SQL Saturday #276 – Silicon Valley


SQL Saturday #276 in Silicon Valley is only 10 days away! Have you signed up yet? If you haven’t, why not? This is looking like it is going to be a great event again this year. Lots of great speakers and great subjects.

If you are attending next weekend, come by and see me, I will be presenting at 1:30PM on Self promotion in the Executive Board Room.

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Sacramento SQL Server User Group Special Presentation on January 29th

UserGroupLogoThe Sacramento SQL Server User Group will be hosting a special meeting on January 29th, 2014. Ben Miller will be in town to present to our group on PowerShell and SMO.

Ever wanted to know what happens behind the scenes in SQL Server when you use PowerShell and SMO to manage a SQL Server? How fast can your automation really go? I will take you through a few common objects in SMO and the internals of what happens when you use those objects. We will examine the TSQL that is generated, and learn techniques that lead to high-efficiency. We will dive deep through the collections that make SMO the powerful tool it is. Combining the flexibility of PowerShell and SMO Internals is a recipe for awesome sauce. Come peek behind the curtain and squeeze the speed out of your automation scripts using PowerShell and SMO. You’ll be glad you did.

Who is Ben?

About Ben Miller: Ben has been a member of the SQL Server Community for over 14 years now. He is currently an Enterprise DBA Architect for HealthEquity, a Health Savings Account Provider in Draper, Utah. He is a 3 year SQL Server MVP, a SQL Server 2008 MCM and has spent time in the field using SQL Server since 1997. He has worked at various companies throughout the US as well as at Microsoft for 7 years. He is passionate about SQL Server and automation and integration. Contact URL: http://dbaduck.com

Don’t forget to go to our LinkedIn site to join and register. Hope to see everyone there!

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PASS Summit 2013: Quick Networking Tips for Introverts #6

Be Memorable

They always say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That is why it is important to be prepared. With so many people at the Summit, you might only have ElevPitcha minute or two to talk to someone before they get pulled away or you get interrupted. This is where the importance of the Elevator Pitch comes in. What is the elevator pitch? It is your way of quickly describing yourself, business or skills to someone in the time span it would take to ride an elevator, about 30-60 seconds. It is taking all the high points, cramming them into a compact, easy to remember speech that you can regurgitate at any given moment. It should be simple enough that even your grandma could understand it.


  • Stay away from any corporate buzzwords. We hear this stuff enough in the office.
  • Keep it short and to the point; Who are you, what do you do…
  • Incorporate humor, quick story or a ‘win’ you had
  • Write it down on paper
  • practice, practice, practice it!!!

The goal of the elevator pitch is to leave the person interested. This is why I try to encourage people to end a pitch with something funny, memorable or exciting. It helps to keep someones attention and usually sinks the hook into them. Leave them with a business card, a firm handshake and always wanting more…

Be Memorable!

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PASS Summit 2013: Quick Networking Tips for Introverts #5

Business Cards

If you don’t have business cards, you need to get some before the PASS Summit! Even if they are cheesy and are hand cut, it doesn’t matter. Leaving a conversation with just a hand shake and a smile might not always make people remember you, however, leaving them something like a business card will.

I have seen all sorts of business cards, from small and funny to shiny and BusCardsserious. No matter what it is, as long as it has your name and contact info, it will get the point across. If you are uncomfortable handing out a card with all of your “day job” info, then think about creating a “networking card”. This card should consist of anything you want people to use to either find you or find out information about you. Include social media information including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Blog, etc.

I try to encourage people to get keep in contact with everyone you meet. I am not saying you need to have weekly chats, but connect on LinkedIn or Facebook and keep that connection in your back pocket. You never know when you might have a question or need some help with something. The SQL community is a very tight-knit group of people and we all tend to look out for one another. All these connections that you make at the PASS Summit could be life long friends or possibly even future coworkers, managers or employees. Always keep that in mind!

See you at PASS Summit. If you see me, introduce yourself and give me your business card!

