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Alexander Kuznetsov

I am not speaking at SQL Connections February 2011 meeting in Chicago suburbs

Usually it is an honor when we get to present to a user group, but not this time, so let me explain.

I have no idea how my presentation got briefly mentioned in the invitation which went out today, without my consent. I have never asked or agreed to speak at SQL Connections February 2011 meeting in Chicago suburbs. Yet I apologize for any inconvenience it might have caused.

I was going to speak at the meeting of December 2010, which was agreed by email with the person in charge. I had spent some time preparing for the presentation, and was very surprised to learn that my presentation was canceled when I received the invitation for December 2010 meeting with a different agenda. Nobody sent me a note telling me that my presentation has been canceled.

Apparently this way of canceling presentations is very unusual. I have discussed this with quite a few other speakers, and nobody has recalled anything similar.

I was quite surprised when I had a closer look at the invitation for February 2011 meeting, which I just received:

You are invited to attend ...

SQL Connections February 2011

!!! SQLConnections 1st Birthday Celebration !!!


Please join us at the Microsoft Offices in Oak Brook for our 1st Birthday




Tuning T-SQL Step by Step

If execution plans look like subway maps of foreign cities, this session is for you. Brent will turn SQL Server inside out by making YOU role-play as the SQL Server engine. He’ll feed you one query at a time, make you write your own execution plans in plain English, and then show how SQL Server draws out execution plans. You’ll learn how sorts and joins rely on indexes, and get your first glimpse into why statistics are so important. No tuning experience necessary, but you do need to understand how to write SELECT statements with joins.

Brent presented at the chapter’s first meeting a year ago, and we are honored to have him back as the chapter’s First Anniversary speaker!


Afterwards Alex will present the session he did not get to present in Decemeber.


Cant Wait to See You There!


Note that it does not include neither my last name nor the abstract for the presentation. Of course, Brent is a much better speaker than I. Naturally, the invitation may reflect this well known fact. However, failing to mention the speaker's last name and failing to include the abstract seems to be just a little bit over the top.

Even if I were planning to speak at this event, I would quite likely have canceled after such an invitation.



Published Friday, January 28, 2011 8:15 PM by Alexander Kuznetsov

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Antony said:

Ouch. That sucks, dude.

January 29, 2011 6:45 AM

Brent Ozar said:

Ouch. I'm really sorry to hear that, sir.  I was excited to hear your presentation after mine!

January 29, 2011 6:52 AM

Adam Machanic said:

Can't blame you for not wanting to get involved with this group. Sounds like it's quite badly organized.

January 29, 2011 11:16 AM

Alexander Kuznetsov said:


Thank you for your kind words! I really enjoyed the talk you and Buck Woody gave at the last PASS.


Have you ever heard of and/or encountered anything similar?

January 29, 2011 3:50 PM

Adam Machanic said:

Alex, no. This situation is ridiculous and completely out of the bounds of what should be normal.

January 29, 2011 7:10 PM

Patrick Kansa said:


Sorry we won't get a chance to hear you speak again.  Perhaps Kim and/or Wendy simply assumed that, since things fell through for the December meeting, that your presentation would slide over to the next meeting (the one tomorrow)?

January 31, 2011 10:55 AM

kendra little said:

I don't live in the Chicago area, so I'm out of the jurisdiction for this particular issue.

But as one of your blog readers, I have to say I'm very much hoping to see you speak sometime, Alex. I hope this doesn't give you any bad feelings about speaking at other community events.

January 31, 2011 11:13 AM

Grant Fritchey said:

You're taking this better than I would have.

January 31, 2011 2:06 PM

Alexander Kuznetsov said:


Presentations are never scheduled like this: "your presentation would slide over to the next meeting" - speakers may be busy, may have other plans, etc., just like anyone else.

Suppose, for example, that you have sent your resume to some company, and they simply told you when to come for an interview, without you confirming that this time works for you. Would you want to work for that company?

Same approach is used with presentations - nobody ever schedules presentations without the speaker confirming that it works for them.

February 2, 2011 7:01 PM

Alexander Kuznetsov said:


I am the guy who asked you lots of questions after your agile chalk talk during last PASS. I am planning to speak at SQL Rally, just like you do. See you there!

After speaking at Chicago UG this March, and at SQL Rally, both of which I already promised, I am not planning to deliver any more presentations any time soon.

Grant, thanks!

February 2, 2011 7:07 PM

Rand E. Gerald said:

When you think back to the weather we had that night!!! You made a good decision.

April 13, 2011 2:33 PM

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About Alexander Kuznetsov

Alex Kuznetsov has been working with object oriented languages, mostly C# and C++, as well as with databases for more than a decade. He has worked with Sybase, SQL Server, Oracle and DB2. He regularly blogs on, mostly about database unit testing, defensive programming, and query optimization. Alex has written a book entitled "Defensive Database Programming with Transact-SQL" and several articles on and Currently he works at DRW Trading Group in Chicago, where he leads a team of developers, practicing agile development, defensive programming, TDD, and database unit testing.

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