SQL in the City Summit

  • Chicago October 26

SQL in the City Summit Chicago takes place at Microsoft's Customer Suite, near Millennium Park, and will focus on the concept of Compliant Database DevOps.

With world-class speakers, thought-provoking sessions, engaging panel discussions, workshops, keynotes, and time for networking, the Summit will support senior data professionals to deliver value quicker while keeping their data safe.

Key discussions:

  • Reduce manual tasks to free up teams to spend more time on development
  • Break down silos to enable Dev and Ops to work together to deliver value
  • Reduce the risk of downtime or compliance breaches going undetected
  • Processes and solutions that equally balance the need to release faster while ensuring data security

Who should attend?

The sessions are for C-level IT executives, directors, managers, and senior database engineers and administrators who work with the Microsoft Data Platform.

Professionals interested in learning about all things DevOps will learn what’s needed to effectively balance the demand for delivering software faster, while protecting and preserving business critical data.

From healthcare to finance, government to technology, today’s leaders should be embracing the benefits of DevOps and supporting the implementation of change across IT teams.

There is a limited number of tickets available for the Summit, to support effective networking and ensure a friendly and inspiring atmosphere for all

You'll need to use an Access Code to register, please reach out to your regional Redgate Account Rep to obtain a code.

Session schedule

Time (BST)Session / Activity
9:00AM - 9:30AMRegistration and networking Tea, coffee, and pastries
1-to-1 Meetings with Account ManagersBook a meeting
9:30AM - 10:00AMOpening Keynote: The Four Keys To Unlocking DevOps
Kendra Little, Microsoft Data Platform MVP and Evangelist at Redgate
Download slides
10:00AM - 11:00AMDevOps for the SQL Server Database
Brian Randell, Visual Studio ALM MVP
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DevOps is hot, but the database is often the missing link. How do you manage the necessary changes needed to support your applications? How do you track these changes and follow a change from development to test to production? You need an effective DevOps plan.

In this session, you'll learn where SQL Server fits in the world of DevOps and how you can use tools to extend your infrastructure to make the database a first-class citizen, just like your source code. You'll see how to track changes with version control; create update packages; and deploy to multiple environments like development, test, UAT, and even production—all completely automated. You'll learn the process as well as see examples using the current versions of Team Foundation Server and SQL Change Automation. You’ll also learn how you’re a critical aspect to making SQL Server “DevOps” a success!

Show abstract

11:00AM - 11:20AMMorning break Networking & delicious bites
1-to-1 Meetings with Account ManagersBook a meeting
11:20AM - 12:00PMStrategies For Solving Compliance Challenges
Steve Jones, Microsoft Data Platform MVP and Editor at
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According to Gartner, more than 80% of companies use sensitive data in dev and test. Hackers view non-production environments as a tempting target since they often have less rigorous security controls.

In this session, you’ll learn about the challenges that we, as technology professionals, face in our software development and administrative work. Learn compliant DevOps strategies for reducing your attack surface area by ensuring you know where sensitive data is located and avoid copying that data to non-production environments.

Show abstract

How Database DevOps Will Help You To Stay Ahead Of The Competition
Bob Walker, Solutions Architect at Octopus Deploy
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There are many elements to business success in the age of technology, and trying to excel in all of them can feel like trying to win an endless series of races.

Do you want to be the best at sprinting, or overcoming hurdles, or running further than the rest? The key is to find an approach that brings the elements together: removing silos between teams, adopting integrated technologies, automating processes that cause barriers and bottlenecks.

Bob will discuss how taking a DevOps approach paves the way for staying ahead in business and share real world insights to guide and inform your DevOps journey.

Show abstract

12:00PM - 12:45PMPanel discussion: Compliant Database DevOps Adoption
Host: Steve Jones, Microsoft Data Platform MVP and Editor at
Bob Ward, Principle Architect at Microsoft
Brian Randell, Microsoft Visual Studio ALM MVP and Partner at MCW Technologies LLC
Jim Szubryt, Tech Arch Senior Manager at Accenture
Sylvan Furness, Data Architect Lead / Database Administrator Supervisor at CO-OP Financial Services

IT leaders today face an increasing challenge - how can you balance the need to deliver software quicker with the need to protect business critical data?

As the 2018 State of DevOps report demonstrates, integrating the database into the software delivery pipeline has a positive impact on performance. When teams extend DevOps practices to the database, database change management doesn’t slow them down or cause problems when code is deployed.

