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#GroupBy June 2017 Lineup Announced, Registration Open

The voting is over, and here’s what you picked:

Friday, June 2:

Friday, June 9:

Congratulations to the winners, and registration is open now. Wanna join in the fun and present a session yourself? Submit a session now for the September 1 & 8 event.

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[Video] GroupBy Intermission: Brent Demos Plan Caching

During the first intermission at last Friday’s event, I spent about 45 minutes running demos of:

  • Auto-parameterization of trivial plans
  • How even slight differences of strings get different entries in the plan cache
  • What causes the MEMORY_ALLOCATION_EXT wait type, and how to measure it with sp_BlitzFirst
  • How to make a database look corrupt
  • How to pin sp_WhoIsActive to a separate row of tabs in SSMS
  • How to free just one string from the plan cache
  • SQL Server Management Studio’s live query plans

Enjoy!

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What Should We Change About the Next GroupBy?

The April event is going pretty well, so let’s talk about what changes were made, and how they went.

What We Changed for April

We added chat in Slack. In the first event, I didn’t really like dealing with chat happening in GoToWebinar plus Twitter plus emails, so I focused on making it easier for folks to talk in Slack. The SQL Server community Slack has gotten really popular (up over 2k members now), and if I can drive people into there, I think they’ll stick around for the activity in other active channels. So I built SQLslack.com to make it easier to introduce people to Slack. I think that worked really well – the #GroupBy channel had over 250 folks in it.

We switched from session ratings to pick-your-top-10. Last round, we let folks rate sessions with five stars, but this time around we had them just pick 10 sessions with a list of checkboxes. I’m really, really happy with the way that worked. We had 327 voters, and no questions or complaints about the process – except one.

We required logins for a lot of stuff. To vote, attend the webcast, submit a session, or give abstract feedback, a WordPress login was required. I don’t have numbers on this (hey, it’s a spare time project) but my gut hunch based on watching activity is that participation dropped by a lot. I’m not really interested in building some kind of big master database, and the whole point of this project is to help the community, so I think we’ll pivot away from the logins.

Speakers did tech checks ahead of time. I let them book a GoToWebinar on my live calendar so we could test their webcams & audio, and get them accustomed to the GoToWebinar presenter UI. This worked extremely well.

We made the session breaks longer. We now start every 2 hours rather than every 90 minutes. I looooved this change because the event felt much less frantic. It let us have longer, more relaxed breaks, especially since I pulled in Erik, Richie, and Tara during the breaks. This probably means we’ll have less folks stay through the entire event, but more on that in a second.

We let volunteers edit the abstract transcripts. We use a transcriptionist to pull off the hard work, but then to clean up the abstracts, add pictures, and add section titles, we had an open call for volunteers. We gave them editorial permissions in WordPress, and emailed them when new transcripts were available for editing. I did a couple myself to show the standard we were aiming for, and…nope. This simply didn’t work – we didn’t get the participation we needed.

What We’ll Change for June

To lower friction, we’re abandoning logins for attendees. We’ve already gone back to a simplified webcast registration form on the home page, and the next round of voting won’t require a login either. There’s a risk here that people will stuff ballot boxes via scripts, so I’ll do some digging to see how easy that’d be to identify. Submitting a session will still require a login just because speakers end up editing their abstract over time.

We’ll tweak the site to reflect the new workflow. When I first put the site together, it was a wild experiment, and I wasn’t quite sure what process changes we’d need to make. Now, I want to make it easy for:

  • Learners who want to discover good, relevant content available right now (videos, text, podcast, apps)
  • Planners who want to register for a future webcast and help shape future abstracts
  • Presenters (and perhaps soon-to-be-presenters) who want to contribute

We’ll outsource the transcription cleanup. Look at a session with a plain transcription, and then a session page with headers & pictures, and the difference is pretty dramatic. I think the section headers & pictures add a lot of value, and I want a presenter to be really proud of their session page. I’m going to work with our AV team to figure out what it’ll cost to add that higher level of polish to the pages. Plus, as a side benefit, that means they’ll control when the session’s page is completely done: with a podcast and full transcription. We’ll be able to re-publish the session page with a fresh date stamp, put it out as a weekly email, and the subscribers might love that.

We’ve also got a lot of little long-term tweaks on the Project Status page.

