Browsing articles tagged with " SQLPASS"

#SQLPASS #SUMMIT14 #MVPSUMMIT Checklist–50 Things Not to Leave Behind



shared some of these on Twitter, but I decided to pull them all together in one place.  There’s be a lot of tips shared prior to these events, but I think these haven’t been covered nearly enough.

  1. Laptop Power cord
  2. Spare batteries
  3. USB charger ends
  4. VGA adapter/dongle
  5. Presentation clicker
  6. Presentation on thumb drive
  7.  Compassion for those with difficulties
  8.  Bravery to meet people in person
  9.  Spirit to lift others up
  10.  Daring to try something new
  11.  Firmness to speak up
  12.  Care for not insulting others
  13.  Humility to ask real questions
  14.  Talent to discourage Strutters
  15.  Expertise to think of audience, not self
  16.  Restraint not to sell from the podium
  17.  Civility to be nice to everyone, not just the celebs
  18.  Class not to spam the crowd
  19.  Excellence to understand that not everyone speaks English well.
  20.  Integrity to disclose your biases and affiliations
  21.  Professionalism not to cuss
  22.  Readiness to help others
  23.  Genuineness to show your real self
  24.  Trust that others want you to succeed
  25.  Diligence to keep your promises
  26.  Concern for others who have less experience than you
  27.  Coolness to get through tough discussions
  28.  Kindness for others
  29.  Goofiness to have fun
  30.  Self-discipline to take care of your body
  31.  Prudence to take care of your mind
  32.  Sincerity to admit your mistakes
  33.  Preparedness for your presentation.
  34.  Openness to constructive feedback
  35.  Honesty to admit “I do not know”
  36.  Expertise to answer questions
  37.  Mindfulness to know when you are not helping
  38.  Charity for others who disagree with you
  39.  Expertise to know when to not try to answer questions
  40.  Empathy for others
  41.  Respect for self
  42.  Wisdom to know that you can’t have self respect without empathy for others
  43.  Forethought to pack well
  44.  Vigilance to call out bullying and disrespect
  45.  Courage to meet others who are different than you
  46.  Strength to deal
  47.  Moderation to get to tomorrow
  48.  Stamina for long days
  49.  Thankfulness for volunteers and staff
  50.  Joy for cheering on others

What did I forget on this list?

Join the #SQLPASS Global Growth Tweet Chat 20-21 June #SQLPASSGG

Jun 19, 2012   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Events, Professional Development, Social Networking, SQL Server  //  No Comments

I recently joined the SQLPASS Global Growth committee to help PASS look at changes to governance and organizational structures in order to better meet the needs of non-North American* members.

PASS has been highly successful in locations outside the US, but they want to take more steps to ensure that they aren’t just a US-based organization that allows non-US members to join. I belong to many such IT associations and as a Canadian-based member, my needs are often not met or even valued.  Except for member membership dues.  That’s why I wanted to help out.

I’ve been involved in a few similar societal transitions over the years and I hope to bring that experience to the team.  Some of those organizations have been working for more than a decade to make such a transition. Others managed the transition well and are growing internationally.  That’s what I want for PASS.

Even though I have close ties to the US, I hope that I can bring a more global point of view to all the discussions.  In fact, we all can do that via the feedback mechanisms offered.




PASS has set up a site with background materials and a preliminary plan for moving forward:

You will find background documents, a discussion forum, and an email address for sending your comments.  Check it out and then join us on Thursday and Friday to chat about it on Twitter.

Tweet Chats

A Tweet Chat is a focused set of discussions on Twitter that allow Twitter users to ask questions or provide comments and feedback on the Global Growth Initiative.  There are currently six sessions scheduled:


June 20: 13:00 GMT       Convert time

June 20: 17:00 GMT

June 20: 23:00 GMT

June 21: 13:00 GMT

June 21: 17:00 GMT

June 21: 23:00 GMT

You don’t have to be on Twitter to watch the Tweet Chat, but you do if you’d like to post questions or give comments during the chat.  The hashtag we’ll be using is #SQLPASSGG .  You can use the Twitter search function by following that hashtag link to follow along. 

I’ll be staffing the 20 June 1700 GMT (1 PM ET) Tweet Chat and I hope to attend most of them as my schedule allows.

I’m excited about the path that PASS is taking and I hope you are, too. In my opinion, it’s important that SQL Server professionals have a common foundation for discussing SQL Server, methods, membership perks, and the direction of the association.  In order to this, we need a common umbrella organization (that’s even free to join!) to pull us together.

So stop by Twitter during one of the times (or even later) to give us your feedback.  I may even retweet you.


