Archive for August, 2011

I have been meaning to post another entry on mentoring and picking goals. But the truth is I have been keeping pretty busy. Last week I presented at the Denver User Group and the Colorado Springs User Group. At the same time I am getting ready for SQL Saturday and the PASS Summit. So this week here is a quick update on some items I have been telling people that I will post.

I am curious if you have time to leave a comment. But when you attend a session, do you mind if the session is 80% demo? The session I am working on right now is very demo heavy. I don’t normally do that because when I learn I like to learn from lecture and doing, not from watching other people do.

Denver and Colorado Springs SQL Server User Groups

I have uploaded the presentation to the blog here.
I have been floored on the feedback from this presentation, and to be honest I was not too happy with it when I first started. But, I have received a number of emails not only asking for the demos but also to thank me. I have to thank everyone who was able to make it and in addition, everyone who was willing to pass along the feedback I asked for. The kind comments have been very humbling.

SQL Saturday #94

SQL Saturday #94 is just around the corner. If you are in the Utah area I hope you stop by and take advantage of all the sessions that are going to be there at no charge. If you are not in Utah on Sept. 10th make sure you check out the website for a SQL Saturday near you. In my opinion it is a big mistake to pass up this opportunity at free training. If nothing else the networking is awesome.

This summer for the SQL Road Trip many folks from Colorado are heading over to Utah, we have some really gracious hosts. This is the second SQL Road Trip with the group going to Kansas City last summer. As of now here is some of the people that are going and the twitter accounts that I know. You may want to follow them or, if nothing else follow #SQLRoadTrip. I am sure Jason Horner will be more than happy to give me a hard time.

Chris Shaw

Jason Horner

Mike Fal

Carlos Bossy

Doug Lane

Kelly Martinez

Gabriel Villa

Marc Beacom

I hope I didn’t miss anyone.

 

I wish I could list all the reasons why I think a weekend with GiveCamp is a good idea, but the list is so long. When it comes to building your skill set there is nothing like working with other DBA’s as you are learning a new skill or even applying one that you already know. GiveCamp is one opportunity to do that. To top it off you get to help a non-profit organization. Think about the impact that you could have on and organization. The budgets they have are limited, and the amount of money that you can help them save, could let them put that money toward helping others.

 

If you are a non-profit organization and you are looking for some help with SQL Server, .Net, or other technologies don’t miss this opportunity to work with some of the best professionals in the area. I know many of these guys and gals personally and think very highly of the skill sets that they are bringing to the table. Don’t miss out.

 

Colorado

 

What is a GiveCamp?

GiveCamp is a weekend-long event where technology professionals from designers, developers and database administrators to marketers and web strategists donate their time to provide solutions for non-profit organizations. Since its inception in 2007, the National GiveCamp program has provided benefits to over 150 charities, with a value of developer and designer time exceeding $1,000,000 in services!

Colorado GiveCamp is an extension of the National GiveCamp where we focus on non-profits here in Colorado.

 

When and Where?

The Colorado GiveCamp will be the weekend of October 21-23 at the DeVry University Greenwood Village Center campus 6312 S Fiddlers Green Cr. Ste 150 Greenwood Village, CO 80111.

Non-Profits

Volunteers

Do you run or work with a non-profit that supports the community in Colorado? Overloaded with manual processes and not taking advantage of technology?

 

We want to help!

 

Complete the online application on our website at ColoradoGiveCamp.org/Charities.aspx today so that our team of volunteers can assess your needs.

Volunteering for a GiveCamp event is an opportunity for you to use your skills to assist non-profit organizations to reach their full potential.

It is also an opportunity for you to grow as a professional, work with different people, be a mentor or be mentored.

To volunteer, please complete the registration form at ColoradoGiveCamp.org/Volunteer.aspx.

 

Sponsors

Colorado GiveCamp could not be possible without the support of sponsors. If you or your organization would like to assist by providing software licenses, cash, food or other items, please contact us at info@ColoradoGiveCamp.org.

 

The following sponsors are committed to support our cause.

 

            

Over the last few weeks I have been working on a new presentation titled The Utility Database.  I can’t remember the last time that I have been this excited about a presentation.  This presentation includes information on how to use a utility database to keep a history of your server. I will help you answer questions like the average run time of your stored procedures.  We will talk about consolidating your checklists into one report so you have one reference point for each of your daily activities.

Next week on Wednesday Aug. 17th I will be presenting this session in Colorado Springs at the Colorado Springs SQL Server User Group and then the next night I will be delivering the session in Denver at the Denver SQL Server Users Group.  If you have a chance to stop by that would be great.  I will be looking for feedback to make the presentation better.    

I was on my way home last night after talking to a couple SQL Server Buddies, and I was reflecting on some of the things we had been talking about. There were a few interesting questions that were asked, one was how did I get started doing what I am doing and the other pertained to mentoring.  I have written a number of articles, blog posts and given presentations that have talked about mentoring in the past, but I am not sure I have ever done a complete mentoring series. As  I sat and thought about it I decided that there is no better time than now to start jotting down my notes on mentoring, including how I have taken advantage of it and how I have mentored others. 

As I completed that last paragraph I cannot tell you how honored I am that a handful of people have asked me to be their mentor.

I am going to start a series of blog posts on mentoring. These topics may just include links to places or people that have helped me in the past, but I hope that they can help you as well. Before we jump into the topic we should talk about what a mentor is, how can they help you and how do you get one. 

What is a Mentor?

When you can look at a person’s career path, and on a personal level, life decisions they have made, and you desire to have the same path as them then they can be considered for a mentor.  A Mentor is someone who has made the decisions that you are going to have to make in the future, and they are in a place where you may want to be.

For me I have had a number of mentors, some I have spent many hours with asking questions and working with them to better myself, others I have watched from afar and have taken mental notes on the things that I would like to see more in myself. 

How can a Mentor help you?

The idea of a mentor is to help you navigate through some of the many decisions you are going to have to make.  Just recently I saw a note on twitter where someone mentioned they did not know a certain tool existed.  A mentor might be able to look at a certain situation and be able to recommend that tool, because they have faced that certain problem before.  A mentor is not meant to be your boss or your director, they are meant to be a place where someone can give you a second opinion, and maybe some direction.

Finding a Mentor

Getting a mentor can be one of the coolest experiences.  If there is someone that holds a position or a job that you would like to hold someday, they could be a good candidate.  If there is someone who is doing something that you would like to do such as public speaking or Enterprise Administration and you would like to do that, then they may be a good candidate.  

Contact these people that you respect, tell them why you respect them and ask them if they would be willing to be your mentor.  Let them know that they have made decisions that you find are great decisions and let them know you would like to learn more from them.  If nothing else it is a great way to say thank you to someone who has been an impact on how you look at things.

Can I help?

If you are reading this and find yourself in a position to want a mentor, or you would not mind being a mentor then let me know.  I have no issues in helping make introductions and helping people get connected to other people in the SQL Server world. 

There are so many great people that I look up to and would like to be more like.  These people have helped me make decisions or do things that I never thought I could do.  I hope you pick a mentor.