Writing and Delivering a Successful Full-Day Technology Seminar

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I was recently chatting with the current President of PASS, Thomas LaRock (Twitter | Blog), and Pieter Vanhove (Twitter | Blog), a prominent SQL Server consultant and expert in Belgium, about how I go about building and presenting a full-day technical seminar. In the SQL Server world, we tend to call these "pre-cons", as in pre-conference seminar, because they're typically offered as paid add-ons occurring prior to a full technical conference. We call them that even when they come at the end of the conference and, heck, when there's no conference at all. Kevin and Kendal Van Dyke … [Read more...]

A Fond Farewell to Quest Software

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The week of the 4th of July is a happy week for Americans.  Most families get out for a parade, a fireworks display, a picnic in the park, a movie where Will Smith puts the beat down on a bunch of aliens, or an afternoon at the pool or lake.  We celebrate the contributions of our service men and women. We honor veterans. We drink a lot of beer.  We reflect on the founding of our nation and the meaning of “Independence Day”. My own reflections over the Independence Day holiday took me in a new and rather unexpected direction.  After ten-and-a-half immensely rewarding years at Quest Software, … [Read more...]

ITPro, Re-architect Your Life

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Have you ever found yourself wanting to make a major shift - in skills, in roles, in relationships? One of my good friends, Jimmy May (Blog | Twitter), accomplished a set of major career and lifestyle revisions including relocating to Redmond, taking on a huge new level of job responsibility as part of the Microsoft SQL Customer Advisory Team, and achieving the noted accreditation of Microsoft Certified Master. Jimmy and I were chatting about undertaking major life changes like these and, as is often the case, his thoughts were too good not to share. Be sure to explore these excellent … [Read more...]

New on “Database Trends & Applications”

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In last month's column, "2012 Might Really Be the End of the World as We Know It," I described a number of major developments in the IT industry that are likely to disrupt the life of database professionals everywhere.  I categorize those four disruptors - virtualization, cloud computing, solid state drives (SSD), and advanced multi-core CPUs - into two broad groups.  I'm going to continue an analysis of these disruptive technologies in inverse order.  Today, let's discuss SSDs. [READ MORE ON DATABASE TRENDS & APPLICATIONS ] … [Read more...]

Leadership, Management, and SQLRally

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Transparency - A Great Leadership Quality I've always appreciated how Andy Warren (blog| twitter) operates in the most transparent manner, especially as it relates to his role as a director for the Professional Association for SQL Server. For example, Andy's latest blog post about prepping for the SQLRally, to kick off in less than 30 days, is insightful and gives you a good idea of the sort of work a strong director for PASS needs to put in.  I also enjoy how Andy more or less thinks out loud and offers you the chance to provide your input.  In that latest blog post, he was mulling different … [Read more...]

Plays Well With Others – Upsizing Your Skills With OCW

In our last installment , I describe the three essential skills I felt were hallmarks of the best and most successful directors that I’ve worked with.  Good directors, indeed good strategic leaders of all stripes, usually have at least one or more of these skills: strategic planning, visionary goals, and emotional intelligence. The good news about these skills, and lots of other skills that can advance your career, is that you can learn them.  Many people will spend a fortune on a classroom approach to learning these sorts of skills via an MBA.  If you’re a penny pincher, you can get a leg … [Read more...]

PASS 2009 Lifetime PASSion Award

A HAPPY RETIREMENT January 1st, 2010 marked a very special day for me.  It was the first time in the past ten years in which I had no official PASS responsibility at the HQ level.  (I'm still serving in the local PASS chapter here in Nashville, along with the awesomeness that is DrSQL (blog | twitter) and the whackness that is Joe Webb (blog | twitter).  We also have the irreplaceable Shelton Dickson and Roberto Lopez helping us out).  I also intend to stay active as a speaker for PASS.  I spoke at the PASS 2009 Summit, earning a top presenter spot in the Professional Development track, and … [Read more...]

What Three Events Brought You Here?

Whiners and Whingers Get Wedgies There I was, just a couple weeks back, whining that I wasn't getting tagged by friends when a new meme comes out.  Sure enough, when my friend, Paul Randal (blog | twitter), starts a new meme with me as one of the first handful of people tagged, it's taken me a full ten days to get a response out the door.  Yes - I deserve a wedgie. In Paul's initial post, I saw that he'd asked for three events that were pivotal in why I'm where I am today.  To be honest, I've been noodling over my response ever since Paul first tagged me.  So, in a sense, I've been … [Read more...]

Goals and Theme Word for 2010

NOT A WHINER I've been really intrigued by a meme making the rounds of the blogsphere concerning goals for the coming year and picking a theme word, rather than the usual New Year's resolution. As with all memes, they start with a blogger picking the topic of discussion (in this case, Tara Hunt at HPC) and was picked up by my friend, Tom LaRock ( blog | twitter) in his blog post, Why I Don't Like Kevin Kline and Never Tag Him in Memes. As in all memes, one blogger starts it off and then others are tagged, spreading the chain outward.  So Tom tagged several other good friends of … [Read more...]