SELECT Sessions FROM PASS_Summit_2011

For the first time in the 10 years I’ve been associated with The Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) I’ll be presenting a regular session at the annual Summit.  Sure, in the past I’ve presented on a panel discussion for Quest Software and make a fool out of myself for the sake of fun and games as I host the annual SIG Quizbowl at the opening reception.  I’ve yet to present formally.  I’ve never tossed my hat into the ring until this year.


I volunteered for the Program Committee 5-6 years ago because I felt that there was not enough separation between those who selected sessions and those who presented.  I served on the Program Committee for all these years in various roles and held true to my values that unless there is defined separation between those areas that I’d not submit an abstract.  Last year I could have made my move – I was in charge of selecting Pre-Con and Spotlight sessions and as someone who had never spoken at a PASS Summit before was ineligible to have one of those sessions selected.  However 2010 was an odd year for me – starting up SQL Cruise, switching jobs around a bit, finishing my DMV book with Louis Davidson that I’d been writing since I was 7th grade (so it seemed).  It wasn’t the time.

This year we decided to do things a bit differently.  Instead of having each track (DBA, Dev, BI, etc.) rank speakers, abstracts, topic, etc. we decided that is was wiser to have a single set of volunteers rank speakers.  This eliminates two separate groups ranking speakers if, for instance, they submit both DBA and BI abstracts.  I set forth the mandate with my group of volunteers that we were not to rank ourselves.  I had a great group of volunteers: Kendra Little, Jes Borland, Mike Walsh, and Pat Wright and they did a stellar job of ranking and staying impartial.  I specifically picked this group because of their reputations for fairness and their proven volunteering experience.

This left me with the freedom to submit abstracts this time around – of which two were selected:

SELECT Skeletons FROM DBA_Closet
SQL Superstars aren’t born, they’re made. No one ever starts out doing everything right and I am certainly a fine example of that. Coming to SQL as an accidental DBA 12 years ago I find myself running across old code and practices that cause me to shake my head in shame and say to myself “THIS is how I SHOULD do it.” So join me in a tour of my closet as I hold up the skeletons of bad processes past and discuss what I’ve done to replace the bad with the good. This session will be appropriate for the beginner as it will for those who have been in the role of a SQL Administrator for years.

The Periodic Table of Dynamic Management Objects
It’s time to have fun… WITH SCIENCE!
Since 1869, the periodic table of elements has been the standard for organizing and presenting many metrics for the substances from which life is based on. I embrace the table as a prime example on how to present information – a great deal of it – in a concise and deeply informative fashion. Taking the periodic table of elements into consideration I’ve created The Periodic Table of Dynamic Management Objects as a reference tool for these functions and views that have become so critical for today’s SQL Server DBA to performance tune and gain metadata insights into their various SQL instances.

In navigating the table we will examine key DMVs and DMFs of interest: requests, sessions, wait stats, indexes, system information will all be covered. We will also delve into how these DMOs – just like their elemental counterparts – can be combined to yeild interesting insights into your servers. We will also look at how things can go awry as well! Like mixing vinegar and baking soda, sometimes combining DMOs can cause a big mess too!

I’ll be up there again on stage at the Quizbowl in the #SQLKilt making a fool of myself and the others I convince to join me.  I expect to have plenty of fun in these sessions as well and hope you’ll join me in Seattle this October!