SQL Server with Mr. Denny


December 19, 2014  6:13 PM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for December 19, 2014

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
SQL, SQL Server

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

This weeks SQL Server person to follow on Twitter is: PASSAppDev also known as PASS AppDev VC

Hopefully you find these articles as useful as I did.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter where my username is @mrdenny.

Denny

December 17, 2014  5:00 PM

Farewell TechEd

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
SQL Server, TechEd

Last month I had the privilege of speaking at what is supposed to be the last Microsoft TechEd conference at TechEd Europe 2014. I’ve been lucky enough to speak at both the North American and European Microsoft TechEd events for a few years now, having spoken at the 4 most recent TechEd North America events as well as the most recent 3 TechEd Europe events.

Speaking at TechEd has been a very interesting experience as it is typically a different audience than the other events which I’ve spoken at in the past. Events such as the SQL PASS Summit and SQL Saturdays, and even SQL Connections are mostly focused on Microsoft SQL Server while the audience at TechEd is made up mostly of developers as systems administrators.

I’m excited to see what the Ignite event looks like when it happens in Chicago in 2015. It is expected to be a larger event than TechEd has been recently due to the fact that many events are being rolled into a single event.

It has been a privilege to speak at TechEd the last few years, and I hope to continue the trend at the Ignite conference for years to come.

Denny


December 12, 2014  4:58 PM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for December 12, 2014

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
Database migration, SQL Server

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

This weeks SQL Server person to follow on Twitter is: morzhov_m also known as Maxim

Hopefully you find these articles as useful as I did.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter where my username is @mrdenny.

Denny


December 10, 2014  5:00 PM

Session’s Are a Specific Length For A Reason

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
Business presentations, Conferences, SQL, SQL Server

Nothing irks me more when I walk into my session room than the prior presenter still standing up there doing his thing eating into my 15 minutes of prep/setup time. Conferences have fixed length sessions for a reason. So that the audience knows how long the session will be, so that the presenter knows how much material to prepare, and so that the speaker knows how long they have before their session to get setup.

When a presenter runs over their time into the next presenters setup time this shows that the presenter didn’t have a good enough grasp of their session to set the right cadence, and they didn’t have good time management skills to know when they should have skipped some slides so that they’d finish on time.

Vendors are the worst at this at their lunch sessions. Lunch sessions at events like SQL Saturday’s typically don’t have much prep time between the lunch session and next session, so when the vendor runs over they are eating directly into the next presenters time.

Giving a session which runs short isn’t good either. As presenters we like to pad a sessions with 5-10 minutes of questions that we think are going to show up during the session. But when they don’t we need to have enough material to fill the time slot fully. After all that’s what the audience came to see. If you’ve got a 60 minute session slot, and 45 minutes of material and no questions, you’d better have some extra material to fill the extra 15 minutes with. When I was a TechEd Europe this year I wondered up to my session room very early, while the prior speaker should have still been presenting. I figured that I’d stand at the back and catch the last few minutes of his session before I got setup for mine. However when I got there his session was already done, with him standing at the front with a small group of people asking him questions. He finished easily 15 minutes early (I’m guessing).

Time management is hard. Especially when giving a presentation to a group, as you may not have a clock running to tell you how much time you have left. But there’s apps for your phone, or you can use the timer in PowerPoint (as long as you don’t close PowerPoint to do a demo), or a room monitor who can give you a signal at 5,10,15 minutes before you end, etc. There’s lots of ways to fix the problem so that the attendees get the session of the length that they are expecting while still getting the information across to them.

Denny


December 5, 2014  7:19 PM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for December 05, 2014

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
IT conferences, SQL Server

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

This weeks SQL Server person to follow on Twitter is: SqlFreccia also known as Marcos Freccia

Hopefully you find these articles as useful as I did.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter where my username is @mrdenny.

Denny


December 3, 2014  5:00 PM

Never Tempt the Demo Gods

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
Business presentations, Presentation software, SQL, SQL Server

Demos are one of the most fun parts of presenting, and one of the riskiest. This is because the demo gods have two options. They can smile upon you and give you a perfect demo, or they can piss all over you and your demo can crash and burn. How you handle those demo failures shows how good of a speaker you really are.

If you are able to recovery from the failure and fix the problem without anyone noticing the problem, you are a master speaker. If you point out the failure, then work around it, you’re pretty good (this is where I usually fall in the demo failure recovery event). If you stumble from the failure and get stuck and can’t continue, you need to practice your demos more (or not use demos if you can get away from it).

There’s a few ways to avoid demo failure. The easiest is to avoid demos. If possible stick to screenshots, they can’t fail you and you don’t have to drop out of the PowerPoint to get to them. Many demos out there don’t really need to be demos. If all you are doing is showing code, and the output I can do that with screenshots. Or at the very least have screenshots handy in a hidden slide so that if the demo fails you can toss them up on the screen to show how it’s supposed to work.

