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Devin Knight

Devin is a BI consultant at Pragmatic Works Consulting. Previously, he has tech edited the book Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services and was an author in the book Knight's 24-Hour Trainer: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services. Devin has spoken at past conferences like PASS and at several SQL Saturday events. He is a contributing member to the Business Intelligence Special Interest Group (SIG) for PASS as a leader in the SSIS Focus Group. Making his home in Jacksonville, FL, Devin is a participating member of the local users’ group (JSSUG).

SQL Rally Wrap Up

Another SQL Rally has wrapped up in Dallas, TX and it was great event.  My favorite part about these larger events is being able to meet new people and see old friends that I haven’t seen for months. 

Unfortunately, I did not attend any of the precons this year but I did see a lot of great sessions.  I made it a point to at this event to reach outside my comfort zone with the types of sessions I attended.

Here’s a wrap up of my couple days in Dallas:

Thursday

I started my morning by attending Amy Lewis’ (@Amy_LewisAZ)  session called Got a Data Mess the Size of Texas? Data Cleansing Using the “Scrubbing Bubbles” of SSIS.  This session what not a stretch from my BI comfort zone, but with an ongoing bet with Amy about I SQL Saturday events that were both held on the same day I had to make sure Amy held up on her end of the bet.  She did a great job on her session and got very detailed about the different methods for doing data cleansing in SSIS including Fuzzy logic.  The session was made very fun by Amy because it was all baseball themed.

Next I watched Mike Fal (@Mike_Fal) speak on Eating the Elephant: SQL Server Table Partitioning.  I had never seen Mike speak and I found out quickly why, he’s fairly new to speaking.  That was surprising to me because he was an excellent speaker and new his stuff.  This was a session I was really interested in seeing and helped be supplement my Business Intelligence skills with something I don’t do everyday.  Mike had a great way of explaining the details without assuming you know the basics.

During lunch I attended the Women in Technology panel discussion, which was really interesting to hear.  The panel discussed issues women faced but could just as easily be relevant to anyone searching for a job or negotiating wage and benefits. 

At the end of the day I presented a session called Data Mining (It’s not the size of your data – it’s what you do with it) with Adam Jorgensen (AJBigData).  The session went great and you can download the slides at the hyperlink above.  We cover the basic concepts of data mining to building a solution in Excel.

I wrapped up my day with some karaoke (no I did not sing) with much of the SQL Rally crowd.

Friday

I started Friday by watching Jen Stirrup (@jenstirrup) present on Business Intelligence in Azure: SSIS & SSRS Focus.  As Azure becomes more and more dominate I really needed to know this stuff well!  Jen did an excellent job making the concepts easy to understand with a crowd that for the most part had never seen SQL Azure before. 

After Jen’s session I spent a lot of time vendor hoping to see what each offered before lunch.

I ended my day with my presentation called Adapting Your ETL Solution to use SSIS 2012.  This session focused on taking an existing SSIS project and upgrading it and changing it to using the new project deployment model.

With an earlier flight I headed home, but will miss my SQL friends until next time!

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