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SQLSaturday Pensacola 2017 – Interview with Thursday, June 1st precon trainer, Tim Mitchell


As mentioned in last week’s post, SQLSaturday Pensacola #617 is rapidly approaching, and there is still a lot of work to get done, but things are coming along smoothly. Often attendees want more than just the 60 minute “shot-in-the brain” they get from sessions at training events, hince why many SQLSaturday organizers now add full day deep dive training seminars the days prior to their event. Pensacola is no different. We’ve been doing precons since 2011, our first was with Andy Leonard “A Day of SSIS”. That first precon was a huge success, and since we haven’t had any deep dives on SSIS since, we thought it a good time to bring the topic back around.

This year we have Tim Mitchell training on “Building Better SSIS Packages”. Tim is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, and is a consultant for and owns Tyleris Data. I first met Tim at SQLSaturday Tampa #32 in 2010. He was taking photos at the event, and I invited him to do the same for our next SQLSaturday. He graciously accepted, and that’s where our friendship began. Now, let’s learn more about Tim and what he has in store for us here in Pensacola this year.

How long have you been working with SQL Server, and what brought you into working with it? 

I got my start with SQL Server in 2003. My employer at the time used an outdated system for keeping track of technical service requests, and I lobbied for a year to get a new app for tracking this information. My request was approved, with one stipulation: I would have to learn how to manage the new system’s SQL Server back end. Soon after taking on that new responsibility, I discovered that working with data was my calling.

The training you are doing for us on Thursday June 1st, “Building Better SSIS Packages”, what do you hope attendees gain from it?

My hope is that the attendees learn the easy way a few things in ETL design that I’ve learned the hard way. For every design pattern I demonstrate in this class, there are numerous mistakes, missteps, and bad designs I’ve worked through to discover a better way to solve that problem.

What made you decide to start doing full day trainings for SQLSaturday events?

I’ve always enjoyed the targeted, conventional presentations that are typically an hour or so in length. However, this format doesn’t allow a lot of time to have conversations or learn about the attendees’ data pain points. I put together my first full-day presentation about five years ago, purposefully building in some extra content that I could either use or skip based on what I learned about the attendees and what they expect to learn. I found that the full-day format makes it easier to have conversations rather than just monologue, and I can tailor the content I deliver based on questions and input from the audience.

What do you feel are the top 5 most exciting features to come out in SQL Server over the past 3 years?

It would be hard to nail down just five, but here are a handful of things that are exciting to me, in no particular order:

  • The revamp of SSRS in 2016
  • Inclusion of enterprise features (such as partitioning) in Standard Edition starting in SQL Server 2016 SP1
  • SSIS improvements in SQL Server 2016, including custom logging levels and package-level deployment
  • Azure SQL Data Warehouse
  • SQL Server on Linux 

What are some things you like to do for fun when you aren’t on the road presenting and volunteering for user groups and SQLSaturday events?

When I’m not traveling, I enjoy hanging out with my wife and kids. I enjoy baseball (go Rangers!), golf, and snow skiing. I’m also a craft beer adventurer, and enjoy trying new beers wherever I go.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

In my past, I have been both a police officer and a firefighter.

Well I certainly learned some things about Tim that I didn’t know already, and looking forward to taking him out to some of our great local breweries here in Pensacola!

Tomorrow stay tuned for our interview with Sean McCown and Jen McCown training on Friday, June 2nd on “The Enterprise Maintenance Lifecycle: Problems and Solutions”.

Rates for both our precons go up May 5th, so be sure and register this week to save yourself $20. The link again to Tim’s training is here.

From → SQLSaturday

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