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A Week of SQL Server

As anyone who reads this blog knows, SQLSaturday #21 – Orlando was last Saturday (Oct. 17, 2009) and as a lead in to the event Andy Warren and SQLShare put together a week of one day seminars.  Here’s how I spent the week.

Monday

It was the one day there was not a lot I had to do for SQLSaturday nor were there any good networking opportunties here.  I did answer some email questions about the event and make a schedule tweak so one of our out of town speakers could make her flight home.

Tuesday

We had a volunteer meeting this evening and stiffed the event bags.  We had a good group of volunteers and got the bags done quickly.  We also made general plans for who would do what jobs on Saturday.

Wednesday

I had the opportunity to attend the Real World Performance Tuning seminar by Kevin Kline.  I had never met Kevin so it was good to meet him and have the opportunity to hear and see the method he has developed when performance tuning.  It was also neat the one of the other attendees, Dale (can’t remember his last name), recognized me from my picture on SQLServerCentral.  I felt famous.

After the seminar we had an informal OPASS meeting Bahama Breeze billed as a meet and greet with Kevin Kline.  Not counting Kevin and Andy Leonard, who was in town to do a seminar on Thursday, there were 11 people that came to hang with and talk with Kevin.  This was a great time.  We talked shop and made contacts.

As we discussed SQL Server and technology in general it was nice to be able to possibly help out with some technical problems others had experienced and it was great to be able to point over to Andy Leonard when an SSIS question came up and say, “There’s the man you want to talk to.”

At the end it was down to Andy Warren, Andy Leonard, Kevin Kline, and myself and we had a great discussion about PASS and the PASS Summit.  Andy Leonard has a great story about meeting Ken Henderson at PASS.  I mostly listened and learned.  It’s like sitting at the feet of the masters.

Thursday

Unfortunately I couldn’t attend Andy Leonard’s seminar on SSIS because I had conference call I had to be at work for.  While this was on-going we found out that some of the rooms we planned on using for SQLSaturday would basically be unusable because we would have had to use the instructor computers in order to use the projectors.  This would have nearly impossible as those PC’s do not have SQL Server installed.  So when taking breaks from the conference call I re-arranged the rooms we used.  Unfortunately we had already printed out all the signs and schedules with room numbers on them.

That evening I was invited to dinner with Andy Warren, Buck Woody (in town for a seminar on Friday), and Kendal Van Dyke.  It was quite a learning experience as Buck shared some of his experience.

Friday

I as able to attend part of the seminar, A Performance Tuning Methodology by Buck Woody.   He talked about Application Path Analysis and how the DBA really needs to know all about the applications that access the database and how they do it.  Why, because DBA stands for Default Blame Acceptor, so you need to know what is happening elsewhere so you can find out what changed and identify the problem.  Documenting the Application Path is very important to this process.

In the afternoon I met Patrick Leblanc (@PatrickDBA) and he joined Andy Warren and I on a trip to CostCo to pick up supplies for SQLSaturday and helped load up the UHAUL with all the supplies so we’d be ready for the morning.  Patrick is a great guy, fun to be around, and knows his stuff.  Take a look at his SQLLunch site where he is attempting to provide regular lunch time (EST) SQL Server seminars.

After we were done loading up we went our separate ways to get ready for the Speaker Party at Jax’s Fifth Avenue in Lake Mary.  We had a very good turnout with over 20 of the speaker’s in attendance.  I could actually name everyone who was there, but I won’t since it would make for a long list.  Needless to say it was a really good time talking shop and the next time anyone tells you that computer geeks aren’t social tell them to go to a SQLSaturday speaker party, I’ve never seen so many talkative geeks!!

Summary

As you can see I had a busy week, but it was well worth it.  I met at least 30 new people this week, all of whom are SQL Guru’s and I got to re-connect with a bunch of “old” friends from other events.  It was like a taste of the PASS Summit just a few weeks early.

I’ll cover Saturday in my next post as I’ll discuss the event, what I thought went well and where I think we can do better.

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