After 3.5 years as an attendee of SQLSaturday events, I made my debut as a speaker at SQLSaturday Orange County this past weekend. I knew after my first SQLSaturday I attended I would eventually present myself and It just made sense that going back home to the 714 would be the place to kick this off properly. I was curious how it would go and I was in the last time slot, but I could not have asked for a better crowd. It was a full room and questions were being thrown at me throughout the entire session.

My session was titled, Fundamentals that will improve your query performance, and was aimed at the more beginner developer/query writer. It goes over some bad practices I continue to see at work so I thought this would be a great topic. Based off the responses and participation by the crowd, I would say the session went over well. I also got some positive feedback via email regarding the session.

Every SQLSaturday event I go to is a good time. I get to meet new people, see some familiar faces and just learn more about technology. This was a different trip as I was going to speak for the first time and I met up with a few others that were speaking for the first time. I had some great conversations with other speakers as well as some of the attendees. I met another first-time speaker, Mohammad Darab | @mwdarab, and we are both moving on to Dallas and Pensacola SQLSaturday events to speak again.

Just to finish by saying how much I appreciate everyone in the #sqlserverfamily for all of the support. I am lucky to have the Baton Rouge User Group and the encouragement I have received to speak since coming here last year. I also want to throw a shout out to, Any Yun | @SQLbek, for the encouragement and mentorship in prepping me for my first SQLSaturday session!


First Time Speaking at SQLSaturday

I was incredibly humbled yesterday to receive an email from the SQLSaturday Orange County team confirming my session was accepted. I will present my first SQLSaturday presentation in April back home in Orange County or as I call it the 714! Fundamentals That Will Improve Your Query Performance is the title. It is aimed at developers and query writers to address some common mistakes I see daily.

It has been great to be part of the Baton Rouge SQL Server User Group this past year and I am lucky to have some really good people encourage me to take the next step. I also can’t express how much I appreciate the SQL Server family and the SQL Saturday events I have attended for the last three years. Last year I was thinking I would start in Baton Rouge since this is where my career took the next step and SQLSaturday Baton Rouge 2016 is where I landed my current job.

Last year at Pensacola SQLSaturday I had three different people make the same comment. While speaking to them all three asked me if I would speak at SQLSaturday eventually. My initial response was to do so in 2019 after I had a few more lightning round talks behind me in 2018. Oddly enough, all three individuals responded the with the same question, Why not now? Those three individuals were Tamera Clark, Monica Rathbun and Andy Yun.

This made me think that maybe it was time to start on this path. Last month at SQLSaturday Nashville I saw a great session by Andy Yun. Everyone Has a Story to Tell: Developing Your First Presentation was the session and there were some major light bulb moments for me. I spoke to Andy some after the presentation and I was convinced it was time to take the next step. Andy also offered and did mentor me through creating my presentation. I have two months to prepare and I am looking forward to it!


Blogging and 2018 Goals

I decided there were a few things to start doing in 2018 and blogging was one of them. I read several blogs related to SQL Server and know everyone has their go to. Honestly, it can be overwhelming at times considering all the good material out there, but I feel it is time to do so myself.

Going all in on PowerShell is another 2018 task as PowerShell is just too powerful. I first started to really touch PowerShell around February last year as I was preparing to migrate several SQL Server 2012 boxes to 2016. I found and I was sold! This is an awesome module and I use it daily. As strong as it is, I realized I was ready to go all in on PowerShell.

Attending more SQL Saturday events is another goal of mine and sometime this year I will speak for the first time. I have been a regular at SQL Saturday events for the last three years, but this year I will throw my hat in the speaking ring. Since last year, I have done a few lightning round talks at our local Baton Rouge SQL Server User Group monthly meeting.

Speaking of local user groups, I will be more involved with the Baton Rouge SQL Server User Group this year. I will start with a few lightning rounds, which I am working on now. Then I will jump up to do an hour long talk and prepare for my first SQL Saturday submission, which will be the Baton Rouge SQL Saturday event on August 11, 2018. After all, it just makes sense that I start speaking with my first in Baton Rouge.

Paul Randal Mentorship

I was closing in on my BS in Information Technology with an emphasis on Database Administration when I received a phone call from my cousin in Louisiana that her company was desperate for someone. Although they knew I didn’t have hands on experience, they were willing to give me a chance. I was offered the job, packed my stuff and left California for Bossier City, LA.

When I arrived I realized they were using Excel spreadsheets and calling it a database so I knew what I was up against. They also purchased a server and SQL Server 2014 BI edition without any SDLC and allowed a non dba to install it. I only had experience with Oracle Express so I knew this would be a challenge, but went full steam ahead. At this point, I had to re-install the software after I was able to get them to purchase more disks and get a RAID 10 configuration going. The instance is working fine and I have Ola Hallengren’s maintenance plan in place and it is working for now, but I know there is so much more to it.

I immediately started to figure out good forums such as SQL Central Forum and noticed in the Microsoft forum a name, Jonathan Kehayias that was constantly answering questions. Later on I stumbled upon and noticed he was part of it so I knew I found a good source. Then I started to notice the name Paul Randal everywhere and have been on it ever since. I have a subscription and have learned a great deal and have purchased some books that I found on SQL Central Forum. I continue to learn every day, but that doesn’t mean this has been easy.

What would really help me is a true mentorship and to have that from a SQL SERVER heavy hitter like Paul Randal would not only be an honor, but would help guide me in the direction I am aiming to be in down the road. I am not looking for someone to hold my hand or respond to questions on how to do things, but I would be looking for a true mentorship that would help guide me in the right direction as well as the important things I need to know in order to be successful.

Why should I win this mentorship from Paul? I am a true fan of database and wanted this for some time. I am eager and hungry to learn the ins and outs of this software. I want to make a difference and grow in this field, but I also know it won’t be easy. I believe with dedication, motivation and the willingness to listen and learn anything is possible. I thank the Marine Corps for the discipline I learned and know with dedication that anything is reachable, but you have to be hungry for it. I am hungry for this!