I was able this Saturday to head down to Jacksonville and speak at the SQL Saturday there. There were a lot of folks, a lot of good presentations, and the area in and around Jacksonville was gorgeous. I gave two presentations, both of them security related, and I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged by the number of attendees to those presentations.
Lately I've noticed a lot of interest in business intelligence (and rightly so), but not as much interest in security. Security is one of those areas every has to be aware of but the nitty gritty details of security just don't tend to be as appealing to most people as building engines which can sift through large amounts of data and find the jewels hidden within. That's the way I look at business intelligence and I know quite a few people who share the same opinion. Not everyone shares my opinion of the security field. I look at security as a cat and mouse game against known and unknown attackers. The idea is to raise the appropriate defenses to try and combat the attackers. Ultimately it's a battle of minds and mettle. Some of the security related movies have captured this idea. Sneakers is probably the best at doing so that I've seen.
But back to the topic at hand, I had a lot of fun doing the presentations. I admit that I was really only there during the afternoon. I had worked a lot of 60 hour weeks lately and devoted the morning time to my family, who came along with me. We went down to St. Augustine and viewed the Castillo de San Marcos national monument and watched them fire off one of the cannon. It was a really neat encounter. Of course, when we first walked into the fort, my wife looked at me and said, "Does this bring back memories?" It did, because it was surprising how similar the Citadel barracks are laid out, right down to the guard shack on the right side as you come into the fort. Friday night we were able to attend the World of Nations celebration event that was downtown near the stadiums. My boys had a blast.
I also spent some time talking to Andy Warren about possibly doing a SQL Saturday outside of Florida. I think we're going to try and do one here in Columbia. We are within driving distance for Charlotte, Raleigh, Augusta, Atlanta, Greenville, and Charleston, and even Savannah, so we've got a good central location. Microsoft has a strong presence in Charlotte and there are SQL Server MVPs all around us. We have I-26 and I-20 crossing through and I-77 ends in Columbia. I-95 crosses I-26 south of us in Santee and I-20 and I-85 cross nearer to Greenville. If you're reading this and you're interested in helping, speaking, sponsoring, etc., please contact me via Private Mail at SQL Server Central.
Also, if you didn't get my card or you lost it and you want a copy of either (or both) presentations, contact me via Private Mail at SQL Server Central via my Profile and I'll get a copy to you. I should be sending out to those who have emailed me either tonight or tomorrow.