SQLAuthority News – Speaking at C-Sharp Corner Annual Conference 2014 – April 11-13 – Delhi

I will be speaking at C-Sharp Corner Annual Conference 2014 – April 11-13 – Delhi. I am extremely excited and fortunate with the opportunity to present a technical session at the North India’s largest conference. The wonderful people at the conference has been doing this annual event for quite a few years and every year there are over thousands of attendees from all over the India attending it. C# Corner ANNUAL CONFERENCE is a 3 day annual meeting where C# Corner mentors, authors, chapter leaders, moderators, editors and experts meet, demonstrate, plan and hang out. One day of the conference is open to C# Corner members (this is when I am going to present technical session). There are only five days left for this extremely popular conference of India.

Here are the details of the technical session I am going to present:

Secrets of SQL Server: Database Worst Practices
Date and Time: April 12, 2014 9:45-10:30 AM
Abstract: “Oh my God! What did I do?” Chances are you have heard, or even uttered, this expression. This demo-oriented session will show many examples where database professionals were dumbfounded by their own mistakes, and could even bring back memories of your own early DBA days. The goal of this session is to expose the small details that can be dangerous to the production environment and SQL Server as a whole, as well as talk about worst practices and how to avoid them. Shedding light on some of these perils and the tricks to avoid them may even save your current job. After attending this session, Developers will only need 60 seconds to improve performance of their database server in their SharePoint implementation. We will have a quiz during the session to keep the conversation alive. Developers will walk out with scripts and knowledge that can be applied to their servers, immediately post the session. Additionally, all attendees of the session will have access to learning material presented in the session.

Indexes – The Unsung Hero
Date and Time: April 12, 2014 1:30-2:15 AM
Abstract: Slow Running Queries  are the most common problem that developers face while working with SQL Server. While it is easy to blame the SQL Server for unsatisfactory performance, however the issue often persists with the way queries have been written, and how Indexes has been set up. The session will focus on the ways of identifying problems that slow down SQL Server, and Indexing tricks to fix them. Developers will walk out with scripts and knowledge that can be applied to their servers, immediately post the session.

The event venue is Radisson Blu Hotel Ghaziabad. H3, Sector 14. Kaushambi Ghaziabad 201010 Uttar Pradesh. You do not want to miss out on any of the sessions. I will have surprise gifts for selected attendees. I will ask some question during the session and if you get it right, trust me, you will be extremely happy with the gift.

Registration for this event has been closed and there are over 2100 registered attendees to this event. It is a FREE event so there is no cost to attend this event.

I am looking forward to catch up with you at the event. Special mention to the team who is making this event a huge success: Mahesh, Dhananjay, Praveen, Dinesh! 

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

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SQLAuthority News – Sign up for SQL Authority Low Frequency Newsletter

One More Newsletter!

You might already be receiving our emails in your mailbox, so why should you sign up for SQL Authority Newsletter (Sign-up).

Well, a great question. Let me answer this first.

Why should you sign up?

First of all – it is not going to be a daily email from the blog which you are receiving. It is going to be a very informal conversation between us. I blog about various details related to technology, but there are few things, I just want to keep exclusively for newsletter. For example, if I want to discuss the book which I am reading or movie I have watched or database news which I have heard from industry or just something really cool which I do not feel appropriate for the blog, I am going to include them in my newsletter. I am not going to send your summary of the week or best of the monthly newsletter, if I am going to send your newsletter, it is going to contain something unique and useful.

What do I mean by Low Frequency Newsletter?

Well, there is no set frequency of this newsletter. I am not going to send this every Tuesday or Thursday. I am going to send it when I have something unique to say and newsletter is the most appropriate way to send email. You may receive this email once a month or maybe once every 2 weeks – there is no set frequency.

What will this newsletter contain primarily?

Again, there is no set agenda for the newsletter but I promise that it is going to be fun stuff and interesting. This blog is primarily for talking technology, but there are so many different elements of life I face every day and I hardly get time to share with everybody. I do quite a bit sharing on Facebook (if you have not liked the page, do it now), but again, there are few things, which just makes sense in the newsletter.

How do I sign up for the newsletter?

