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SQLSaturday #59 – Speaker Interview Series #8 with Aaron King.

      SQLSaturday #59 – Speaker Interview Series #8 – with Aaron King.

We interrupt this blog post to bring you the latest SQLSaturday#59 News Flash Update….This just in….Our SQLSaturday Event has just hit 400 registrants, with only 100 more to go to fill us to capacity!!  If you’ve been sitting on the fence, now is the time to Register, before it’s too late!  You don’t want to miss this spectacular SQLSaturday!  Now back to our regularly scheduled blog :-)

Today, we’re going to speak with Aaron King, speaker and application architect, specializing in enterprise web applications and very large databases.  Aaron’s presentation will stand out among the crowd, as he will speak about the benefits, features, and ease of use of SQL Azure.  If SQL Server in the Cloud is still a mystery to you, then you’ll want to catch Aaron’s presentation, which will offer some real-world examples on how to design your program to use SQL Azure.  No other session will cover the topic, so if you are interested please mark your programs when you get there.  He will be flying in from Indianapolis, Indiana to be with us, and we thank him for his time in answering our questions…

RP: Please tell us a little about yourself, your background, your career and your involvement in the SQL Community.

AK: I’ve been creating web applications for about 13 years.  Most of the applications are portals that coordinate many heterogeneous databases into one unified portal.  The first 10 years of my career I was a consultant.  Most recently I’ve architected software at startups.   I really like being in charge of the design from the start. 


RP: What is your area of expertise?  How did you become a DBA/SQL Professional?

AK: My expertise is in connecting very large databases to thousands of users.  As a consultant I was sought after because of my proven track record at improving uptime and meeting SLAs.  Currently my experience has been useful in creating distributed applications and cloud based solutions.


RP: What advice would you give your fellow colleagues who are trying to become more senior professionals?

AK: Become an expert in something and teach it.  Start a lunch and learn or become a certified trainer.  The best way to learn something inside and out is to both use it in a production system and teach that to others.   Real world knowledge is indispensible but the talent to communicate that knowledge to others takes it to the next level.


RP: As I see the question all the time, what do you tell folks who want to get more involved in the SQL Community?

AK: Volunteer.  Don’t wait to run for president of PASS.  Hang out after the user group meeting and volunteer to be the guy who gets the pizza or takes up evaluations.  You’ll be one step closer to knowing what role you’ll feel comfortable taking in your community.  Perhaps you’ll find out that you would rather blog or support the forums then pick the pizza toppings.


RP: What are 3 of your favorite features in SQL Server 2008/R2?

AK: I’m prejudice to the SQL Azure support in SSMS R2.  Compression in Standard server is good.  I like the newest report designer also.  But my favorite is the SQL Azure support of SSMS.


RP: What are you working on currently?  (Projects, Books/Articles, Speaking circuit, etc.)

AK: At WoundVision we are creating a brand new healthcare technology that will revolutionize wound care.  It’s a hardware solution directly connected to the cloud.  It’s a combination of medical record management, imaging and business intelligence with a SQL Azure backend.

RP:  That sounds really interesting in a time where the HealthCare Industry is the biggest   topic that everyone is talking about. The application of new innovative technology to an old industry in need of a serious makeover sounds revolutionary indeed!  What else are you up to?

AK: I’m also doing my best to share what I’ve learned speaking about SQL Azure at user groups and the SQL Saturday circuit.  I’m also a community leader with Indy GiveCamp, IndyNDA, Indy PASS and Indy Tech Fest.

RP: What are some of your other interests, hobbies, etc. when you’re not being a DBA/Engineer/BI professional?

AK: If I’m not developing or speaking I’m spending time with my lovely wife and two sons.  I’m also an amateur video game developer.  The XNA Creators Club is a great way to get started.  I love the Xbox 360.


RP: What are you looking forward to, or, what excites you the most about presenting at our SQLSaturday event in the capital of the world, NYC?

AK: I really enjoy the discussions I have with others looking to find roles for SQL Azure in their shops.  In the Midwest, where I have spoken the last few years, I get questions about backup and agent replacements since there isn’t direct OS access with SQL Azure it’s a tough subject.  I’m wondering if NYC users will have the same focus.


RP: Give us a preview of the topic and session you have planned for us at SQLSaturday#59

AK: I quickly go over the 100 level agenda of what SQL Azure is.  Then I give examples of what to look out for when deploying a database designed for an on-premise server.  There are a few good things to watch out for and shortcuts.  The rest of the time is focused on the new features of SSMS R2 in relation to SQL Azure.  I set up an account, server, user, and database.  Then I show some custom scripts to copy and analyze costs of the database on a micro level.  If there is time allowing I create data sync using the Sync Framework.

I saw a suggested topic of using SQL Azure in a BI solution.  I think I’m going to try to end with showing that and skip the data sync if the response from the crowd picks that instead.

RP: Anything that you would like to add?

AK: Nope, I’m good. Thanks for putting this event on.  I really think that the SQL Saturday events are the best events out there right now.

RP:  As Hillary Clinton once said, it takes a village! (Well, that was her opinion on raising a kid :-) In this case, it takes a team of dedicated and talented SQL Server Community Volunteers and Speakers like you.  We welcome you to SQLSaturday#59, and NYC!  See you there! 

Hey, SQLSaturday team, are we going to be able to use that X-box they have there in the corner?  Aaron is an avid X-box game.  Aren’t we giving one away?


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