* North American here really means US and Canada in this context.  But as I always say: "one should not get their geography lessons from mobile phone companies".

PASS Members: Take 2 Minutes to Vote and Do it Right Now

Dec 9, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Need Your Help  //  No Comments

SNAGHTML5ed5790This isn’t a normal plea to get you to vote.  This is a plea to have you show that you care about all the things that PASS does actually are worth doing.

Sure, you might think you do not know the candidates well enough to choose.  Sure, you might think your vote doesn’t count.  Or that it doesn’t matter.  But you’d be wrong about all that.

  • There are plenty of resources to find out more about the candidates and they are collected in one place. There are bios, statements and a forum.  If you need to find out more, you can do it there.
  • Your vote does count.  Nuff said.
  • Your vote does matter.  It matters to the candidates who have already spent a great deal of time to submit applications, to be interviewed and to go through the voting process.  I’m not running in this election, but I know how tough it is to put myself forward for an election like this.  It’s worse that reading speaker evaluations.  It’s worse than a TSA grope.  It’s worse than flying.  It’s much worse than spending 2 minutes voting. 

The least we can do as beneficiaries of all the great things that volunteers do, both Board members and minions, is to take the time to vote.  Not only do you get to pick three people to represent you on the Board, you get to show PASS  that what they do actually matters.

I participate in many volunteer-driven organizations.  It’s sad when only 1% of members can take the time to vote.  We should have thousands of people voting.  Voting closes 20 December, but there’s no reason at all to wait.

2 minutes.  Show them it matters. Go do it now.

Datachick & SQLClippy in the #SQLPASS Day 12 Keynote – Column Store Indexes – Data Quality Services

Nov 2, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Database  //  No Comments

On day 2 of the PASS Summit, I had a supporting role in Lara Rubbelke’s ( @SQLGal ) keynote demonstration of new features of SQL Server 2012. Lara is a Principal Program Manager for Microsoft. She demoed the new Column Store features and Data Quality Services that will be available in SQL Server 2012.

Lara at the Demo

There’s my avatar next to a comment I made about slow reports and data quality:

Datachick avatar as a tooltip

SQLClippy ( @SQLClippy ) also had a role:

SQLClippy as a tooltip

And in case you missed the faux comments from attendees at SQLPASS:


I think you can see that Lara picked the snarkiest of PASS members, don’t you? Love that she said that I’d comment on the database design.

What was the data problem she was showing?  Location data that left some businesses underwater:

Radio Shack Under Water map

You can watch the entire keynote at (registration required).  I recommend downloading instead of live streaming, as that gives you the ability to rewind/fast forward during the video. Data Quality Services starts at about 38 minutes into the video.

2 Days Left to Let #SQLPASS Know What Sessions You Want (And You Like Us, Right?)

May 18, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Data Modeling, Database, Professional Development, Speaking  //  No Comments

The organizers of the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) have opened up abstract voting for the PASS Summit, being held in Seattle, 11-14 October.  There are a gazillion amazing sessions that were submitted, but you can help direct which ones get picked to be included in the Summit program by voting on the session proposals you prefer.  Voting closes on 20 May 2011. 

RobDrysdaleSQLSatRob and I have both submitted sessions.  Rob has submitted a Professional Development topic:

Getting What You Deserve: 7 Steps to Gain Respect in Your Organization [100]
Session Category: Regular Session (75 minutes)
Session Track: Professional Development
Speaker(s): Rob Drysdale

Too often we hear people complaining that they don’t get respect in their organizations or that they aren’t involved in projects when they should be. It seems like our organizations don’t understand what we do, why it’s necessary and the overall value that we can bring to the organization. On the flip side, they are ready to blame us for all the problems. This session will provide the audience with insight into why this lack of respect exists, how we got here and how we can change it.

I’m biased, but I really like this presentation because Rob is giving it from the point of view of a business user and an IT professional. He has stories about his experiences working on both sides of the table: as a subject matter expert (SME) and a project manager and business analyst. He knows what works in getting resources from the business budget, how to get quality time with a SME, and what DEFINITELY not to say if you need the business organization to do something to make your projects better.

You need to hear what he has to share. Go vote now.  I’ll wait until you come back…..


KarenBarbiesPresentingI was invited to submit spotlight sessions due to good feedback scores for both my 24 Hours of PASS and my session at last year’s Summit.  For the summit invite I could submit any session, so I submitted my favourite one, Database Design Contentious Issues.  I have been giving this presentation for almost 15 years and guess what? We are all still a contentious bunch of data professionals.

