Russ Thomas – SQL Judo

The Art of SQL Server Database Administration, Development, and Career Skills for the Technically Minded

What I Learned as a Sql Sat Presenter

David Moutray blames Grant Fritchey while Jes Borland cheers him on.

David Moutray blames it all on Grant Fritchey while Jes Borland, Tom Roush, and Josh Smith cheer him on.

DBA = awesome at improv

As a brand new presenter I was a little worried that I would be talking to an empty room.  I had passed a friendly invite to my session to a handful of people including Jes Borland (@grrl_geek).  So I was really pumped when both Jes and Grant Fritchey (@gfritchey) showed up as well as a bunch of other awesome participants.  One of the things I had planned as part of my presentation on debriefing incidents was an improv where I assigned parts to a variety of volunteers, and in some cases volun-tolds.

Jes became database developer number 1 who thinks NOLOCK should follow every query written.  Grant played the part of DBA who failed to review code as part of the change process and pushed to production.  Others such as Tom Roush (@geeql), Josh Smith (@toosuto), and David Moutray (@dmoutray) performed admirably as facilitator, angry business analyst and database developer number 2 – the guy who trusted database developer number 1.  The second act featured good friend Dan Sorensen (@dannysorensen) and a few other awesome participants.

The improv worked better than I could have ever hoped.  But only because the folks participating made it so.  Thanks guys.  My new life goal is to have you all over for a “how to host a murder mystery” dinner party.

SQL Server community = world class

This was my first SQL Saturday as a presenter.  I was really excited to go back to the speaker room and hang out with the “cool kids”.  Frankly, however, all my truly valuable networking happened outside of that room.  The “cool kids” were out mingling pretty much the entire time.  Don’t get me wrong, there were some cool kids back in the presenter room as well but they were only there to drop off belongings or actually prepare their presentation.

I’ve always liked the SQL Server community for it’s acceptance and general good will towards one another in our common pursuit to become effective professionals.  Attending this event as a presenter re-enforced my belief that #SQLFamily is world class and every event I came to as an attendee had just as much opportunity to make friends, rub elbows, and feel support in my goal to be good at what I do as having now attended one as a speaker.

You’re smart = there is always someone smarter

I was pretty comfortable with my knowledge of deadlocks.  Causes, identification, remediation – I’ve been there – I’ve done that.  But sitting through Michael DeFehr‘s (@mdefehr) class on deadlocks I was reminded something that I run into a lot.  I never know as much about a topic as I think I do.  Sql Saturday is good for that.  Never over look a session because you think you know all there is to know about it.  There are lots of good reasons to skip a session;  networking, another session that has more immediate application in your career, supporting a new presenter (ahem) – but don’t ever discount a session because you “already know it”.

Yoohoo = not as good as I remember


I don’t drink alcohol.  So a long running joke for me has been to offer people a six pack of Yoohoo when they do something above and beyond on my behalf.  Steve Jones (@way0utwest) did me a huge favor a couple weeks ago and I told him I’d buy him a six pack of Yoohoo.  Stopping at Fred Meyer on my way to Sql Saturday I actually found the chocolate flavored drink and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make good on my offer.  I hadn’t actually seen this stuff in many years.

Turns out the memory of Yoohoo is much better than the drink it’s self.  When I gave Steve his six pack he had a good laugh and we attempted to share the gift.  Both him and Steve Stedman (@sqlemt) opened a bottle with me.  Sideways glances and chuckles ensued.  Jennifer Meara (@jmeara) from Confio accepted a bottle but I never actually saw her open it.  Australian MVP Peter Myers took one look and said, “that looks like raw sewage – not interested”.  Robert Davis (@sqlsoldier) waved it off politely.  He didn’t say anything but looked less excited about it than Pete.  Kendra Little (@kendra_little) also politely refused saying something about bad childhood memories.  I never finished my own bottle.  I could sense a conflict brewing in the mean streets of my digestive tract and gave up in pre-emptive surrender.

Too bad, I really remember liking Yoohoo.

2 comments on “What I Learned as a Sql Sat Presenter

  1. josh
    November 22, 2013

    Your session was great and probably the most immediately valuable one I attended: thanks again!

    • RThomas
      November 22, 2013

      Thanks for the feedback! You were a good sport about being one of the volun-told’s :).

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This entry was posted on November 18, 2013 by in PASS.
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