I just received an e-mail from SQL PASS. This year they are taking some community input into the session selection process apparently. Anyone who is a free member of PASS can vote on session preferences here. I like this idea and think this along with the speaker review process (I am a member of that team) and the abstract review process should make this another year we can say we are going to have “the best Summit, yet!”. Looking forward to seeing the sessions. I also could have subtitled this post, Pick Me! Pick Me! I’ve already seen a few folks do it, so why not 🙂

Looking for a reason to vote for my sessions?

Just in case, I’ll share the three sessions I submitted as well as one I am giving with Erin Stellato (Twitter).

Professional Development Track

Iceberg, Dead Ahead! Lessons from real life disasters for the database professional
What does a plane crash have to do with technical skills? You might be surprised… There are many lessons to be learned from disasters and our response to them. Most accidents are caused not by a single factor, but by a series of seemingly-small missteps. It’s the same in our offices: carelessness or complacency can lead to a resume-altering disaster. Even if a freak accident occurs, training and preparation can make a difference in the outcome. In this session we’ll dig deep into some real-life disasters and see what lessons we can take back to our day jobs. We’ll explore corollaries between the news stories and those heart-pumping times when our cubes are filled with VPs and CIOs. Fasten your seatbelts as Mike Walsh takes us on a journey through the headlines in search of a healthy respect for the unexpected. We’ll pick 3 or 4 of the most common disaster causing attitudes and behaviors, show real world examples of them causing disasters and then talk about what they can do to our own projects. We’ll also discuss disaster mitigating attitudes and behaviors and how we can work on them in ourselves and our teams.

I’m really excited about this one. I am giving it for the first time this coming week at the SQL Rally and I’m going to deliver once or twice more before the Summit. So I’m sure it will be tweaked and changed a bit but I think we have a lot to learn from real world disasters on preparing ourselves and our companies to prevent failure.

Who’s Responsible? The Vendor or the DBA?
Speaker(s): Erin Stellato, Mike Walsh
Database administrators – you don’t really trust your third party software vendors, do you? Software vendors – you think most of the DBAs out there are hiding things, don’t you? Well guess what, you’re both right! Join Erin Stellato (representing vendors) and Mike Walsh (representing DBAs) for an interactive session where they will tackle some of the toughest challenges that DBAs and vendors face when working with each other. Attendees will walk out with a better understanding of what both parties can do to contribute to a successful relationship, as well as a set of fair questions to ask to set the right expectations from the start. Attend our session to see if a Vendor and DBA really can get along, and listen in on some real life horror story examples of how not to do it.

This one is a lot of fun! Erin and I had the idea after meeting at the PASS Summit in 2010 and we delivered it in Cleveland at a SQL Saturday. I’m really hoping this one gets accepted as well 🙂 Erin is a great speaker and she is a vendor “doing it right”. As a DBA and consultant now, I have seen and see all sorts of problems that come from the vendor/DBA vendor/client relationship. I’ve blogged about it, I’ve shared my checklist of questions (on the right hand top posts widget) to ask vendors, etc. This presentation is fun, has its laughs but it covers some serious content and hopefully you’ll leave knowing how to improve that vendor/DBA relationship (watch out it might even improve developer/DBA relationships 😉 )

Database Administration Track

As A DBA, Where Do I Start?!
Speaker(s): Mike Walsh

You’ve always wanted to get promoted into the DBA position. The good news is you got it; the bad news is you have no idea what to do first. What’s important, what’s not a big deal, and what can get you fired if you’re not careful? If your answer wasn’t “update my resume”, then this session is a good start. We’ll chat about a natural priority for the overwhelming flood waiting in our offices. By focusing on a few words ending in “ity” we’ll realize what is most important. Through the interaction, stories and examples you’ll leave feeling ready to attack your environment. Be warned – along the way to knowing where to start, you may get that feeling in your stomach that makes you log on to the VPN to check a few things out.

I’ve given this presentation a fair amount of times. I like it because I get great feedback from people who actually plan on implementing what we discuss. I hear feedback after the fact from folks who really did struggle with where to start and were helped along. I think there are a healthy amount of people just starting out coming to these events and sometimes they can get lost in the advanced content (I know I was there at my first Summit!) This is for them and as long as I see it helping people, I am going to keep submitting it to events, I have a lot of fun interacting with the audience during it.

The Top 10 Things You’re Doing Wrong
Mike has been a consultant, he’s connected to environments just like yours. He’s seen the questions asked on twitter, forums and blog comments. He’s gone into environments and quickly found the same problem time and time again. Come to this session and see what worst practices, oversights and frustrations make the top 10 list. You’ll leave with a handout of the list, an understanding of why they are on it and (hopefully) a sense of panic that you need to go take care of some of these best practice misses before they take care of you. We’ll leave time for your questions and discussions about anything you feel should have been on the list. Come grab some trade secrets and see if you can reduce the billable hours of outside help at your company. Some of the areas we’ll cover: – Maintenance – Backup & Recovery – Those Darn Defaults – Performance Killers And more…

I’ve never given this one before. I am looking forward to the opportunity. I almost see this as “Part Two” of the “Where Do I Start?!” talk. There will be more demos, more examples and we’ll cover the things I repeatedly see wrong at environments I encounter. The kind of things that just don’t have to be wrong these days.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Summit either way! I’ve already started selecting my preferences and it is a tough one. There are a lot of GREAT abstracts this year!

Iceberg, Dead Ahead! Lessons from real life disasters for the database professional [100]
Session Category: Regular Session (75 minutes)
Session Track: Professional Development
Speaker(s): Mike Walsh
What does a plane crash have to do with technical skills? You might be surprised… There are many lessons to be learned from disasters and our response to them. Most accidents are caused not by a single factor, but by a series of seemingly-small missteps. It’s the same in our offices: carelessness or complacency can lead to a resume-altering disaster. Even if a freak accident occurs, training and preparation can make a difference in the outcome. In this session we’ll dig deep into some real-life disasters and see what lessons we can take back to our day jobs. We’ll explore corollaries between the news stories and those heart-pumping times when our cubes are filled with VPs and CIOs. Fasten your seatbelts as Mike Walsh takes us on a journey through the headlines in search of a healthy respect for the unexpected. We’ll pick 3 or 4 of the most common disaster causing attitudes and behaviors, show real world examples of them causing disasters and then talk about what they can do to our own projects. We’ll also discuss disaster mitigating attitudes and behaviors and how we can work on them in ourselves and our teams.
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