I had the immense pleasure of speaking at SQL Saturday #50 in Iowa City this past weekend. To say it was an awesome time would be quite the understatement. Special thanks to Michelle Ufford (blog | twitter), Ed Leighton-Dick (twitter) and Jeff Belina (twitter) for all you did to make this event possible. Also a giant thank you to all of the sponsors who made this event financially possible.
To start at the very beginning, I made it to Iowa City in the early afternoon and had extra time to do a little exploring. Caving to my fetish for historic buildings and architecture, I checked out the Old Capitol building and a bit of the University of Iowa campus surrounding it. My inner engineer was further satisfied at the speaker’s dinner later that evening, which was held at the Iowa River Power Company restaurant, a former hydroelectric power plant. In addition to an excellent view of the river and dam, I enjoyed some wonderful food and conversation! It was a great chance to catch up with familiar faces such as Wendy Pastrick (blog | twitter), Ted Krueger (blog | twitter), Jes Borland (blog | twitter) and Alex Kuznetsov (blog). I also got to meet Jason Strate (blog | twitter), Kathi Kellenberger (blog | twitter), Chris Leonard (twitter), Arie Jones (blog | twitter), Trenton Ivey (blog | twitter) and Louis Davidson (blog | twitter) in person for the first time.
Saturday, of course, was the main event. In addition to presenting, I was able to enjoy 4 other great sessions, including:
- Arie Jones’ Take Control with Resource Governor and PBM. His presentation was most informative and very well put-together. I knew a few things about Resource Governor and Policy-Based Management going in, and knew a lot more about it 90 minutes later. I hope to be able to take advantage of both these features sometime in the future.
- The Women in Technology panel, which took place during lunch. A standing-room-only crowd gathered to listen to experiences and insight from Jes Borland, Kathi Kellenberger and Wendy Pastrick, and moderated by Michelle Ufford. Food-wise, lunch included a smorgasboard of pizza to choose from, including some topped with #bacon – unless they’re weird, your DBA will eat it!™
- Monitoring Data Changes The Microsoft Way With Change Data Capture, again by Arie Jones. Much like earlier in the day, AJ was on top of everything and included some awesome DBA ninja tips as well as some great demos.
- Stay Agile, Stay Sane by Kendra Little (blog | twitter). Kendra discussed her experiences being a DBA working with agile development teams, and some of the techniques her group had adopted as a result. It was extremely enlightening, and it appeared that Kendra’s team has successfully addressed a lot of the issues commonly encountered by DBAs. Extra kudos for her hand-drawn slide illustrations – way cooler than the images I got from Flickr!
As for my own presentation, I delivered “Application Coding Sins” to a pretty full room. Despite having a time slot immediately following lunch, my presentation must have been good enough to keep everyone awake because I didn’t notice any nappers. I’m sure my tactic of throwing candy and/or swag at those who asked questions didn’t hurt either! This was not my first time presenting database topics in front of a group, but it was my first time speaking at a SQL Saturday event. All in all I’m very pleased with how it went and got some great feedback from those who attended. If you’re looking for my slides and code samples, you can download them below.
And that’s all I’ve got for SQL Saturday #50. It was a great weekend, and the only real downside is that there’s so many great speakers talking about awesome stuff and no way to attend all of the sessions. If you’ve never been to a SQL Saturday before, you should really consider it. Check SQLSaturday.com for an upcoming event near you. I know I’ll submit sessions for future SQL Saturdays, and I really hope to see you there!