TSQL Tuesday #96: Folks Who Have Made a Difference


It always comes to me as a surprise that it is TSQL Tuesday again. I guess time just slips by so quickly these days. If you haven’t heard about or figured out what this Tuesday stuff is all about drop me a line and I will not only sell you on the concept I will convince you to write your first post for next month.  We have Ewald Cress (  B   |     ) to thank for this month’s topic.

As I go about my daily life I often give thought to how I got where I am and to those who helped me get here. I try to reach out and provide support to as many folks as I can because I realize what a difference a lending hand or kind word can make in someone’s life.

I find this blog post difficult to write because I don’t want anyone to feel left out and being somewhat forgetful, I may not remember that one time. So if you feel that I left you out of the important story of my life, do know that it wasn’t on purpose.

First off, there was Deborah Whitten.  Her team hired me in as a secretary–clerk level, actually–and she believed in me and my ability to do more. She let me do things way above my job scale, recommended me for a promotion and helped me get my first technical role as an Application Administrator.  She never really planned on me doing that job; instead, I learned to be a Quality Assurance & Systems Analyst along with a bunch of other cool things over the course of 5 years. She gave me my break!

Then there was this cute boy down the hall. I don’t know why I suddenly felt the need to impress him–all my life I had only been interested in older men. Maybe it was his old guy shirts or Friday ties. One day he said something like “Hey you are bored down there (my office was down the hall), why don’t you tinker with this hot new Microsoft thing called SSRS and see what you can do with it.” So  I did. I was writing reports and tuning other people’s queries to make their reports run faster before you knew it. In the end, we decided to move to Nashville, TN and unfortunately, he left for a new job and it was a year before I was able to join him. At that point, I became the “closest thing to a DBA.” So it was really all his fault that I got into data. BTW I married that cute boy at PASS Summit in 2011. Denny Cherry officiated the ceremony while several #SQLFamily members watched.

Once in Nashville, I was working for a not very respected company; they were known for not treating workers very well. At one point I had a CrAzY boss and one day I walked out. The DBA Dev team had an extremely quiet manager and he talked me into staying and assured me that my talents were being wasted on the current team. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but looking back he gave me a break and an opportunity to learn so much about the engine. While a lot of my time there was crummy, that experience was worth it.

For a fair chunk of time, I was so hungry for knowledge, trying so hard to catch up and be good at what I was doing. I attend free training online every chance I got. Quest, back before it was bought and sold again, had great offerings. Tom LaRock (who was then SQLBatman) and SQLSentry were also monumental in my learning.

Today there are several important folks that inspire me. Stacia (  B  |  T  )   is my dearest friend who’s not afraid to set me straight and is always there to pick me up.  She’s a pillar of the Business Intelligence community, and after knowing her a short time, she brought me a signed copy of her book. I cried, no I sobbed at how not worthy of her I was. Now we are partners in crime! There’s Angela (  B  |  T  ) who is just a kind-hearted human being that is a joy to be around. I love getting little pick me up notes from her, and reminders that I am not alone.  There’s also Karla (    |  T  )and Allen (    |   T   ), who are here to keep me grounded and I love them dearly.  Some days I don’t know what I would do without them. There are @Nash_BI and @NashSQL, these communities are hard to keep up with sometimes, but every time I see a person’s face light up because they have finally “gotten” something, every success story I hear from one of them, and every time I can help one of them, it is truly refreshing in this world riddled with hate.  I have my new IDERA ACE Family and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be awarded such an honor. There is a slew of women who will PM me when I post about struggles in life, they share their stories behind the scenes and that’s okay. I understand their hesitation of putting it out there for the world to see their flaws, troubles, and insecurities. But just knowing that someone else has that same thing in their life, that someone understands me is reassuring and helps me cope. These silent women are nothing short of Amazing!  Don’t worry there are a few amazing guys who will also quietly chime in and I do appreciate them.

I could go on for days on this subject because my #SQLFamily is so full of amazing, kind, smart and funny human beings.  I am truly lucky to be blessed with such a brigade on my six.

First Time Speakers #SQLSatNash

SQLSat Nashville is chaired by yours truly and there are a few things I want everyone to know about this event.

2018 will be the 5th year I’ve been at the helm of this event and every year we’ve worked to help community members. We have offered Pre-Cons to seasoned speakers that wanted to try longer teaching sessions. Last year we hooked first-time SQLSaturday speakers up with mentors to help them.