Click here to sign up for the newsletter. It will send you a confirmation email, please follow the link in the confirmation email to activate your subscription to the newsletter.

What if I want to unsubscribe to the newsletter?

In the newsletter, there is a link to unsubscribe it. No hard feelings – it is your mailbox and you decide what goes there.

Final Note

If you sign up for the newsletter before the end of this month, you will be entered to win Hexbug Hive (India) or  Hexbug Hive (USA). The winner will be announced in the newsletter only. If you have never played with Hexbug and Hexbug Hive, you may just want to sign up for the newsletter for the chances to win them. It is pretty fun game and people at every age likes it. See video over here.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Happy New Year 2014 – Resolution of the New Years

First of all, happy New Year to all of you – 2014 has started!

Every year I make at least one resolution, some I do for the public on my blog.  The reason is simple – if I declare something in front of all of you, there is a good chance I will be held accountable to it.  Without my readers, no one will check up on me and it will be easy to fall off the wagon.  But this year I am making more than resolutions, I am making commitments to myself, and I want to follow them.  In fact, I want to finish them in six months, not a whole year.  A few of my 2014 commitments are professional, and some are in my personal life.  I want to see how I progress over the year.

However, before I go to year 2014 resolutions, let us check how did I do with my SQL 2013′s resolution.

  • Write more books – Done. I wrote total 10 books before the end of year 2013.
  • Go beyond SQL – Done. I learned a lot about Big Data (wrote a series on it) and MySQL (build courses on it).
  • Attend SQL training – Done. I learned that in Feb 2013.
  • Reduce my weight – Failed. I gained a few pounds.

Well, I am disappointed that I failed in taking care of my health in 2013. Now in year 2014, I must focus on my health – there should not be any excuse. Without further ado here are my year 2014′s resolutions.

Reduce My Weight

I failed this last year so I must keep this one as a priority. This is a very difficult one for me personally. I travel a lot – internationally and domestic. I have a sweet tooth and I love anything sweet. I love fast food and we all know what this one does to people. Anyway, I am still going to reduce my weight in the year 2014. I am going to eat healthy and every day going to spend 30-45 minutes of exercise. My wife is going to come up with the plan so I will have someone always watching my progress. I did not want to talk about this any more as last year I failed with this goal. Let us talk about this next year.

Learn More on Big Data / NOSQL

I did a pretty good job in the year 2013 with this subject. I pretty much walked into my non-comfort zone and learned a lot about Big Data. I wrote a month long series on Big Data on this blog and did presentations as well on this topic. I feel I have overcome initial obstacles and I can now handle Big Data subject pretty easily. However, the subject of Big Data is indeed very wide and deep. I think there are lots of different things to learn from me and I have a long way to go before I even call myself a moderate expert on this subject. I am going to come up with one or two different series on NoSQL and Big Data in year 2014 and learn more about them.

More Video Training Courses

In year 2013 I have done 7 of Pluralsight video courses on various subjects. You can see the list over here. I am planning to do a minimum of 4 (one per quarter) video course for Pluralsight on various subjects. I like to do a mix of database and social media courses. I have built a list of the courses with me and I am hoping that I will be able to accomplish my goal for Video Courses in the year 2014. Trust me sharing the knowledge with the medium of video is very satisfying.

Well, that’s it. I have three simple goals and I hope that next year when I write this blog post, I have completed all of my goals.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQL – A Career in Database Forensics

A growing field in the information security domain – Database Forensics offers a comprehensive and highly sophisticated skill set that allows professionals to uncover and trace data security breaches of the highest order and complexity. Many enterprises are looking to hire such professionals nowadays. Critical data needs to be guarded and organizations are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that their confidential records are safely stored and accessed. But how do you become a forensics expert without getting lost in the maze of security programs and products. Koenig India shows you the way:

Why are databases critical assets?

  • They hold crucial information
  • Database servers contain sensitive information which can be used as well as misused
  • Data security regulations mandate all security breaches to be reported

Therefore, Using analysis and  investigative tools and techniques, professionals gather evidence from the database which is suitable for presenting legally in a court of law.