Database Design Contentious Issues – The Debate [200]
Session Category: Spotlight Session (90 minutes, Invitation only)
Session Track: Application and Database Development
Speaker(s): Karen Lopez

A highly interactive and popular session where attendees evaluate the options and best practices of common and advanced design issues, such as:

* Natural vs. Surrogate keys,

* Varchar(1) and other Varying datatypes,

* Identity Properties,

* Naming Standards: Useful or Crazy?,


…and others.

This is a physical interactive, irreverent and funny approach to topics we data professionals work with every day.

Bring your votes, your contentions, and your opinions. They will be rewarded.

(This is the fun  presentation with all the sticky notes and voting)

Five Physical Database Design Blunders and How to Avoid Them [200]

Session Category: Spotlight Session (90 minutes, Invitation only)
Session Track: Application and Database Development
Speaker(s): Karen Lopez
What’s going on in your physical data models and databases? Who actually decides what goes into the database design? How do you choose your primary keys? How do you implement them? Are GUIDs bad, good or "it depends"? Are your datatypes the right ones for the data? How can you measure the cost, benefits and risks of any design recommendation? Are there universally good design practices? Universally bad design practices?
In this presentation we discuss five physical database design mistakes that cost you dearly: performance snags, development delays, bugs, and professional respect. Data professionals are often tasked to prepare physical data models, yet these skills usually overlap those of other team members and this overlap can lead to contention, confusion, and complacency.
In this presentation, you’ll learn about the five blunders, how to find them as well as many tips on how to avoid them. You learn how to talk about and defend your design recommendations and how to ensure that you have the information to demonstrate they are the right designs for your project.
Bring your armor, snark and humor. Blunders can be fun no matter how bad they are.

Because that last session was invited as being one of the top presenters at the March 2011 24Hours of PASS, I have a guaranteed spot on the summit.  I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.  Of course, the Database Design Contentious Issues presentation is my absolute favourite presentation to give, I’d love to have it picked. It’s also the only presentation I have that MUST be given in person – not webinar friendly.  A tough but very happy spot to be in.

#SQLRun #SQLPASS Want to Run a Half Marathon with Other SQL Runners?

Apr 19, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun, Social Networking  //  7 Comments

IMG_0146Erin Stellato (twitter | blog) and I were talking about Jes Borland’s (twitter | blog) recent half marathon race (Go Jes Go!, Go Jes Go!).  Erin was looking for a half marathon to run some time around the PASS Summit.  We found the Portland Marathon and Half Marathon on 9 October 2011.  Portland is about a 3.5 hour drive from Seattle, but also just a $50 train ride, so not really that expensive to get from Portland to Seattle.  You could run the event and get to Seattle the evening of the 9th.  And just to entice you some more, there is a SQL Saturday planned for Portland on 8 October.  So in one weekend you could cram in:

  • SQLSaturday Portland
  • SQLRun Portland Half Marathon
  • SQLTrain to SQLPASS

That’s a whole lot of SQLfun all packed in before SQLPASS has even started.

This marathon and the half marathon are known for being a very friendly event, and on race day the course is open for 8 HOURS.  For a half marathon (13.1 miles) that’s a 36 minute a mile pace.  A leisurely walk is usually 18-20 minutes per mile.  With 8 hours to complete this marathon, nearly anyone can join the event.  In fact, you could run a bit, do some shopping, have lunch, take a nap and finish the race with time left over.  Did I tell you it is a friendly race?


The Portland Marathon is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary, so spots are tough to get.  In fact, the half marathon has sold out for the regular price.  However, there are other options for running the half:

  • Pay a $250 entry fee and get a tax receipt for $125 in return.
  • Commit to raising donations for one of the official charities and either have a reduced entry fee or the entire entry fee waived (see below)
  • Run the full marathon and pay the regular entry fee.

The key is that if you want to be part of this event, you’ll need to get entered soon.  The charity entry method is the most complicated so I’ve contacted all the charities and have heard back from some of them. 

If you are interested, leave a comment below with how you are registered and which event you plan on participating in.

Confirmed Registrations (people who have paid up or committed to fund raise for this event):


Ray of Hope Foundation

Do you still have charity entries available?  Yes, we still have plenty of entries left at this time.

What is the fundraising minimum for your charity?  We ask each runner to raise an amount of $750. In exchange each runner receives several benefits which are detailed on the attached information flyer. We also have a limited amount of entries available for "sale" at a price of $350. The buyer will have no further obligation to raise funds and will receive a Ray of Hope tee shirt. Part of the $350 will be tax deductible and buyer will receive a tax receipt.

