Live from Cambridge!

Every year, I present at eight or ten events plus user group meetings, either in person or remotely. Due to travel costs (yes, speakers pay their own way to events) and time, I’ve stayed in the US except for one event in Montreal almost ten years ago.  I love adding new states to my list of states where I have presented, but I decided that I should start adding new countries as well.

Again, that money and time thing has kept me close to home, but now my goal will be achieved next week! When I set goals, they are usually met, but not always in the ways I expect. Next week, I will be part of Redgate’s SQL in the City Streamed. This event will be broadcast live from Redgate’s headquarters in Cambridge, UK.

My session is “What SQL Server performance metrics should you monitor?” I’ll talk about my favorite things to watch out for as well as how to troubleshoot some common problems. I’ll be joined by MVPs Steve Jones and Grant Fritchey, so please tune in!



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PASS Summit 2017 Report

This is my 14th PASS Summit. I started going in 2003 and missed just 2012 in all those years. Once again, it was held in Seattle. I think that it’s a great location since it’s so close to Microsoft he22859726_10214569546539467_6711468017818284228_oadquarters. Microsoft has a big presence at the event with sessions, a big vendor booth area, and the Microsoft Data Clinic.

This year was a very special one for me. It’s my first Summit as a Redgate employee. I didn’t spend a ton of time at the Redgate booth, but I felt proud to talk to our customers as they came to the booth when I was there. Redgate hosted a great party Thursday night and the traditional Friends of Redgate Dinner. The Friends of Redgate Dinner has always been my favorite meal of Summit, but this year I was not there as a Friend which made it even more special for me.

As part of my new job, I met up with current Simple Talk authors and potential authors. For the past several years, Summit has been more about networking for me than attending sessions, so it didn’t feel much different.

I’m also co-leader of the PASS Women in Technology Virtual Group which meant I had quite a few obligations related to WIT throughout the week. We launched the first book of the Let Her Finish Series, Voices from the Data Platform. Six other successful data platform women and I wrote this book, each in our own voice. I have been involved with quite a few book projects, but this was the first book for most of the other women on the team. I am really hoping that the book inspires many other women to start writing.

I made it to about half of one session all week except for my own, of course. I gave a half-day session on Indexing for Beginners. It went well, but I would like to have had more people in the room.

I started the week at SQL Saturday in Portland and went out for Karaoke that night. In Seattle, I continued the Karaoke tradition at Bush Garden for five nights out of six. We had thought that last year would be the end of Bush Garden, but the developers have not taken over the building yet. We can only hope that it will still be there next year.

Overall, it was a fantastic week. Next year, it doesn’t happen during or near Halloween, so I think that will get more people coming back. I’m looking forward to 2018 and hope to see you there!

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What’s Next for Aunt Kathi?

I’ve been doing the freelance consulting thing for a little over three years. It’s been an amazing three years, and I’ve had plenty of time to write, create Pluralsight courses, co-lead the PASS Women in Tech Virtual Group, and teach at a nonprofit. My plan was to increase content creation, be that books or courses, and teaching while decreasing consulting over the next few years. However, my path has taken an unexpected turn: The freelancing will end on October 16th as I head back to the world of full time employment.

I decided earlier this year that it was time to look for a real job, but I wanted it to be great, one that would make up for losing some of the freedom I have enjoyed. A friend told me about the perfect opportunity, and I decided to apply. Of course, Imposter Syndrome kicked in, and I wasn’t sure that I would be good enough. Eventually, I realized that this position was the most perfect fit. I was not surprised that I made it through a “get to know you” call and was invited to a Skype interview. A couple of days after the interview, the company asked if I could fly to the UK for a two-day in person interview. At this point, I knew that I had a shot at joining this amazing company.

When I look over the events of the past 13 years, I can connect the dots to this moment. I am always looking for patterns, and how one event leads to the next is one of those silly patterns I enjoy figuring out.

In 2004, I had to write a thesis for my Master’s degree. That gave me the confidence to begin writing articles for SQL Server Central. Within a year, I was asked by Brian Knight to help write a book. In 2009, I wrote my own book, then another, and another. During that time, I have also tech reviewed books for Wrox and Apress and have written articles for Simple-Talk. I’m finally at the point where I must turn down writing opportunities more often than take them on.

At PASS Summit 2007, I remember sitting with friends at a bar in Denver. There may or may not have been some Karaoke involved. The person across from me, I think it was Tom LaRock, looked up and said “Redgate just bought SQL Server Central!” We were stunned! SQL Server Central was my number one site for all things SQL Server. I wondered if it would change, but I also knew that Redgate was a good company and hoped for the best. Over time, Redgate has allowed SQL Server Central to remain a wonderful educational community site. Steve Jones was the editor of SQL Server Central before the sale and continues in that capacity to this day. Steve will probably not remember this, but I told him that I wanted his job if he ever grew tired of it.

Fast forward to September 2017, and I found myself on a flight to England, headed to the two-day interview. At this point, you might be able to guess the company. I am so pleased to announce that I am joining Redgate as the editor of Simple-Talk. (Don’t worry, Steve is not leaving; I didn’t take his job.) Words cannot convey how excited I am. I will be able to devote my career to writing, editing, and developing authors. It’s just perfect.

Being greeted at the airport like this was a bucket list item for me. Achievement unlocked!


You’ll continue to see me at events such as PASS Summit and SQL Saturdays as I remain involved with the SQL Server community. If you attend PASS Summit, be sure to stop by the Redgate booth to say hello. And, if you have ever thought about writing technical articles, we need to talk! 


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