On 25th of February 2012, Curacao hosted its first SQL Saturday event. The event was held at the University of Netherlands Antilles (UNA) There was a total of 95 registrations for the event. That itself surprised me since the total population of the island is just around 125K. Out of the 95 registrants, 60 came for the training. As far as we are concerned, this is a huge success. We were not expecting more than 50 to attend the training. Our event had two tracks and a total of twelve sessions. The tracks were BI with T-SQL and DBA tracks. SQL Saturday # 103 had a total of five trainers. There were two local speakers and three non local speakers. The three non local speakers were Bill Pearson (Twitter), Rob Volk (Twitter) and Tim Radney (Twitter). The two local speakers were Rohan Joackhim (Twitter) and I. We were also lucky to have a representative of SQL PASS for this event. Drum roll...... The one and only Karla Landrum (Twitter).
On Thursday afternoon Tim arrived with his family. I picked him up at the airport. The same day evening, Karla came down as well. The next day, Bill and Rob arrived at our island. We had our speakers dinner at the Indies Spice bar and restaurant in Riffort village. The food was great and the atmosphere was awesome. We had a wonderful evening.
On the day of the event, we arrived at the University at around 7:30 AM. There were lots of preparations to be done to make sure the attendees get the best experience. Karla was very helpful during this time since she has lots of experience in running SQL Saturdays. The sessions started at Nine AM sharp. Bill did the first BI track while Tim took the lead on the DBA track. During the second session, Rob did an excellent presentation on T-SQL while I did a session on Auditing. After the second session, we had a coffee break. The third session was done by Bill and Tim.
We took our lunch break after the third session. The food was provided at the cafeteria of the University. It was a complete meal. Everyone enjoyed it. The break also gave chance for the attendees to do some networking. The trainers and the volunteers mixed with the attendees to get an idea of whether they were enjoying the sessions. They were enjoying every minute of it.
The afternoon sessions went very smoothly. Rob did two sessions more while Bill did one on the BI track. On the DBA track, Tim started off, I did the second presentation and finished of by the day with Rohan. After all the sessions were over, we did the raffle for the event. That ended the official part of the event. We packed all the things from the university campus and went straight to a bar. We celebrated the success of this event with some drinks.
The SQL Saturday #103 team is very much indebted to the University of Netherlands Antilles (UNA). The UNA gave us the auditorium and the classrooms free of charge for this event. We are very Thankful to Mr Rinnus Felipa who is the head instructor of IT division. He made this event possible. Without his support and dedication it would have been very difficult for us to have this event. Mr Felipa also made arrangements to have the food at a very reasonable price.
SQL PASS has been very helpful with their financial and moral support for this event. Karla Landrum has guided me throughout the planning and organizing this event. Karla came with me to check the facility out the day before. She and I were the first person to arrive at the University on the day of the event. I am not sure how I can Thank you enough. Karla, you rock. Thank You very much.
You all know why Tim Radney is the regional mentor for South East US? That is because he is the best. The moment I told Tim that I am arranging a SQL Saturday at our island, he has been advising me and mentoring me on how to do it. Tim made it possible that we got Redgate as a sponsor. When I told him I am short on trainers, he put up his hand and made a presentation on the way to Curacao. Thank You Tim. I wonder why he is not an MVP.
Bill Pearson is a great guy and darn tall. He was one of the first to submit the session. When all the other speakers started dropping out, I asked Bill how many sessions can you give? The answer he gave me was, just let me know how many you want. Bill ended up with giving three great sessions. Another great thing about him is he has a great sense of humor. Bill is one funny guy. Thanks Bill for coming down here and giving a great session. I am hoping that you would come down here when we have the next one.
Rob Volk, First let me apologize to you. I made a mess. I somehow got the feeling that Rob too like others had withdrawn from speaking for the event. We got in touch with each other on Twitter (With Tim's help) and got that sorted out. He is one great chap. Rob submitted three sessions and he ended up giving all the three presentations. The attendees enjoyed his sessions. They were tweeting about it all the time. By the way, did I forget to tell you that he is a geek?
Rohan Joackhim was one of the local trainer and a volunteer. When I was busy with other things, he ran around trying to arrange for the shirts for volunteers and trainers. He was also very active on the day of the event. Rohan gave a great presentation on Policy based management.
Kevin Batey (Twitter) heads the website team for our company. When I asked him if he could help me with some of the stuff, he just went and did it. Thanks Kevin. I appreciate it very much.
What can I say about Surenda Djaoen (Twitter). She is a new hire in our DBA department. I am also her mentor. When things got really busy, she took over quite a bit of stuff and ran it to perfection. I took the day off on Thursday afternoon and Friday the whole day. Rohan was busy with his move back to Canada. At that time, Surenda made sure that both me and Rohan is not missed at work and also ran around doing things for the event. Surenda was awesome all the way through. Thank you Surenda, you made me feel proud of you.
The other two volunteers who came up for me was Ivertson Trom and Ramirez Valeriano. They were there from the morning and worked through out the day and helped us organize the event. This event was a big success due to the volunteers.