just play one at work quite often.)  So, I know a similar event focused on SQL Server will be a lot of fun.

This will also be my first time speaking at an event like this.  I’m quite nervous, of course, but looking forward to it.

I would like to encourage any of you among my legion of devoted blog followers who will be near the Richmond, VA, area on January 30th to sign up to attend.  It is a free event and I’m sure a large turnout would help to make sure other such events take place in our area in the years to come.  Register here to secure your place!