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SQLSaturday #294 DBA 4 Dummies - post event commentary...

Had an awesome time at #SQLSat294 in Philly (MS HQ in Malvern, PA to be exact).  Was great seeing the #sqlfamily.  I wanted to share my experience on this event, and a very positive one it was.  I think I made a discovery, or at least found a niche.

Saturday, I presented for the first time, a new session I worked on for the junior, Accidental, Incidental and any DBA interested in improving and enhancing their DBA career.  It was marked for Beginners, and was a hybrid between professional development and technical.

DBA FOR DUMMIES, its not for dummies, was well-received and standing room only, and not too mention, when I asked how many in the room are DBAs, not ONE hand went up.  So, no one in my session in a SQL Saturday, on a beautiful day in Philidelphia, was a DBA.  At least not in the traditional sense.  All of them were tasked with the mighty responsibility of managing their companies’ SQL Servers, and needed a little help on how to do that in a quality way.

I think the fact that NO ONE, yeah, I still can’t get over it, was a DBA, and at the same time, think this is a fantastic occurrence.  In fact, my session was perfect for professionals who suddenly found themselves in the precarious position of being a D-B-A.  That SQLSaturday has this great reach into the non-SQLDBA community, is something that should be celebrated.  In fact, I think we should make a targeted effort to bring more such individuals into the fold, and integrate them into the greater SQL Server Community.

My question actually is, are we doing this?  How did so many non-SQL DBAs show up?  Was it a local effort by Joey D’Antoni, et. al and Philadelphia SQL Server User’s Group?  (Who, by the way, did an excellent job in organizing and executing the event!)   Was this a coincidence?

Or, is this a national and international effort on the part of PASS and Karla Kay?  My point is, even if this was “accidental” I think we should do just that.  After all, isn’t Microsoft interested in getting NEW 4dummiescustomers?  Doesn’t PASS want to enroll NEW members?

My session DBA for Dummies, followed in fun, fast and furious fashion, the traditional Dummies series.  I even used, er, borrowed, the famous symbols for dummies.  (DISCLAIMER)

So what was IN my session? You're either an Accidental DBA, or someone who has inherited the awesome responsibility of the companies SQL Server databases. Until now, you knew enough to be dangerous, but now you are THE DBA. You stepped forward, volunteered, or were just drafted, and you're a bit nervous on what to do first how to manage X number of servers. Performance tuning, security, upgrades, migrations, oh my! This session will share experiences from the frontlines, and better organize your DBA day. Things you should do NOW, and other things you need to think about down the road. This is more a professional development on being the best DBA you can be, and how to excel in your role. Remember you are the guardian of the company's data; now find out what to do with it! War stories, tasks, tools, and checklists will arm you with what you may face from your peers. You will come out of this ready for action and on your way to being a DBA superstar!

Being the first time out, I ran over my allotted time, but barely a person walked out of the room.  If it wasn’t for the next presenter, well….I wanted to finish up my discussion about SQLCommunity where I loaded them up on great SQL Server links, sites, books, and more!  I talk about the unlimited resources out there including social media, such as linkedin and twitter.  #SQLHelp is just a great real-time helper.

Finally, I received some real positive feedback on my session, and I am truly grateful for the kind words.  One attendee emailed me the next day and wrote:

“The DBA for Dummies was the most valuable of the sessions to me of all the sessions that day, and it didn’t go right over my head like some of the presentations did. Thank you for spending the time to help people like me who have inherited the responsibility of being a DBA”

The check is in the mail, guy!  Just kidding ;-)

So, I think I’m onto something.  DBA training & mentoring for people who were formerly known as…..OK, not a new concept, but something that make a real difference in people’s everyday professional lives. 

Thinking of posting some tips in a blog series, and perhaps even a webinar, coming soon.

Finally, I wanted to thank the SQLSaturday 294 team for selecting me as speaker and my new session, which was a success.  I also want to express my appreciation and thanks to all the attendees who came.  I hope that I was able to provide some insightful information and goodies to assist you in your daily DBA duties.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the presentation and materials. 

You can and should follow me on twitter: @Pearlknows

 


Comments

Posted by dchevalier on 10 June 2014

Your welcome! - Guy

Posted by Himansu Amin on 12 June 2014

Robert, what happened to the New York SQL Saturday?  -Himansu

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