But as the volume and complexity of data being managed by organizations grows, is it still possible to achieve a faster rate of change without increasing the risk of exposing sensitive or personally identifiable information?

This panel discussion will explore how adopting a Compliant Database DevOps approach can meet the need for speed and agility while enabling your organization to stay compliant with ever more stringent data protection legislation.

Show abstract

12:45PM - 1:30PMLunch
1-to-1 Meetings with Account ManagersBook a meeting
1:30PM - 2:15PMEnable Business Agility Through Database DevOps
Esteban Garcia, Microsoft Visual Studio ALM/DevOps MVP
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DevOps helps technology teams to go faster and automate everything. As teams lower the cycle time between idea and production, how can organizations leverage these new capabilities to improve product delivery and quality?

In this session, you will learn about ways that organizations are able to use SQL Source Control, Database DevOps tools, and SQL Clone to enable business agility. This allows you to improve product delivery, quickly iterate through new functionality, reduce downtime during deployments, quickly be able to provision test environments that match production, and more. We will cover real world scenarios where organizations have used these tools and processes to remove internal obstacles and deliver value to their customers early and often.

Show abstract

Maximize Availability and More with SQL Server Estate Monitoring
Bob Pusateri, Microsoft Certified Master
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As estates grow in size and complexity, the process of manually monitoring them becomes untenable. Not only do manual checks take time, they are also prone to missing crucial elements that can leave your organization vulnerable and miss the historical context that can enable proactive data management. Without the right processes or tooling in place, your operations can be blind to the performance of your estate, and you may not realize a compliance breach until it’s too late. In this session learn how to monitor your SQL Server estate to maintain compliance and ensure availability.

Show abstract

2:15PM - 2:30PMAfternoon break Networking & delicious bites
1-to-1 Meetings with Account ManagersBook a meeting
2:30PM - 3:45PMWorkshop 1: Technical Approach To Implementing Compliant Database DevOps
Andrew Pierce, Pre-Sales Engineer, Redgate
Download slides

Your business depends on minimizing the risk to your most valuable asset: your data. To achieve this, you need processes that guarantee your data stays protected and changes to your database are flawless, every time, without slowing things down. But how do you increase the speed of your releases and continue delivering value to your customers while remaining compliant? By extending DevOps practices to SQL Server databases, high performing organizations are protecting business-critical data, while also improving the efficiency and quality of software delivery. In this workshop we will cover:

  • The key benefits of extending DevOps practices to the database
  • The current state of Database DevOps
  • How to benchmark and improve your Database DevOps practices against your competitors
  • Demo of how Redgate’s solution can help with Compliant Database DevOps

Show abstract

Workshop 2: Capturing the Value of DevOps
Kendra Little, Microsoft Data Platform MVP and Evangelist at Redgate
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How do we measure the value of DevOps? It varies, based on our perspective. In this workshop we will examine the four pillars of DevOps through three lenses: the viewpoint of the CEO, the CIO, and the IT Manager or Team Leader. We'll discuss the values and concerns that come naturally to each of these roles regarding standardization, automation, protecting data, and monitoring. You'll leave the workshop with a new understanding of the business advantages of DevOps, and next steps to take to bring the benefits of DevOps to your customers.

Show abstract

3:45PM - 4:45PMDiscover SQL Server 2019: The new Unified Data Platform
Bob Ward, Principal Architect, Microsoft Data Group
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Come learn the new capabilities for SQL Server 2019 that have rocked the industry including Apache Spark and HDFS in the box, enhanced Polybase connectors to help avoid ETL, Intelligent Query Processing, Security with Enclaves, T-SQL with Java, and enhancements for SQL Server on Linux, Docker Containers, and Kubernetes. Find out what makes SQL Server the data platform of choice for enterprise workloads and developers including DevOps. We will discuss how SQL Server enables GDPR compliance and discuss the roadmap for the future of SQL Server.

Show abstract

4:45PM - 5:00PMClosing remarks
5:00PMRedgate Happy Hour at Red Bar, Market Thyme (Aon Center) - Networking, appetizers and drinks

Please note: The session schedule may be subject to change, check this page for updates.


Steve Jones

Data Platform MVP, Editor at

Steve is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP and has been working with SQL Server since version 4.2 on OS/2. After working as a DBA and developer for a variety of companies, Steve co-founded the community website in 2001.

