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Presenting at inaugural meeting for Wheeling, West Virginia User Group

I will be presenting my “Learning SSIS under 1 hour” session over live meeting for the Wheeling, West Virginia User Group on Thursday 1/20/2011. This meeting will kick-off the first meeting for the local user group put together by John Sterrett (Blog | Twitter). More details can be found at:

http://johnsterrett.com/2011/01/06/new-sql-user-group-in-wheeling-west-virginias-first-meeting-is-january-20th/

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Tampa SQL Saturday 62 Afterthoughts

Tampa SQL Saturday #62 was overall a success. We had an amazing turnout of speakers and attendees. The final attendance numbers are still being reviewed by Pam Shaw (Blog | Twitter). I would safely say that we had at least 340 attendees. This is an estimated 21% increase in attendance from last year’s SQL Saturday attendance which was around 280.

Speed Pass
A big differentiator this year was Pam’s brilliant idea of doing the “SpeedPass”.  Registration this year was a breeze. I watched the registration process and took about 15 secs avg per person to hand in their “SpeedPass” ticket and receive their swag bag.  I think this was a great idea and hope that other SQL Saturdays start adopting it. If there is enough interest we could ask PASS to host these reports for us. There are several enhancements to the process as was pointed out to me by Andy Warren (Blog | Twitter). All feedback has been welcomed and we hope other SQL Saturdays implement them.

Food
Tampa SQL Saturday 62 has raised the bar again in terms of food. We had a delicious catered Cuban/Spanish plate. Everybody loved it.  We also had Krispy Kremes and coffee for breakfast and breaks between sessions. Can’t go wrong with Krispy Kremes!

Volunteers
We had several volunteers who had signed up, but only about 10 that confirmed their time and availability and only a handful that really stepped up to the plate. We are very thankful for their time and effort. Without volunteers this event could have not been possible. Special thanks to the volunteers that helped with bagging, setup, registration,  manning food and coffee break area and clean-up. I would like to mention their names in recognition of their efforts:

David Liebman
Andrew Brittain
Lena Pavlyuk
Thomas Heflin
Howard Chao
Brook Ranne
Lynn M. Fruit
Leigh Freijo

Sessions and Speakers
Key to our success were all the speakers. We had over 47 speakers submit a wide variety of sessions but could only accommodate 42. Additional to regular speaker sessions, we also hosted sponsor sessions over lunch. Pragmatic Works did an Iron Chef session and Aaron Nelson (Blog | Twitter) and Mike Davis (Blog | Twitter) did a SQL Smackdown: SSIS vs. PowerShell. Both of these spotlight sessions were very well attended!

                                                      

  

 Thank you all who attended, sponsored, spoke and volunteered !
~)  

I have been Knighted

As I announced on my 2000-2010 a Decade in Retrospect blog post I have joined the ranks at Pragmatic Works and started my first day today. I’m excited to join such a great professional team, full of experts in the SQL Server and Business Intelligence field. There is no waste of time here. Lots of engagements from the get go. Less than an hour at work, I got in my first brainstorming session. An hour later I have been assigned to two client engagements I will be involved with during the next few weeks. I will also be involved with the Virtual Mentoring services. If you have purchased Virtual Mentoring hours from us, I might be giving you a call soon! 

 The atmosphere here at the new offices is laid-back and you can feel a sense of teamwork from all of the guys. If you are looking to make a career move, Pragmatic Works is your best choice. Lots of expansion going on, great carer opportunities and lots of expertise in-house to tap into.

 

Top 10 reasons to attend SQL Saturday #62 Tampa

We will jumpstart 2011 with the first SQL Saturday event of the year in Tampa, FL on January 15th, 2011. SQLSaturday #62 is a joint effort between the Tampa Bay SQL Server User Group along with the  Tampa Bay Business Intelligence User Group, its volunteers, members, speakers and sponsors.

I’m fortunate of co-organizing the event with one of the most experienced User Group leaders and SQL Saturday organizers, Pam Shaw (Twitter | Blog). It is great to have a mentor such as Pam and learn from her past experience organizing this type of events.

