So take one part road trip, one part awesome community event, one part hanging out with friends old and new, blend thoroughly, and you get my weekend at SQL Saturday #94 – Salt Lake City. It never ceases to amaze me how much fun the SQL community is, but I love it and can’t wait to get more.
As stated previously, I was asked to do my security presentation, which was nice because after four times presenting the session is very comfortable. (I’m going to need to stop submitting it, though, so I can present on other topics.) The session went smoothly and I finished 5 minutes early, but there was good engagement from the audience, with plenty of questions and folks who stayed after to talk more about the topic.
The event itself was run in conjunction with a code camp event and, while that got the bulk of attendees, I felt like we had a nice sized audience for the SQL sessions. Things seemed to run pretty smoothly and (I don’t think) we had any major crises going on. Attendees floated between both floors, so it was nice to get a good cross section. Also, the code camp brought in a lot of open source and non-Windows people, which added to the variety. We even had a session about MySQL! (which I unfortunately had to miss because it was up against my own session)
Besides attending my own presentation, I sat in on a couple others:
- Mitch Bottel (b|t) spoke on Policy Based Management and Central Management Server, a topic I’ve been dancing around lately. It was good to get his take on it and he gave a good enough taste that many of us in the room were excited to take what he had taught us back to our workplaces.
- Chad Crawford had a fantastic presentation on partitioning. While I’ve got experience with the topic, Chad really gave a good foundation of all the principles of table partitioning and enough practical knowledge to get folks started implementing it.
- Ben Miller (b) had a solid session on SQLPSX for Powershell. This is a topic I’m really excited about because there are a lot of management possibilities out there for shell scripting. I saw enough of SQLPSX to know that it’s going to make my life a lot easier once I start piecing together my own scripts.
Outside of the presentations, we also had a nice chance to hang out. Randy Knight(w|t) and his wonderful wife were incredibly generous by entertaining a group of us Friday night at his house with conversation, cheesecake, and ice cream cake. T Jay Belt (b|t) was an awesome host, putting 5 of us in Colorado up in his camper. Then, on top of all of this, the both of them took a group of us up in the mountains after the event to wind down with some barbecue, a campfire, and beer on a comfortable Saturday evening. Really, I can’t think these guys enough for what they did for this event.
Thanks to the vendors who supported the event as well. It’s because of these fine folks that we can have these events, so don’t hesitate to chat with them at these events. The tools they offer have definitely helped me out managing my environments and they can save you a lot of time, too. The reason they invest in the community is because their success is determined by our success, so they want to see all of us do well.
Finally, big huge gigantic thanks go out to Pat Wright (b|t) and his crew for putting this all together. Hosting a SQL Saturday is a non-trivial event and really can take it out of you, but the benefits are huge. It’s what I love about being a SQL Server guy, because we have this awesome grass roots effort to share and learn to everyone who is involved in our technology. I came out of this event with half a dozen new friends (technical contacts, sure, but I consider ’em friends first), additional speaking experience, and some new info about technical topics. If you haven’t had a chance to participate in something like this, take some time and figure out where your local user group meets. Check out the SQL Saturday website and get involved. Once you do, you’ll not only see your career take off, but you’ll have a sh*t-ton of fun doing it.
After all, that’s what’s happening for me!