T-SQL Tuesday: New Speakers

This month, Andy Yun (@sqlbek) is hosting T-SQL Tuesday. This blog party was started several years ago by Adam Machanic (@AdamMachanic). This month’s topic is growing new speakers. Experienced speakers are asked to give advice to those who would like to become experienced speakers. Andy has also offered to help new speakers get started or connect new speakers to experienced speakers for assistance.

First of all, I want to mention that the PASS WIT virtual chapter will feature new speakers in January. We still have a couple of open spots, so, if you are a woman who would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please reach out to us by contacting witvc@sqlpass.org.

I would say that I am an experienced speaker. I have spoken at numerous SQL Saturdays, PASS Summit, user groups, and other events. Of course I was pretty scared at first, but eventually, I learned to love speaking in front of groups.

I often talk to people in the SQL community about getting started speaking. I hear one concern over and over, “What if someone asks a question, and I don’t know the answer?” Guess what, it is going to happen eventually, and it is not the end of the world. When you are speaking, you are there to share something you know, not prove that you are smarter than everyone else in the room. It’s OK to give your best answer, but admit you are not 100% sure or it’s something that you have not thought about before. Offer to follow up with the person after you have done some research. Often, I am asked about something I haven’t tried before. If there is time, I may experiment right then to find out, but this is not always a good idea. Going off script can lead you down some “rat holes” as I like to say.

The best way to prepare for the big day is to rehearse. Not only will this help you figure out what you are going to say, it can also help you smooth out your demos. I dread rehearsing. It just feels unnatural to me. To get around this, I will rehearse while recording the presentation. Somehow, this actually makes me feel like I am giving the presentation for real.

You may think that speaking is not for you. After all, you are a developer or DBA and maybe you don’t care about making a name for yourself in the community. I counter that communication skills are extremely important for your career. Whether you want to get your ideas heard in your team, get a promotion, or look for a better job, public speaking is going to help you!

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2016 PASS Summit Report

Once again, I attended PASS Summit in beautiful Seattle, WA. This was my 13th Summit, starting with 2003 and missing only 2012 since then.

This year I spoke on Friday about indexing basics. I didn’t get the count, but I think there were around 200 people in attendance. This is such an important topic for the beginners out there, so I am glad that there was a pretty good turn out. I am not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing, but I didn’t make it to any sessions except for my own. I did attend a really good pre-con given by Allan Hirt (@sqlha) on troubleshooting AG and FCI. Allan is the man when it comes to high availability.

I also attended the keynotes and blogged live. The biggest news from Microsoft is the Azure Analysis Services. The biggest news from PASS is the new logo.


I feel honored to be chosen for the live blogging, but that also means I have to be at the conference center at 8 am on Wednesday and Thursday. Hmmmm, that makes me get back to the hotel a bit earlier than I might want to each night.

One of the biggest highlights of the week is the Women in Tech luncheon. This year we had Kelley Primus speak about leadership. She had great insights for both men and women, whether you want to be heard in your team or be the CIO. What a great session! You can catch the recording on Thursday’s videos. I even make an appearance on stage at the end.

I talked to sponsors and got my questions answered at the SQL Clinic. I met dozens of people and had some great conversations. At this point of going to Summit, the networking is the most important thing. Of course, I watch a bunch of sessions from the recordings later.

One of the biggest highlights of the week for me is karaoke with my friends. This year, we had some bad news. Our karaoke hang out, Bush Garden, is probably not going to be here next year. I’m not sure I can picture PASS Summit without it. To learn more about SQL Karaoke, check out Jason Strate’s site.


It was a wonderful week, and I am already looking forward to meeting up with data professionals from around the world in Seattle next year.

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PASS Summit 2016 Day Two Keynote

Describing the architectures. I am going to stop for today. I have a book signing at 10 and the WIT luncheon later today.

Unique fault tolerance approach

Talking about column store, sorting.

Now execution time increases by 1/3 with 4 nodes instead of doubling.

Divide rows across all other nodes.

Execution time will double even with a 100 node system. It’s like partition skew since one node will do double the work.

Mirror data to another node. One node can fail. Execution time will double.

Handling Hardware errors
Node failures with shared-nothing. Mirroring is not sufficient.

Explaining shuffling. This is familiar if you have worked with PDW/APS.

Joins, four cases depending on how tables are partitioned or replicated. Shuffling in some cases.

Explaining how a table is executed on all nodes. Same query plan runs on nodes.

Partitioned parallelism.

Table replication. Tables are completely replicated on every node of the cluster.

Can lead to skew

There is no way to know where a row ends up. Hash key partitioning. Use hash key to determine where rows land.

Round-robin partitioning. Rows are distributed among storage units. All disks end up with the same number of rows.

Both shared and shared nothing use partitioned tables. This is the key to parallel processing. What does orthogonal mean?

Partitioned tables
Basis for scalable execution. Distribute the rows of the table across storage devices.

Network can limit scaling.

Remote storage, data is separated from compute. Local disks for tempdb.

Commodity servers and commodity networking. Storage and compute are co-located. Scales indefinitely.

APS and Azure DW are same software in different hardware form factors.

Two alternative scalable dw designs
Shared-nothing appliances such as APS
Shared-storage Oracle RAQ, Microsoft SQL DW

Scalable DW Fundamentals
Partitioned tables, but I think he means distributed tables??

Appliance is always best performing. Cloud is low cost.
Cloud – no CapEx low OpEx. Conception to insight in hours. Flexibility to scale.

Now, DW in the cloud.

DW Appliance, low compliance but high costs. OR roll your own with lots of complexity. That was what available in 2008.

What is driving datawarehousing. Cheap hardware and increasing amounts of data.


Time for David DeWitt. Our favorite keynote speaker!

Today is WIT lunch with Kelly Lockwood Primus. Tonmorrow is board Q&A. Speaker Idol round 2. Fill out your evals!

New website coming 2017

We connect, share, and learn. New Brand!

It’s a place that allows us to share. PASS brand was created in 1999

Denise McInerney. Our focus has shifted to the entire data platform. What does PASS mean to us.

Microsoft is our biggest sponsor. We have several Global Alliance Partner including SentryOne and Redgate!

To much to keep up with. Chapters, VCs, more.

Around 50% in North America.

We are one global community. We are growing around the world. SQL Saturday events continue to grow.

Financial stuff…
We include 87% of the countries of the world in our membership.

Grant Fritchey on the stage.

At least the guys wearing kilts are not also wearing high heels.

This is Kilt Day.

I am back at the blogging table for day 2.

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