Some Benefits

  • Identify pre and post transaction data
  • Retrace user DDL & DML operations
  • Recover deleted data rows
  • Prove/dismiss a data security breach
  • Determine the scope and extent of database intrusion

Apart from these technical skills, individuals must possess analytical abilities and a problem solving attitude. Uncovering hidden patterns, unexpected correlations, and sorting through data to extract meaning out of it – are some of the essential skills required of a forensic expert.

Another crucial skill is the knowledge of cyber laws. An understanding of the legal procedures and law enforcement agencies’ requirements is of great importance if you are to conduct digital investigations.

SQL Server Forensics Analysis course offers the foundation required to become a forensic expert in the online world. Also learn other associative skills such as cryptography, e-discovery and incident response in this latest training program.  A relatively new field of study, the course offers a great opportunity for those who wish to gain credibility in this stream.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Notes from SQLLive 360 – Orlando, Nov 2013 – A Great Experience

Earlier I wrote about my 3 technical session at SQL Live in the event at Orlando, Florida in Nov19-20, 2013. I had a great time presenting at the SQL Live event. I presented following three sessions at the event Presenting 3 Session at SQL Server Live, Orlando, Florida.

  • SQT10 “What Did I Do?” T-SQL Worst Practices
  • SQW12 Ancient Problems and Modern Solutions – Troubleshooting CPU
  • SQW04 Database Performance Tricks Every SharePoint Admin Must Know

I have been to Florida before but it was my first time visiting Orlando and I enjoyed every bit of it. The event was very well organized and attendees were extremely energetic. Every session was very well received. The best part was every session was about 1 hour & 15 minutes and there was enough time between two of the sessions. The break between session provided ample time for attendees and speaker to network among themselves.

Here are the few photos from the event.

Pinal at SQLLive

Great Audience at SQLLive

Pinal at SQLLive

Round Table of Performance Tuning

I had a great time with Aaron Blackner at Pluralsight booth

Pinal presenting at SQLLive

Pinal presenting at SQLLive sporting Pluralsight Vision

Audience gathered for Pluralsight Giveaway

Hard Rock Cafe at Orlando, Florida

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

Personal Technology – How to do Exercise and Stay Relaxed while in Office – Tips for Developers

While the modern day worker is usually no longer subjected to 10, 12, or 20 hour shifts, and can look forward to much more pleasant working conditions, modern office life has its own fair share of health and safety concerns.  For example, sitting at a desk and staring at a computer screen all day, as most developers do, is not as back-breaking as hauling heavy loads or working in a factory, but the human body was not built to sit and stare at awkward angles all day.  Our wrists are poorly designed for the angles forced on them by keyboards, and carpal tunnel develops.  Computer screens cause eyestrain and dryness.  Computer chairs cause back and neck pain.  Is it any surprise that many developers go home and feel as if they were working in a factory?

Because modern employers recognize that happy, healthy employees are productive employees, there are a wide range of exercises you can do to keep you loose, limber, and energized.  Many of them you can easily accomplish without leaving your chair or requiring a lot to space to jump and lunge, and best of all you won’t be disturbing any nearby co-workers.

Stretching

Stretching is an easy way to take a quick break from work and pause to recognize any sore or tense spots.  When you get really absorbed in a task, it can be easy to ignore the fact your neck hurts, you’re staring at your screen at an awkward angle, and that you’re slouching.  Stretching helps you readjust and better yet, gives you the kind of 30 second pause you might need to break through writer’s block or a logical problem.

Stretch 1: intertwine your fingers and reach your arms towards the ceiling, palms up.  Roll your neck.  When you release, check your posture.  I bet you’re sitting up straight now!

Stretch 2: Lift your legs out straight in front of you, flexing your feet and ankles.

Stretch 3: Lean left and right, hinging at the waist (as if you were trying to bring your head to your hip).  Stretch your left hand above you as you lean right, and your right hand above you as you lean left  – as long as you don’t feel like you’ll fall out of your chair.

Stretch 4: Keeping your lower body as still as possible, twist your upper body as far to the left as possible, then as far to the right as possible.  Do not over-twist or force your upper body further than is comfortable using the table or arm of the chair.  These stretches should energize, not hurt!

