SQLSaturday #317 Oslo 2014 is live and call for speakers is open!

SQLSaturday #317 Oslo 2014I’m super excited to announce that the first SQLSaturday in Norway, SQLSaturday #317 Oslo 2014, is live and the call for speakers is open!

The event will be held on August 30th, 2014 at NITH (The Norwegian School of IT).

Several great sessions have already been submitted, but we are looking for more speakers, sponsors and attendees. Whether you’re a first-time speaker or an expert, local or international, with a non-technical or advanced topic – we are thrilled to see your session submitted! You can submit sessions in either English or Norwegian, choose the language you’re most comfortable with so you can deliver your best presentation.

Join us and help spread the word to make the first SQLSaturday in Norway a great event for everyone. If you’re on Twitter, use the hash tag #SQLSatOslo to join the conversation. SQL Server User Group Norway and the SQLSaturday team look forward to seeing you! :)

Volunteering at SQLSaturday #275 Copenhagen

SQLSaturday #275 Check-inLast weekend I was in Copenhagen for SQLSaturday #275 Denmark. What a great event! I had signed up as a volunteer for several reasons. I wanted to help the Danish (and Nordic) SQL community, I wanted to get more experience as a volunteer, I wanted feedback and inspiration that will be useful for when we’re organizing SQLSaturday #317 Oslo, and most importantly I wanted to meet all the great community people I only knew from Twitter.

Planning volunteer tasks started a few weeks before the event when the event organizers and volunteers decided on who would be responsible for each task via e-mails. I felt a bit like Donkey from Shrek going “pick me! pick me!” when I told the event organizers I could volunteer all weekend if needed, but they had done such a great job they didn’t really need much help. The main tasks were volunteering as room attendants and helping out with registrations.

SQLSaturday #275 SessionI was assigned a room after lunch, so I spent the morning listening to the keynote, attending a few sessions, getting to know people and talking to sponsors. (I may have had moments where I ran around like a headless chicken trying to figure out what to do, which usually made me grab some more coffee, which in turn made me run around even more… At least I got to see a lot of the venue this way!)

SQLSaturday #275 SponsorsDuring the end of the lunch I realized that I wasn’t exactly sure what to do as a room attendant, but a quick briefing from the event organizers made it an easy task. The speakers in my room were experienced and had no problems running the show themselves, so all I had to do was agree on when to notify them about the amount of time left, make sure there was enough water, hand out speaker gifts and keep the room clean.

It was a long day, but a great day! What I enjoyed the most was meeting everyone in person and getting to know new people. It was a fun surprise to meet coworkers and members of SQL Server User Group Norway that I didn’t know were attending :) I got to attend sessions on topics I usually don’t work on and learned new things that way, and I have to mention the SQL swag I brought back home: volunteer shirt (also known as “shirt dress”), fleece sweater (I drowned in it, but it was lovely and warm), cap, candy, books and lots of other fun items.

SQLSaturday #275 #SQLBREWThere were a few things that could have gone smoother, but I really am being nitpicky when I point those out. The organizers could have sent out instructions on each task before the event, but I could also have made sure to ask earlier what to do. I could have talked more with the speakers in my room, but I didn’t want to disturb them while they were preparing. I could have greeted the attendees as they walked in, but they were there to see the speakers, not the volunteers, so I let the speakers greet everyone. I wish I could have met more people, spent more time with sponsors and attended all the sessions, but there was just not enough time for everything.

Volunteering is a great experience and I definitely won’t hesitate to help out at other events, but it does take time and you could miss out on sessions because you’re volunteering in another room. If that’s the case for you as a volunteer, try to switch rooms with another volunteer. If you’re an event organizer, try to make sure everyone gets to see the sessions they’re most interested in so it’s a great day for everyone.

At the end of the day there were giant jenga matches, raffles, organic hot dogs, #SQLBrew and lots of happy faces. Thank you to the event organizers for a great event and for inspiring us Norwegian organizers. Thank you to all the speakers and the other volunteers, I hope to see some of you in Oslo in August and hopefully at other SQLSaturdays!

