Sunday, October 2, 2011

SQL Saturday 85 – Thank You Everyone!

About a week ago we had SQL Saturday 85 in beautiful Orlando FL.  I wanted to do a quick recap and say a BIG Thank You to everyone who participated!  From the wonderful people on the planning team Andy Warren (@SQLAndy | Blog), Shawn McGehee (@SQLShawn | Blog), Karla Landrum (@karlakay22 | Blog), the O’Fearless Leader of MagicPASS Kendal Van Dyke (@SQLDBA|Blog), to 41 Different Speakers, to the Event Volunteers, to the Attendees, to the Sponsors, and to the great folks at Seminole State College who allow us to use the beautiful facilities, Thank YOU!

“So Balls,” you say, “What was the best part of the day?”

Well Dear Reader, I would have to say the pictures that I took, and those that I wish I had taken. 

The Day Started out with an early wake up call.  I the Dodge Durango was so loaded with drinks for the event that it was actually sagging, (I wish I had a picture of that ).  I drove over to Seminole State College and the Volunteers were already there and the tables were set up.  We quickly unloaded the drinks, and I returned to the hotel to put the projectors and screens from our Pre-Con’s into the back of the truck. 

Between the two trips I saw that we had the road signs up directing people in, and that we even had a volunteer standing on the Ellipsis to ensure people drove the right way.  Our volunteers are amazing!  When you stand outside in the Florida sunshine, for hours, to direct people on an Ellipsis so others can learn about SQL Server, then that is above and beyond dedication (I wish I had a picture of that).

And it was off to the races.  Making sure people knew where they were going.  Walking the halls to make sure that it was apparent which way to go, and putting up signs when it wasn’t.  Taking pictures of the Speakers while they were entertaining our attendees.  And Tweeting more than I do in most weeks.  I didn’t get to attend many sessions.  I was in my buddy Dan Taylor’s Session, the Deep Dive on Compression that this Bradley Ball guy did (not bad needs some work), and in Mike Davis’s SSIS vs. T-SQL Smackdown.

This was a very gratifying perspective however.  Normally I'm here just to learn, but this was completely different.  I was there to Serve.  To make sure that our attendees made it to where they wanted to go, to make sure that our sponsors had power outlets, to make sure we had signs, to find the correct speaker room, and occasionally to join into the fray and do some speaking.

This was a very different perspective indeed, and as much as I love learning about SQL today it was learning about all the time and hard work that goes into the great events.   Learning about the magic that goes on while we slide from one session to another.   Thinking about the event in review I'm still left in awe at all the hard work that our volunteers achieved.

So now without further ado, let’s get to some pictures.

SESSION PICTURES FROM 8:30 am to 9:30 am

Erin Stellato (@erinstellato | Blog) You Are My Density: Making Sense of Statistics

William E. Pearson III  Getting Started with MDX

Mike Antonovich Introduction to PowerPivot

Andy Warren Building a Professional Development Plan.

Don Stevic The Fundamentals of DBA-Ism

The One & Only Buck Woody From Ground to Cloud for Databases

Bradley Schacht Introduction to SSIS

SESSION PICTURES FROM 9:45 am to 10:45 am
My Buddy Dan Taylor on Useful tools for a DBA or Database Developer

Janis Griffin on Performance Management 2008 MDW-How & Why

Adam Jorgensen Analysis 0 to Cube & PowerPivot

Michael Wells Rapidly Deploying SQL Server with Powershell

Eric Wisdahl SSIS Data Flow Buffer Breakdown

Kendal Van Dyke Working with XML in SQL Server

SESSION PICTURES FROM 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Nathan Heaivilin Introduction to Execution Plans

Phillip Rosen Biz Intel Dashboards w/ Excel OLAP formulas

Ronald Dameron Powershell by Example

Rob Collie PowerPivot BI & Massive Data Analysis for Humans

Mike Davis Using Script Task and Components in SSIS

Craig Purnell Upgrade Roadmap Taking YOU to R2!

Rodney Landrum T-SQL Alphabet Soup


I was up during this time slot so I didn’t get to make it around to all the other Presenters.  There were a lot of great people presenting in this time slot, and I hear we all did great.  I had a nice group for my first Deep Dive at a SQL Saturday.  This was on Compression, and I got a great question that will deserve a future blog on the bit structure of nvarchar compressed records.

I got a lot of great feed back, it was positive which is nice.  But I think all of the folks that made it realized that the second time I present this session it will be at the PASS Summit.   So even though it was positive, I got a lot of good suggestions as far as, expand here, maybe skip this and make more time for this.   I really like that feedback because it matched how I felt.

