We’ve seen a few summaries come through by now, so I’m going to throw mine into the mix. To recap those that I’ve already read, there are:
One thing different about this SQL Saturday for me was that I made it a road trip. I asked the SQL Server team at Digineer if anyone wanted to come and I got two takers. Mark Vaillancourt (Blog | @markvsql) and Chris Fish (@SQLTone) decided to join me at the event. Since there was interest, Digineer even picked up the tab on the rooms – which was great.
Thus, last Thursday we packed ourselves into my Jeep and headed to Chicago. I have to give Mark and Chris props for not complaining. My Jeep is loud and they didn’t complain a bit about it… well I at least didn’t hear any complaints.
When we got to the hotel, I saw a microwave in my hotel room. That was awesome… more on this later.
As I mentioned we arrived a day early in Chicago. The reason for this was so that I could attend Brent Ozar’s (Blog | @BrentO) Freecon. This is a networking/branding event that he puts together. It’s invite only with the intent to bring people for a wide swath of the community together to talk about their careers.
It was a terrific event and I learned a lot. In actuality, there’ll be a free PDF up on my blog fairly soon that is a direct result of attending. And there’ll likely be a second PDF download available before the end of April.
One thing I am going to be trying to do over the next few months is to hone my image so that people know better who I am and what I work on through Digineer. In many ways, I have done SQL Server generalist work over the last few years. But my passions with SQL Server lie in assessing environments, understanding internals, and performance tuning. Hopefully, that message will start coming out more clear in my posts and the information I provide on this blog.
After the Freecon, I join the other speakers for a dinner sponsored by SQL Sentry. The pizza was fantastic and the conversation more so. I got a chance to catch up with friends that I’ve met on twitter.
When dinner wrapped up, a bunch of us headed over to Wal-Mart to get supplies for the SQL Saturday after party. Did you know you can make Jell-o with a microwave?
The SQL Saturday Chicago organizers did a great job. From what I could everything went smooth. The speed pass check-in was a great idea. There was plenty to drink and eat throughout the event.
The first session I attended was Ted Krueger’s (Blog | @Onpnt) SSIS: The DBA multiplier. The session follows on the DBA principal that if you are going to do it – automate it. Great session with some stuff I want to check out and you should too.
The next session was Grant Fritchey’s (Blog | @GFritchey) The Optimizer, Statistics, and Indexes. He did a great job of explaining an extremely complicated topic. As he stated in his post, the room was packed. I got to sit on the floor but it was worth it.
Over lunch I attended the WIT luncheon. Unfortunately, some misbehaving demos distracted me from hearing most of the panel discussion. I did hear some stuff about Legos and noticed the room was fairly packed. Wish I hadn’t been having those demo issues.
After lunch was my session – I was presenting Index Black Ops. This was a session that I put together based on the series that I wrote last year. When I originally envisioned the session, I had thought back to when I wrote the series and the great information that I had uncovered. Unfortunately, talking through 300-400 level index internal information isn’t as easy as writing it.
Some demo behavior changed from when I wrote the posts last year but the end result is that most people enjoyed my session and the scores were pretty good. I could two 3’s and a mix of 4 and 5’s. For the topic and the what I wanted to do with the session, I thought that was pretty good.
After my session, I got a chance to cover for Quest in their vendor session. Instead of their topic, I spoke on Extended Events. There were only four people in the room – but for an unannounced topic, that was good in my mind. From what I could tell – it went great and I opened some minds to Extended Events.
With the day completed and some Portillo’s in my belly, it was time for the After Party.
It’s mystery is only exceeded by it’s power… you should have been there. Details that don’t give much away are:
Don’t ever skip the after party. You will learn as much as the conference. You will make friends. You will find out that I can not sing… but I can William Shatner any song.
We went home. It sucked. When is the next SQL Saturday?