TechEd 2008 is Done!

I'm writing this on the plane from Orlando back to Seattle. I have lots of thoughts on TechEd that I'll try to get through before I run out of battery or the guy in front of me snaps my laptop display. I also want to answer a few of the questions that came up that I couldn't immediately answer. I'll post the code from the sessions on another blog post. The PBM code will be posted to the PBM blog.

I am thoroughly impressed by our customers. They have incredible passion for our products and an endless desire to learn how to use our products more effectively, intelligently, efficiently, and completely. I thank each and every one of you for making my job so fun and pleasurable. Thank you for coming up and asking questions (whenever and wherever), thank you for submitting your evals - I take the feedback to heart, and thank you for betting your business on SQL Server. Without you I'd probably be a starving musician.

I did a ton of time at the booth, co-presented one interactive theater on using SQL2K8 for compliance, participated in two Tech-Ed Online Panels (TEOPs): Compliance and Automating DBA Tasks, presented a breakout (BRK) session on PowerShell and co-presented a session on Policy-Based Management.

Interactive Theater: I'm undecided if I like this format or not. Maybe it's just that compliance is a tough topic to discuss since there is so much interpretation that has to happen and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. I co-presented this with Il-Sung Lee a security PM in SQL Server. Il-Sung is so knowledgeable about his space and gave the audience a very good taste of Transparent Data Encryption (don't forget to backup the certificate!) and Auditing. I had directed on person that came to the security kiosk to the session. They came up to me afterward and thanked me.

TEOP: Compliance: This was fun although we didn't have much of an audience. I really like this format and encourage the TechEd planners to extend it. The people on the panel make all the difference.

TEOP: Automating DBA Tasks: Wow, I was up there with Allen White (SQL MVP), Steve Jones (SQL MVP), Kevin Kline (SQL MVP), and Buck Woody (former SQL MVP and now a PM on the SQL Server team). Talk about a humbling experience. It was absolutely fantastic. These guys are terrific and posses such incredible knowledge about SQL Server and the role of the DBA. Great job guys!

BRK: PowerShell: The feedback on this session was that I didn't spend enough time on SQL Server and too much time on vanilla PowerShell. Honestly this was by design and I think after people get back to the office and start using PowerShell they'll understand why I structure the session this way. One question that came up was the use of DAC (Dedicated Admin Connection). This is not support within PowerShell or our PowerShell provider. Another question was the use of SQL Logins. It's possible but not totally clean. It's documented in BOL here. There were more questions which I asked people to email. I'm still waiting for the email! Once I get them I'll post them.

BRK: PBM: I want to thank Peter DeBetta (SQL MVP) for co-presenting with me. I think Peter knows some facets (pun intended) of PBM better than I. BTW: My wife won't let me name the boy Wequel Sequel Jones - probably a good thing. This was, however, a tough session. It'd didn't flow the way I wanted it to. The feedback was that it was a little disjointed. Not to mention I messed up and thought the session started at 4:45 rather than 4:30. Sorry for blowing the first 7 or 8 minutes. But hey who doesn't like a good Bugs Bunny cartoon. The passion for PBM is immense. I remain convinced PBM is going to forever transform the management of the data platform. Y'all will get to say you were there when it all started. There were also some questions during this session that I didn't have the answer to. If you're out there please email your question. If you forgot my email address you can always send it through the blog.


Thank you for making my experience at TechEd valuable and memorable. I don't like taking time away from my family unless it's truly valuable and fruitful. Once again you, the customer, have satisfied both. I hope you got as much out of the experience as I did.

One final note: If you're the guy that came up to me at Universal asking about my round at Pebble Beach I apologize for costing you $10. I pared a few holes (namely 7 and 17!). But I had a few disasters (namely 2 and 8). We don't have much sand on our courses in Seattle so that part of my game is out of practice. Also it was my first full round in 6 months and the first round after breaking my collar bone in January. I won't try snowboarding again!