Monday, June 28, 2010

Time to Stop Settling

“...And the world is filled with people who can't go to high school, never mind college, and who certainly can't spend their time focused on whether or not they get the good parking space at work.

And so, the obligation: don't settle.
To have all these advantages, all this momentum, all these opportunities and then settle for mediocre and then defend the status quo and then worry about corporate politics--what a waste.”

This quote is on page 135 of Seth Godin’s book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Since last fall I’ve thought I should be doing more, but I had my excuses so I didn’t.  I’ve been settling for the status quo, and complaining about it when what I should be doing is working to change it.  My excuse has always been that I wasn’t in a position to make changes, but this book rips that excuse away as well, as Seth points out that you can lead no matter what your position you are in.  Sure, it may be hard, but if you really believe in it, isn’t worth some hard work and maybe some resistance?  Reading this book had really challenged me to step up, forget about excuses, stop settling for the status quo, and lead.

My high school principal and Pastor used to say:

“If you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem”

It’s time to be part of the solution.  This doesn’t just apply to the work place, it applies to church, family, user groups, and PASS.

Thanks to Joe Webb (@JoeWebb) for recommending this book to me and now I’m recommending it to you.

Friday, June 25, 2010

What Has Jack Been Up to?

It has been awhile since my last post mainly because I was on a working vacation in northern New England with limited internet access, but also because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about. 

Working Vacation

You may be wondering how a technical professional can have a working vacation without internet access so I’ll give you a quick overview of how that works for me.  Technically, I don’t have a job, I have a ministry.  I work for/at New Tribes Mission as support missionary.  This means I don’t go out an evangelize, I work in an office building and maintaining business systems that allow others to evangelize the world.  New Tribes Mission does pay me a salary, I had to go out and meet with churches and individuals who believe in the ministry and mission of New Tribes and fund raise a salary.  These churches and individuals send money to me through New Tribes because they believe in the work that New Tribes is doing and that the work I do at New Tribes.  Since my salary comes from these churches and individuals I have to go back to visit them on occasion and tell them what I have been doing and how it has helped New Tribes accomplish its goals, basically a performance review.  So that’s what I did over the last three weeks.  My family visited 7 churches and many individuals over three weeks to tell them what we have been doing with their money.  That’s a real quick overview, if you have any questions feel free to email me ( or check out our ministry/family blog.


Also while in New England, I had the opportunity to present Profiling: It's Okay in SQL Server to the SeacostSQL User Group in Portsmouth, NH.  I was looking forward to this since I would be able to see my friend Mike Walsh (@mike_walsh) and meet many new people.  Unfortunately, for me, I only got see Mike very briefly because he had to bring his wife and new child home from the hospital that evening (congratulations again), but I did get to meet about 25 new people which was great.  I also had the opportunity to work on my User Group leader skills because Mike had asked me to run the meeting since he couldn't be there and one of the other leaders was on vacation and the third person had a production issue at work (he actually made it a bit later).  The evening went very well and the session was well-received.  I’m very excited to see a user group started and hopefully thriving in New Hampshire.


I’ve also had the privilege of being on the 2010 Summit Program Committee as part of the selection committee for the Enterprise Database Administration and Deployment track.  I’ve spent many hours the last 10 days or so rating abstracts and talking with the other members of the committee to try to make that the 2010 Summit is the best ever.  Based on the abstracts I’ve seen, I think that’s a good possibility.  One of the best parts is that I’ve learned what makes a good abstract by reading so many.  I’m planning on taking what I’ve learned and putting it together in a blog post once the entire process is done.  I’ve had the opportunity to review abstracts for SQLSaturday here in Orlando, but there is definitely a difference in the quality of the abstracts.

What’s Next?

Coming up I have couple of remote speaking engagements, one for the PASS DBA Virtual Chapter and one for the SQL Server Society of Las Vegas (SSSOLV).  Blog posts with more about this up-coming.  Then there is continued planning and begging contacting sponsors for OPASS and SQLSaturday #49 – Orlando.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Presenting "Profiling: It's Okay in SQL Server" to Seacost SQL Server Users Group

I'm excited to be presenting Profiling: It's Okay in SQL Server to the Seacost SQL Server Users Group in Portsmouth, NH next Tuesday, June 8th.  I was invited to speak by friend Mike Walsh (@mike_walsh) who is one of the founders of the group.  This will be the 5th time I've done this presentation although each time is different.

Session Abstract

Learn how to use SQL Server Profiler/Trace to troubleshoot SQL Server performance and errors. This session will cover how to use Profiler to capture SQL Server events, creating server-side traces, creating custom templates, saving trace data, and interpreting trace data.

It's really funny that I am presenting at a user group in New Hampshire when I live in Florida when I never attended a user group in the 7 years I worked with SQL Server while living in New Hampshire.  I'm not even sure if there were any user groups in New Hampshire when I lived there.  I know that there weren't any up in my neck of the woods, but southern New Hamshire might have had one.

If you are in New Hampshire, southern Maine, or northeastern Massachussetts I hope to see you there and would love to talk with you.