Hi, I’m Hamish Watson and I’m running for the PASS Board of Directors.

Hi, I’m Hamish Watson and I am running for the PASS Board of Directors:


This blog post is why I decided to run for the board, why I think I am qualified to be a board member and the vision of where I think the board needs to go.

I had thought about running for the board for some time – I have been a member of the PASS community since 2013. I’ve been a User Group leader since 2015 and lead organizer of SQLSaturday South Island since 2016.  I have always been someone who cares about what is going on and was a peer support person for new students at my high school and through university as part of the Māori student community. I’m 1/4 Māori and helping my extended student family (whanau) was important to me.

PASS is a global community and it has helped me extend and stretch myself – because without becoming a member of our community I would never have travelled around the world helping others make a positive change in their lives through my talks.

This outward looking viewpoint is probably as a result of being a New Zealander – we’re a small country that does big things. We were the first country to give women the right to vote in the 1890s, we had reforms in the 80s that meant that people of any gender, race and sexuality could be considered a “Kiwi” i.e. we all are one – we should treat each other as one. I try and live my life according to those foundational goals of my country, specifically around helping others who are not included or represented.

I bring to the board a viewpoint that we need to be aware of inclusivity and the diversity of our community. It has been encouraging to see the actions that PASS have started to take and whether or not I get on the board – I want to help continue those steps.

I wrote an article this year around how I and my fellow MVPs need to consider other people:


It shows how even at grass roots level we all have a part to play to help people and make sure that they are included, supported and have a positive experience with us.

Two of my endorsements for the board were Reza Rad and Rob Farley- two people who have mentored me over my community career and their tutelage over the years has encouraged me to help others. I have mentored students in India and helped them get their first job, I have helped SQLSaturdays get off the ground in new places – I do this because I know what it is like to have to ask for help. I want to be the person that approaches people and say “can I help?”

Applying for the board is my way of saying to my PASS community – “can I help?”

My vision is to bring some of my positive attributes – I am passionate about helping others, my drive is for people’s viewpoints to be heard and acknowledged and I like to incorporate openness in all the things…

Our technology platform is evolving – we’re Data Platform instead of just SQL Server – the role of the DBA is evolving too (Data Engineer and the like) and PASS needs to be a part of this evolution. To be both a leader in the education space and also to serve our changing community.

Your vote is important and this year we have an awesome strong contingent of people who care deeply about our community. It is very encouraging for the direction of where PASS will go to see more people from around the world put their hand up and say “I want to help guide our community”. I stand amongst champions this year and if I do not get on the board – I know that the other people will make a difference.

My mantra for everything in my life is “make stuff go”, I like to connect disparate technology and people where others say it can’t be done.  After the March shootings this year in Christchurch I saw a community that was hurting and needed some help. I helped them “make stuff go”. I was told for certain things it couldn’t be done – I refused to accept that and even now I’m still involved within that community helping and just being someone that they know cares.

That is what I want to bring to the board – to bring together disparate cultures, viewpoints and thoughts – to bring it together towards a common goal of connecting us all as a global community.

I want to MakeStuffGo and I hope that you do too – if you see me – please stop and have a chat. I want to hear about your experiences, your thoughts, because for our community to grow it needs voices to be heard.


but more importantly – #Vote – the number of people who vote in the past are low – and I hope that this year you all will take some time, read the bios and place three votes to make a difference.

Feel free to read Steve Jones (t | w) blog post endorsing myself and 2 other candidates:


How to Vote

To be eligible to vote in the 2019 PASS Election, PASS members must have completed their myPASS profiles by June 1, 2019. (If you’re not already a free member of PASS, there are many reasons to join, including the wide variety of Virtual User Groups, free training, and ability to interact with your  chapters and SQLSaturday events!) Voting will commence at 11:30am Pacific Time on November 6th until 12:00pm Pacific Time on November 12th. Election results will be announced November 13th.

You’ll be able to vote via your PASS.org My Profile page.

So please go and vote – make your voice be heard and action change in our community.


Blogging – goal achieved – 72 days early

So I started blogging in 2016:

So why blog….now?

It is very interesting going back and reading that first blog post.

It was mostly thanks to my late great mate Tom Roush (t | w) who 20 months later I still miss dearly….

Tom said to me that I should write stuff – to help others. He helped me become a way better person within the community – both SQL Server community and others.

This blog post is dedicated to a wonderful guy who cared and had a wonderful mischievous laugh.

Back in 2016 I wrote 2 blog posts – it was November 2016 so it wasn’t too bad.

Each year I wrote more and Tom would give me constructive feedback on some of the topics etc.

