SQL Saturday has been a fantastic experience for me here in the DC area (I blogged about it here) and I hope for the same thing in Richmond. This is my first time to attend a SQL Saturday in a city outside my area of residency, and I will also be speaking there. This is a bit of a new journey and one that I think I will enjoy.
This is a new experience and one that I have been excited about since speaking with Wayne Sheffield about it at the DC SQL Saturday in December 2013. I have him to thank for encouraging me to spread my wings and I hope for a smooth ride upward from here. That is the embodiment of the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) after all; to establish life long learning and grow the community by giving back. I think I could probably do a commercial for them or be a PASS spokesperson. Seriously though, I’ve learned so many things that have helped my career for free or a very low cost.
For this SQL Saturday, I’m also planning to attend the PreCon event scheduled for the day before. There is still time to register by going to the main site for the event here. I’ve selected to go to session by Robert Davis for my PreCon and it was a hard choice because the “Murder Thy Wrote” PreCon was very appealing as well and I hope to catch that one at the next SQL Saturday I attend.
Now without further ado, my planned schedule for the day. Disclaimer, these are my personal preferences and I know that every single speaker at this event is highly qualified and it would be an honor to attend any of their sessions. However, I can’t be in two places at once, so I’m just outlining the sessions that interest me the most. In other words, don’t be upset if I don’t select your session! :)
8:45 AM Session – Alright, this is it, the start of the day. There are lots of great sessions during this time track. First, if you’re looking for securing and protecting your data, you’ve got two excellent speakers (Tim Radney and Chris Bell). Tim is going to talk about his favorite subject, Backups and Recovery. Believe me, you don’t want to miss this one! Chris (a DC Local) is going to talk about data protection from another angle in his talk. Now both sessions sound very appealing (and I would highly recommend either of them) but I’m going to go with Brandon Leach’s session on Resource Governor. This is a topic in SQL Server that I feel I have neglected recently and I need to wrap my head around it again.
10 AM Session – Compression Compression! Yes! This is a very interesting topic and luckily for me (sort of) there are TWO sessions on Compression at the same time to choose from (Andrew Kelly or Jason Brimhall). Jason’s session is labeled as Advanced, so I may opt to go with Andrew’s session on this one. However, I’m going to try to catch Jason and ask him how intense his session will be before I make my decision.
11:15 AM Session – There are three sessions that interest me at this time slot. Louis Davidson is going to talk about DML Triggers. It is something I know how to do quite well, but I’m sure someone with his expertise will make me realize that there are TONS of things I didn’t know about Triggers. It’s always good to learn from an expert even if you know something quite well.
The second session that interests me is about HA/DR (High Availability and Disaster Recovery). Anyone who knows me well knows that HA/DR is one of my favorite topics regarding SQL Server. So why not learn how a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer (Mike Sullivan) approaches the topic day-to-day?
Finally, and this is way out in left field, Jimmy Dixon’s talk about “Determining Power and Cooling Requirements for the Data Center” is quite interesting. It’s not like I go into a data center day to day, but this is one of those sessions that will give me a broader scope within my field. It’s always good to broaden your knowledge a little and get appreciation for where your servers sit and how they work. I believe it helps collaboration and team work between people of different disciplines.
1:30 PM Session – During the last SQL Saturday in DC I was presenting at the same time Wayne Sheffield was, so I’m definitely going to attend his session this time! He’s going to be talking about “Crazy Things That Developer Do” which hopefully won’t include anything I’ve done in my production environments. Paul Rizza (a DC Local) also has a nice session during that window about getting a job with Microsoft. You might be shy to attend because you may think “Oh what is my colleague or boss finds out I’m attending.” Well, I’m sure they would want to know how to get a job with Microsoft as well :)
2:45 PM Session – For this time slot I will actually be presenting my own session. I presented this session at the local DC PASS chapter and since I got positive feedback I wanted to repeat the session. I have shortened it this time since I only have 60 minutes and I’m really looking forward to presenting this topic again.
4:00 PM Session – If I make it through my session and I still have enough energy to lift my head then I’m going to have to go with something a little lighter to finish off the day. I think I’ll end it with something non-technical like Chris Skorlinski’s session titled “Your Best Interview Ever.” I don’t think I need to argue about the benefits of having good interviewing skills :)
That sums it up! I hope to meet some new faces and come back a better SQL Professional. Heading South!