SQL Server and Other Topics


I got my start with SQL Server in 1997 with SQL Server 6.5 at BellSouth Cellular. From that point on I've had the opportunity to work on Versions 6.0 to 2014. I specialize in Performance Tuning, High Availability and SQL Development. Contact me through this site or through my Twitter handle @SQLDiver

Every year PASS has elections for board members to determine who the next directors will be. Being on the board requires a time commitment many are unable to commit to. There are a few who are willing to give up a large chunk of their time to serve the PASS members. We should all applaud the volunteers who take up the calling to help improve the entity us database professionals owe so much to.

 This year two of my friends have been nominated and are fully qualified for this position:

Ryan Adams

Ryan is one of my colleagues at Linchpin People who I have been following and learning from for years (prior to Linchpin People). The folloRyan Adamswing are the top reasons I am voting for Ryan for the PASS Board of Directors:

  1. Ryan is a natural leader with professional experience as a leader.
  2. Ryan is very active in the SQL Server community, being a leader in his local chapter the "North Texas SQL Server User Group", an organizer of SQLRally, president of the Performance Tuning Virtual chapter, member of the PASS Summit program committee, etc. etc. In other words, he's been deeply involved for many years.
  3.  Performance Palooza, do I need to say more?
  4. He's also an active member of his community volunteering for a great program "Watch D.O.G.S" at his kids school.

I aspire to be as involved and impactful as Ryan has been to so many people.

Argenis Fernandez

I've known Argenis for several years. He's one of the guys who will remember your name, give all #SQLFamily members hugs when he sees them and spread his infectious positiveness to all around him.

 Argenis FernandezWhen I had a question that needed answered, he didn't hesitate to give me his mobile phone number to call and talk about it.

Argenis is passionate about helping others, and doing what he can to improve the lives of others when he can. He seems to be involved in everything and has great opinions about many things including PASS.


I know that all of  the candidates would be excellent choices, but for the reasons described above and the fact that I trust the honesty and integrity of both of these guys completely and expect that the PASS organization will be very stronger with them as PASS Directors you should seriously consider them (no, just vote for them).





Friday I was notified that my "Execution Plans for Mere Mortals" was chosen for PASS Summit 2015. I've been presenting this session for over a year at many SQL Saturdays, and expect to present it and fine tune it at 3 - 4 more SQLSaturdays prior to Summit.

This will be my first time presenting at a PASS Summit, so I'm very excited and humbled to be on the speaker list.

Session Details



It is always a challenge to attend half of the sessions I set out to attend. I walked in double and triple booked for many of the key time periods. Knowing this I pre-purchased the recordings. 

Favorite Sessions

Dealing with Multipurpose Procs and PSP the RIGHT Way! by Kimberly Tripp 

Kimberly's sessions are always interesting and I always leave with something. This session was no different. She went into detail about strategies she recommends for the dreaded "all purpose" , one for all procedures and how to "defeat" the parameter sniffing issues encountered with these types of procedures. 

She demonstrated the OPTION(RECOMPILE), dynamic SQL and a very interesting pattern for getting the best performance. If you missed it, watch her blog, no doubt she'll cover it completely.

Having Paul Randal in the front row was an added benefit, adding the fun occasional banter between them. 

BI Power Hour

The BI Power Hour is always over the top hilarious. Matt Masson, Matthew Roche and others profess to present a worthless uninformative session about BI (lies) and always show the ease and functionality of the Power BI tools through humorous demonstrations. You have to be early to the room in order to get a seat, as the line forms outside the door and around the corner. The BI Power Hour is a must see!

Lightning Talks

6 speakers, each has ten minutes to present a topic. I got to witness the Lightning Talks 103 session with Randy Knight, Julie Smith, Stuart Ainsworth, Rick Heiges, Argenis Fernandez and Kevin Boles. I'm lucky enough to call 4 of the six friends, so it was extra fun for me. 

The audience was fully engaged, the presenters were hilarious and took every opportunity to tease each other just to keep the ball rolling. If you ever have the opportunity to see any of these 6 present, do it. 

Query Tuning Mastery: Manhandling Parallelism

All I can say about this one is wow. Adam showed some very interesting ways to "trick" the optimizer to improve the performance of a query through parallelism. This one appeared on PASStv, and is a must see. It truly warps reality! I can't wait to play with his demos to try to fully understand what he is doing. 



Dr. Rimma Nehme - It is quite unfair to be put into the position of stepping into the shoes of Dr. David DeWitt. Everyone wondered how it could be possible for anyone to come in and keep the audience mesmerized as Dr. DeWitt always did. The session started out a little rough with the clicker not working, but she tap danced past it once she got it working.

Fact is, Rimma did it by winning over the audience with an excellent presentation filled with humor. She presented Cloud services using a Pizza as a Service example. 

For a great breakdown of the talk see Erin Stellato's blog here.


Monday - Steve Jones and Andy Warren's Networking event. Buffalo Wild Wings let down Steve and Andy by totally turning their back on the community by turning everyone away?! Weird, strange..great... we found a new place, The Yard House, huge place, opened their arms to over 100 people. Great food and a great time. I met quite a few new people at the event and hung with some old friends. Overall a success...can't wait until next year.

Tuesday - The Welcome Reception is a great place to meet people, and this year was no less...then SQL Karaoke with Denny Cherry and SIOS. Always the top networking event at PASS, Denny chose a great venue, Cow Girls, for SQL Karaoke. The bartenders were awesome, waitresses hustled and always there when you needed them.  It was definitely a who's who of SQL Server. More MVPs per square inch than the MVP Summit (small bar, lots of people). I met at least 10 new people and spent more time with friends I get to rarely see. Big Score! 

Wednesday - Too many events not enough time, the Exhibitor Reception for munchies, meeting sponsors and more networking ...then on to Pragmatic Works Karaoke. Too much fun watching drunk people singing. Great time...

Thursday - Kilt Thursday was the first time I wore a kilt. Wearing a kilt is showing support for Women in Technology. Kilts of PASS Summit 2014

SQL Wine with some close friends and some new friends. Gareth brought out his secret stash of Biltong, and we sampled the wines each person brought to sample. Next year will be bigger and better.

The evening went on until the morning, I missed the PASS Appreciation Event completely, winding up the morning walking back to the hotel with a group of friends at 4AM in the morning after a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. Best Summit ever!

Atlanta Kilts



Friday - After the sessions, exhaustion has set in. By buddies, Rob Volk and Jason Carter were in heated competition with 2 other speakers in the Speaker Idol contest. All of the speakers were awesome, Rob and Jason placed 2nd and 3rd respectively (and respectably). I felt they should have been 1st and second. Planned to meet the gang at the Tap House, but the wife and I hit the Yard House for dinner, then crashed. 

Saturday - After meeting Rob Volk for breakfast at Lowell's, and seeing other #SQLFamily members JRJ and Adam Jorgenson, it was time to say goodbye and enjoy our weekend. Karen, my wife, and I did a Lake Union and Lake Washington tour. Too cool, we saw Bill Gate's house and the Sleepless in Seattle floating home. 

Sunday - Breakfast at Lowell's again and a nice walk around the Pike Place Market. On our flight back to Atlanta I sat behind Stuart Ainsworth and his wife. Great trip home and great to be home. 

PASS Summit is an event that should never be missed by a data professional.