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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

PASS Summit 2013, a Hit in Charlotte! (and an apology)

I had a great time at the PASS Summit 2013 this past week in Charlotte! I spoke to several people who told me they were pleasantly surprised by the venue and the event. Charlotte rocks! As a NASCAR fan, I particularly enjoyed the Community Event held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

It is always an honor to present and I was honored to deliver Designing an SSIS Framework and to participate in a cool panel discussion titled How to Avoid Living at Work: Lessons from Working at Home. Panel discussions are always fun, and my co-panelists made some really cool and interesting points about working remotely and working from home. Kudos to them and to Thomas LaRock for organizing the panel!

I had a great time delivering the Designing an SSIS Framework presentation, but I fear I may have offended an attendee who had a question about using the SSIS 2012 Catalog for logging. I’ll digress a bit to explain that I was spinning up a metadata-driven parent SSIS package right there on stage, live. (I type during demos. On purpose.) One attendee asked about logging in that package, and they asked the question right before I moved to that topic. As an experienced presenter, I can tell you it is awesome when the audience is asking questions about the very next topic. It means you’ve done a good job ordering the material and that the attendees are engaged and paying attention.

The first version of a framework I demonstrated was based on SSIS packages stored in the file system. This framework was written to support SSIS 2005, but it works well in 2008 and 2008 R2. You can download a version here. It will also work in SSIS 2012 if you do not wish to use the new Project Deployment Model (use the Package Deployment Model instead). SSIS 2012 is almost completely backwards-compatible and that. is. awesome!

The next question was asked as I wrapped up the discussion about the “old” (pre-SSIS 2012) framework. I will have to listen to the recording to see if I can catch the actual question, but it was something like, “Can you use the SSIS 2012 Catalog logging now?” Again, I will have to listen to the recording to quote my exact answer, but it was along the lines of: “Yall are right on top of this today – you should be up here leading this presentation.” What I meant was that the folks were asking great questions in a timely manner. What I fear is that some folks interpreted my response to mean something different from that. I know at least one person interpreted my response differently because they told someone who told me.

I was wrong to respond that way. It was a poor choice of words and I am an experienced presenter. I know better, and I probably offended the gentleman who asked the question. I don’t know who that person was, but I want to publicly apologize for my words. I promise I didn’t intend to offend you. It was a great question and I did not take offense at you asking it or asking it when you did. As the words were coming out of my mouth my brain was shouting at me, “PUT DOWN THE SHOVEL AND CLIMB OUT OF THE HOLE!!!” To you, sir – the gentleman who asked the question – to the other attendees of an otherwise cool presentation, and to the Professional Association for SQL Server, I apologize.

I look forward to SQL Saturday #237 tomorrow. I will be there. I’m the fat guy with a longish beard. If you are there and read this blog, please introduce yourself!


Published Saturday, October 19, 2013 12:41 AM by andyleonard

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Jim said:

Very classy. Making mistakes happen, trying to fix them doesn't always follow.

October 19, 2013 7:46 AM

Adam Machanic said:

Hm, I think I would have interpreted it exactly how you meant it. I guess it would depend on tone and what you said next. If you said it sarcastically -- which I can't imagine you doing -- then it could be easily misconstrued... Some people are unfortunately overly sensitive.

October 19, 2013 9:40 AM

Scott Abrants said:

Andy, as always your humble nature is even present in this post.  You did a great job and I hope I can speak for everyone there that we all appreciate what you do.  I remember that point in the presentation and I would hope others know you were just joking and showing your appreciation for an engaged audience.  Keep up the great work.

October 19, 2013 11:10 AM

Matt Scardino said:

I thought you did a nice job recovering from your initial response, but I also thought it was more humorous than offensive. You did a very good job presenting the material and interacting with the audience - it was fun and engaging.

October 19, 2013 8:36 PM

Chris Satola said:

I thought your responses were funny and took them as you intended. Great presentation!

October 21, 2013 9:23 AM

Mindy said:

I was in that session and remember thinking that it wasn't really a question, it seemed to be more of a challenge to your design. I thought you handled it very well, not offensive at all! And the presentation was excellent.

October 21, 2013 10:12 PM

Alex said:

Your presentation on parallel execution was excellent. Any chance you will post the demo scripts and queries used?

October 22, 2013 11:27 AM

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