Tag: PASS

Presenting at SQLSaturday #89–Atlanta

I’m very excited to be going to Atlanta on September 17th and presenting at the SQL Saturday event being held there. I was lucky enough to get two submissions accepted.

 

Centralized auditing of permissions with SQL Server

As a DBA it can be a challenge to know who has permissions to what SQL instances and what objects. The more instances you have the more complex that task. In this presentation I’ll share a method using PowerShell and TSQL that can be used to capture permissions from all of your SQL instances and load them into a centralized location. We’ll even take it a step further by auditing those permissions so that we can quickly and easily identify any that might have changed.

 

PowerShell: Are you checking out my profile?

PowerShell is a very powerful management tool and you can spend hours writing magical scripts to provide automation for frequently run tasks. Often forgotten is the PowerShell profile, a place you can add your own functions which can provide you lightning fast access to information. In this session we’ll talk about the power a profile puts at your fingertips. I will also demo (and share) several PowerShell functions that I use frequently for common tasks like checking database backups and disk space. I’ll show you my PowerShell profile if you show me yours.

 

 

There are a grand total of 17 MVP’s presenting that day. I’m frankly stunned I have to opportunity to be in rarified company and be able to speak myself (in fact my first session I’m up at the same time as 7 MVP’s so I’m expecting a quiet room). It should be a blast though, be sure to say hi if you’re there. I might even sneak in a preview of my PASS Summit Lightning talk.

 

Such fun.

Speaking At PASS Summit 2011

I’ll be speaking at the PASS Summit 2011 coming up in just over a month.

“Wait…what?” I hear you say, “you said in your blog post https://sirsql.net/blog/2011/6/20/not-presenting-at-pass-summit-2011.html that you were not going to be presenting”.

 

Well a couple of weeks ago PASS opened up the opportunity for folks to submit lightning sessions (5 minute talks on a subject). I submitted 4 of those and one of them was selected:

 

PowerShell: It’s your new BFF

PowerShell wants to be your bestie. Please accept PowerShell’s friend request and put it in your circle. Find out why you should.

 

Mine is just one of 24 lightning sessions that have been selected, check out the others at http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2011/SummitContent/LightningTalks2011.aspx

 

Hope you’ll find the time to swing by at least one of the lightning sessions. They are a lot of fun.

 

Working on a PASS abstract review/selection team

A couple of days ago I posted how I was disappointed not to have either of my sessions accepted for presenting at the PASS Summit 2011. While I was saddened, I understood how not every session could be picked and understood completely how difficult it is in choosing what would be the winning abstracts. A large part of this understanding was because I worked on one of the PASS Abstract Review/Selection committees this year.

I was one of three committee members who had it in our hands to help choose 29 Business Intelligence sessions. These were broken down to just a single half day session, 7 spotlight sessions and 21 regular sessions.

That’s just 29 sessions to be chosen (plus 6 regular and one ½ day alternate) out of over 180 submitted. Only 16% of the BI sessions would be accepted. Wow! That made things tough. Tacked on top of that there’s no speaker who could have more than 2 sessions, oh and anyone that got a pre-con is required to present regular or spotlight session. That’s a lot to tally and manage.

Tim Ford (blog|twitter) already talked about how this year the speakers were ranked by a team of volunteers. With these numbers in a nice new tool our committee went about scoring the abstracts (and abstracts alone).

 

Abstract scoring

Here are a few of the key factors that I looked at when scoring:

  • A title and abstract that matched
  • Well outlined pre-requisites and takeaways from the session
  • Appeal to a good sized audience
  • Well written and clear abstract
  • Not a sales pitch
  • Scores from the speaker preference tool

 

Each committee member individually scored a 0-5 for every session on three criteria and those scores were averaged and saved in the tool. As an example:

  • Topic – 4
  • Abstract – 5
  • Subjective – 4
  • Abstract Score: 13/3 = 4.333

 

The abstract score was added to the speaker score to give a final score:

  • Speaker score: 4.600
  • Abstract score: 4.333
  • Total Score: 8.933

 

Session choosing

Once all of the committee had entered scores, we got together on the phone and via email to try and figure out which sessions would get picked. Even with the scoring this was not an easy task. Ensuring there was a broad range of topics as well as the other requirements on speaker limits made for some good discussion around things that should or should not be considered. In the end we completed our deliberations and finalized our decisions. All the sessions were chosen and everything returned to PASS for final approval. To their credit we only had a single change to make and that was because a speaker already had a couple of sessions in another track. That forced us to move up an alternate into a slot and promote another contender into the alternate position.

Overall it was a time consuming process and the general quality of the submitted abstracts was very high. The difference between a session being chosen and one not was very small. Be assured though every single session was given due consideration and thought. I made comments around each and every abstract I reviewed so that when it came to decision time I could quickly see why I gave the scores that I did. Believe me when I say that it was not an easy task and I know that there were sessions left out that I would have loved to have seen included but there were just not enough available slots.

 

Why I volunteered

This process was difficult and time consuming. So why did I do it? Last year I worked on the PowerPoint review committee and wanted to volunteer in some fashion again this time around. If you’ve not volunteered at something like a SQLSaturday event, PASS Summit or helped someone on Twitter or a forum then you’re missing out. The SQL community is one of the largest connected vibrant tech communities around. There are people from all walks of life from all over the world who work on different aspects of SQL and who have different skills and weaknesses.