Now, what else should we tweak about the event?

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GroupBy Recordings are Available Now

You can now watch yesterday’s sessions:

Thanks so much to yesterday’s volunteer presenters for giving back to the community, and thanks for all the great questions in the Slack channel!

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Vote Now to Pick the June GroupBy Sessions

Heads up! Voting is now open – you get to pick the 10 sessions that will be the next GroupBy event.

Open one browser tab with the list of GroupBy abstracts, and then pick your favorites.

To vote, you have to log in – when you’re viewing this on our site, you can log in or create an account on the right hand side. Voting closes April 29 – good luck!

Which 10 sessions do you want to see?

  • Keeping up with Technology: Drinking from the Firehose by Eugene Meidinger (6%, 111 Votes)
  • Green is good, Red is bad - Turning your Checklists into Pester Tests by Rob Sewell (6%, 109 Votes)
  • DBAs vs Developers: JSON in SQL Server 2016 by Bert Wagner (6%, 106 Votes)
  • SQL Server & Containers by Andrew Pruski (6%, 104 Votes)
  • SQL Server and Continuous Integration by James Anderson (5%, 99 Votes)
  • So You Want to Be a Data Scientist? by Dave Wentzel (5%, 86 Votes)
  • Successful production deployments with columnstore index in SQL Server 2016 by Sunil Agarwal (4%, 81 Votes)
  • Alleviating database consolidation pains by Alexander Arvidsson (4%, 79 Votes)
  • T-SQL for Beginners by Andrea Allred (4%, 79 Votes)
  • Operational Validation of SQL Server at scale with PowerShell and Jenkins by Cody Konior (4%, 77 Votes)
  • Getting CI right for SQL Server by Alex Yates (4%, 75 Votes)
  • Architecture and Customer Case Studies with In-Memory OLTP by Jos de Bruijn (4%, 75 Votes)
  • SQLDockit - SQL inventory and best practices on steroids by Frane Borozan (4%, 70 Votes)
  • Measuring the Overhead of the Query Store by Jason Hall (4%, 69 Votes)
  • Linux OS Fundamentals for the SQL Admin by Anthony Nocentino (4%, 65 Votes)
  • SQL R Services: Start Working WITH Your Data Scientists by Dave Wentzel (3%, 63 Votes)
  • Power BI for the C-level Suite by Jen Stirrup (3%, 62 Votes)
  • Optimizing your SQL Server for Azure VMs by Parikshit Savjani (3%, 58 Votes)
  • TFS Database backups/restore by Uche Okoye (3%, 50 Votes)
  • Level Up Your Biml: Best Practices and Coding Techniques by Cathrine Wilhelmsen (3%, 50 Votes)
  • NoSQL Server: JSON superpowers! by Davide Mauri (2%, 39 Votes)
  • An (Advanced) Introduction to DAX by Eugene Meidinger (2%, 39 Votes)
  • Get Spatial With It by Michael Henderson (2%, 38 Votes)
  • Dapper: the microORM that will change your life by Davide Mauri (2%, 35 Votes)
  • Working with Azure Data Factory & Creating Custom Activities by Paul Andrew (2%, 35 Votes)
  • Analysis Services Development with Biml Studio by Reeves Smith (2%, 33 Votes)
  • Apache Zeppelin and SQL Server: two best friends by Davide Mauri (2%, 31 Votes)
  • Linear and Proximal Interpolations in T-SQL by Ami Levin (1%, 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 227

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GroupBy April Sessions are Out – Register Now!

You voted, and here’s the lineup you chose for GroupBy April:

Friday, April 21:

  • 8AM Eastern – How to Use Parameters Like a Pro and Boost Performance by Guy Glantser
  • 10AM – Introducing the SQL Server 2016 Query Store by Enrico van de Laar
  • Noon – Worst Practices & Less Known Limitations for Columnstore Indexes by Niko Neugebauer
  • 2PM – Gems to Help You Troubleshoot Query Performance by Pedro Lopes
  • 4PM – Crash Course on Better SQL Development by Vladimir Oselsky

Friday, April 28:

  • 8AM Eastern – SQL Server 2016 Features for Performance Tuning Lovers by Matan Yungman
  • 10AM – SAN Primer for the DBA by Doug Bernhardt
  • Noon – Bringing DevOps to the Database by Steve Jones
  • 2PM – Azure SQL Databases: A Guided Tour by Mike Walsh
  • 4PM – Hacking SQL Server by André Melancia

If you’ve attended GroupBy in the past, you’re already registered for the April events, and you’ve gotten a confirmation.