This will be the 4th SQL Saturday organized in Tampa. It will be held in an area of Tampa known as Ybor City (wiki) with a lot of Spanish, Cuban and Italian influence. As with previous years, we will be providing awesome Spanish food for lunch. This year we will also have two paid pre-conferences for the SQL Server/DBA track and Business Intelligence track the day before SQL Saturday on Friday, Jan 14th.

So why not come down to Tampa? SQL Saturday #62 has so many great speakers and sessions. We had over 45 different speakers who submitted more than 75 different sessions. The list was narrowed down to fit the number of rooms and time slots available, giving opportunity to new speakers as well as seasoned speakers and MVPs.

These among many other reasons make up the Top 10 reasons why you should attend SQL Saturday #62 Tampa, FL:

1) Preconferences

SQL Saturday #62 Tampa, FL will have its free sessions on Saturday Jan 15th as well as two paid pre-conferences on Friday Jan 14th. Yes, you read correctly, two all-day pre-conferences the day before SQL Saturday. The pre-conferences have a registration cost of $99. Price includes course materials, coffee, donuts, lunch, water and sodas. You can register for the paid all-day training events at:  http://sqlsaturday62.eventbrite.com/

The two pre-conferences scheduled are:

Pre-con A: Storage and Virtualization for the DBA
Presenter: Denny Cherry
Abstract: This session will be a two part session in which we will be focusing on two of the biggest topics in the DBA field, how to properly design your storage and virtualization solutions.

 Pre-con B: End-to-End Business Intelligence
Presenter: Stacia Misner
Abstract: This session will cover the basics of ETL using SSIS, a deeper focus on mutl-dimensional cube design using SSAS, effective report design using SSRS and an introduction to PowerPivot ad-hoc analysis.

If the pre-conferences (Reason #1) are not reason enough to come to SQL Saturday #62, these are additional reasons to attend;

2) Learn for free : 

Yes, free! No strings attached. All expenses for Saturday sessions are covered by event sponsors and volunteer time and effort by speakers, organizers and user group members.

3) Quality sessions by world class speakers:

And did I mention free sessions on Saturday? Learn from the best in the industry, SQL Server Most Valued Professonals (MVPs), book authors, bloggers, and certified professionals. Take a look at the MVP speaker line-up for SQL Saturday in Tampa, FL: 

MVPs                            

Adam Jorgensen
David Dye
Denny Cherry
Geoff Hiten
John Welch  
Jonathan Kehayias
Kevin Boles
Plamen Ratchev
Rodney Landrum

4) Networking opportunities

At SQL Saturday you have the opportunity to create new friendships, establish professional relationships with other professionals, meet your rockstars and if you are on Twitter, get to meet the source of some of those odd and funny tweets! You have a full day to hunt down and stalk your rockstars, enjoy a casual over lunch conversation or have more deep conversations over a drink at the after party!

5)  Talk to industry leader vendors and explore their products and services

Advaiya
Confio
CozyRoc
Enterprise Software Solutions
Enterprise Software Solutions
Fusion-IO
Gerasus Software
KForce
Melissa Data
Microsoft
Pragmatic Works
Professional Assosciation of SQL Server (PASS)
Redgate
SQL Server Magazine
Tavolacci & Associates / YouCanLearn
Confio
Fusion-IO
Enterprise Software Solutions
Pragmatic Works
Tavolacci & Associates / YouCanLearn

6) SQL Karaoke – SQL Saturday Edition
Show off your talent at the SQLSaturday after party. SQL Karaoke is a must-do event for everyone. Sing along with some of the SQL Server professionals for good’ol fun. We will have our after party at Rock-N-Sports Bar & Bistro at Centro Ybor.

7) Great food
We will be providing free lunch and back by popular demand we will be delighting you with Spanish/Cuban cuisine!

8 ) Enjoy warm and sunny weather
Escape from the cold weather and come down to Tampa. Enjoy a weekend in Ybor City, visit Busch Gardens, or take a trip to the beach.

9) Job opportunities
Looking for a job or planning a career move? Kforce representatives will be on site to talk about several job openings in the area and nationwide. Make sure to visit their booth.

10) Get your Swag on!
As an attendee you will receive a bag full of free swag from our sponsors and raffle tickets for a chance to win netbooks & other electronics, software licenses, training vouchers, books, etc.

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