Another way to avoid demo failure, is to not type in the demo. People laugh when I (and others) say to never type in a demo, but we aren’t kidding. When you are on stage presenting you are nervous and odds are you’ll hit a key wrong and get a lovely error on the screen when you shouldn’t. Have all the code you’ll be using pre-written (and tested) so you can just open it and show it, then run it. The same goes for T-SQL scripts, PowerShell scripts, etc. Just open the script, show it, and run it. (And when showing PowerShell scripts don’t use the PowerShell prompt, use the damn ISE so the audience can read the screen.)

My final suggestion is to use something like DemoMate to record the demos ahead of time. This way if there’s a demo failure you can show the recorded version of it working. Now don’t plan on just using DemoMate and never showing an actual demo because that won’t fly with your audience. But if the demo blows up you need a way to get your point across.

Denny


November 28, 2014  5:00 PM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for November 28, 2014

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
IT conferences, SQL Server

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

This weeks SQL Server person to follow on Twitter is: ssslug also known as SQL Server Sri Lanka

Hopefully you find these articles as useful as I did.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter where my username is @mrdenny.

Denny


November 25, 2014  5:00 PM

Your Attendees Don’t All Want 400 Level Sessions

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
IT conferences, IT conferences and events, SQL, SQL Server

I’ve heard some talk from SQL Saturday organizers that they only want advanced sessions at their SQL Saturday, for some reason or another.

This probably isn’t what your attendees want. Sure, some of them do. But a lot of people who attend these sorts of sessions want more introduction sessions. Have you polled you attendees on what they are looking for in the sessions at your event?

How do I know this? I’ve given many intro level sessions at SQL Saturdays to a full rooms. I am a fairly well known speaker, so one could assume that people are coming to see me present. However, the very first time that I gave my session entitled “I’ve got a SQL Database, Now What?” was because I was filling in for another speaker who had a family emergency, my name was not on the session, and there was still a packed room.

At TechEd I’ve given the same session multiple times, and a good example was this year in Houston when I had over 800 people in my session room.

This shows that many attendees are looking for these types of sessions—SQL Saturday attendees, just like Code Camp and PASS Summit attendees have a wide mix of skill sets and job roles. Not everyone at a SQL Saturday is looking for information on spin locks, index internals, Hekaton internals, wait stats deep dives, etc. They are looking for sessions on how to do backups, how to index tables, the kinds of things that they can take back to the office on Monday, and use to fix problems. Some are Accidental DBAs, some are Production DBAs who know their job responsibilities are always expanding. Some are Production DBAs who’ve recently switched jobs and now have to use SQL Server in ways they didn’t have to do before. Some are famous database celebrities who want to learn more about parts of the expanding surface area of SQL Server features.

So if you are a SQL Saturday organizer or run other SQL Server conference (or really any conference), remember that not all your attendees are looking for the same 400/500 level sessions that you are looking for. Some are, while others are looking for 300 level sessions and many are looking for 100/200 level sessions. There’s nothing wrong with helping all those attendees. As the organizer of the event your job is to ensure that all your attendees are getting what they need from your event. It isn’t your job to have the first all-400-level session SQL Saturday, because odds are that isn’t what your local community needs. Even if you think it does.

Denny


November 25, 2014  4:55 PM

1000 Blog Posts Down, Who Knows How Many More To Go

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
SQL, SQL Server, statistics

Well, today is a bit of a milestone for me. As of today, I’ve published 1000 blog posts on IT Knowledge Exchange which is hosted by TechTarget. I’ve blogged about a lot of stuff over the years, including PASS, EMC World, SQL Server, Storage, Exchange, etc. Here’s some highlights from my posting over the years.

My first Post: Getting the right disk config for your SQL Server (from all the way back in October 2007)

My most popular article: How to configure DTC on Windows 2008 (which according to my Google data has been read in 7 different languages)

Number of page views (ball park): 800,000 (this is just a guess based on ad views and google stats)

Number of Blog Posts that I’ve gotten 1/2 way through and tossed because they sucked: Countless

Anyway, thanks for reading my rants and ramblings over the years.  If you keep reading, I’ll keep writing.  Now go create an account on the site, and leave me some comments!

Denny


November 21, 2014  6:04 PM

Recommended reading from mrdenny for November 21, 2014

Denny Cherry Denny Cherry Profile: Denny Cherry
IT conferences, IT conferences and events, SQL Server

This week I’ve found some great things for you to read. These are a few of my favorites that I’ve found this week.

This weeks SQL Server person to follow on Twitter is: retracement also known as Mark Broadbent

Hopefully you find these articles as useful as I did.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter where my username is @mrdenny.

Denny


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