Mike Walsh? Who?

Where has Mike been? Well I originally had pledged to take August off from most extracurricular activities (the User Group still met, still had some PASS conference calls, more later). I guess I was feeling Parisian, except I didn’t go to Nice for the month and I made sure my elderly relatives had good Air Conditioning (1. I’m kidding around, relax! and 2. I checked in Google Analytics, hardly any visitors from France – actually both readers come from NH and ME where I live and where my mom lives)

September is almost over so that one month hiatus appears to be heading for two at this rate. I’ve been busy with a new job (our operational DBA left so I’ve been on double duty a bit while they figure that position out), end of summer fun with the family, User Group preparation and organization for Seacoast SQL Server Users Group (still going well!), our church recently started AWANA and I am helping lead the T&T clubbers and I decided to start school this September. I’m going to Luther Rice University, taking courses online for a Bachelors of Religion degree with a focus on Christian Worldview as part of my journey in figuring out just what it is I should be doing in the long run. Finally having a college education (will probably take 5-6 years as I budget out time and dollars for courses) will be a good thing either way and perhaps the experience will open up new doors for me in the future.

All that being said, I haven’t been idle within the SQL Community –

Opportunities To Heckle Me –

SQL Server Load Fest – Waltham, MA

I’ll be speaking and sharing my “As A DBA Where Do I start?” talk there as well as helping out with the event. It is free, there is pizza (we always have pizza at community events, eh?) and some other speakers talking about different areas of SQL Server after we are all done installing SQL Server 2008 R2 on our laptops. Great opportunities for free training. Find out more at Andy Novick’s site.

SQL Saturday #49 – Orlando, FL

I am flying down to Orlando on Friday October 15th and will be speaking as part of a great event on Saturday October 16th. Star studded (present company excluded and that’s just fine with me 🙂 ) cast of presenters! I am really looking forward to the networking opportunities, listening to some of these great speakers and sharing my favorite talk to give lately. The “As a DBA, Where Do I start?” talk again here. Working on another presentation about Professional Development and disaster preparedness lessons from real world disasters for 2011 SQL Saturdays, if I apply to speak at and am accepted at any. Check out SQL Saturday 49’s website and I hope to see you in Orlando! 

Haven’t been to a SQL Saturday? Check out Janice Lee’s recent post. I dare you to read that post and then not sign up to a local SQL Saturday. Great learning by great speakers all free to you. All you have to do is invest one of your 52 Saturdays (We are talking about 2% of your Saturday time in a year, 1% of your weekend time for the year.. And you’ll grow your career, meet neat folks and eat free food – usually)…

Birds of a Feather Lunch at the Summit

I am volunteering again this year to help out with the PASS Summit’s Bird of a Feather event. Along with Jason Strate who is coordinating the Ask The Experts booth area at the Summit this year. That means I’ve been reaching out to MVPs who will be having lunch with you, the Summit Attendee. The topics will vary based on the MVPs interest and it is a great way to help break the ice with others who share a technical affinity. The format? You sit down at a table with an MVP host. The table will have a title that is associated with the topic chosen. Other folks sit there with the same interest and you eat your lunch and have a conversation about that topic. The MVP might give a little 5-10 minute talk about the topic and then answer questions. You’ll hopefully leave with some business cards of colleagues with similar interests, some folks to hang out with at the Summit and more knowledge about a topic you wanted to learn about. Last year’s went very well even with some hitches in the initial setup and table titles/”indexing”. It will be even better this year without those! I’ll give the same disclaimer I gave last year – This isn’t my idea, I am just volunteering to help reach out to MVPs, coordinate topics and then help set it up on the day of the lunch (the Tuesday lunch at the Summit, by the way). I blogged about last years topics here. The response level from the MVPs is overwhelming! We have some dedicated MVPs in this community who jump at every single chance to help the community. Thanks, MVPs! (If you haven’t heard from me yet, I am sending another e-mail blast out to registered MVPs today)

Seacoast SQL Server Users Group

We have some great speakers coming up soon. This Thursday Paul Nielsen will be giving a version of his eXtreme Database Design presentation he shared at the 24 hours of PASS. In October we’ll have Andy Leonard covering some advanced SSIS topics and Andy Novick will be speaking about the Cloud and SQL Azure in December. Still need a November speaker and we may move or postpone November due to the Summit and Thanksgiving but we’ll figure that out soon enough. While it takes some work and I need to do a better job at accepting the help that is offered in running it by others (need time to sit with them actually!), I am still really enjoying this User Group. We’ve had some great topics and have a good core of interested folks taking personal time to learn more about SQL Server. Their employees should give their attendance consideration come annual review time! Hope to see you at a Seacoast SQL Server Users Group meeting soon! (Let me know if you are ever planning on working a gig up in New England and want to speak (or sponsor) we’ll be glad to have you!)

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