SQLSaturday#59 went off without a hitch! It was one awesome fun-filled day with our great speakers, sponsors, volunteers, and hundreds of attendees!
First of all, the weather in NYC could not be better. It was a pretty good crowd for a Saturday. The regular crowd shuffled in. :-) Folks were literally lined out the door! We had to get past the cranky old security guy, who probably should have been retired by now! It was a star-studded event, as people who weren't even registered tried to get in. The SQLSaturday team did a great job on sorting through! Luckily, some reinforcements came.
We started off the day with a wake-up session, with Steve Jones. I had the pleasure of introducing Steve to the audience, although he was already chatting them up before we got under way. He was manning the RedGate sponsor table as well, showing off their new sqlmonitor 2.0 product. Meanwhile, the ladies and other interested IT professionals were having a WIT Coffee Chat with DataChick, Karen Lopez, and SQLSat#59 Lead Organizer, Melissa Demsak, aka SQLDiva. Great kick-off and informative stuff by some of Microsoft's local reps, and some of their ambitious SQL Azure initiatives.
As the morning progressed, the Speakers assembled in the Speaker Room, where I had chance to catch up with most of them, some of them I have known from previous events, others meeting F2F for the first time. It was real good to see Data Warehouse expert Chuck Kelley, whom I haven't seen since we last worked together. I hope now that he gave a great chat about Data Vault, met all the enthusiastic folks, he will now be encouraged to speak at more of these SQL Server based events! Thomas LaRock, aka SQLRockStar breezed by me in the morning with a quick hello, but we caught up with each other later on, and we had a good discussion on one of the script elements in my presentation about Waits & Queues. I'll give more details on this in my next blog. I met with Janakiraman Sattainathan, and bumped into him many times throughout the day. Jana was such a nice pleasant gentleman, it was really nice to touch base with him. Mark Kromer, aka sqldude, who has a regular blog on SQLMag.com was prepping for his session, when we spoke a bit. He did his presentation on Lightup BI Dashboards with Cool Visualizations. I spoke with Aaron King, aka trendoid, who I accidentally rang up on Skype a couple of days before. We chatted, as he gave me a preview of his cool presentation, and wanted to make sure he didn't get scooped by an audience member. Well that never happens does it? Said hello to Don Demsak, aka Mr. SQLDiva (Melissa's hubby) (man, I'm kidding, I know I'm going to get an email :-)
Michael Coles, aka, Sergeant_SQL, stopped by, and as always, we had a lot to talk about. Since I was presenting myself, I didn't get a chance to see his always enlightening and information packed parallel session on High-Performance Dimensional Data Load". I will check it out, as he already posted his presentation up at http://bit.ly/9M9GTq. Fusion-IO was giving away the GrandPrize I-Pad, when the winner announced was none other than Michael Coles?? We later found out the raffle bag was switched, and found 100 duplicates of Michael Coles' name in it :-P. Just kidding folks, it true he won fair and square.
Anyway, the lunch sessions were great, as Steve gaveaway RedGate's treasured SWAG, t-shirts,etc., while he demoed some of their product line. WhereScapeRED a new comer to the SQLSaturday circuit, had folks intrigued by their really awesome software product, a drag and drop data warehouse builder, that automates the entire data warehouse lifecycle.
Grant Fritchey, aka ScaryDBA, preceded me with his fine presentation on DMVs as a Shortcut to Procedure Tuning. He was finely kilted with a neatly shaved head, but some were checking out his legs :-) Almost injured an attendee with some SWAG, but he swears he was trying to get the t-shirt to the back of the room. Great arm, Grant! I, Robert Pearl, continued the performance tuning track with my presentation on Waits & Queues, with I/O. I was so shocked that only 1 hand went up when I asked if anyone had ever used this methodology for troubleshooting. Some many folks still didn't know about wait-time analysis - WOW! I will post some of my code in my follow-up blog.
