This past Saturday, I spent the day at SQL Saturday #49 in sunny Orlando. Since Orlando is way out of my district, I had to pick up the travel costs for this one. I decided to wrap a Disney vacation around the event, and otherwise, I would not have attended.
A couple of years ago I taught a beginning T-SQL class at End-to-End Training in Orlando. One of my students, Trish Lewandowski, and I have kept in touch. I knew that she was very active in the SQL Server community in Florida so I contacted Trish and we made plans to ride together to the speaker dinner and the actual event. Side Note: That class I developed back in 2008 became the basis for the book I wrote in 2009 (http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-T-SQL-2008-Books-Professionals/dp/1430224614/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1287450178&sr=8-1).
This is my third SQL Saturday, and the third that I have spoken at the first session. Unfortunately, Trish and I took a wrong turn and I made it to the event about 5 minutes before my session was to start. I really don’t like to speak at the first session because I like to have a chance to figure out where everything is, get some water to drink and maybe sample the breakfast. You know, just relax a bit beforehand. The session went well, but I had a small turnout.
Just like at IndyTechFest and the East Iowa and KC SQL Saturdays, I organized a Women in Technology session. This time, I was the moderator and the panel was comprised of Trish, Brandie Tarvin and Karla Landrum. Instead of a lunch time period, we were scheduled at the last time slot. The turnout was small, but we had a good discussion nonetheless. This was the only one all year that had no men in attendance. The discussion centered on what schools are doing with technology. Some schools offer lots of programming or even give the students in upper grades laptops. Other schools have very little opportunities.
An interesting difference at this SQL Saturday, was the chance to enjoy the beautiful weather and nice campus. We all ate lunch outside, and the organizers held the door and vendor prize drawings outdoors as well. Once again, I was able to catch up with some old friends and meet some new ones.
Attending a SQL Saturday is a great way to spend a Saturday, even if you are on vacation!