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The Voice of the DBA

A Better Conference

I participate in a lot of events during the year. I had the SQL in the City event from Red Gate recently, with more of those coming to the US later this year. In 2013 I've also been a part of SQL Intersection, the online-only spring IT Connections event, various SQL Saturdays, and attended the MVP Summit from Microsoft. In the past I've also spoken or attended TechEd, the PASS Summit, and various one, two, and three day events that didn't necessarily focus on one specific technology. In that time, I haven't seen a lot of difference between the various conferences organization and flow. some little things have been tried, and some I liked, but overall most events consist of:

  • a series of "tracks", which are really rooms in a building.
  • a 60-90 minute presentation of varying quality from a speaker, built months in advance, with little input from the audience.
  • shuttling from one session to another quickly

There are other parts of the events, parties at night, sometimes networking, keynotes, lunch panels, etc, but for the most part organizers pick a location, choose to have x number of rooms, and choose speakers to present in those spaces, largely on the basis of their own biases or desire to learn about a specific topic. Even when attendees vote for content, they only affect a small portion of the agenda.

Could we do better? I don't know. I saw this post on a better conference and it got me thinking. Perhaps there are other ways we could build conferences. Would it make sense to link sessions together, and build on knowledge across the day? What about getting a panel of speakers to respond to real scenarios and questions from the audience, possibly submitted a few days or hours before? That would raise the bar for speakers, and it might be more entertaining. I'm not sure the quality would be better, especially if demos are hastily thrown together. 

However the post has an interesting point. Conferences and many sessions ought to be more about engagement and inspiration and less about training you to use a particular piece of technology. Perhaps we would like to find ways to interact more, discuss and debate ideas and approaches rather than broadcast information. Would you like more interactive content? Or do you prefer to sit back and listen to what the speaker thinks is important?

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

Join the debate, and respond to today's editorial on the forums


The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

We publish three versions of the podcast each day for you to enjoy. Feed links are listed after each format.

Everyday Jones

Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at www.everydayjones.com. You can also follow Steve Jones on Twitter   to find links and database related items and announcements.

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Get your SQL Server database under version control now!

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Featured Contents

 

Column Order in an Index

Sarvesh Singh from SQLServerCentral.com

This short article shows the importance of order of columns in an index. More »


 

SQL Server Trace Flags

Yusuf Anis from SQLServerCentral.com

A comprehensive list of trace flags for SQL Server that you can use to configure your server instance. More »


 

SQL Saturday #230 Rheinland

Press Release

SQL Saturday is a training event for SQL Server professionals and those wanting to learn about SQL Server. This event will be held Jul 13 2013 at Grantham-Allee 20, Sankt Augustin, Cologne/Bonn, Rheinland, 53757 , Germany. More »


 

SQL Server 2012 Integration Services - Leveraging PowerShell in Package Deployment Model

Additional Articles from Database Journal

SQL Server 2012 Integration Services introduces an innovative approach to deploying SSIS projects, known as Project Deployment Model. However, the traditional, package-based methodology remains available and supported, and, in some scenarios, it might be considered more viable, since it allows for separation of SQL Server Database Engine and SQL Server Integration Services. More »


 

From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Create a Named Set with all but one Member in MDX – SSAS

MikeDavis from SQLServerCentral.com

I was trying to create a Named set in SSAS 2008 using the MDX calculations. I wanted to include all... More »


 

From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Getting Started With SQL Server 2014 the Easy Way

Grant Fritchey from SQLServerCentral.com

You know you want to at least take a look at the new Client Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server... More »

Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Steve Jones):

True or false: With Sharepoint 2010 and above, you can use Filestream to store your Sharepoint documents?

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SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach

SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes is an example-based guide to the Transact-SQL language that is at the core of SQL Server 2012. It provides ready-to-implement solutions to common programming and database administration tasks. Learn to create databases, insert and update data, generate reports, secure your data, and more. Tasks and their solutions are broken down into a problem/solution format that is quick and easy to read so that you can get the job done fast when the pressure is on. Get your copy from Amazon today.

Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Steve Jones):

For the US Independence Day holiday, a fun one for you. Which three items in SSMS are colored red, white, and blue?

Answer:

  • the background
  • strings in quotes
  • keywords

Explanation: A fun one today. Strings in quotes (and errors) are colored red. The default background is white, and the keywords are blue. This can be overridden and changed, but the defaults will give you red, white and blue.

» Discuss this question and answer on the forums

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SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach

SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes is an example-based guide to the Transact-SQL language that is at the core of SQL Server 2012. It provides ready-to-implement solutions to common programming and database administration tasks. Learn to create databases, insert and update data, generate reports, secure your data, and more. Tasks and their solutions are broken down into a problem/solution format that is quick and easy to read so that you can get the job done fast when the pressure is on. Get your copy from Amazon today.

Featured Script

Job and Step Run Checker

Orestes Zoupanos from SQLServerCentral.com

I tend to run this script every morning on my 6 servers, just to get an overview of how the scheduled jobs and steps are doing.

You can run this script inside a "Registered Server Group" query window to check all your environment's jobs at the same time.

Very helpful if you have servers without Database Mail Alerts set up on job failures...

To use, either run as is, or change the "SET @..." values to what you need. The search word string can help if you're looking for particular tables/columns that get touched by a T-SQL step.

More »

Database Pros Who Need Your Help

Here's a few of the new posts today on the forums. To see more, visit the forums.

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SQL Server 2008 : SQL Server Newbies

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SQL Server 2008 : SQL Server 2008 Administration

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Data Warehousing : Integration Services

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