As a presenter I like to tell a story.  Even though we are talking technology and it isn’t hot and sexy like the movies, we can still have a good story with a solid flow.  I realized I have a little work to do on my story, and it was better to learn that now than at the Summit.  There were a lot of great speakers that made it to my session, Buck Woody (@buckwoody | Blog) stopped by to play the Piano, Eric Wisdahl (@EricWisdahl| Blog),  and Craig Purnell (@CraigPurnell | AboutMe) came by to help expand the cast.

 I feel really solid about the presentation and I’m looking forward to the Summit!

SESSION PICTURES FROM 2:45 pm to 3:45 pm
Rob Volk Revenge: The SQL!

Patrick Thompson Where to with NoSQL

James McAuliffe SSIShare The Code Man

William E. Pearson III Becoming DAX: An Introduction....

Kevin Boles Parallel Query Execution Deep Dive

Jeff Garbus Rewriting Bad Code

Herve Roggero SQL Azure Performance Considerations

SESSION FROM 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Once again I wasn’t able to run around, I was a part of the show this time around!  I was the referee for the SSIS vs. T-SQL Smackdown between Adam Jorgensen(@adam_jorgensen|Blog) and Mike Davis (@MikeDavisSQL | Blog).  As always it was a great battle between two Intellectual power houses. 

Mike Davis was displaying how he could fast load a data warehouse using SSIS, and Adam was doing the same using T-SQL.  Both competitors did a great job of layething the Smackdown on the data in the form of ETL processes.  Mike showed how versatile SSIS is with the ability to switch data sources and interface with multiple Database platforms.  Adam showed how versatile T-SQL is, tossing out Merges, CTE’s, and old pictures of Mike in the Navy like they were going out of style.

At the end of the bout I spoke briefly with Vince McMahon(WWE) and took a poll of the audience.    I would like to say that the results surprised me, but Adam had managed to really get Mike’s goat, or was the goat Brian’s (@brianknight | Blog)?  Regardless, there was a goat, fisticuffs, Adam was pronounced the winner, and then I was viciously and savagely attacked by Mike.   No sooner had he left the room then he returned and we all took a bow.

It is an amazing thing to watch professionals that are so good at what they do that they can have fun doing it.  It was something else all together to be a part of the action, and it was a lot of fun.  I hear Mike is having a Smackdown in Tampa for SQL Saturday 86.  I’ll be there doing my presentation on Compression.  I wonder if they have steel chairs there…..


When I was kid I remember sitting in the 6th grade watching some cheesy mandatory movie educating us on some subject that my memory doesn’t care to retain, and one line stood out to me.  “Take a picture and remember it in your heart.”

 I laughed about it with my friends.  I believe the phrase “how lame” was uttered, but for some reason it always stuck with me.  I take a lot of mental pictures as I go about the day.  Some end up in the recycle bin just as fast as they hit the desktop, others never leave. 

For years to come I will remember meeting Buck Woody and getting to drive him to buy Orange Juice, looking at the speaker dinner room and smiling at all the great people that come together to share a passion, the BBQ Line at lunch, running the halls to take pictures and Tweet about each presenter as they were working their magic, my buddy Dan Taylor’s (@DBABulldog | Blog) first presentation ever, forcing Kyle Walker (@WalkerSQLRanger) to get on Twitter, getting to meet Craig Purnell and his wonderful wife Julie, talking with my friend Adam Jorgensen, and having the SQL SMACKDOWN layethed on me by Mike Davis.

Less than a year ago, I walked into my first SQL Saturday in Orlando.  I left with a feeling that I had come home.  I wanted to dive right in with both feet, and it helped me to grow in ways that I hadn’t even realized I needed to grow. So I found it strange to have come full circle, and this year I was one of the guys standing up top, getting to toss t-shirts out to the crowd.   Andy Warren looked at me and asked how I felt about helping putting something together like this, I just smiled and said it felt Awesome.  

We wound up the night at Liam’s Fitzpatrick’s, and I got to speak with people I’ve connected with over the last year.  Eddie Wuerch (@EddieW| Blog ) from SQL Rally, Craig Prunell from earlier in the week at MagicPASS, Ron Dameron (@RonDBA | Blog) from SQL Saturday 62 in Tampa, Don Stevic(@SQL_Superman | Blog)  from SQL Saturday 74 & 79, Nathan Heaivilin from last year at SQL Saturday 49 (and 62), Bryan K Mcdonald (@BrianKMcDonald | Blog) from just this week.

To everyone I mentioned Thank You, to everyone I didn’t Thank You, Volunteers, Speakers, Sponsors, Attendees, and my fellow Team Members Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.  And to my friend Jack Corbett (@unclebiguns | Blog), newly minted SQL Server MVP, Thank You for your recommendation, your faith, and for the encouragement to get involved! 

I hope I see you all next year!

Thanks Again,


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