To register, head on over to the home page of GroupBy.org. Wanna be a presenter in the next round? Abstracts are open for the June event!

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Vote Now to Pick the April GroupBy Sessions

Heads up! Voting is now open – you get to pick the 10 sessions that will be the next GroupBy event.

Open one browser tab with the list of GroupBy abstracts, and then pick your favorites.

To vote, you have to log in – when you’re viewing this on our site, you can log in or create an account on the right hand side. Voting closes March 15 – good luck!

Update 2017/03/15 – voting is closed! Here’s the results. The top 10 sessions will be run in April. Pedro scored two sessions in the top 10, so we’re only taking the top-voted one, and then adding the 11th place session in as the final 10th.

Which 10 sessions do you want to see?

  • Hacking SQL Server by André Melancia (6%, 179 Votes)
  • Gems to help you troubleshoot query performance by Pedro Lopes (5%, 156 Votes)
  • How to Use Parameters Like a Pro and Boost Performance by Guy Glantser (5%, 142 Votes)
  • SQL Server 2016 Features for Performance Tuning Lovers by Matan Yungman (4%, 123 Votes)
  • Enhancements that will make your SQL database engine roar - 2016 SP1 Edition by Pedro Lopes (4%, 116 Votes)
  • Crash Course on Better SQL Development by Vladimir Olselsky (4%, 116 Votes)
  • Worst Practices & Less Known Limitations for Columnstore Indexes by Niko Neugebauer (4%, 115 Votes)
  • SAN Primer for the DBA by Doug Bernhardt (4%, 114 Votes)
  • Azure SQL Databases: A Guided Tour by Mike Walsh (4%, 110 Votes)
  • Bringing DevOps to the Database by Steve Jones (4%, 100 Votes)
  • Introducing the SQL Server 2016 Query Store by Enrico van de Laar (4%, 100 Votes)
  • In-Memory Tables with Natively Compiled T-SQL: Blazing Speed for OLTP and More by Andrew Novick (3%, 86 Votes)
  • Keeping Up with Technology: Drinking from the Firehose by Eugene Meidinger (3%, 85 Votes)
  • So You Want to Be a Data Scientist? by Dave Wentzel (3%, 81 Votes)
  • Green is good, Red is bad - Turning your Checklists into Pester Tests by Rob Sewell (3%, 80 Votes)
  • SQL Server and Continuous Integration by James Anderson (3%, 76 Votes)
  • Architecture and Customer Case Studies with In-Memory OLTP by Jos de Brujin (3%, 74 Votes)
  • Linux OS Fundamentals for the SQL Admin by Anthony Nocentino (3%, 72 Votes)
  • Optimizing your SQL Server for Azure VMs by Parikshit Savjani (2%, 66 Votes)
  • Successful production deployments with columnstore index in SQL Server 2016 by Sunil Agarwal (2%, 63 Votes)
  • Power BI for the C-level Suite by Jen Stirrup (2%, 58 Votes)
  • Alleviating database consolidation pains by Alexander Arvidsson (2%, 56 Votes)
  • Operational Validation of SQL Server at scale with PowerShell and Jenkins by Cody Konior (2%, 56 Votes)
  • SQLDockit - SQL inventory and best practices on steroids by Frane Borozan (2%, 54 Votes)
  • Save Time and Improve SSIS Quality with Biml by Andy Leonard (2%, 53 Votes)
  • NoSQL Server: JSON superpowers! by Davide Mauri (2%, 51 Votes)
  • T-SQL for Beginners by Andrea Allred (2%, 51 Votes)
  • SQL R Services: Start Working WITH Your Data Scientists by Dave Wentzel (2%, 50 Votes)
  • Measuring the Overhead of the Query Store by Jason Hall (2%, 48 Votes)
  • Level Up Your Biml: Best Practices and Coding Techniques by Cathrine Wilhelmsen (2%, 44 Votes)
  • Apache Zeppelin and SQL Server: two best friends by Davide Mauri (1%, 42 Votes)
  • Dapper: the microORM that will change your life by Davide Mauri (1%, 41 Votes)
  • An (Advanced) Introduction to DAX by Eugene Meidinger (1%, 39 Votes)
  • Get Spatial With It by Michael Henderson (1%, 33 Votes)
  • (Withdrawn) (1%, 31 Votes)
  • TFS Database backups/restore by Uche Okoye (1%, 30 Votes)
  • Analysis Services Development with Biml Studio by Reeves Smith (1%, 29 Votes)
  • Make your R script production-ready with SQL Server R Services by Neillie Gustafsson (1%, 27 Votes)

