Nov 132014
 

My marathon week of #SQLFamily is through, and that means it’s time to start writing about it! First up is Red Gate’s SQL in the City in Seattle. Having been an attendee when they came to Chicago back in 2012, I was especially honored to be able to return as a presenter!

SQL in the City was held at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, a cavernous performing arts hall and the home of the Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet. It’s located at Seattle Center, which conveniently happens to be the terminus of the Seattle Monorail. Even more conveniently, my hotel was only a block from the other terminus of the Seattle Monorail. Me, ride a train? Yes, please!

Built along with the Space Needle (and many other structures at Seattle Center) for the Century 21 Exposition (AKA the 1962 World’s Fair), both original monorail trainsets are still in service from the line’s opening in March of 1962. They very much look the part of what I’d consider a 52-year-old vision of the future to be. Even more impressively, they both have over 1 million miles on them – no small feat when the track is only a mile long! Only thing that could have made it cooler was if they warned you to please stand clear of the doors….

The trip there aside, the venue had all kinds of interesting spaces in varying sizes and shapes, and I’m sure I didn’t even see half of it! The massive tiered foyer provided an excellent space for networking and demonstration of Red Gate’s products, while the meeting rooms were the perfect fit for presentations.

The first session of the day was the keynote, “Ship Often, Ship Safe”, highlighting the capabilities of Red Gate’s Data Lifecycle Management (DLM) tools. After that, I headed to a talk entitled “You Did WHAT To My Transaction Log?” by Gail Shaw and Tony Davis. This was a hilarious look at ways you can make a problem so much worse by using *helpful tips* found on internet forums. Of course in the end they showed how to fix the problem the correct way. From there it was break time and some networking, and then off to Matt Slocum’s talk on 101 stupid things your colleagues do when setting up SQL Server.

After that it was time for lunch, and then I retreated to the ready room to make sure my slides and demos were ready for my presentation on Passive Security for Hostile Environments. I had a wonderful audience that asked a ton of questions both during and after. All the feedback I’ve seen to date has been positive, so I’ll go ahead and declare my session a success!

With my session all done, I headed over to Ed Leighton-Dick’s case study on SQL source control adoption. He delivered an excellent summary of his experiences with source control to a packed room – I ended up sitting on the floor!

Following that was happy hour, with drinks, snacks, and plenty of conversation. Every attendee also got their choice of a Red Gate book to take home.

All in all it was a wonderful day. A huge thanks to Red Gate for all their efforts in putting together such an amazing – and free – event that not only offers some excellent knowledge but also provides plenty of opportunity for interaction with presenters, Red Gate experts, and other attendees. I hope I can find myself at another one in the future!

 

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