Idea duck - SQL Saturday

I got a new Idea Duck

SQL Saturday Colorado Springs (SQLSat #584)

It’s been a while since I’ve attended a SQL Saturday. I think the last one was in 2013 in OKC to be exact. I had blogged about that one too, but I think I’ve lost that post with the split of the websites. At anyrate, it was great to be able to go again. It’s a good oppurtunity to be able to catch up with what’s going on in the SQL community. Although being the introvert that I am, meeting people is still a difficult task.

I attended three morning sessions and two afternoon sessions. Including the one Steve Jones was putting on about DevOps, which was the main reason I choose to attend. Ironically, I was starting to question my attendence due to a spring snow storm that actually shutdown I-25 from Castle Rock to Coloroado Springs the day before. Typical Colorado, blizzard one day….beautiful the next.

Technical Conference Tip
One aspect about going to technical conferences I’ve learned, is if you are interested in a topic stick with the theme. What I mean by that is, if you are actually out to learn about a topic and you see there’s a couple of sessions about a topic, then focus on those topics. For instance, this trip I wanted to know more about DevOps and managing the log file. So I stuck to those sessions. Even though there was a couple of other sessions that would have been great to attend. 

Anyway, here are the sessions I attended:

Stats and Cardinality Estimator

Susantha Bathige (b/t) started things off with a discussion about the new cardinality estimator (circa SQL 2014) and then a discussion about statistics. I’m going to be honest here, this was a bit of an in depth session on a topic that I’m not up on. Something I need to work on. It ended up being a little too technical, too early. While I picked up on some of it, most of it went over my head.

Visualize your Transaction log

Brian Hansen (b/t) gave an exellecent session on the fundementals of the transaction log. It was a beginner course and much of this I already knew. He did get into the basics of VLFs, which was a good primer for the later course on VLFs for the last session. I was actually torn about going to this session vs the advanced session on AG troubleshooting. As I mentioned though, I wanted a primer for the afternoon session on VLFs.

Bringing DevOps to the Database

Steve Jones (b/t) offered a great session on devops and version control for database people. I really wanted to attend this session, as I think it’s something we could really use/impliment at work. As I suspected, it was worth the trip. I walked out with some ideas on how to both use this at work, and help with my transistion to database development. Now I just need to learn how to use versioning control software.

DevOps - SQL Saturday

Steve Jones talking about DevOps

Test your database - - SQL Saturday

You should always test database code

Manage your vlfs = - SQL Saturday

Lets play some Trivia

Accelerating DevOps and TDM using Data Virtualization

Tim Gormon (b/t) talked about thin provosioning databases using a hardware applicance. IT’s a fascinating concept, and I can see the benefit. Hell I wish we had something like this now. The idea that we can thin provosion our databases to ease storage costs and not endure the bloat of test/dev systems is awesome. My question is, while I have no doubt this will be the norm eventually, is this really something most shops can afford now?

Get into the Goldilocks zone: Managing SQL Transaction Log VLF Growth

Michelle Poolet (b/t) Talked about managing transaction logs and the VLFs that go with the transaction log. She provided a lot of great information about the algrorythms, including some hard numbers. I’m glad I went, but at the same time this wasn’t the session I was hoping it would be. I didn’t find any great relevations from this session like I thought I would. Apperently I have learned much more about the subject than I realized. One of the points she did make was to adjust the tlog autogrow settings to not default, presize them and presize the autogrow increment. Good Advice!

Overall

It was a great day of learning and hanging out. For the most part there was plenty of room, there was only one session that ran out of seats. I noticed there were quite a few people wearing smart watches and fitbits. Which I think is great, I think we spend too much time sitting. Of course, it could just be that these people are data nerds and like to measure stuff. Personally, I wish standing during these sessions was a little more conducive to using a laptop at these things. I’m personally trying to move more and sit less. Although I won’t complain too much, I did win the SQL Toolbelt from Redgate’s raffle.