IT/Dev Connections 2016 Speaker Highlight: Adam Machanic

IT/Dev Connections 2016 Speaker Highlight: Adam Machanic

Part of an ongoing series, we're highlighting the excellent speakers we have handpicked to present phenomenal and extremely valuable content at the IT/Dev Connections conference. Want more? Get the Insider’s Scoop About IT/Dev Connections 2016 on September 8!

This speaker highlight is Adam Machanic.


Adam's IT/Dev Connection sessions:

Recently, we asked Adam to give us a little information about himself. Here's what he shared:


ITDC: Give us a brief introduction to you.

Adam: I am Adam Machanic, Boston-based Data Guy. I am a consultant specializing in SQL Server development, performance tuning, and data architecture, especially for big databases and data warehouses. I've worked in all sorts of industries, including financial services, healthcare, and various forms of e-commerce. The great thing about being a data consultant is that my skills are highly transferable. Data is data. While industry-specific practices might chance the business rules we apply to the data, basic logical foundations apply across the board. This is something I try to keep in mind whenever I teach. All of my students might come from different companies and might work with vastly different data, but they're all data professionals just like me, and at the end of the day we're all facing the same exact challenges, just set into different contexts.


ITDC: Describe the sessions you are presenting and why you feel the topic is important.

Adam: I'll be presenting a workshop plus two breakout sessions at the show. 

My workshop focuses on in-depth performance tuning techniques for working with larger queries. Query tuning is one of my primary areas of professional specialization and I find it to be especially satisfying when I can bring a huge query's run time down from minutes to seconds or similar. Although the technology is finally catching up, performance tuning is still very much both art and science and creative solutions often yield great results. The workshop touches on many interesting and slightly out of the ordinary solutions to get attendees thinking outside the box when it comes to tuning. I love this topic and get very excited every time I get to teach it!

My first breakout session is on T-SQL window functions. These functions allow query writers to easily create queries that work across rows -- think running sums, moving averages, and so on. This kind of information is key for advanced analysis and prior to the introduction of these functions to SQL Server, these kinds of queries were very difficult and complex to write. This session delves into the how’s and whys, with lots of tips and tricks thrown in for good measure.

My second breakout session is called "SQL Server 2016 'Hidden Gems.'" SQL Server 2016 is a gigantic release, so much so that it includes a large number of minor features that don't make it into the big keynote style presentations, and are perhaps too small for their own dedicated sessions. These "hidden gems" are great features can make your life as a developer or DBA much easier, but that a lot of users never find out about. This session covers several gems, and also touches on a couple of not-so-hidden features that I had to include just because they're so cool.


ITDC: What should attendees expect to be able to take away from your sessions?

Adam: My goal whenever I teach is to leave attendees with sense of excitement and empowerment. I want you to be excited to go back to the office and use what you've learned. And I want you to have the power to do a better job with your development, performance tuning, or whatever else I'm teaching that day. That's the whole point of my sharing in this manner!


ITDC: What is your primary reason to be excited about IT/Dev Connections?

Adam: This will be my third or fourth time speaking at the show. It's always a good show with quality speakers and a great and diverse audience. Plus, Vegas!


ITDC: What is the one key technology you believe is changing the technology industry right now?

Adam: In the data world, where I reside, it's all about the analytics. The industry is quickly moving to more and more ad hoc, user-driven models. And that's a really cool place to be. It allows end-users to be in control of their own data destiny, and in theory reduces the workload for already-taxed IT workers. And the flip side is that end users want more data, more diversity in data, and more and more powerful forms of analysis. So there are plenty of technology challenges still on the horizon. It's a great time to be a data professional.


ITDC: Assuming attendees want to know, what’s your favorite, non-technical hobby or pastime? What’s one thing that totally irks you.

Adam: I have two non-technical hobbies, and they tend to complement each other rather well. 

My primary hobby is running. Not only does it keep me in shape, it also gives me precious alone time and helps clear my mind so that I can think more deeply about technical issues. Many times I've been stuck on a work problem and have gone out for a run; upon my return I find that my perspective has changed and I can unlock the solution much more easily.

My other interest is food and drink. I am an accomplished amateur cook and I enjoy all sorts of cuisines, especially those of Southeast Asia. I also like to sample a variety of interesting spirits (in moderation, naturally), and I often play with different cocktail formulations. My running hobby has allowed me to pursue my food hobby without quite as much guilt or increase to my waistline, so it's a great pairing.




IT/Dev Connections runs from October 10 – October 13, at the ARIA Resort in Las Vegas. IT/Dev Connections has been designed specifically for IT, DevOps, and Developers. You can read all about what IT/Dev Connections offers you HERE.

And, there's still time to register!  Here's some important resources to check out:


Topic Tracks

Full Sessions Catalog

Pre-conference Workshops

Travel and Lodging Information


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