Moving my blog

September 17, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s official, there is now a domain named after me.  My blog has moved to http://MrAndrewDykstra.com.  Thank you all who have visited my site or read my posts!  I hope to see you at my new address.

Today is Sponsored By: MSSQLTips.com!

August 6, 2010 2 comments

The SQL Cruise would not be possible without our generous sponsors. I’d like to take a minute to highlight one sponsor on each day of the cruise.

MSSQLTips.com is committed to making quality content about SQL Server easily accessable to the community.  They have webcasts, whitepapers, tutorials and a daily e-newsletter and more.  Here’s a bit about MSSQLtips.com.

MSSQLTips.com was started and is run by Edgewood Solutions, SQL Server industry experts that saw the need for a different approach to learning about SQL Server. There is plenty of content on the web, but finding content or learning something new about SQL Server often takes a lot of time, so we decided to try a different approach.  Instead of you looking for the content we are going to bring it directly to you.

Our writers have experience with SQL Server 6.5 thru SQL Server 2008 and often come upon new things every day that sometimes take several hours to find the answer.

If you have any questions that you would like featured in a tip, send them to tips@mssqltips.com.

Today is Sponsored By: Redgate!

The SQL Cruise would not be possible without our generous sponsors. I’d like to take a minute to highlight one sponsor on each day of the cruise.

Did I mention our sponsors are generous?  Redgate is giving away full copies of their new product SQL Source Control to four lucky cruisers! (I really hope I’m one of them!)  Here’s a bit about Redgate.

Since 1999, Red Gate Software has produced ingeniously simple tools for over 500,000 Microsoft technology professionals worldwide. We currently specialize in MS SQL Server, .NET and email archiving tools.

Redgate is based in the beautiful, if rather flat, university town of Cambridge, UK. If you’re wondering where the name ‘Red Gate’ came from, they are named after Via Porta Rossa (Red Gate Street) in Florence, Italy, close to where Leonardo da Vinci invented the database in 1512.

Redgate’s SQL Toolbelt is the simplest and most effective way to access all the SQL Server tools that you need, to get your job done, the way you want to do it. SQL Toolbelt is a single installer of thirteen essential database tools, including SQL Compare, SQL Prompt and SQL Backup, and is the industry standard in the world’s leading companies, including Microsoft, HP, Sage, Bank of America, AT&T and the US Treasury.

Developers writing applications in any of the languages supported by the .NET Framework love our ANTS Performance Profiler, because it helps them optimize their code and boost their application’s performance.

Redgate’s philosophy is to design highly usable, reliable tools that solve the problems of DBAs and developers. They also want to make dealing with us as simple as possible. This means Redgate is transparent about pricing, offer online ordering, and give free, 14-day trials for all their software downloadable from the product pages.

Redgate is renowned as a great place to work and recruit the best talent for a range of roles, from technical to sales and support. Redgate believes they offer the best graduate careers for anyone not wanting to be a diving instructor in the Maldives.

Got a question? Please contact Redgate, They’d love to hear from you.

Email:
 General enquiries info@red-gate.com
 Sales enquiries sales@red-gate.com
 Job enquiries careers@red-gate.com

Web:
 www.Red-Gate.com

Phone:
 1 866 RED GATE (toll free)
 1 866 997 0397 (toll free)

Mail:
 Newnham House
 Cambridge Business Park
 Cambridge, CB4 0WZ, UK

Presentation Tips From SQL Saturday #40

SQL Saturday #40 was an incredible event.  There were 600 registered and while I didn’t hear the final count, I’d say there were easily 350 in attendance.  Thank you to Scott Klein, Gareth Swanepoel and everyone who help put on the event!

One key thing I learned during this event is an hour cannot possibly be enough time to completely cover a subject. An excellent example is Dmitri Korotkevitch’s session on the query optimizer.  45 minutes into the session started I felt like I had just finished my first breath!  The material was good and Dimitri did very well but an hour was just not enough time.

So these are four tips I picked up to help make presentations more effective.  I know these are things I need to work on and will hopefully be helpful to others as well.

1 – Be Prepared

I noticed presenters who knew the presentation and knew their tools and could cover more material and had better demos. For me, this means spending a lot more time in Powerpoint and finding more than one way to rehearse my demos.

Another issue with being prepared is having a backup plan.  If the demo doesn’t work, what should I do?  If the projector dies, can the show still go on?  Answer: go to plan ‘B’.

2 – Be Orderly

This goes along with the first point, but because I can rabbit trail so easily, I need an extra reminder to stay focused.  It would not be too unlike me to rabbit trail, change slides and be surprised by what showed up on the screen.