Avoiding Carpal Tunnel

As mentioned before, keyboards and computer mice hold our wrists at an awkward, upward angle, pinching important nerves and tendons between the bones of the hand.  Symptoms start with numbness and tingling, and quickly move on to pain and the loss of mobility.  Ergonomic keyboards and mice can only do so much – we have to stop and stretch periodically as well.

Stretch 1: Stop typing and give yourself a little hand massage.  Whatever feels good – the moving your wrists out of the typing position is what is key.

Stretch 2: Roll your wrists clockwise and counterclockwise for a few revolutions.

Stretch 3: Go for a walk. This isn’t going to directly impact your wrists, but the break from typing is most important.

Other solutions: wrist braces to hold your wrist in a neutral position are helpful when breaks are impossible or you already have some nerve damage.  A better chair or back brace to help posture will also help your wrists, believe it or not.  If at all possible, trade tasks with another employee every week or two, to help the both of you avoid repetitive motion injuries.

Eyestrain

Staring at a computer screen causes eye strain.  This is a simple fact.  No matter what kind of anti-glare coating, eye shade, or LED screen you have, eye strain will happen.  The most common culprit – not blinking!  Blinking is an involuntary reaction, on par with breathing or digestion.  But something happens to human physiology when we are confronted with a shining monitor, and studies show our blinking rates can drop by half when staring at a screen!  It is no wonder our eyes get tired and dry.

Exercise 1: This one is easy.  Stick a bright post-it note on your screen, somewhere where you will be forced to see it all the time, and write “BLINK” on it in large, bold letters.  Believe it or not, this will help.

Exercise 2: Clean your screen.  A smudge-free screen will help your eyes, and the movement will help your sore muscles.

Exercise 3: Keep your monitor at eye level (even if this means propping it up on books or lowering your chair), at most a few inches below eye level.  This will help your posture, too.

Exercise 4: Take a walk.  That’s right!  It’s good for your wrists and good for your eyes.  Even if you just go get a sip of water once an hour, your eyes (and wrists, and back, and legs…) will thank you.

Get Up and Move!

Perhaps you have a hard time sitting still, or you would just like to get a little more exercise.  Either way, there are certainly exercises you can do, even in a cubicle, to get you up and moving during the day.

Exercise 1: Get out of your chair and stretch.  Interlacing your fingers and stretching your hands above your head (palms up), stretch up on your tip-toes, and then bend down to touch your toes.  It gets the blood flowing.

Exercise 2: If you have the room, do some lunges.  Place your hands on your hips and lunge forward with your right leg, bending your left leg 90°.  Do not extend your knee past your ankle, as this can cause damage to your joints.  In one swift motion, return to standing and repeat on the left side.

Exercise 3: This one requires less room.  Stand up out of your chair and be sure to move it out of your way.  Then slowly bend your knees and lower down, as if you were sitting in an invisible chair (remember, move your real chair, no cheating!).  Again, be sure to keep your knee in line with your ankle to avoid injury.  To make it harder, raise your arms over your head and try these squats.

Exercise 4:  If you are blessed with a lot of office space, get down on the floor for some push ups and crunches.  To avoid getting too sweaty work in sets of 10 or 20 a couple times a day.

Exercise 5: If you don’t want to wrinkle your work clothes, try working your abs with a “plank.”  Support the weight of your body in a push-up position (knees up or down, with arms fully extended or on your elbows).  Aim for holding a plank for 30 seconds (work up to it in 10 second intervals if needed), and work up to a minute or two.  A yoga mat can store neatly in your office, in a drawer or closet, if you are really dedicated to office fitness!