Since 2004, Steve has been the full-time editor of the site, ensuring it continues to be a great resource for SQL Server professionals. Over the last decade, Steve has written hundreds of articles about SQL Server for, SQL Server Standard magazine, SQL Server Magazine, and Database Journal.


Kendra Little

Microsoft Data Platform MVP, Evangelist at Redgate Software,

Kendra is a Microsoft Certified Master and a Microsoft MVP. She has taught developers and DBAs around the world to write fast, reliable code for SQL Server.

Kendra fell in love with the challenge of deploying software to a complex database environment when she worked in a build operations team at a software startup. She went on to manage and deploy changes to performance critical databases at Microsoft Corporation, working with systems from internal source control databases to customer-facing very large databases (VLDBs). Since then, Kendra has worked internationally as a trainer and consultant, specializing in performance tuning and practical code patterns for SQL Server. She joined Redgate as a Product Evangelist in 2018.


Bob Ward

Principle Architect at Microsoft

Bob is a Principal Architect for the Microsoft SQL Server Data Services Group, which owns the development for all SQL Server versions. Bob has worked for Microsoft for 25 years on every version of SQL Server shipped from OS/2 1.1 to SQL Server 2017 including Linux. He has worked in customer support as a principal escalation engineer and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), interacting with some of the largest SQL Server deployments in the world. Bob is a well-known speaker on SQL Server, often presenting talks on new releases, internals, and performance at events such as SQL PASS Summit, SQLBits, SQLIntersection, and Microsoft Ignite.


Bob Pusateri

Microsoft Certified Master

Bob is a Microsoft Certified Master with over fifteen years of experience working with database systems. As a Solutions Architect at Heraflux Technologies, his areas of expertise are performance tuning, database architecture, and VLDBs (Very Large Databases) in Microsoft SQL Server. Bob frequently speaks at technology-related events, including the PASS Summit, SQL Saturday events, PASS virtual chapter webinars, and SQL Server User Groups.


Brian A. Randell

Visual Studio ALM MVP and Partner at MCW Technologies LLC

Brian is a partner with MCW Technologies, LLC. For more than 30 years, he has been building software solutions. He educates teams on Microsoft technologies via writing and training—both in-person and on demand. He’s also a consultant for worldwide companies of all sizes including Fortune 100 companies like Microsoft. Brian is a passionate software craftsman who still enjoys coding as he helps teams to improve their processes from idea to shipping to production management and monitoring. He's currently a 15 year Microsoft MVP and co-author of “Professional Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio 2013” from Wrox Publishing.


Esteban Garcia

Chief Technologist at Nebbia Technology and Microsoft Visual Studio ALM/DevOps MVP

Esteban is Founder and Chief Technologist at Nebbia Technology, a DevOps and Azure consulting company. He has a background in software development with a passion for DevOps, TFS, Azure, and software development best practices. As well as being a Microsoft Visual Studio ALM/DevOps ALM MVP, he’s a Microsoft Regional Director, Pluralsight author, and the past president of ONETUG (Orlando .NET User Group).

Esteban has more than 20 years of professional experience in software development, where he has worked in all phases of enterprise application development and design using Microsoft technologies.


Bob Walker

Solutions Architect at Octopus Deploy

Bob joined Octopus earlier this year, after using Octopus Deploy at previous employers for over three years. Bob started working on Microsoft technologies way back in the days of .NET 1.0, when ASP.NET WebForms freely roamed the earth. Before Octopus, Bob was a Lead Application Developer at Farm Credit Services of America in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. He founded the Code Aperture blog to share his knowledge of DLM Automation, .NET, JavaScript, software security and software design.


Jim Szubryt

Tech Arch Senior Manager at Accenture

Jim is a Senior Manager at Accenture in Internal Development. His focus is on leveraging cloud provider services to greatly reduce the footprint of servers that need to be managed along with their associated cost. He has held leadership roles in the design and implementation of critical systems and has been successful in both a large, global environments, as well in small, entrepreneurial companies.

With over twenty years' of experience in application/database development, team management, and extensive work in emerging technologies, he has seen it all.

Jim has spoken at several conferences including Microsoft Build, Microsoft Ignite, VS Live, and user groups in the Chicagoland area. He has been a technical reviewer on Team Foundation Server customization books, and has been a Microsoft MVP, a Microsoft ALM Ranger, and Friend of Redgate over the years.


