I feel accomplished a bit this year, I’ve made it to two SQLSaturdays in the same calendar year. This SQLSaturday was put on by the Denver SQL Users group and was hosted at the University of Denver. There were a number of sessions I wanted to attend, and they all seemed to be in the same block, I hate when that happens. I’m hoping I can catch a youtube of some of the ones I missed. Sadly, Idera wasn’t there this time, so I didn’t get a new duck like the last one. What’s up with that Idera?
How to Build Your Brand and Become a Thought Leader - Patrick LeBlanc
If you ever get the opportunity to see Patrick deliver a session in person, do it. Not only was the information good, but Patrick has a great speaking style that makes the session fun. Patrick gave a great presentation on personal branding and how becoming a thought leader ties into that. The greatest takeaway from this session was Patrick’s advice about not letting your brand get swallowed up by the company you work for. You have to keep working on your brand, your resume, your career, because to the company you’re just an expense that can be eliminated at will. Having personally been through that kind of downsizing, it really struck a nerve with me.
At this SQLSaturday, the organizers tried out something different. Instead of doing a box lunch with a $10 donation upfront, they built-in 90 minutes for folks to go get offsite and get food. It was kind of a nice change. I ended up eating with current and former coworkers, so it wasn’t bad. As opposed to the previous SQLSaturday where I just quietly ate my box lunch alone.
Becoming a Master by Giving it All Away - Michael Wall
This is was a good presentation on why you should be sharing your knowledge. In fact, you should be sharing that knowledge in the form of teaching other people what you know. Why? Because by learning the material well enough to teach it, you’re reinforcing what you already know. More importantly, someone is going to ask you a question about the material from a perspective you hadn’t considered forcing you to learn even more about the material. I thought this was a nice complimentary session to the branding session earlier in the day.
Profiler is Dead! Long Live Extended Events - Keith Tate
I struggle with Extended Events, and not because I prefer Profiler. I struggle with Extended Events because the UI is clunky and not very intuitive, which come to find out is why a lot of people struggle with it as well. At least I’m not alone. This was a good beginner session but I had hoped to get a little more in-depth with it than just setting up a basic trace. I still learned a couple of things I wasn’t aware of, so it gives me hope the next time I try to use it.
There were 3 or 4 sessions in this block I wanted to check out, but as it always is at these events you have to pick one.
Tame your Data with Constraints - Rob Volk
This was a really good session with lots of information. While it was geared towards beginners, it reminded me of some points I hadn’t thought about since I was in school. And let’s face it, I don’t get the opportunity much at the moment to work with development stuff. So I found a lot of useful information in this session.
Like every SQLSaturday, there is a raffle at the end of the day. Vendors and sponsors put up prizes to win, the only catch is you have to be present to win. At Colorado Springs, I won a free copy of SQL Toolbelt. I can’t tell you how much I love that tool. So I wasn’t upset I didn’t win the quad-copter…..lol. No really, it’s a good time to show your appreciation for the sponsors and organizers. They are just like you, giving up a free Saturday to put on an event for you.
Afterwards I guess there is a social event, but I wasn’t able to attend. The wife wanted to see me a little bit, so off to dinner with the wife.