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The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).

PASS Summit 2009 Day – 0


Monday at the PASS Summit. It’s always a big day. This year it’s the eve of the Summit and the launch party is held. I started out the day with an impromptu breakfast with a bunch of great guys, bloggers I was interested in meeting or guys I’d known previously. Then it was off to the conference. I attended a series of Microsoft Insiders sessions. It’s one of those things you’re not supposed to talk about. I’ll say this though, MVP’s speak their mind, or at least SQL Server MVP’s do.

In the afternoon I went to two sessions with small talk expert Don Gabor. The first session was for the PASS Volunteers. It was a lot of fun and I really learned a lot. The second session was for people who had paid for the privilege and was twice as long as the first at two hours. Mr. Gabor went into a lot more detail in the second session. I came away feeling much better about my chances of actually being able to talk to people and learn from them and maybe even build a bit of network, connecting people to each other. If you get the chance to read his books or hear him speak, I highly recommend it.

That was the end of the working part of the day. The Summit was kicked-off with the welcome reception party.  It was a good night. They gave out prizes for people who referred a friend to the summit. They then gave out the new Blogger awards. I didn’t catch all the awards because I was getting ready for the next event (more on that in a minute). I think they’ll be posted here soon. Apparently I was runner up for something, but I couldn’t hear from backstage. Backstage you say? Yes, backstage. I was busy getting ready for the Celebrity Quiz Bowl.

Yes, somehow my named bubbled up on a list (probably labelled sucker) to be in the quiz bowl with some actual luminaries. I was teamed up with Joe Webb (great guy, by the way). We were competing with two other teams. The first was Kevin Kline and Brent Ozar, neither a slouch. The final team… well to call them ringers would be incorrect. You know how boxers and other fighters try to punch up, go up a weight class if they can to fight the bigger, more challenging opponents… Yeah well, imagine a bantam weight in with a heavy weight. Well that was us vs. the team of Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp. We were punching up something like six weight classes. It was a stomp. A spanking. A massacre. It wasn’t even remotely close. BUT, it was really fun. It was quite the honor to share a stage with all those people, people I’ve been learning from for years (well, OK, I’ve learned from Brent Ozar, but not for years). It was a great party. The food was good and everyone I talked to (stretching my new networking muscles) had a good time. Then it was time for the next party, SQL Server Central.

It’s a PASS Summit tradition, one that I hope lasts a very long time, for Steve Jones, editor at SQL Server Central, to host a gambling party. I went again this year. I’ve hit every one since Dallas, so I think that makes this my 5th. It was a great time again tonight. I met several regulars from SQL Server central, some I knew previously and some I had met earlier in the day or yesterday and a few were brand new. Again, it was a great opportunity to chat with people you had only every communicated with through typing, shake their hands, look them in the eye… Really, it’s a big part of what the Summit is all about.

No extra-curricular activities for me tonight though. I’m presenting tomorrow, so it’s off to bed.

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