3 – Be Blogging

I love it when presenters share who they are, where they blog and reference their blog during the presentation.  This gives me not only a place I can get the content of the presentation, but another resource in general.  If you don’t blog, at least know if and where the slide deck will be available after the event.  Bonus points for doing both.

4 – Be In Front

Last thing – get a clicker.  I tend to speak quietly or mumble.  Not good in a presentation.  Being away from my laptop will help me understand how large the room is and how loud my voice needs to be to fill that room.  I understand demos have to be done from behind a laptop, but maybe I can stand during the demo rather than sitting.  This will keep my head above the screen and hopefully my voice projecting to the back row.

I enjoyed every session I attended Saturday.  Thank you to all the speakers who presented.  You commitment to the community is outstanding!

Today is Sponsored By: Quest Software!

August 3, 2010 1 comment

The SQL Cruise would not be possible without our generous sponsors. I’d like to take a minute to highlight one sponsor on each day of the cruise.

Quest Software is an outstanding company and makes a strong effort to not only build quality tools but to build the community with free events such as their recent performance tuning vConference.  Here’s a bit about Quest Software.

Quest Software creates and supports smart systems management products—helping our customers solve everyday IT challenges faster and easier.  At Quest, they focus on customers first. Quest’s products and people are dedicated to helping customers manage their critical applications, databases, Windows infrastructure and virtual environments. The combination of Quest’s proven, award-winning software and strong customer relationships makes Quest a smart, reliable technology partner.

Since 1987, more than 100,000 customers worldwide have partnered with Quest to improve their IT efficiency. With more than 60 offices around the world, Quest serves customers in just about every industry and of every size.

Quest is a stable, global company that has been in the systems management market for more than 20 years.

Sales & Inquiries:
 Phone: (800) 306-9329
 www.Quest.com

Global Headquarters:
 Quest Software
 5 Polaris Way
 Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

 Phone: (949) 754-8000
 E-mail: info@quest.com
 Fax: (949) 754-8999

Today is Sponsored By: SQL Sentry!

August 2, 2010 2 comments

The SQL Cruise would not be possible without our generous sponsors. I’d like to take a minute to highlight one sponsor on each day of the cruise.

In addition to sponsoring the cruise, SQL Sentry held a contest in which one entrant would win a paid spot on the cruise.  SQL Sentry didn’t select one entrant.  SQL Sentry selected FOUR!  Here’s a bit about SQL Sentry.

SQL Sentry began operations in 2004 as a business unit of InterCerve, which has provided software tools since 1997. SQL Sentry developed a visual interface and a reliable notification system so that database administrators could easily isolate and resolve performance problems. The software quickly evolved into the enterprise level application, SQL Sentry Event Manager. SQL Sentry has continued to develop additional ground-breaking software products that optimize the performance of Microsoft SQL Server environments, with the introduction of SQL Sentry Performance Advisor in 2008 and SQL Sentry Performance Advisor for Analysis Services in 2009.

Headquartered in Huntersville, North Carolina, SQL Sentry products are sold and supported directly and through authorized resellers and partners around the globe. Please contact SQL Sentry to find out more about their products and services or current career opportunities.

Contact Information
        http://www.SQLSentry.com
        704.895.6241 phone
        704.895.8771 fax
        sales@sqlsentry.net

Corporate Office
        16905 Northcross Drive
        Suite 120
        Huntersville, NC 28078

Heading to SQL Saturday #40!

As part of my SQLCruise “traincation”, I’ll be attending SQL Saturday # 40 this weekend.  There were a number of great abstracts submitted and nearly 40 sessions scheduled for the event.  I had a difficult time narrowing down which sessions I would attend and finally settled on the list below.  I used Buck Woody’s post to help me decide which sessions would be most useful so I don’t end up with awesome content and nothing to show the boss-man when I return.  If you’re attending any of the same sessions, say hi.  I’m the bald guy likely near the front with a goatee and earring.  If the sessions I picked out don’t float your boat, there are plenty more to choose from.

8:30 AM               Ronald Dameron: Why SQL Server DBAs Should Learn PowerShell
9:45 AM               Timothy Ford: Insight into Your Indexes with DMVs
11:00 AM             Aaron Nelson: PowerShell for the Data Professional
1:00 PM                Rodney Landrum: The DBA Script Thumb
2:15 PM                Maximo Trinidad: Working with SQL Server – SQLPS
3:30 PM                Dmitri Korotkevitch: Getting Familiar with Query Optimizer

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