I found that some of the blog posts that I thought were the simplest ones that no one would read were in fact the most popular:

SSRS won’t bind HTTPS to new certificate — “We are unable to create the certificate binding”

Changing TFS to use HTTPS? — update your agent settings too….

Changing TFS to use HTTPS? — update your agent settings too….

I get the occasional email/comment from people thanking me for writing the three posts above – yet I really only wrote them to remind myself when I had to do them!!

Anyways – each year I gave myself a goal to achieve in terms of views – and subsequently failed.

2017 – 3,000 views  X (2,913 – so close!!)

2018 – 15,000 views X (14,493 – agonisingly close…)

2019 – I decided that I would try for 20,000 views and I’m happy to say that on day 293 of the year I achieved it:

Blog Stats

I’m glad that I have continued blogging and writing posts that help people.

Just like my mate Tom told me I should….


“xcrun: error: invalid active developer path (/Library/Developer/CommandLineTools), missing xcrun at: /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/usr/bin/xcrun” – git in terminal does not work after macOS upgrade to Catalina

This blog post is how to get git going after upgrading to Catalina (10.15).

I use git as a method of storing all my presentations and work files. It was a great way to learn how to use git. I use git commands and run them in the Terminal app on my mac.

However after upgrading to Catalina this weekend:


I always run

git status

to see what changes I have locally.

I then run

git pull

in case I’ve made change to source control on my other computer and need to merge changes.

However I got this error:

xcrun: error: invalid active developer path (/Library/Developer/CommandLineTools), missing xcrun at: /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/usr/bin/xcrun


The fix was relatively easy and I’ve had to use it before for other apps when upgrading macOS:

xcode-select --install

It took about 3 minutes to install the latest XCODE utilities/libraries and then everything worked again.


You can also try

xcode-select --reset

But my opinion was – I’ve upgraded the OS I may as well upgrade the utilities as well.



GotoWebinar (and Teams) won’t screen share after macOS update to Catalina (10.15)

This blog post is about the situation where after upgrading to the latest macOS version 10.15 – also known as Catalina – you may not be able to share your screen content.

All that will show is your background…..


Click the Apple in the upper left hand corner of the screen > System Preferences > Security & Privacy.

Click the Privacy tab at the top of the dialog box.

Scroll down on the left hand side of the screen to Screen Recording.

Check the box next to GotoMeeting.

You will be alerted to quit GotoMeeting before the change can take place.

Then re-start GotoMeeting. You will be all set to now share your screen.

Screen Shot 2019-10-19 at 08.52.29.png

Do that and you’re all good – note this might affect Skype and Teams – so follow the same procedure there.


The Data platform has evolved – so too must the DBA.

This blog post is around the changing landscape of both SQL Server and the people who are our trusted guardians of it – DBAs.

If you have been involved with SQL Server in the past 5 years, you will have seen some fantastic changes within the product. Where once we worked on SQL Server—we now work on a Data Platform. Microsoft has evolved the name of the SQL Server platform for very good reasons.

These days data exists both on-premises and in the cloud—data is being retrieved from Big Data running on Kubernetes clusters, it is being consumed by open source services that are interfacing with cognitive intelligent applications and data is being used with AI and Machine Learning models to provide predictive analytics. Our usage of data has also changed dramatically in the past 5 years, and with it, our administrative guardians of that data, the DBA, must also evolve with these changes

This article will help the reader who is trying to determine what they need to do to remain relevant—and more importantly—employable.

Embrace DevOps and Automation:

Automation will kill the DBA” this statement is wrong – automation will enhance the DBA. Deployments that were manual and disjointed can now be automated and by utilizing DevOps principles like Continuous Integration (storing the database model/code in source control and automating the building and testing of it) and Continuous Delivery (automating the repeatable, reliable release of that code through consistent environments).

There are open source (free) tools for automating a lot of manual database processes and tasks, for example https://dbatools.io which is a community-driven project helping DBAs work better. By automating a lot more it means DBAs will have more time to be proactive, to tune their systems more and to have time to upskill for the evolving platform that they manage.

Consider the Cloud as your next Server and Skillset:

Cloud-based computing has revolutionized industry and the same can be said around database management. No longer do DBAs need to be tethered to their infrastructure, looking at what security patches need to be applied or how to manage on-premises capacity constraints within their database ecosystem.

Cloud-based databases are shifting DBAs from hands-on guardians of databases to value-drivers for their businesses. I use the term value-drivers because cloud computing does cost money, where provisioned incorrectly it can cost a lot, and if DBAs have the skills to tune databases then that compute cost can be reduced.

