Category Archives: WIT

PASS Summit 2013 Schedule

Each year, I like to compile my own shortcut, cheat sheet version of the PASS Summit schedule. I’m not talking about the actual session schedule – we (will) have a perfectly good schedule builder on, so that’s covered. I’m talking about social events, luncheons, keynotes, parties, special days…pretty much everything that’s NOT a session or precon. It really helps you plan your week. (Speaking of which, you can find all of my still-relevant, PASS Summit-related advice from last year, here.)

Edit: I wrote this in a time warp, and so will now correct the dates and city. We’re in Charlotte this year, Charlotte

This is a work in progress. I’ll add more detail as I get it, and will have this in PDF format before the Summit, so you can carry it around with you, and/or keep it on your smart phone. If you’d like to add something to this, or I’ve made a mistake, leave me a comment here!

Note: If you can’t make the Summit, PASStv will have free live-streaming of technical sessions & keynotes. Look for the schedule on


Before PASS: See the Connect page, and join the First-Timers program (for first-time attendees). Get on Twitter!  On 25-September, see Denny Cherry’s Webcast: SQLPASS 2013 First-Timers.  And of course, check back here for more updates, and for this compiled schedule to be converted into a handy-dandy cheat sheet!

Before arrival: You’ll probably want to know how to get from here to there, so check out Charlotte’s Getting Around page, and check out the SQL Sentry shuttle. (Thanks @Kendra_Little for the links!)

Oh, and since you’re here, why don’t you have a 15% off coupon code for our DBARoadmap career webinar? That code is Discount15AwwwYeahhh.  Check out for a free sample track, and to order! You know, if you want it.  Now, back to the free stuff…

Monday October 14: Precon Day 1

  • Well, precons.

Tuesday October 15: Precon Day 2

  • More precons.
  • 8:00 AM The now-famous Pat Wright Photowalk! You just need shoes and a camera, definitely a recommends…
  • 6:00pm – 6:45pm; First-Timers Orientation Meeting
  • 6:30-8:00pm; Welcome Reception

Wednesday October 16 – Summit Day 1

Thursday October 17 – Summit Day 2

Friday October 18 – Summit Day 3

Happy days,
Jen McCown

#SQLRally Women in Technology Panel of WIN AND AWESOMENESS

Best. Luncheon. EVAR.

I just finished up moderating this year’s Women in Technology panel here at SQLRally, and it was fantastic.  SQLSentry sponsored (thanks!), and our panelists were SQL notables Erin Welker (@sqlbigirl), Jen Stirrup (@jenstirrup), and Wes Brown (@SQLServerIO)*.

The topic was absolutely brilliant: Negotiation. The abstract:

Whether you are searching for a new job or simply needing to relocate your desk, you need the right tools to make your request effective. Come hear how our Women in Technology (WIT) panel of experts have tackled these issues, and learn how you can give yourself the best opportunity to negotiate for what you want.

 Man, did they deliver. Among the points discussed…

When negotiating, presentation is key

  • You can be too polite. You can polite yourself right out of big raises.  (Ask. What’s the worst that can happen?)
  • We universally undervalue ourselves.  IT folk are reclusive and accommodating.
  • On dealing with resume gaps: Don’t be apologetic. You “took a sabbatical” (whether you did so to raise kids, or whatever, it’s still a great way to phrase it.)

Arm yourself with help and information

  • Get coaching from those who’ve done negotiations.
  • How do you know what rate to ask? How do you know how to value yourself?  Maybe we just need to be better educated. Answer: the internet!

Have goals

  • “Money is the means to the end, not the end.”
  • On balancing salary against intangibles and “rate per hour” (higher salary may mean more hours). “It depends.” And, ask! Ask about work environment, especially if you know people on the inside.
  • Write down what you want, and use that as a reference when you’re fielding offers.
  • Ask why the last person left, how many people have gone in the last year.
  • Website recommendation: – People anonymously review places of employment. Cool!

Protect yourself!

  • Business is business; businesses watch out for themselves, not you!
  • Know and use basic negotiating tactics.

Final thoughts and notes

We have a few more notes that came out of the question and answer period:

  • and
  • Don’t negotiate from a point of weakness
  • Careful about contracts, especially IP
  • Consider having a lawyer review your contract
  • Review your state laws

 And finally, my own thoughts:

  • Wes was an excellent choice. He has a ton of solid career advice.
  • So was Erin. She’s an experienced SQL professional, and one of my favorite people to speak to about career issues.
  • And so was Jen. I particularly was pleased that she was able to pull up statistics specific to what we were speaking on!**

 A final thanks to everyone, and see you next time. Happy days!
Jen McCown

* Alphabetized by first name, so there.
** And no, that wasn’t scripted…none of the session was.

Thanks to @SQLBalls and @SQLChicken for the pix!

SQL Saturday #111 Atlanta recap and links and stuff and things….

I particularly enjoy SQL Saturdays in Atlanta for a few reasons. It gives me an excellent excuse to come out and see one of my best friends from college, Georgia is simply gorgeous, I get to see a TON of my SQL friends, and Atlanta UG….well you know, Atlanta UG puts on a damn fine SQLSat. This year was no exception.

Great signage, great venue, great speaker lineup, great snacks and drink lineup, (okay, the boxed lunch sammiches were mediocre, but whaddya expect for $10?), etc etc etc. In short: Very good job, ATL.

I had two sessions, plus an unofficial lunch session – more on that in a minute. In my morning Intro to T-SQL class was completely full, and went really well. I threw chocolate and crackers at people, and the guy who asked first got the ticket for the free book. Adorable fan / genial stalker @SQLThugette (see pic) asked for a picture, and I was delighted to oblige.

In my afternoon session (the T-SQL Brushup, aka Forgotten T-SQL), many laughed, few slept, and much was learned! This time, the guy that laughed loudest got the free book ticket. I’m a sucker for suckups.

Note: All of the sessions I present a events, plus recordings and scripts are on my Sessions and Pubs page.

So, the unofficial lunch session. A week or two back, @DataChick Karen Lopez and I were discussing the women in technology movement, and she mentioned that (since there wasn’t a WIT session at SQLSat ATL) she’d like to have an unofficial WIT session. I jumped RIGHT on board, and we did. We gathered with a few people – men and women – in the gorgeous Georgia sunshine and talked about mentoring, outreach, and other good stuff we can do to encourage girls and boys in the direction of STEM and tech. I think I’ll call this #WITeverywhere.

(Talk about synchonicity. I just popped over to Twitter to check in on the world, and found this tweet: @codingforkids @codeclub has launched – nationwide, after-school coding club for 10-11 year olds. 69 programmers signed up so far >> )

IF you’re looking for a recording or link, or something else I mentioned at the event, start here:

Session recordings and scripts my sessions and Pubs page
Our free SQL training videos
Our book reviews (I recommend Itzik Ben-Gan’s T-SQL books)
That thing that let me format code instantly Red-gate’s SQL Prompt
Our new seminar on how to become a DBA

See some of you in SQLSaturday HOU this weekend!