And now for something completely different…

In Monty Python’s Flying Circus, they would sometimes switch sketches with the line, “And now for something completely different”.  I’m reminded of that as I’m writing this, looking down at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains on my way to my seventh PASS Summit, for as familiar as this conference is to me now, especially in its home venue of Seattle, this year will be completely different for a number of reasons.

Kingfisher TechnologiesFirst, I’m not attending this year’s Summit as an employee.  I’m overdue in announcing it, but about six weeks ago, I left my previous job as a database administrator for GreatAmerica Financial Services to strike out on my own as an independent consultant.  I am now proudly the founder and principal consultant of Kingfisher Technologies, a new consultancy based in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor.  My focus will remain on SQL Server, with our primary offerings being in the areas of performance, architecture, and security.  More details about our offerings will be on our company website, (as soon as we can get it finished).  It’s been a wild ride the last six weeks, and I’m looking forward to much more!

Second, I’ll also be speaking in Seattle for the first time!  I couldn’t be more excited that I have not one, but two, engagements this year.  On Monday, I’ll be speaking at Red Gate’s SQL in the City conference on the topic of challenges and opportunities for database source control. I’ve been a passionate advocate of this for a number of years now, and I’m thrilled to be able to share some of what I’ve learned about it with the attendees at that conference.  If you’ll be in Seattle on Monday and haven’t already registered for it, please do consider attending – the last SQL in the City I attended was a very fun event, and although it does have a distinctive Red Gate vibe to it (in a good way), they have a lot of good content.  It’s a great way to start out your week.

I was also selected this year to be one of the first-round contestants in the PASS Summit’s inaugural Speaker Idol competition!  Twelve of us were selected from the pool of applicants.  Each of us will give a five-minute presentation before a panel of judges on either Wednesday evening, Thursday evening, or Friday morning.  The winner from each of those rounds will give a second presentation at the finals on Friday afternoon, with the overall winner receiving a guaranteed speaking spot at next year’s Summit.  To say I’m honored to be among the twelve selected is an understatement!  If you can, come to the Speaker Idol session on Thursday evening (5:00p in Room 400) to support me – I plan to give an overview of disk performance for DBAs, and I could use a room full of friendly faces!

This is going to be an awesome week!  If you’re at Summit, please stop me in the hall and say “hi”.  I’d love to meet you!  I’ll also be in the Community Zone on Friday morning – a great place to meet other Summit people and find out more about your local chapter and SQL Saturday – and I may be around the “Consultants’ Corner” booth in the exhibit hall from time to time.  See you there!


Ed Leighton-Dick helps small and midsize businesses solve their most challenging database performance, resiliency, and data security issues at Kingfisher Data, the consulting firm he founded in 2014. He has taught thousands of people at over 200 events, including the world's largest Microsoft data platform conferences, and he has been a leader in the Microsoft data community since 2008. Microsoft has recognized Ed seven times as a Data Platform MVP for his expertise and service to the data community.