Sylvan Furness

Data Architect Lead / Database Administrator Supervisor at CO-OP Financial Services

Sylvan is a Database Administrator Supervisor at CO-OP Financial Services with over fifteen years of experience working with database systems. His areas of expertise are in performance tuning, database architecture, integration architecture, solution architecture, and automation. He has held leadership roles in full-stack environments (development, infrastructure, data and integration). His diverse experiences with PDLC, SDLC, Six Sigma Lean, Waterfall and Agile Methodologies in multiple industries have made his solution architecture perspective unique.

Sylvan has a tenacity for identifying and mitigating security risk, establishing compliance, reducing operational risk, improving operational efficiencies, creating enterprise solutions, setting standards, establishing best practices for driving continuous improvement and automation.

Andrew Pierce

Pre-Sales Engineer at Redgate

Andrew has been with Redgate four years – currently as a Sales Engineer specializing in helping Redgate customers apply DevOps principles to their database pipelines. Andrew aims to increase his customers' competitive advantage by increasing visibility, reducing risk, and shortening customer development time by implementing DevOps principles and best practices – versioning and automating database pipelines through build, test, and release processes.

In previous roles as a Technical Product Support Engineer (among others), he helped customers with application and SQL Server troubleshooting, IT controls testing, creating security policy, business process redesign, simple AD migrations, and general technical support.

More speakers will be announced soon


Microsoft's Customer Suite is in the Aon Center at 200 East Randolph Drive, opposite Millennium Park.

Public Transport

Microsoft's Customer Suite is conveniently located close to Lake, Randolph/Wabash, and Washington Metro stops, which are all within a seven minute walk.


Aon Center Parking garage is located conveniently underground and available for public parking. The garage entrance is located immediately below the building, accessible at the intersection of Lower Lake and Stetson Streets (one level underground). The parking garage is fully automated enabling parkers to pay with either cash or credit card using the pay-on-foot pay-stations located in the parking garage elevator lobby in the Lower Lobby. Note that Microsoft/Redgate cannot validate parking.

More travel info and directions to the venue.

Microsoft Customer Suite
Aon Center, 200 E Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601
United States

View on Google Maps


How much is it?

Tickets for SQL in the City Summit Chicago are free. However, you’ll need to obtain an access code from someone at Redgate in order to register. If you have an Account Manager at Redgate, reach out to them via email to get an access code.

Why should I attend?

Discover why DevOps has been adopted by many successful organizations across various industries, and understand how your organization could benefit and how best to implement this positive shift in your IT team.

The fantastic line-up of presenters will share their knowledge and experience of how businesses can benefit from a DevOps approach to database development, while staying compliant and minimizing risk.

Refreshments will be provided throughout the day - pastries on arrival, morning and afternoon break-time snacks, and of course a delicious lunch.

You'll also have the opportunity to network with hundreds of other like-minded professionals.

Can I cancel my ticket after I've obtained it?

If you are unable to attend we ask that you cancel your ticket via Eventbrite as soon as possible, so that someone on the wait-list can take your place. If you’d prefer to send a colleague in your place, just email to let us know who'll be attending instead, so we can get things organized.

Can I order a special meal?

Because we’re putting this event on at no cost to you our catering options are limited - vegetarians and common intolerances will be covered as standard. When you register, please let us know about any dietary requirements/allergies. If you have a very special diet you might want to consider bringing your own lunch.

Where should I stay the night before?

There are a range of hotels and serviced apartments close to the venue. We don’t have a special rate with any of them.

How do I get there?

The subway and bus terminal are very close by, or you can take a taxi, or even drive - details are on our venue tab.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No, but you might like to make a note of the venue and time details, so you know when and where you need to be!

Can I update my registration information?

Yes - just log back in to Eventbrite and make any amendments. Or if it's easier, email us at

Is this the only location that you're hosting SQL in the City Summit?

We’re hosting three events in October this year. Check out the locations of the other Summits and tell a colleague who might be located near one of those events.

What should I bring with me?

Depending on how you prefer to learn, you might like to bring a device to make notes during the sessions and workshop. We'll provide you with a notepad and pen.

What should I wear?

Wear something you feel comfortable in.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

If you have any questions about the event, please email Annabel and the Events team at

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