Rob Sewell

Rob Sewell

Be-Whiskered PowerShell Ninja

Rob was a SQL Server DBA with a passion for Powershell, Azure, Automation, and SQL (PaaS geddit?). Now he just helps people. He is a Cloud and Data Center MVP and a Data Platform MVP, an officer for the PASS DevOps Virtual Chapter, co-leader of Data South West and PSConf EU organiser and has spoken at and volunteered at many Data and PowerShell events all over the world. He is a proud supporter of the Data and Powershell communities.

He relishes sharing and learning and can be found doing both via Twitter and his blog. He spends most of his time looking at a screen and loves to solve problems. He knows that looking at a screen so much is bad for him because his wife tells him so. Thus, you can find him on the cricket field in the summer and flying a drone in the winter.

He has a fabulous beard

Current sessions

Using PowerShell with Excel

You are often required to put data into Excel for sharing with business users. This is frequently a manual process involving copying and pasting and manipulating in Excel.

Come and lose the CTRL + C CTRL + V by learning how the ImportExcel module can help to automate this for you, including creating charts and conditionally formatting cells.


I ain't a Data Scientist - Why do I need Jupyter Notebooks?

Jupyter Notebooks were once the realm of Data Scientists. New releases of Azure Data Studio, Visual Studio Code, and .NET interactive tooling have brought this tooling into the Operational team's area. The biggest benefit of using Jupyter Notebooks is that you have your documentation, your code __and__ your results in the same source controllable document.

I will share with you all of the knowledge I have gained over the past 12 months implementing Jupyter Notebooks for Data Operation teams.

You will leave
- with a good understanding of possible use cases for Jupyter Notebooks
- being comfortable in using the different tooling
- with many examples that you can take back to work and start being effective immediately

Enabling collaboration with your team, simplifying common tasks, improving Incident Wash-Up meetings, creating run-books, easily creating code for others to use are some of the benefits that you will take away.
We will have fun as well.
Prerequisites: Working in an operational team supporting Data Platform systems.
Lack of pogonophobia!
Willingness to learn
We will use Azure Data Studio


Notebooks, PowerShell and Excel Automation

Everyone loves Excel. A common request that I hear is can you put that into Excel for me, please. I love automation and so have combined two of my favourite tools PowerShell and Notebooks. Using Jupyter Notebooks to accomplish regular tasks and run-books has become common over the past year.

A particular use-case that my clients have found very useful is to quickly create Excel sheets of information using Notebooks, PowerShell, and the ImportExcel module.

Let me share my experience with you and show you how to create your own Notebooks for your users and the tactics I have learned to enable users to self-service and create their own Excel Workbooks.


Creating Azure SQL Database Users Programmatically with a Service Principal using Azure DevOps

The cloud enables us to quickly and easily, create and destroy resources when we need them.
Automating this process reduces manual mistakes and the need for user input.

You can use Terraform to put Azure SQL Databases into Infrastructure as Code, then deploy them with Azure DevOps with any additional steps that your business requires for approvals or other processes

Once you can create your Azure SQL Database programmatically, a cool next step would be to be able to grant and remove access using automation as well.

With a sprinkling of dbatools and a couple of configuration changes, you can also set this up in Azure DevOps

This session will take you through the steps required to build an automated solution to create an Azure SQL Database with a Service Principal and create users and apply permissions using Azure DevOps, Terraform, Azure Key Vault and PowerShell.


Introduction to Azure Arc Enabled Data Services

Azure Arc Enabled Data Services allow you to provide the capabilities, functionality, and ease of management of Azure Data Services but hosted on your own infrastructure. This allows you to get all the latest Azure Data innovations, elastic scaling, and a single pane for all your data workloads with or without a direct connection to the cloud.

Being able to host your own PaaS services, no longer worrying about patches, upgrades and utilising system managed backups but still being able to manage those services from the Azure Portal and utilise Azure Monitor and Security systems will be appealing to many organisations who cannot fully migrate to the cloud or who want the ability to move to a different cloud provider in the future.

This service is in Public Preview and evolving all the time but in this session we will explore the current capabilities so you can understand what the service is able to offer.


A Managed Instance from nowt to query in 10 minutes with Azure Arc Enabled Data Services

Managed Instances in Azure take a considerable time to provision.
In this 10 minute session we will start with nowt and create a Managed Instance, restore a database to it, and query it inside 10 minutes using Azure Arc Enabled Data Services running on Kubernetes.

* nowt - Northern UK word meaning nothing


Past and future events

Power Saturday 2020

5 Jun 2020
Paris, Île-de-France, France

psconf.eu 2020

1 Jun 2020 - 4 Jun 2020
Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany

Data Community Weekender Europe

1 May 2020

dataMinds Connect 2019

6 Oct 2019 - 7 Oct 2019
Mechelen, Flanders, Belgium

Data Saturday Holland

4 Oct 2019
Utrecht, Netherlands

DATA:Scotland 2019

12 Sep 2019
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

DataGrillen 2019

19 Jun 2019 - 20 Jun 2019
Lingen, Lower Saxony, Germany

Techorama Belgium 2019

19 May 2019 - 21 May 2019
Antwerpen, Flanders, Belgium

Data in Devon 2019

26 Apr 2019
Exeter, England, United Kingdom

SQLGLA 2018

13 Sep 2018
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

SQLGrillen 2018

20 Jun 2018 - 21 Jun 2018
Lingen, Lower Saxony, Germany

Battle of the Beards

29 Mar 2017