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PASS Summit 2013: Quick Networking Tips for Introverts #4

Remembering a Name

Without a doubt, probably the hardest thing to do when you meet someone new is to remember their name. Fortunately, at PASS Summit, everyone is wearing a name badge which makes it a lot easier. However, what happens when you go out in the evening and start meeting new people? How do you remember their names? At some point, just calling someone ‘Hey you’ or ‘Buddy’ isn’t going to fly. There are a few tricks that we can all try to help us remember names. Here are a few:

  • Relate the Person to Someone in your Past – This seems to be one of the most common ways to remember a name. When some one tells you their name, you think of someone in your past with the same name and try to relate the two people. For instance, the first time I met Dan Hess (t|b), he reminded me of a friend in high school named Dan. Both were big, tall guys and a little goofy at the same time.
  • Associate the Name with a Rhyme, Object or Physical Feature - This is another fairly common way to remember a name. For instance, say you just meet someone named Mike. In your head (not out loud if you can help it), you could think Mike n’ Ike or Mike Bike. Maybe the person has a certain feature that stands out like a comb-over or a bald head. You can relate that person to their physical feature to help remember a name. My name is rather easy to rhyme and I usually works well.
  • Repeat the Name – When someone introduces themselves, use their name in a sentence. “Nice to meet you Tom!” or “Hi Tom, my name is Mitch”. You can also repeat the name in your head 3-5 times to try to help it sink in. Repetition is always helpful.
  • Ask them to Repeat their Name – Don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat their name. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of background noise at pass and it can sometimes be hard to hear. At the end of a conversation, there is no harm in asking someone for their name again. If nothing else, it will be fresh in your head again.
  • Have a Wingman – Having a wingman is not just for the bar scenes anymore. If you see someone who you met the day before, but can’t remember their name, send someone to go meet them and hope they can remember the name for you. You can also introduce your wingman to the person whose name you forgot with the hopes that they will give their name in return.

Practice now so it will be second nature when you need it.

See you all at PASS Summit!

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PASS Summit 2013: Quick Networking Tips for Introverts #3

Eye Contact

When I used to get in trouble as a kid, which was fairly often, I remember my dad always lecturing me and telling me to look him in the eyes when he is talking to me. It is still very vivid in my memory so much that I now do the same thing to my kids when they get in trouble. Looking back at that, I realize that he was doing that for a reason and in turn, teaching me a very real life lesson. In my opinion, eye contact is the most important part of any conversation, whether you are in trouble or just conversing with someone. When a person is talking to you and you keep that eye contact, it is reassuring to the other person that you are genuinely interested in what they are saying, no matter how boring it may be.

I know people who have a real hard time keeping eye contact while having a conversationEyeContact and it makes it very difficult to communicate with them. I find that this is more common with IT geeks that I know. Not to stereotype, well maybe a little, but IT geeks genuinely sit and stare at a screen all day, communicate via IM, Facebook and Twitter and do not always get up and make an effort to talk to others. With only a week until PASS Summit, try to make the effort to get out and talk to people. Start practicing the firm handshake and making eye contact. It really isn’t hard to do once you try. Get the jitters out now so come Summit time you will be on your A-Game!

SEE you at summit!

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PASS Summit 2013: Quick Networking Tips for Introverts #2

Your Posture

Posture is very important when it comes to networking and meeting new people. The way you stand and how you hold your arms can send very different messages to people. The key to meeting new people is to make your self approachable. It is just that simple. If you don’t think posture is important in meeting new people, then look at the pictures below. Which person looks more approachable?


This is the same person, yet based on the ‘vibe’ they give off, the one on the right seems much more approachable and open to conversation. I mean, when they used to mummify people, they used to cross their arms for a reason, they didn’t want to be bothered. This is the same for people who are still living. If their arms are folded, they typically are not looking for conversation. It is a bad vibe to give off especially at a conference like the PASS Summit where people are all they for the same reason; to learn and meet people with the same interests.

The key takeaway here, concentrate on NOT folding your arms. Keep an open posture. If you find this difficult, then put your hands in your pockets or behind your back. If you are still having problems with it, grab a drink and hold it in your hand, this will make it much harder to fold your arms. It is difficult at first, but it pays in dividends once you can master it.

See you at Summit 2013!

**yes, I am an A’s fan.

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