Call to Action – Mentoring

Published On: 2019-12-06By:

A few weeks ago I attended the annual PASS Summit conference in beautiful Seattle, Washington.  This is an event that I look forward to every year.  Being able to share my knowledge as a speaker, reconnect with friends and family of the sql persuasion, meet new people, and learn new things really helps to rejuvenate me.

During the conference I had several conversations with attendees about their own career path and what they could do to improve it.  Some were looking to start speaking, some were looking for new career opportunities, and some where just looking to improve their current situation.

As I looked around the community zone and throughout the rest of the venue, conversations like these were happening frequently.  Technical conversations, people catching up with lost connections, folks learning how the others family is doing and this made me realize that anybody can be a mentor.

So, the question is, if you aren’t a mentor, why not? If not, then I call you to action.

The Call to Action

I’ve been fortunate enough to mentor several people over the course of my career.  Not only have I mentored folks in their technical journey, but as well as their personal life. I’ve been there when they needed someone to listen, someone to just give friendly advice, or to be that person they can lean on.  Disclaimer, I’m not an expert, not a therapist, nor a career counselor.  I have, however, been through a lot in my 20+ year career.  I’ve had ups and downs in my personal life that I’ve had to battle through.

Anybody can be a mentor for someone else.  You don’t have to have a certain title, or degree, or be considered an “expert” in anything to be a mentor.   You can mentor your colleagues, your family members, friends, children, or even your next-door neighbor.  We all have histories and life experiences.  We should share them with those that really need to hear them.

Furthermore, if you are a seasoned member of PASS and a frequent speaker or attendee of #PassSummit, I strongly call you to be a mentor for someone else.  The #sqlfamily is a force I’ve never seen.  As speakers and long-time member, we all should be giving back just as those who came before us did.  I’ve been fortunate to have some excellent mentors along the way, some that might not even know they had an impact on me.  Also, take a moment and let them know if someone has been a mentor to you in some way. They might not be aware of the impact they had on you so make it known.  A simple thank you goes a long way.


Being a mentor isn’t about promoting yourself or for your own personal gain.  It also does not have to be a formal plan or need a lot of time.  It’s about listening, supporting, and offering guidance for another human being.  If you have someone in your circles that needs a little extra support, I urge you to consider giving them an extra nudge here and there.  If they need help you don’t think you can provide, help them find someone who can help.  Sometimes that’s all that is needed.

Mentor someone.  Stoke the fire they need in their lives.  Help them to see their own potential.  They can do it and so can you.  Be that mentor.

Finally, if you are looking for a mentor and haven’t found one yet, hit me up. You can schedule a 30-minute meeting with me via Calendary. I’ll listen and if I can help I’ll be more than happy to do so.  If I can’t, I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.

A rising tide lifts all boats” – John F Kennedy.

Be that tide.

© 2019, John Morehouse. All rights reserved.

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EGPAF Holiday Donation Plan

Published On: 2019-12-05By:
The team at Denny Cherry & Associates Consulting is doing a click for a donation drive for the EGPAF. For each click-through (graphic above) we’ll donate $1 to EGPAF. If you’d like to donate more, we’re matching your donations which are made through our EGPAF webpage up to a total of $10,000 (US).
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New Power BI Report Design Pre-Con in 2020

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I’m excited to announce that I will be offering a full-day pre-con about Power BI report design in the coming year called Bookmarks, brain pixels, and bar charts: creating effective Power BI reports. For a full session description and prerequisites, please visit the session page.

Screenshot of the eventbrite page for the pre-con at SQLSaturday Austin

I built this pre-con to help people better approach report design as an interdisciplinary activity where we are communicating with humans, not just regurgitating data or putting shiny things on a page. There are many misconceptions out there about report design. Some people see it as just a “data thing” that only developers do. Many BI developers avoid it and try to focus on what they consider to be more “hardcore data” tasks. I often hear from people that they can’t make a good report because they aren’t artistic. This hands-on session will dispel those misconceptions and help you clarify your definition of a good Power BI report. You will see how you can apply some helpful user interface design and cognitive psychology concepts to improve your reports. And you’ll leave with tips, tricks, and a list of helpful resources to use in your future report design endeavours.

Your report design choices should be intentional, not haphazard or just the Power BI defaults. We’ll review guidelines to help you make good design choices and look at good and bad examples. And we’ll spend some time as a group creating a report to implement the concepts we discuss.

Basic familiarity with Power BI is helpful for attendees. If you know how to add a visual to a report page, populate it with data, and change some colors, that’s all you need. If you feel like you lack a good process for report design to ensure your reports are polished and professional, this session will share an approach you can adopt to help accomplish your design and communication goals. If you feel like your reports are luckluster or not well-received by their intended audience, join me to learn some tips to improve. If you are a more experienced report designer and you want to learn some new techniques and see the latest Power BI reporting features, you’ll find that information in this session as well.

So far, I’m scheduled to present this session at two SQLSaturdays in Q1 2020:

SQLSaturday Austin – BI – February 7, 2020. Please register on Eventbrite.

SQLSaturday Chicago – March 20, 2020. Please register on Eventbrite.

SQLSaturday pre-cons are very reasonably priced. This is a great way to get a full day of training on a low budget! I hope to see you in Austin or Chicago.

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PowerShell for Parsing DiskSpd Results to CSV

Published On: 2019-12-04By:

We have a customer who is moving platforms, and as part of this, I’ve been tasked with testing a lot of various storage configurations. This means lots of utilization of DiskSpd, which is a disk performance benchmarking tool from Microsoft. We could argue about the value of synthetic disk benchmarks, but they are good for testing a variety of disk configurations with a standardized tool for comparing results. It also has the benefit of add the runtime configuration into the results file. So as long as you have your results file, you can know what parameters you ran the test with. (You do have to document your disk configuration–we are using the name of our output file for this).

muscles food

Photo by Elle Hughes on

Anyway, I have a bunch of these files, and I needed to get the data into Excel. Since I was too lazy to figure out how to parse a text file in C#, my first thought was to use some combination of sed, awk, and grep in a bash shell. I reached out to my friend Anthony Nocentino (b|t) about his thoughts on the best way to do this, and he immediately said PowerShell.

When I asked about how to do things I wanted to do with specific bash commands, he mentioned the fact that I could use bash statements that supported standard input and output in PowerShell. The linked blog shows how to do this in Windows, however I wrote all of this code in PowerShell natively on my MacBook Pro.


foreach ($file in $files)


$content = get-content $file

$command= ($content)|select -first 1 -skip 1

$results= ($content)|grep total -m1|sed 's/"|"/","/g'|sed 's/"total:"//g'

$results= $results.split(",")

$Output = New-Object -TypeName PSObject -Property @{

FileName = $File.Name

Command = $Command

TotalBytes = $Results[0].Trim()

TotalIOs = $results[1].Trim()

MiBperSec = $results[2].Trim()

IOPs = $results[3].Trim()

AvgLatency = $results[4].Trim()

LatStdDev = $results[5].Trim()}| Select-Object FileName,Command,TotalBytes, TotalIOs, MiBperSec, IOPs,AvgLatency,LatStdDev

$Output|Export-CSV results.csv -Append
As you can see, I’m passing output in my $Results variable to a grep to give me the first match of the word “total” and then using sed to do a couple of find and replace commands to make parsing the file a little bit easier. After I’ve done all that, I split the array into a comma delimited set of results, and output it to a CSV file. This allows you to grab the results, with headers and open then in your favorite spreadsheet software. For posterity, the code is available at in our GitHub repo here.

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And sometimes we’re asked to share what we did, at events like Microsoft’s PASS Summit 2015.

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