The changes that the cloud brings are:

  • More higher quality deployments, less weekend work
  • More automation, less hands-on work
  • More data enrichment, less database maintenance
  • More growth in data, less resource constraints

The growing importance of cloud-based data and databases frees up DBAs from mundane, tasks, and provides more time to work directly with the business on ways data can be applied to market driven needs. The cloud also opens the door to DevOps; through the use of consistent tooling and automated processes, the work of DBAs, developers and operations teams are synchronized to deliver value at a velocity the business requires.

Lastly, by embracing the cloud and what it has to offer, DBAs have the greatest ability to advance and extend their career opportunities that they’ve had for the past 25 years.

Understand How The Platform is Evolving:

If we look at Big Data clusters—these are typically run on the Linux platform or on containers within a Kubernetes cluster. These clusters need to be provisioned and how they integrate together needs to be understood by all involved. What this means is DBAs need to become more general technologists. DBAs need to understand how SQL Server will run in a container, they need to look at how R, Python, Bash and PowerShell are languages they need to know in conjunction with T-SQL. The role of the DBA now encompasses more intelligent tooling that can manage and report on data infrastructure and processes across a wide variety of platform technologies. Hint: SQL Server doesn’t just run on windows server anymore…


Data has never been more important to organizations, and no individual has a better understanding of how to manage and ultimately harvest that data than the DBA. However, with the evolution of the Data Platform to be more self-autonomous, DBAs will be under increased pressure to prove their value. Whether that is learning open source tools, big data clusters, cloud technologies, or performance monitoring processes, that is up to the DBA. The DBA has to evolve, like all professions that have with the introduction of cloud and automation, but the role itself is unlikely to ever disappear—the name could even evolve to become “Data Platform Engineer”.

If you are going to PASS Summit this November, then I feel the following sessions would greatly help you on your evolving career path within the Data Platform:

Journey to the Cloud: Planning the First Steps

Best Practices for Branching Database Code in Git

SQL Migration to Azure: Best Practices, Accelerators, and Production Case Studies

Should I Move My Production SQL Server Workloads to Containers?

How to Deploy SQL Server Containers on Kubernetes in Azure

Introducing SQL Server 2019 Big Data Clusters

This blog post is a reproduction of an article I wrote for PASS:


You’re keen about data and haven’t heard about PASS?

You should join it – it has a LOT of free resources and is free to join:


Joining revolutionised my career and life.



Quick 6 month check – how are those learning goals going…?

So in January I wrote a blog post on some goals I had this year:

Some of my goals for 2019

It’s now July – how are things going?

I’m happy to say that I have indeed been doing a whole heap more on containers and have been using the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Admittedly this has had to be in my own spare time as I have found that my clients are not ready to embrace either containers or AKS for SQL Server yet.

In fact a fair chunk of my clients need help getting SQL Server tuned optimally….

But in my spare time I have been folding AKS into CI/CD pipelines and looking at as much as I can.

In fact I am speaking about AKS in the following places:

Data Platform Summit:

SQLSaturday Perth:

PASS Summit:

(As a slight aside I am also speaking at Redgate SQL in the City Summit at PASS (https://www.pass.org/summit/2019/Learn/SessionDetails.aspx?sid=92888) – which is a life goal achieved!!)

So 6 months in – I’ve been doing a fair bit of what I had planned to do. Which after a fairly tumultuous start to the year is a pretty good start.



“An installation package for the product Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Native Client cannot be found” – during SQL Server 2017 install

This blog post is about a situation that initially perplexed me – I was installing SQL Server 2017 onto a new DEMO machine – running Windows Server 2019. This install is one I have done over 50 times, if not more.

Halfway through I got an interesting error that (1) I’ve never seen before and (2) did not expect post SQL Server 2014.

MSI Error: 1706 An installation package for the product Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Native Client cannot be found. Try the installation again using a valid copy of the installation package ‘sqlncli.msi’.

And it then asked me to locate the install files for SQL Server 2012 Native Client.

I (obviously) could not find those as I had not installed it – so I downloaded the native Client off Microsoft’s website and then proceeded to get this error:

If a later version is installed – why does the installer want me to install it…??!!

At which point I wondered what the heck was going on….

Until I remembered that unlike my normal setup I had installed Visual Studio 2019 on the VM first. So I looked in Programs and Features and lo and behold there was SQL Server Native Client:

Screen Shot 2019-07-20 at 11.14.04.png
Huh – I didn’t install that… oh wait – Visual Studio probably did!!

I also noticed SQL Server 2016 LocalDB which is installed by Visual Studio – which I made a note to upgrade to version 2017 as this can cause issues with things like the TRANSLATE function that was introduced in SQL Server 2017.

So I uninstalled SQL Server 2012 Native Client and reinstalled SQL Server 2017 Developer Edition and boom!! – it worked.