SQL Server User Group Norway meeting March 5th featuring Erin Stellato and Erik Flateby

SQL Server User Group NorwayThe next SQL Server User Group Norway Meeting will be held in Webstep’s offices at Lilleakerveien 8, Lysaker, Oslo on March 5th at 17:00.

Erin Stellato (b / t) will present Making the Leap from Profiler to Extended Events, and Erik Flateby will present Columnstore Indexes. Read more about the agenda here.

We will provide something to eat and drink, and you can sign up for the event here.

Hope to talk to you there! :)

Starting my journey to MCSE: Business Intelligence

MCSA Training KitsOne of my goals for 2014/2015 is to learn enough to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MSCE): Business Intelligence.

I can upgrade my MCITP certification, but I decided to start from scratch with the SQL Server 2012 exams because it’s a great way for me to learn new features while my company is still using SQL Server 2008. I’m also sure it will be very useful for me to step out of my comfort zone of data warehouse development / architecture and dive into the scary world of database administration.

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): SQL Server 2012 will remain in market without any alterations and passing the three required exams will be my goal this year. The MCSE exams will be updated with SQL Server 2014 topics and I aim to pass them later this year or early next year.

The three Training Kit books finally arrived yesterday: Training Kit (Exam 70-461): Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012, Training Kit (Exam 70-462): Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases and Training Kit (Exam 70-463): Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012.

Reviews range from “useless” to “excellent”. Based on my experience I can’t rely on these books alone, but hopefully they’ll be a great starting point and will help me identify what I need to work on. My own reviews will be posted as I finish the books and take the exams.

My plan is simply to work my way through each chapter and write down useful suggestions and improvements for my company. It’s easier for me to learn when I can relate the content to my work. I’m most excited about learning more about database administration since that’s not something I do every day, and most curious about the data warehouse part since I’m kind of already supposed to know my way around dimensional modeling and SSIS :)

Have you recently taken any of these exams? What is your job and what did you find most challenging?

SQL Server User Group Norway January Meeting Summary

SQLUG Norway membersThank you to everyone who attended the SQL Server User Group Norway meeting in Oslo yesterday. It was nice to meet you all and I hope to see you again next time! Let your friends and coworkers who are interested in SQL Server and Business Intelligence know about our website and bring them along with you to the next meeting.

A big thank you to our sponsors: Webstep for letting us use their offices and Avanade for dinner!

SQLUG Norway is a PASS local chapter, and we started the meeting by presenting PASS and all their member benefits. Most of the members who attended yesterday work mainly with Business Intelligence, and I definitely recommend that they join the Business Intelligence Virtual Chapter. There are many other virtual chapters to join as well: Big Data, Business Analytics, Data Architecture, Database Administration, DBA Fundamentals, Performance and Women in Technology – men are also welcome to join!

There are several upcoming events of interest to the SQL Server User Group Norway members. The largest event is the PASS Business Analytics Conference in San Jose, California, on May 7-9. There is also a free online event called 24 Hours of PASS Business Analytics Edition on February 5, great for those who are unable to travel halfway across the world to attend the BA conference. On March 28-29 our neighbors in Denmark will arrange SQLSaturday #275, a whole day of free SQL Server training plus three amazing pre-cons by MVPs Glenn Berry, Marco Russo and Hugo Kornelis!

SQLUG Norway - Erik Flateby presenting HekatonThe main presentation of the day was by Erik Flateby who talked about and demonstrated Hekaton, SQL Server 2014 In-Memory OLTP. Contact Erik if you have any questions or want to look at any of the slides.

As a member of several user group programs we are lucky to get discounts for all user group members! Use the code UGFR30 at Apress for 30% off their entire catalog, Manning gives a 36% discount by using the code ug367, and O’Reilly Media gives a 40% discount on all print titles by using the code OR112 and a 50% discount on all ebooks by using the code DSUG.

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