SQL Tact

pointers, solutions and scripts for the SQL DBA
not intended to replace msdn, common sense or oxford commas

Monday, November 06, 2017

SQLSat Organizers and UG Leaders Meetings at PASS Summit - Tips and Tricks notes

At the SQLSat Organizers and UG Leaders Meetings at PASS Summit meetings last week, we were given an opportunity to share "tips and tricks" with other leaders, and I had the opportunity to.

Now that I'm home (despite a thrilling late-night sprint through IAH to make a connecting flight) and starting to get caught up on sleep and email, here's my notes I typed up, annotated with some links.

Happy to share and thanks for the followup questions afterwards, let me know if you have any more.

SQLSat Organizers Meeting

  • First off the Microsoft global sponsor is a big deal, I have strong positive opinions in that, thank you for that.
    • I am a big-budget SQLSat organizer, I think this is a really good thing. Bravo Microsoft.
  • Broad set of topics, “for everyone in IT”
    • We pull in 400-600 each year for past 5 years
    • We invite the developers, sysadmins, students, IT managers and CIO's, SharePoint…
    • More ROI for sponsors, a bigger audience that includes decision makers
  • Join the Empire - Fundraising for foundation (for local schoolsystem?)
    • Call your local chapter of the 501st Legion - star wars
    • They'll help you raise money for whatever charity you pick
  • Jambalaya is cheap
    • Rice, meat, spices, salad, sides, plates, $4-5/head
    • Similar dishes: arroz con pollo, paella, fried rice, shawarma and rice
    • It's also gluten free!
  • R is hot, what else is?
    • Example: Chris Hyde at capacity in 60-person room for R
    • Pay attention to the hottest topics if you have opportunity use your bigger rooms
  • Speaker goodie bags
  • Sticker game - part of vendor ROI
    • We give stickers to the vendors with instructions to give them out to folks who actually show interest
    • Attendees have to collect 4 out of 5 stickers, n-1 on a game sheet
    • They get to keep the one for their field, the stickers have said in the past, "I'm building" or "Performance Tuning" or "rising", so it's SQL or Careers or Code or Servers or BI
    • About $300-400 for five 500-count rolls of stickers (pictured, right)
    • Sample game card here.

UG Leaders Meeting

  • South Central Regional Leadership meetings held bimonthly with fellow RM Keith Tate
  • Talk to your local .NET
    • Build a critical mass of people for networking , but also for sponsor ROI
    • They have a new parent organizer, the .NET Foundation, which is finally stepping in
    • For a long time we’ve enjoyed being a chapter of PASS, and I think sometimes we take it for granted how great it is, other technologies don’t have it
  • Remote speakers? Must have a good AV setup
    • We’ve had remote speakers more often recently because our venue has given us a conference room with a big TV
    • Do NOT try to do remote speakers with a shabby AV setup. It will discourage people.
    • Always prefer building a local new speaker
    • You can still have a local lightning round speaker as the remote speaker stands by
  • Networking Night
    • Every year the month before our SQLSaturday, we add to the vendor ROI by hosting a networking night.
    • This is one of the biggest meetings of the year for us, 75+ folks show up, many new faces with resumes in hand
    • We have lightning round style talks on career topics, soft skills, entertaining etc. My wife gives a different talk from some aspect of the HR interviewing process every year.
    • http://www.brssug.org/group-news/batonrougeusergroupsnetworkingnight2017
  • Meetup
    • We paid for it with leftover sqlsat money in 2017
    • So far, we have gotten a handful of first timers from meetup, but few retained regulars
    • Other User Groups have had A LOT of success with Meetup.com
  • More social events
    • We’re trying to build more social camaraderie so we’re going to do official self-pay events at various locations around town
    • Especially in December annually

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The #SQLSAT Speaker Goodie Bag

Last summer, I heard about an awesome idea for speaker gifts at SQLSat Pensacola 2017 from organizer Karla Landrum and Tamera Clark (SQLSat Nashville). It was our 9th year of SQLSat Baton Rouge, we've had polo fatigue and were looking for fresh ideas for useful, memorable speaker gifts. SQLSat Nashville's speaker goodie bags, full of day-of-conference supplies, was an inspiration.

I personally heard that at least three speakers went to the bag during SQLSatBR, specifically for the Mini DisplayPort-to-everything video adapter common to laptops. It's an annual occurrence that someone with a newer laptop is dismayed to find they've left their adapter at home, and they don't have a way to hook up to the room's VGA or HDMI cable. I've heard other speakers mention it at user groups meetings since. And just today, my wife Christine (hrtact.com) mentioned that at work she pulls it out for the various useful items.

So in advance of the SQLSat Organizers meeting at PASS Summit this week, I figured I'd list out the contents and sourcing for the goodies that made it into the bag. For some of these, you can even "subscribe and save" via amazon for a huge discount... for one month. ;)

The idea is to give a useful pack of inexpensive things in a bag that sits nicely inside of a laptop bag. The goodies are small, bulk-purchased, inexpensive things that someone would need the day of a speaking event. Links to the items, almost entirely sourced from Amazon.com, are provided only as examples.
The total cost per bag ended up being around $31, or a little more than the cost of an embroidered polo shirt. The biggest single expense (and most often used) item was the mini DisplayPort, roughly half the cost of the entire bag.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

VS Code: PowerShell and focusConsoleOnExecute

If you're used to the behavior of SSMS or PowerShell ISE where upon executing code in the script panel, your cursor stays in the script panel, then the behavior of Visual Studio Code's PowerShell default might be annoying. By default in Code, your cursor moves down to the PowerShell console terminal upon executing code.

Maybe that's your thing. If not, there's a preference you can change, immediately.

In Code, go to the File Menu -> Preferences to launch the User Settings screen. There's a setting to overwrite the default called powershell.integratedConsole.focusConsoleOnExecute, that's what you're looking for. Add it to the right-side of the Code settings window like this:
{ "powershell.integratedConsole.focusConsoleOnExecute": false,

It'll look like this:

The change takes place immediately.
Not using Code yet? Hop to! https://code.visualstudio.com/Download

My former long-ago colleague and PowerShell prize-winning guru Mike F Robbins has a good blog post and video getting you up to speed on Code, he discusses powershell.integratedConsole.focusConsoleOnExecute and more.