Home > PASS, SQLSaturday > I got my SQL Kicks @ #66

I got my SQL Kicks @ #66

SQL Saturday # 66 was last weekend, and it was nothing short of fantastic!  Chris Shaw, Rebecca Mitchell and crew put on a great event and I hope they plan on working their magic again next year.  I know I will make an effort to attend again.

Chris had forewarned me that he wanted to emphasize the networking part of the event, but had remained pretty tight lipped when it came to details so I wasn’t really sure about what to expect.  I knew that the event was being hosted at a family fun center, but not having spent much time in Colorado Springs I didn’t really know much about the place.  I decided to make it a mini-vacation for the family though, and trusted that my husband and daughter could entertain themselves in a place that boasted both an indoor mini golf course and go cart track.

The day started off with ‘speed dating SQL style’ and the attendees divvied up based on discipline – admin, dev, or BI.  We then spent 2 minute intervals meeting each other and sharing what our goals for the day were, and what our proudest SQL accomplishment was.   This was a fantastic way to start the day off.  It meant that within a few minutes I knew some of the folks that were DBA’s in Colorado Springs and coming from out of town I loved every minute of it.

I did fairly well when it comes to attending sessions.

 I was able to sit in on Dean Richards’ VM ware session and was able to translate much of what he had to say to my own environment where we use a modified XenSource hyper-visor with our Egenera Bladeframe.  He offered some interesting insights for performance monitoring that I hadn’t really thought about previously.

Next up was Tom Norman’s Policy Based Management session.  Tom and I talked briefly at SQL Saturday #52 about our ongoing PCI compliancy projects and this was a nice glimpse into the progress he has made.  He was able to show some real world use cases for PDM and I know that several folks walked out with ideas on how PDM could help them in their daily work.

At lunch I sat at the WIT table to act as the WIT expert.  I had a few great chats with folks interested in WIT activities, and had a great discussion with an up and coming accidental DBA.  Hopefully I was able to give her some pointers and share with her some resources for easing the learning curve she is facing.

After lunch I sat in Gabriel Villa’s security session.  He made a somewhat esoteric, but hugely important topic accessible to just about everyone.  I love that he had a reference to xkcd.com in his opening slide, and Matrix references were sprinkled throughout.  Additionally he made it clear when he was recommending his preference or a best practice.

My session was up next.  I presented ‘Help Desk to DBA in 60’ to a crowd of 7 or so.  I think we all had a good time and I focused on interacting with attendees, and ensuring that I was clear with the terms and concepts I presented.  If you attended I would love some feedback – the session evals I received were very positive, but lacking any comments.

The last session of the day was TJay Belt’s documentation session, and I can honestly say that his examples put my documentation to date to shame.  Seriously – if you need examples of how and what to document you should hit TJay sessions or send him a tweet. 

In between all of those sessions were organized times to network and play some games.  I didn’t get a chance to play a single one – I was too busy chatting with new friends and checking in with my family when I happened to see them. 

The other thing I spent some time focusing on was getting to know Kate Dwyer  a bit in person and talking to her about attempting to put together a PASS chapter in Albuquerque.  TJay, Chris Shaw and Marc Beacom all had great insight regarding this, and at this point I just need to decide if I am ready to take on a task like that.  If you have experience with starting a user group or PASS chapter from the ground up I would love to hear about your experiences.

Over all SQL Saturday #66 was a resounding success and I think their out of the box venue choice was spot on!

An aside:  I promise I will get my slides posted – but it may take a few days…. keep checking back or email me for them.

Categories: PASS, SQLSaturday
  1. February 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    It was great that you made it to the event. We just has so much fun.

  2. February 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I would be happy to chat with you on starting up a SQL chapter anytime. Just drop me an email. 🙂

  3. February 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Meredith,
    I’m looking forward to your slides. Technically I’m on the helpdesk, tier 2, but also doing VoIP installs and support, as well as some accidental DBA work on the marketing departments SQL Server. I’d love to make the jump from helpdesk to full time DBA.

  4. February 16, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Awesome post Meredith, only that my references were that of the movie, Hacker, not Matrix – common mistake, but thanks for remembering. I’m glad to have met you and hope you can accomplish what you are trying to do in Albuquerque, let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

    • February 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      D’oh! And I knew that! Guess that’s what I get for multitasking while blogging. 🙂

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