SQLSaturday Cleveland 2017

Cleveland peeps – we are a week away from SQLSaturday Cleveland, are you registered?!  There’s still time if you’re not, AND there is still time to register for one of the fantastic pre-cons we’re hosting this year.  Your options:

Pre-con cost is $175, which is a deal compared to what it would cost if you attended the same pre-con at the PASS Summit (add in travel costs, and it’s a steal).  Then consider that the group will be much smaller than what it would be at Summit, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to talk directly to Adam or Ginger to ask questions.  It’s a no-brainer…so much so that I’m attending Adam’s session.  I spend a fair bit of time tuning but there is always more to learn and different perspectives are great for improving troubleshooting skills.

So talk to your manager, re-work your schedule for next week, and sign up!  If you’ll be there, stop by and say hi, or say hi on Saturday where I’ll be at the registration desk (warning: I don’t do mornings well so forgive me if I’m in a daze!) and then I’ll be presenting my new Query Store session at 2:45 PM.  I hope to see you there, and happy Fri-yay!

p.s. Don’t forget to print your SpeedPass!  🙂

Taking Risks

risk \’risk\ noun : the possibility that something bad or unpleasant (such as an injury or a loss) will happen

[reference: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/risk]

There are risks in life every day.  Some we see very clearly.  Others we don’t even notice.  Some are related to relationships with family and friends.  Some are related to our careers.  And some involve the hundreds of other components in our daily lives.

When I first started attending user group meetings in Cleveland, every month Allen White would say, “If you are interested in speaking, please consider submitting.  Everyone has something to share, and everyone else has something they can learn from you.”  I admit, at first I kind of thought it was just rhetoric.  I was wrong.  If you know Allen, you know that he really means it when he says it.  And I know he’s right.  I love asking people what they do in their job every day, because rarely do people do the same thing (especially in the SQL Server world) and I always learn something new.  Everyone in the SQL Server community is extremely well-versed in some SQL Server topic – enough so that they could put together a presentation and talk about it for an hour.  But many don’t, for a variety of reasons.  Some people just have no desire to speak in front of a group, and that’s fine.  You can share knowledge in other ways (hello blog posts).

But for those of you that have considered speaking, or are just a little bit interested, I give you:

Evelyn Maxwell

I tweeted about her SQLSaturday Cleveland submission yesterday (it’s on Improving Your PowerPoint Skills, in case you didn’t click through), but a lot of people aren’t on Twitter so I wanted to mention it here, particularly because many people commented that if a 7th grader has the chutzpah (my word, not anyone else’s) to submit to a SQLSaturday, then others can too.  Yes.  Exactly yes.

Now, Evelyn’s not all alone, her dad is David Maxwell (who just won speaker Idol at the PASS Summit) and I’m sure she’s getting some guidance from him.  Anyone who is speaking at a SQLSaturday for the first time is hopefully getting some mentoring – it’s a daunting task to take on all alone!  But if you want to try it, then do it.  Submit to your local SQLSaturday.  Find a mentor.  Take that risk.  I know there’s a fear of failure there.  Your session may not get accepted.  Evelyn’s may not, and she knows that.  But she tried.

Fly...  photo credit: Jonathan Kehayias

Fly… photo credit: Jonathan Kehayias



Be the change

My day had a wonderful start…hot yoga at 6AM with one of my favorite instructors. Homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  Great progress made with some client work. Then I read the email from Tom LaRock and the post from Wendy Pastrick regarding a harassment issue at this year’s PASS Summit. My heart is heavy.

I’ve read both texts multiple times. This line from Wendy keeps sticking in my head, “I declined, telling him I was fine.”

I understand. I’ve been there. And it’s an awful place. Any person who has been harassed knows this. Whether the harassment was physical – having someone grab your ass (or part of your body) is never funny, whether it was verbal – a sly comment with a lewd look that makes you go “ew”, doesn’t matter. The emotional response that comes with it is the indicator that you are not fine, and that you need to do something.

Very often we are taught to not “rock the boat.” Pull up your boots, put it behind you, and move on. It’s as if there is shame in experiencing that discomfort, and we must wholeheartedly deny that. If we do not, when we do NOT call out the offender, we let the offense continue. That person does it to someone else, who may or may not speak up, and the cycle continues.

I applaud Wendy for realizing that she was not fine, and for reporting it. For anyone who might think she over-reacted, I’ll strongly tell you to sit down and just stop. If you have ever experienced that feeling of discomfort, where your body temperature rises and you feel embarrassed – EVEN THOUGH YOU DID NOTHING WRONG – then you have been harassed. And if shame or fear has stopped you from saying anything, then I ask you – not encourage you, but implore you – to act differently if it occurs again. Do not wrap up those feelings inside a blanket and hide in a corner. Be brave and step forward.

I believe in going to any event with someone you trust – particularly events at the PASS Summit because there are so many people and because it’s a city where you probably don’t live. That person that goes with you is your wingman. You have his/her back, he/she has yours. You never, ever leave your wingman (if that sounds familiar, yes I’m quoting Top Gun…those pilots are on to something). If what happened to Wendy happens to you, you go right to your wingman. Do not say that you are fine. Let your wingman help you figure out next steps. One of those steps is reporting the event to PASS (or the proper governing body – HR, another Board – depending on the event) because this behavior will not change unless we begin to speak out and condemn it.

I leave you with this:

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

It starts with each one of us. Wendy has taken that path. In the unfortunate event that this happens to you, I hope you will follow.