[Off-Topic] Dealing with Type 2

I had a brief conversation with Stuart Ainsworth yesterday over Facebook. In passing I mentioned that I was doing well managing blood sugar levels and he indicated he didn’t know I had been dealing with anything like that. It reminded me that I hadn’t said anything about being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes publicly. A few folks in the #SQLCommunity knew, but not a lot. So why this post?

I have found that like most things in our community, there are always folks who have been through it as well. and who are awesome supporters and encouragers. This time around it has been Kevin Kline, our Kevin Kline and not the actor (though the actor’s son has type 1). There are also encouragers who have been through or are dealing with something similar, like Mike Walsh. 

Also, I have seen a couple of folks talking on social media about watching carbs and the like and trying to avoid sliding into type 2. So this is a simple post to remind folks that our community is really awesome about supporting each other beyond SQL Server and technology. So definitely reach out. Someone has been where you are. 

For those who might be wondering how I’m doing, I’ve been diligent. When I was diagnosed, my A1C was 9.3. Since this my numbers have been 5.6, 5.2, and 5.2. That’s in the non-diabetic range for blood sugar level. However, it’s in that range because I am on Metformin, I watch what I eat, I have a plan for situations when I can’t control the meal or the timing, and I am more regular about my exercise. If I went back to my old habits, I’m sure I’d be up in the diabetic range again. 

Speaking at Syntax Code and Craft Conference 2017

On May 18, 2017, I’ll be giving a talk at the Syntax Code and Craft Conference in Charleston, SC. If you haven’t heard of this conference, it’s a 2-day affair primarily focused on developers. Here is my talk:



An app is a failure if it performs poorly despite a great UI. With applications relying on a database back-end, poorly written queries can wreck an otherwise outstanding application. This talk focuses on understanding how Microsoft SQL Server processes queries and what to look for to avoid poor performance.

Users want speed. Beautiful screens and an excellent user design experience are meaningless if a user has to wait too long to get the data. So what does it take to make queries scream in SQL Server? How do you get the data back faster? In this presentation we’ll look at the core rules and ideas for building well performing queries which you should be incorporating into your data design. We’ll consider the impact of non-SARGable predicates (WHERE clauses) and how this causes Row-By-Agonizing-Row table access and slow data retrievable. Throughout all of this we’ll be looking at execution plans and pick apart what they tell us in order to make the adjustments we need for better user satisfaction.


Since it is a physical conference, you can register to attend for one or both days. Here’s the registration link for the conference. Hope to see you there!

Speaking at the SSWUG 2017 Spring Virtual Conference

On May 2, 2017, I’ll be giving two talks at the SSWUG 2017 Virtual Conference. Here are the talks:


Building a Home Grown Auditing Infrastructure for SQL Server

Not everyone has the budget for 3rd party tools to provide audit / security information on their SQL Server environment. If you are in this situation, what do you need to build? What information should you be capturing in order to know what’s going on for each of your SQL Servers? How do you gather that information and store it? How do you report on it? In this presentation we’ll answer each of those questions, presenting options you can build yourself. We’ll look for the most efficient solutions because if you don’t have budget, you likely don’t have allocated time except for what you can carve out amidst your other responsibilities. Knowledge of T-SQL and Powershell is expected.

Performing a Risk Assessment for Your SQL Server Environment

You have SQL Servers you need to secure. But where do you start? In this presentation, we’ll look at how to do a security risk assessment on SQL Server. First we’ll start off with how to present your findings to management. What information do you need to give them? What will sway them to your side? We’ll then switch to the technical side and cover what to look at first: the issues that could lead to a server breach, data loss, and/or a system becoming unavailable due to mismanagement. Finally, we’ll discuss how to assess other problems you may find and how to rank and prioritize them.


You can register at the above link.

Speaking at 24 Hours of PASS

On May 3, 2017, at 2 PM EDT (6 PM GMT) I’ll be speaking as part of the 24 Hours of PASS. Here’s what I’ll be speaking on:


Protecting Data Across the Environment

You are responsible for protecting data within your organization. Wary of how attackers have become craftier and more persistent, you know that the old ways of just looking within the database are not enough. After all, data is stored in more places than the database. In order to properly protect your organization’s data, you need to look at everywhere important data is stored. You also have to consider how that data is transmitted. In this presentation, we’ll cover the typical locations adversaries look for in order to steal data. We’ll walk through each type of storage as well as the transfer mediums which link our storage locations together. We’ll consider the traditional weaknesses and how you can shore them up to protect your data. We’ll also discuss areas we don’t have good answers for as of yet and the types of attacks and risks we have because of them.


You can see the full schedule and register for the sessions you want to view here.

IT Security Audit & Compliance Webinar Today (April 4) at 1 PM EDT

I’m speaking as part of a small panel for IT GRC Forum on keeping up your data security program in the face of changing regulatory requirements. This is occurring at 1 PM EDT, April 4, 2017.

Webinar: Streamlining Your Data-Security Program to Meet Regulatory Change

One correction on my listed biography that didn’t make their release (or web page). I’m not at Idera. I’m a community champion for Idera, especially their SQL Server security & audit related tools.

I know previous webinars have been recorded for viewing later, so I expect this one to be available as well.