This past weekend was the first SQL Saturday in New Mexico. I had written about our trip down last week, with a few fellow Coloradan’s that were speaking at the event. We drove to Taos on Thursday and stayed the night. Friday we skiied, and had a great time. The weather was great, and the snow was nice.
Despite a mix of abilities and technologies, we had a fun riding the slopes and chatting on the lift rides up.
We even got a few tricks from Reeves Smith and Jason Horner.
Five of us skiied, with one non-skier diligently reviewing his presentation in the lodge. At the end of the day, we lined up for a picture before starting our drive.
Friday night we drove down to Albuquerque, arriving around 5:30 or so. After a quick stop at our hotel, we headed over to the speaker dinner. It was held at a very popular local restaurant, and we had a large table reserved.
‘There were a lot of speakers, including quite a few from Utah and Colorado. By my count there were 3 people from UT and 11 from Colorado. On one hand I’m thrilled that neighboring states were coming out to support the event. On the other, I wish more New Mexico speakers were featured.
We left a little early and headed back to the hotel. I had work to do on Database Weekly and a few others riding with me wanted to review presentations. As much as speakers try to be prepared and ready for events, many of us still need to review and double check our slides and code the night before. Always glad to see people taking time to ensure they will deliver a good talk to attendees.
We arrived early on Saturday morning, easily finding the event with plenty of signage out front. This SQL Saturday was being held at a New Horizons training center, with classrooms in use for the talks. There were 5 or 6 vendors, set up in the hallways and it was good to see people supporting the vendors and talking with them.
I went to one of the first sessions, Todd Kleinhans’ talk on building a SQL Server 2012 Lab. I was slightly late, and when I walked in, Todd was showing the finished lab. He had in his VMWare Workstation program
As I sat there, Todd deleted all the VMs and then proceeded to delete the virtual disks from the file system. I was impressed that he was ready to do this and start out with nothing in a 75 minute session. Especially when we were 15 minutes in.
From there Todd proceeded to install Windows Server 2012 twice (one GUI, one Core) and set them up, snapshotting them installs 5 times for the other VMs. Over the next 30 minutes he rebuilt his lap, although he stopped short of installing SQL Server due to time.
It was an impressive presentation and one I think many of you would benefit from. I hope he gets the chance to deliver this at the PASS Summit and a few other places this year.
The event ran very smoothly. There was always coffee, water, soda, and some snack in the small kitchen. Lunch was boxed, and there was plenty of food in there. I had some great chats with various people in the hallways throughout the day. I had the chance to catch up with Sri Sridharan and chat about events and some strategy for the future. It was good to laugh and joke with some of the speakers through out the day, and I even sat in on another session in the afternoon, learning more about columnstore indexes from Carlos Bossy.
The end of the day had everyone gathered in one large room for lots of thanks, applause, and prizes. I got a panorama shot of the closing below.
The people in Albuquerque were very nice and a number of them came to the after party. While some of the Saturday night gatherings are mainly speakers and organizers, this had a good group of attendees that had the chance to network with speakers and each other.
Saturday night had me back in Taos and Sunday was an easy drive home.
Overall this was a very well run event, and very smooth. It’s a testament to the hard work and preparation of the Albuquerque SQL Server User Group, and also the hard work by Karla Landrum of PASS. People had a good day, they learned a few thing, and the people I asked about the event told me they thought it was a great day of training and networking.
I really enjoyed the event in Albuquerque, and I’m hoping there is another one in the future I can attend.