I’m very pleased to be returning to Wisconsin in April to speak at SQL Saturday Madison 2018! This has always been one of my favorite events. Not only is it close to home, but it’s in a wonderful location and full of great friends. Thank you so much to the organizing committee for all of the hard work you do!
This year I will be presenting Locks, Blocks, and Snapshots: Maximizing Database Concurrency. This light-hearted and informative session will take a look at SQL Server’s available isolation levels, what they are, how they differ, and why the default setting of “read committed” may not be appropriate for your workload. It should not only be helpful, but lots of fun as well. I hope you will join me!
As of the time of posting, SQL Saturday Madison registration is still open. If you’d like to see some awesome presentations on Microsoft data technologies, register today!
This year we received 137 abstracts submitted by 60 speakers, and we are very pleased to announce our schedule. Thank you to all who submitted!
I hope to see you on Saturday, March 17, 2018, at Benedictine University in Lisle for what will be a wonderful day of free training, networking, and career development. (Lunch is available for $15.)
We have broken our previous record for registration, and even though we have a new larger venue, we are now at capacity. That being said, there are still ways you can attend:
Join our waiting list, as spots may open up. As the date nears, many people find they are unable to attend and then cancel their registration. As this occurs, we will be pulling from our waiting list in the order that people joined it. REGISTER HERE for our waiting list.
Register for a pre-conference session and be guaranteed a spot. We are offering 4 full-day pre-conference sessions on Friday, March 16. These in-depth workshops are being conducted by experts in their respective fields. Pre-conference registration includes lunch. Additionally, pre-conference attendees can bypass the SQL Saturday waiting list and are guaranteed a spot. You can find out more information and register for pre-conference sessions at the links below:
Pre-conference sessions will take place on Friday, 16 March 2018. You can find out more about the sessions, pricing, and register using the above links.
If you haven’t already registered for SQL Saturday, taking place on Saturday, 17 March 2018, registration is also open for that, however we are currently filling a wait list. Registering for a pre-conference session will allow you to bypass the waiting list.
Stay tuned for more SQL Saturday Chicago updates, and I hope to see you there!
If you’re not familiar with SQL Saturday, it’s a free day of training for data professionals, covering a wide variety of topics relating to database administration, database development, business intelligence, and professional development. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to network. Registration for the event itself is free, with an optional lunch provided for $15.
Our call for speakers is also open – please submit your session(s) by 25 January 2018! We are always looking for new presenters. One of the founding principles of SQL Saturday is to develop new community speakers, so if you’ve ever wanted to present at an event like this, please consider submitting!
Our call for pre-conference sessions is also open! If you are interested in delivering a pre-con, please email abstracts directly to email@example.com. Pre-conference session abstracts will be accepted until Friday 22 December 2017 at 5:00pm CST.
We were SQL Saturday #600, a milestone! (But weren’t SQL Saturday numbers going away?)
We also were the first SQL Saturday to use the new logo, which is just one part of the major rebranding project undertaken by PASS last year.
At PASS Summit 2016, PASS announced several new logos as part of it’s rebranding campaign. There were new logos for PASS as a whole, SQL Saturday, 24 Hours of PASS, PASS Summit, and Business Analytics. In general they’re not terrible. I actually really like the new PASS logo. The old one just never made sense to me. Was it a St. Andrew’s Cross spider on top of a storm warning flag? (Since Sharknado was a hit, a movie about a hurricane full of spiders is a guaranteed blockbuster, right?) If there was any symbolism behind that old PASS logo, I’ve never heard it.
Old (left) and new (right) PASS logos
The new PASS logo, on the other hand, has a nifty story behind it. It’s all the different facets that make up PASS coming together into one. I like that.
But then there’s the new SQL Saturday logo.
Old (top) and new (bottom) SQL Saturday Chicago logos
SQL Saturday’s new logo is much more refined than it’s predecessor, and it’s very evident that a lot of effort went into these new logos and this rebranding as a whole. That being said, I think the new logo falls short in a few key areas.
First of all, there’s the symbol itself. It definitely works well with the PASS logo, but look at it. If you’re thinking in SQL about it (and since it’s a logo for SQL Saturday, that’s not too hard to imagine) you’ll see that it’s literally “<>”, the T-SQL operator for “not equals”. I have to imagine that whoever designed this logo was a graphic designer with absolutely no clue what SQL is, or what the logo they designed meant to people familiar with it. And I think that’s okay to a degree, but very early-on in this process someone at PASS probably should have looked at that and said “ya know, that looks like a not equals operator. Is that really how we want to symbolize SQL Saturday?”
Second, the typeface used in the new logo is much more modern, and the letters are significantly thinner than the old one. It looks great on a computer screen or when printed on paper, but think about what SQL Saturday logos are used for. In a lot of cases they are embroidered on things like shirts or jackets. Did whoever designed this logo know that? Once again I’ll assume they didn’t, otherwise they probably would have accounted for that.
The smaller a detail is, the more difficult/expensive it becomes to embroider, and this logo definitely qualifies. Just look at the PASS logo located inside the SQL Saturday logo. It’s microscopic. We had to use a bolder typeface for the speaker jackets we gave out in Chicago this year; it just didn’t look good otherwise. We also had to make it single-color, and remove the gradients. But by making all those changes, we technically changed the logo, which has become a big no-no in recent years. The SQL Saturday Wiki states: “Per the SQL Saturday license, the event logos provided to you by PASS are not to be altered in any way.” So if changes are necessary to be able to embroider this logo, but it can’t be altered in any way, does that mean organizers will have to run afowl of the license agreement? Or just do away with speaker shirts altogether? I don’t know, and I’m not sure there’s any way to tell.
SQL Saturday Chicago embroidered on jacket
It really doesn’t have to be this difficult though. This logo is still quite new, relatively unused, and there seems to be quite a few members of the community (SQL Saturday organizers in particular) who think this logo could use some work. Why not change it now? I’m sure there’s a way to come up with something that fits in with PASS’ new branding, is easier to embroider, and has a better message than “not equals.”