SQL Saturday #109 Silicon Valley continues to Amaze

The SQL Saturday events continue to amaze me.  A few years ago I was having lunch with Steve Jones (b|t) and he was talking about the fledgling SQL Saturday concept which had just begun to take hold.  I told him how skeptical I was about how big it could get and whether it would last.  I attended SQL Saturday #109 in Silicon Valley this weekend and it was another example of how wrong I was.

I didn’t hear the final tally but more than 700 people registered for the event on March 3 and it seemed to me they were all there.  Most of the rooms had standing room only crowds (or sitting on the floor).  Mark Ginnebaugh (b|t) with Ross Mistry (b|t) of Microsoft and a hoard of volunteers put together an event that had top-notch speakers, great prizes (Xboxes and iPads were given away), and awesome food.  The event supplied breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the attendees!  Thank you to all who put this together.

Sessions

Microsoft delivered the keynote and gave an in-depth overview of everything that’s coming in SQL Server 2012, including Power View, Big Data and Tabular modeling.  I attended a couple of sessions and enjoyed finally sitting through a complete session by Grant Fritchey (b|t), who does an excellent job talking about performance and proper T-SQL coding.  

The session I presented was titled Using Columnstore Indexes in SQL Server 2012.  Overall, it went well and I was able to cover all the material I had prepared.  I feel I gave the audience a good idea as to when they should consider using Columnstore indexing and the business cases that justify their use.  I also included several code demos, and unfortunately I had a crash during the middle of the session trying to run a memory intensive process.  I had to reboot my laptop and was able to reorganize my presentation so that I could keep talking while waiting for the laptop to come back up, however, it’s always embarrassing to have a crash.  I was angry at myself for being too ambitious by trying to show how Columnstore indexing would work with a large (and more real-life) data set.  I left the session thinking that I shouldn’t try to do too much in a 1 hour demo on a laptop.

BI and Big Data Demos

I’ve re-thought that position.  In doing presentations on Business Intelligence that will involve Big Data more and more, being able to demo this on a laptop will be necessary.  I’ve decided to order a new laptop with more horsepower so that I can show more intense data processes without relying on small data samples that don’t reflect real-life.  I went to the Strata Conference last week and was a little disappointed I didn’t see more demos of the new and exciting technology people were talking about and felt they should have provided more demos.

Next Up: Orange County, CA?

I submitted several sessions for SQL Saturday #120 in Orange County, CA on March 24 and hope I get selected.  I’m also planning to be at another SQL Saturday between then and SQL Rally in Dallas in early May.  It seems there is no stopping the SQL Saturday juggernaut and I’m happy to be part of so many of them.

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3 responses

  1. Pratice, pratice, pratice….
    And you will suceed.

    Thomas

  2. You’ve been impressive as a speaker in any of your presentations I’ve attended or heard about. You’re a major asset to SQL Saturday and to the community as a whole! Here’s to many, many more!

    1. Thanks Bill! I very much appreciate the words, especially coming from you!

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