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SQLSaturday #119 Chicago – In the Books


SQLSaturday #119 ChicagoAs I write this, I’m enjoying a margherita pizza and a Miller High Life in my room.  The SQLSaturday #119 afterparty is probably underway, and I’ll head down in a while, but for now I need some time to decompress, recharge my battery.

I’m whooped.  All-day SQL events or training tend to do this.  Cramming new stuff in my brain for hours is hard!  Earlier today I was full of nervous energy looking forward to my session.  Now, that’s all gone and I’m tired.  But it’s a good tired.


Is it weird to want to do something and dread it at the same time?  When I learned i was accepted for SQLSaturday, I was thrilled.  I was accomplishing a goal I’d set for myself for this year.  I got to work immediately on the presentation, but as the event drew closer, I found myself getting more and more anxious, second-guessing myself.  I’d rewrite whole sections.  I’d rearrange them, even change what I wanted to cover.  Eventually I got to a happy place.  Then it was  just a matter of practicing until I knew the content inside and out.  And then practicing some more.

Basically, I dropped everything else to work on this session.  My blog has been neglected.  I have another draft due for my Tribal SQL chapter.  So while I’m so so glad I did this, and I’m truly looking forward to doing it again (really!) I’m kind of glad it’s done so I can refocus my attention on other things that are just as important to me.

How did it go?

Better than I’d hoped.  In fact, it was kind of awesome.  The work I put in definitely paid off.  I remembered all the content I wanted to go over.  I made them laugh, everyone seemed to have a great time.  I had about 20 attendees, which I thought was a pretty good turnout.  My session feedback was very positive.  And I heard from others secondhand that folks really liked it.

What totally blew me away was how supportive everyone was.  Other speakers that I’d never met prior to this weekend asked how I was doing beforehand and asked how it went afterwards.  All were quick to be encouraging and supportive.  It reminded me once again how great the SQL community is.  You hear all the time about #SQLFamily, but this experience drove that home for me.  Really, if you’re on the fence about presenting, blogging, or just becoming more active in the community, do it!  Everyone out here wants you to succeed.

What’s next?

I plan to get back on schedule with my blogging.  That’s priority number one.  I talked in my session about making time to blog and I should probably put my money where my mouth is.  Then I need to start tweaking my presentation for next time.  I’d like to add some new content based on questions I got this time.  Maybe trim some of the current content, clean it up a bit.  I’ve submitted this and my auditing session to Louisville, Cleveland, Kalamazoo, and Nashville, so far.  So hopefully I’ll have another crack at it very soon.

But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

The entire event was fantastic.  I made an effort to attend some sessions by speakers I hadn’t seen before.  Bob Pusateri (b|t) did a great talk on data compression.  Christina Leo (b|t) had a really interesting session on the plan cache.  If you ever get a chance to attend, I highly recommend it.  Jes Borland (b|t) helped me finally understand the matrix in her Reporting Services 201 talk.  Well, I think I understand it now.  And Erin Stellato’s (b|t) new DBCC session is another you don’t want to miss.


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