Total Voters: 327

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What Should We Change About the Next GroupBy?

The first event is over, the recordings are out, the podcasts are being downloaded, and now it’s time to take a deep breath to think about what we wanna do next.

Here’s a quick rundown of how the April event will work:

  1. Speakers submit sessions. Anyone can submit a session on any topic. The deadline is February 28th.
  2. Readers collaborate. Anyone can leave a comment on your session abstract to suggest changes or ask for clarification. The deadline here is also Feb 28th, which means you could theoretically submit a bad session on that day, and not get enough feedback to improve your session. That’s what you get for procrastinating, ha ha ho ho.
  3. Everyone picks the top 10. On March 1-15, the home page will show the list of submitted sessions, and you can check up to ten of them. You’ll have to be registered & logged in to vote, and a live leaderboard will show the current vote tallies.
  4. On March 16th, the winners are announced. It shouldn’t be a surprise – we’ll just be showing the top 10 folks from the leaderboard. The winners start working on their slide decks if they’re not already done.
  5. The live event will happen April 21 & 28. This time, the sessions will be spread a little further out (every 2 hours instead of every 90 minutes), giving folks a better chance to do bio breaks and set up. During the breaks, presenters can have their webcams & audio on, take questions from the audience, and have an open mic discussion. (We’ll likely record this as outtakes and throw it into YouTube just for fun.) In April, we’ll also have the Brent Ozar Unlimited team on during the breaks – we’re used to running GoToWebinar sessions, and it gives Brent a chance to run out and do bio breaks.
  6. Afterward, recordings go out. They’re uploaded to the GroupBy YouTube channel, the session detail pages, the podcast feeds, and BitTorrent. Our transcriptionist goes to work writing out the text, and our volunteer editors put in section headings and screenshots.

Now, how can we kick this up a notch? What should we change or add to the next round? We’ll take your feedback for the next couple of weeks, and based on that, announce a list of changes on Feb 21.

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GroupBy Videos Now Available on BitTorrent

We’re committed to making the community training available in as many ways as possible.

In some parts of the world, Internet connections just aren’t reliable enough to stream YouTube videos at high resolution. However, folks want to be able to watch the full videos in detail so they can see things like demos. We wanna make that happen – the world needs more freedom right about now.

All of the GroupBy session details pages now include BitTorrent torrent & magnet links.

Enjoy the sessions, if you like ’em, don’t forget to leave the presenters a comment or a rating. They love hearing your feedback.

And be kind to one another in every way that you can.

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Wanna Read Rather Than Watch? Check Out the Session Transcripts.

This is gonna sound funny coming from a guy who sells video training, but I hate watching videos.

Bob Ward doing a CMEMTHREAD demo at GroupBy

I have no idea if they’re gonna be any good, or what they’re going to cover. I don’t want to invest my time without having at least a rough idea of what’s going on, and the video title/abstract/description doesn’t always reflect that accurately.

So I’m the kind of person who’d rather skim the transcription first.

I figure I’m not the one out there, so we’re doing killer session transcriptions of everything.

For an example, check out Bob Ward’s session, SQL Server 2016: It Just Runs Faster. It’s over thirteen thousand words. (Bob talks really quickly.) Our heroic transcriptionist does the bulk of the work, giving us a huge wall of text.

The next step, editing, is adding section headers and a few screenshots. That’s where you come in, dear reader: I’m looking for volunteer editors who can help with that from time to time. It’s roughly a 1-hour task per session, and the nice part is that it can be done at any time that works for you.

If you’re interested, leave a comment in this forum thread, where we’re discussing it in more detail.

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