Do you have an information page I could point people to so that they could choose to participate via your charity? I have attached the information sheet. If they want more information on our charity, please visit our website at

Is there a date for which the fundraising is to be completed? Fundraising must be completed in full by September 28, 2011. An initial amount of $250 must be raised by no later than August 25. The entry code will be held by Ray of Hope until the first stage of $250 is raised, at which time the free entry code will be released to fundraiser.

How should people contact you to get set up? The best way to contact me is through email at, or my cell (503) 998-4789. I can email the contract and we can do everything by phone and email.

Anything else I’d need to know to get people registered and starting to raise funds. We would LOVE to have all of you on the Ray of Hope team!  We had a blast last year with runners coming from all over the country, and we expect to have an awesome team again this year!! This is a wonderful cause and because we are a small non profit based in Portland, our administrative costs are quite low and your fundraising dollars go directly to our programs in Kenya, Africa.


American Cancer Society

Thank you for your interest in becoming a 2011 American Cancer Society DetermiNation charity athlete for the Portland Marathon/Half Marathon! Our American Cancer Society DetermiNation program provides our athletes with a meaningful experience to help fight back against this terrible disease.

We do have reserved half marathon entries for our program. In order to receive one, participants must commit to fundraising $1,000 due by 9/23/2011. We also have Marathon entries which require a $1,200 commitment. Upon registration, a fundraising commitment form will be completed online.

To register as a DetermiNation Charity Athlete or learn more about our program, please go to: Upon registration, you will receive a customizable charity athlete fundraising web page, and your charity athlete welcome packet and racing jersey will be mailed to you.

Please visit the ‘Info for Athletes’ page of our DetermiNation website for more program details, including our program benefits and fundraising requirements.


Komen For the Cure

Thanks for your interest in registering for the Portland Half Marathon through Susan G. Komen for the Cure/Marathon for the Cure program.  We do still have half and full marathon entries, and we would love to have you and your friends participate!  Here is a link to an info page that you can send along to anyone who might be interested:

The registration fee for a marathon or half marathon entry to the Portland Marathon is $100.  In addition, you will need to commit to fundraise a minimum of $1,000. This number is set to keep our program costs low and to ensure your donations are utilized to maximize our investment in breast cancer research, screening, education and treatment.  You will have up to 30 days AFTER the event day to continue fundraising, and once you register, each participant will have access to an online fundraising page that can be personalized.  I’m also available as a resource to assist with fundraising ideas.

You can register on the Marathon for the Cure site via the following link:

Click here to register

Once your registration is completed, we will take care of your registration with the Portland Marathon/Half Marathon through the back end with our charity entries. 

Program benefits for registered Komen Marathon for the Cure participants at the Portland Marathon and Half Marathon:

  – A welcome New Balance t-shirt
  – A fundraising page that you can customize to email your friends & family for support
  – Fundraising tools and tips
  – An exclusive Komen Marathon for the Cure New Balance tech-tee shirt to wear race day (sent out when you reach your fundraising minimum)
  – Prizes for your fundraising efforts
  – The fact of knowing you are raising funds to help save lives and end breast cancer forever!!

Please let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for considering participating in Komen’s Marathon for the Cure program! 


Children’s Tumor Foundation

Thank you for your interest in running the 2011 Portland Marathon and Half Marathon with our NF Endurance Team, fundraising team of the Children’s Tumor Foundation.  We are thrilled you would like to join us.  I know you will find us friendly and inviting.  You will find your experience with our team a rewarding one, helping the millions of people affected by neurofibromatosis (NF).

We do still have charity slots available.  There is a minimum fundraising requirement for this opportunity.  We require a minimum fundraising commitment of $600 for a half marathon slot, and $1000 for a full marathon slot.  We have a limited number of slots for each event.  I will attach a commitment form if you are interested.  The fundraising must be completed on or before September 9, 2011.

Our Foundation has a website where you can find information about neurofibromatosis and the Foundation as a whole.  We also have the website that gives you an overview of our endurance team.

Once you have registered with us (for free) at, a fundraising webpage will be created.  It makes fundraising as easy as an email to friends, family, and coworkers.  We can even provide you with information about one of our NF Heroes to feature on your fundraising webpage.  We have the amazing Bob Skold in our Colorado office who is fantastic at helping our runners with their fundraising webpage.  His email is   


The other charities have not yet gotten back to me. I will update here when I have more information from them.

Rob and I will be running the half.  I’ve only ever run a half once, so I’m not going to have a target time set.  I will be in the "finish upright and smiling" mode.

I’m looking at perhaps renting a house to for the weekend to keep the cost down or even arranging to places for people to stay locally.  Stay tuned for that information, too.


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