When you first started out working with SQL Server was there someone that helped you? Guided you? Gave you advice, taught you the basics? Was patient with you while you worked your way through things? Have you gotten anything from reading blogs, books or attending events? Why do you think folks write those books? Trust me, it’s not for the money. Why would someone blog? I’m not getting a dime for this and rarely get feedback comments, yet I keep doing it. Why would someone speak at a SQLSaturday? Why would they travel to do so given that they don’t get paid? I’ve already travelled to Chicago to present this year and plan on hitting Atlanta in September. Why do these things? Because it is all about community.

Community: it’s why you read blogs (and why you are reading this post). It’s the reason you attend a SQLSaturday event or try to go to the PASS Summit. It’s the reason that local User Groups exist and that there’s a #SQLHelp tag on Twitter. It’s a large, passionate group of people that come together so that they can improve the collective knowledge. There are some great people with great ideas who’ve become great friends through the power of SQL.

Given that there’s this community rather than ask why I would volunteer to help out I’d like you to ask yourself why you wouldn’t volunteer.

Think about it and the next time you get a chance to help out at a local event put yourself out there. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Not Presenting At PASS Summit 2011

Sadly neither of the two sessions that I submitted for the PASS Summit 2011 were chosen and so I won’t be presenting. I’m not going to claim that I am not disappointed because I am. I felt that I had a really good chance of being chosen, but when there are 649 abstract submitted and only 111 slots available someone is going to miss out. This year I was one of the majority that didn’t make it.

I’m not disheartened, I’ll continue speaking at other events this year and next and already plan on submitting sessions for next years Summit.

I will, however, be at the Summit this year. I paid for my submission early in the year and got a significant discount on the price…which reminds me, go register now and save $600 on the full admission price.

There are going to be some fantastic speakers and sessions, including half-day sessions for that deeper dive (don’t take my seat in Bob Wards session if you know what’s good for you). Don’t forget there are 2-days of precons this year. I know my buddy Aaron Nelson (blog|twitter) would love to spend a day talking your ear off about PowerShell.

Hope to see you there, and to enjoy watching you entertain everyone at SQL Karaoke!

Central Auditing Of SQL Permissions Scripts

Yesterday I gave a presentation for the PASS PowerShell Virtual Chapter on central auditing of SQL permissions with PowerShell and TSQL. For those that attended feel free to download the scripts I used in my presentation. For those that didn’t…well you can still download them but this picture may not apply to you…

Image from http://whosawesome.com/

Presenting For The PASS PowerShell Virtual Chapter

A quick note, on Wednesday at 1PM EST I’ll be giving an online presentation on one of the two topics I submitted for the PASS Summit this year.

 The presentation will be heavy on the demo side of things and I’ll cover the basics of querying SQL Server using PowerShell, running scripts against multiple machines quickly and easily as well as bulk loading data into SQL.

Please check out http://www.powershell.sqlpass.org/ for a link to the livemeeting.

 

Central auditing of SQL permissions with PowerShell & TSQL

Description: As a DBA it can be a challenge to know who has permissions to what SQL instances and what objects. The more instances you have the more complex that task. In this presentation I’ll share a method using PowerShell and TSQL that can be used to capture permissions from all of your SQL instances and load them into a centralized location. We’ll even take it a step further by auditing those permissions so that we can quickly and easily identify any that might have changed.

 

Rock The PASS Summit Vote

The PASS Summit 2011 is fast approaching. It’s being held in October this year and the call for speaker sessions has already closed. In a great turn of events PASS is asking you to take a part in helping to decide on the sessions to be presented. Up until May 20th you can vote on the sessions that you want to see.

I’ve already voted for multiple sessions over at the Session Preferencing page, please ensure that you do so as well. In doing so I hope that you consider voting for two sessions I submitted.

 

PowerShell: Are you checking out my profile? [100 level]
Session Category: Regular Session (75 minutes) 
Session Track: Enterprise Database Administration and Deployment 

PowerShell is a very powerful management tool and you can spend hours writing magical scripts to provide automation for frequently run tasks. Often forgotten is the PowerShell profile, a place you can add your own functions which can provide you lightning fast access to information. 

In this session we’ll talk about the power a profile puts at your fingertips. I will also demo (and share) several PowerShell functions that I use frequently for common tasks like checking database backups and disk space.
I’ll show you my PowerShell profile if you show me yours.

 

I’ve given this presentation at a couple of SQLSaturday events and it’s proven very popular both times. I have a couple of new items in my profile which extends this topic further.

 

Centralized auditing of permissions with SQL Server and PowerShell [100 level]
Session Category: Regular Session (75 minutes) 
Session Track: Enterprise Database Administration and Deployment 

As a DBA it can be a challenge to know who has permissions to what SQL instances and what objects. The more instances you have the more complex that task. In this presentation I’ll share a method using PowerShell and TSQL that can be used to capture permissions from all of your SQL instances and load them into a centralized location. We’ll even take it a step further by auditing those permissions so that we can quickly and easily identify any that might have changed.

I will actually be presenting a shortened version of this on May 18th at 1pm EST for the PASS PowerShell Virtual Chapter. I hope you can attend that and get an idea of how the longer session could help you in auditing your SQL servers.