For 2018 we are again offering first-time speakers mentors and opportunities to update abstracts after the CFS ends. This will give you a little more time to finesse your submission after working with your mentor. We’ve had several folks . . . → Read More: First Time Speakers #SQLSatNash

Summit 2017

Well here we are that time of year again, FALL and full up pumpkin spice. But more importantly it’s time to make your plans for PASS Summit 2017. Kerry had a work requirement to write a bunch of blog post so I have unfortunately given him a loot of my good ideas. But I still have some good advice.

What to pack A jacket that is good for rain and cold. Make sure it has plenty of pockets to hold all your goodies. I’ve actually sewn extra pockets on the inside of 2 jacket. DON’T bring an umbrella. There is no where to stow then and a PITA to contend . . . → Read More: Summit 2017

Inside SQLSaturday – The Schedule

So in the previous post we discovered how each SQLSaturday gets sessions for their event; if you missed reading that, the short answer is that it is all up to the speakers in the #SQLCommunity. Now we are going to figure out how schedules are made.

How many sessions do we choose?

Well, some events select every speaker and just build out a schedule from there. Some events use a different method; this is the most common way: # of predicted attendees /number of seats in a room = # of rooms needed, and then # of rooms * # of time slots = # of sessions needed. The second . . . → Read More: Inside SQLSaturday – The Schedule

Inside SQLSaturday – Sessions

I had planned on titling this “Mommy, where do SQLSaturday Sessions come from?”; but since I already had this series going I thought I would stick to the proper format.

Speakers: Where do they come from?

Every SQLSaturday is hosted on the PASS SQLSaturday website. When an event goes live, there is generally a couple hours until some 2000+ emails are sent out to ALL folks that have ever presented at a SQLSaturday. Since these events can go live anywhere from 6 months to 180 days before the event it is hard sometimes for speakers to remember when an event is. This also means that we get emails for EVERY . . . → Read More: Inside SQLSaturday – Sessions

Inside SQLSaturday – Who and How

So it has become obvious over the years that attendees are pretty much in the dark when it comes to the inner workings of a SQLSaturday event. I am going to work on this series again only this time for attendees. We’ve started the process of organizing SQLSatNash 2018 so it’s a good time to write as we go through the process. Today I want to fill in the blanks of WHO and HOW.


Have you ever wondered who organizes a SQLSaturday event? How they got that job? Well every event has a different who and there is no one from Pass directly involved with an event. Pass provides . . . → Read More: Inside SQLSaturday – Who and How

Lifestyle, no one is wrong

Here I am talking about beliefs again. But damn it, it is really bothering me. Everyone makes choices for their lifestyle and their work-life-balance, it’s okay we don’t have to all be the same because that would be boring. But let’s be honest everyone has an opinion, some folks do make what is considered bad choices on a regular basis and we all do make mistakes. This doesn’t make anyone better than anyone else. This doesn’t make it okay for you to dismiss what others might feel/want or need.

Children are great and many choose to have them. They might also have a lifestyle of running kids to sports, practice, . . . → Read More: Lifestyle, no one is wrong

Hearing the truth

It has become so obvious to me lately that people have a hard time getting past their beliefs. In a conversation recently someone said “No one tells the truth anymore.” For a few days I pondered this and decided that there are people who do tell the truth but their beliefs are so loud that they can’t hear it. Think about it:

“Your beliefs are so loud that you can’t hear the truth.”

After having some time to think about this even further I can see this happening all over the place. Adults who act like children when it comes to food and food choices. I was a very picky . . . → Read More: Hearing the truth

Disaster Recovery for Speakers

I have seen a few comments and remarks being thrown around about speakers doing a bad job because a demo failed or a machined crashed when getting plugged into a display adapter. I wonder why these IT professionals making said remarks still have day jobs, I mean clearly they are 100% awesome and everything always works. Surely they have more important things to do. PFFFT!

So I recently blogged about melting down and losing a machine. I had my slides & my data all backed up on OneDrive or still in email. So there was really only getting everything together and having the NEW MACHINE ready to present. That only . . . → Read More: Disaster Recovery for Speakers

Indianapolis, United States

Well here we are it’s August already. I have been slow to start on SQLSaturday events and have IMO missed some great ones. Hopefully next year will come easier.

I am traveling to my home state of Indiana to present at #SQLSatIndy on August 12. I will be doing my new presentation “Reduce your DBA (& DEV) task list by using Microsoft BI tools” just before lunch. I am evolving this session as I go along, trying to incorporate ideas the class comes up with.

Hope and John do an awesome job for this event. This year they have brought back their beginner track. This track is open to anyone . . . → Read More: Indianapolis, United States