Everyone was just thrilled at Karen Lopez's (datachick) presentation on contentious data issues. She had the audience rocking and rolling. One well-known attendee, Chuck Kelley, aka ChuckIsThatYou, was very impressed, and called it a most excellent presentation! I also was pleased to have him watch my presentation as well, and enjoyed the topic, as well as some of my more humorous elements. LOL. I was also glad to have Thomas LaRock looking on as well, who contributed to the discussion about Signal vs. Resource Waits (more on that soon too). I gave away some Denali Disks, CTP1 (thanks to Greg Larsen, who sent me some from PASS), for those in the audience who contributed and answered questions. I gave a disk to one guy who said he uses Performance Monitor - come on, I know there must've been more, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease!
I met William E. Pearson III, aka Bill :-), a dapper fellow well-dressed and ready to give his professiorial lectures on MDX and Analysis Services. Hung out with Hilary Cotter and Steve Jones, who had quite a lot to chat about. Hilary as always was tops as the authority on replication. Grant later joined the discussion.
Sitting next to us in the sponsor area was famed motivational speaker Don Gabor, who sold his books and e-books right then and there. Don gave a very appropriate talk on Building Business Contacts at IT Conferences. I was also very proud of my eight-year old son (sqlJR?), who was on his best behavior, and provided Don with much needed tech support. He also videoed some of my session, and helped pick the winning raffles. He loved it, and wants to do it again!
I was also glad to catch up a bit with Joseph D'Antoni, who hopefully will come back in again, so we can break some bread in a NYC fine Italian restaurant! Joseph spoke about MDW in one track, and then deploying data tier applications with R2.
Towards the end of the day, everyone waited around to see Steve Jones give his presentation on The Modern Resume:Building your Brand. It was a jammed packed room with myself, Karen Lopez, Grant Fritchey sitting in, and Michael Coles peaking in the door, to catch Steve's trademark session. Definitely interesting on the pros and cons of using the power of the internet, and how to build your profile using social networking sites!
As the day progressed there was a lot going on, the energy was high, and every one had a smile on their face. Everyone agreed this was a fantastic event, and be sure to return here to get some links on photos as well. If you're interested in seeing some of the post-event comments, you can still follow the after-glow on the home page of our site here: http://www.sqlsaturday.com/59/eventhome.aspx. You'll find many follow-up comments from our speakers and attendees, as well as links to their blogs, photos, presentations, etc. Also, you can download some of the actual slide decks from the speakers' presentations for those that have an asterisk * next to it: http://www.sqlsaturday.com/59/schedule.aspx Give it a few more days, and more of them will become available.
We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day! I was thrilled to be a part of it, and also, that I had my wife and son there to share the day, and show them what this is all about! My wife, Milana, spent more time at the sponsor table than me, collecting contacts, speaking with attendees about Pearl Knowledge Solutions' SQLCentric and products and services. She did a great job!
During the raffles, we had volunteer Uday Bhoopalam, do the formalities of introducing the vendors. It was kind of funny that each time we had a winner, Uday said, oh, this is my friend from NJ, and this is my co-worker from here, and my co-volunteer, Debra Takash who won something, and my cousin Vinnie from the hood. A classic moment was when Uday randomly drew out a name, and it was himself who won a raffle!! There were no suspicions, until Michael Coles won the IPad - then we knew the fix was in! :-) OK, just kidding - about being fixed.
A last minute special, was that we had a shipment of Denali SQL CTP1 Disks, and hope all you attendees were able to grab a copy on the way out. Many of our speakers gave them away at their sessions.
We have many many folks to thank for this event, especially Melissa and her fine band of volunteers, who deserve mention. Alec Lazerescu, Joseph Marsh, Tim Muller, Debra Takash, Uday Bhoopalam, and I know there were a few others that I'm gonna get burned on - but thank you nonetheless!
Althought the event has finally come and gone, there will be a lot of memories and exciting moments to remember. Also, some speakers have asked you to rate them on SpeakerRate.com. Many of the speakers are ready to do it again, in your local venue, so keep bookmaked www.SQLSaturday.com. So, when an event like this comes to town, do everything you can to be there!
We will have a lot of pics, materials, and blogs coming out over the next few days that will sure perpetuate the magic that was SQLSaturday#59.
And now as we all return home to our families and friends, I take this moment to wish everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING, and a safe warm holiday season!