The Easiest Exercise

If you don’t have the space for some of these moves, of if your office is very open and you feel embarrassed about sitting in an invisible chair in front of all your co-workers, there is one sure-fire way to help eye-strain, wrist fatigue, boredom, and writer’s block.  Take a walk!  Walk around the perimeter of the cubicles, walk around the building outside.  Walk to get your lunch a block further away than usual.  Walk down the stairs to use a further away printer.  You don’t need any more equipment than just your two legs and comfortable shoes.  Even if you can only leave your desk for quick 30-second bursts, it will add up over the course of the day.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

Personal Technology – A Quick Note on Good Elevator Etiquette

I have been traveling a lot for different conferences and meetings lately, and that means a lot of air flights, taxi drives, and elevator rides!  There are plenty of rules out there, both written and unwritten, for air flights and taxis, and we all more or less follow these rules for our safety and for the safety of those around us.  However, I have noticed lately that there seems to be some confusion about the rules for elevators, and that it often leads to awkward and embarrassing moments.  So let me tell you a few of the rules I follow and always hope to see when I am riding in an elevator!

First, be Courteous

Let those on the elevator off before trying to load, and be aware of those around you when you are on the elevator – just because you are not getting off on this floor, doesn’t mean the person behind you isn’t.  Don’t stand in their way and be the reason they miss their floor!  Also, don’t cut in line if there is a line for the elevators, and don’t boss others around when you are in the elevator, demanding they press your floor button – especially if you are within reaching distance yourself!  The golden rule applies here – do unto others on the elevator as you would have them do unto you.

Second, be Practical

You are essentially trapped in a very tiny room, standing much closer than normal to perfect strangers.  This has “awkward situation” written all over it.  To loosen up the atmosphere, make eye contact and smile at those around you – no need for extended conversations, but standing silently, staring at the ceiling will make you seem strange and a little rude.  If you find complete silence too oppressive, make small talk about easy topics, like the weather, how people’s day are going, traffic, etc.  Avoid any “loaded” topics, or you might find yourself trapped in and argument as well as an elevator!  If all else fails, pretend that you have a very important text message you must read and reply to right now, which is probably what everyone else on the elevator is doing, too.

Third, be Funny and Creative

As funny as it might be to try standing facing the wall of an elevator or staring at one spot on the ceiling just to see if you can make everyone else do the same thing, try to avoid purposefully bizarre behavior, as you never know who you might be hurting or offending.  What if your boss’s boss is in that elevator, and now you have to explain your productivity numbers to someone you just scared two minutes ago?

In Elevator – on the Way to Interview

This brings me to another good topic – how to act in an elevator if you are on your way to an interview.  You don’t know anyone at the company, and that person in the corner might actually be the recruiter or your potential future boss.  Again, being polite and courteous is a must, and stick to simple topics like the weather or asking about vacation plans if conversation is necessary.  This is a situation where silence is a good thing, it will make you appear confident and well-prepared, even if you are just silently repeating in your head “don’t be a weirdo, don’t be a weirdo.”

In Elevator – in your Office

This kind of etiquette is important in any environment that is enclosed and somewhat cut off.  For example, your office.  You are forced to spend the majority of your day with people you didn’t choose to surround yourself with.  Sometimes it can be hard to act 100% professional 100% of the time.  However, if the need to go out and socialize is overwhelming during the work day, here are some ground rules.  First, avoid the “big three” off-limits conversation topics – religion, politics, and money.  These topics are often emotionally loaded and highly personal, and have no place in a work environment.  Try to turn your socializing into a networking opportunity – ask people about their work plans, how projects are going, and if there are any ways they need help or know of areas that could use improvement.  You will get social interaction and kudos at work for being a good employee.

Five Best Practices

  • Hold the door with the help open door button only if you are one one to get in (in that case from outside) or the last one to get out (in that case from the inside).
  • Once entered the elevator, press your floor button and move to back of the elevator.
  • Avoid using a Cellphone in the elevator.
  • Make sure that you use words – Sorry, Please and Execuse Me appropriately.
  • Keep calm if you miss to get in or get out when it is your turn. It is just elevator, it will come around in few moments.

Final Words

Finally, conferences or other work-related events can be almost as confined and socially awkward as an elevator!  You will be surrounded by highly influential people in your field, and the opportunities to make a mistake are everywhere.  So, in this situation, stick with the golden rule again – treat others the way you would like to be treated.  Make simple small talk, and be as polite as possible, especially if you don’t know who someone is.  You don’t want to offend anyone, whether that person is the CEO of your dream employer or works in the mail room at a company you’ve never heard of.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)