SQL Saturday #131 Recap

This past weekend I attended a SQL Saturday in the desert. SQL Saturday #131 was held in Phoenix, AZ

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It’s April, but it was definitely hot. However the campus at Chandler Gilbert Community College was geared to the desert with lots of shade and open spaces. I was surprised how comfortable some of the places were on a 90+F day.

Friday night was the speaker / volunteer dinner, at a nice Mexican restaurant in Chandler. Kudos to the SQL Saturday team for the venue. Quite a few people attended, enjoying a few drinks and good food.

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Amy Lewis (@Amy_LewisAZ) was the organizer, and she had everyone play a little networking game. We all had to stand up and say where we were from, what we were talking about, and then tell three facts about ourselves, one of which was a lie. There were some interesting lies, and some neat facts about different people. All in all, a fun time. You can see Amy egging us on below.

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The venue was easy to find, and it consisted of the science building at the college and one of the student centers. The student center had all the vendors, good, and a very open space, surrounded by windows.

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The speaking rooms were well equipped college rooms, with projectors and desks. A few of them were a little small, but things worked out well with 7 tracks for the 250-300 people that attended.

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I presented two sessions: Encryption in SQL Server and Branding Yourself for a Dream Job. Both went well, with no issues. Hopefully people enjoyed them. I got some good feedback, but few evaluation slips.

I went to see a few people speak. I saw Robert Miller (@RobertMiller) talk about Change Tracking, which is a neat feature that you might want to check out if you need to audit things or manage ETL processes. I also snuck into part of Will Sisney’s (@HanSQL | blog) 9 Secrets to a Stellar Performance Review talk, which was great. I’d recommend that one for sure.

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I had a short break in the open space above, which wasn’t that hot if you weren’t in direct sunlight. I was tempted to do my Branding talk out here, but it really needs a little AV. Afterwards I wandered into Bill Pearson’s SSAS Best Practices talk. This was the first time I had the chance to see Bill speak, and he does a great job. Bill is very smart, and I enjoy listening to his Southern accent and country analogies, but a word of warning. Bill moves fast, he covers a lot of ground, and you should have some idea of the topic if you want to keep up.

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I got a patch, which was cool. I assume these come from the national SQL Saturday people, though I’d like to get these, or pins, instead of shirts for the speakers. I’ve spoken at probably close to 20 SQL Saturdays, and that’s enough shirts for a solid month of business work. I’ve gotten some nice shirts, but at this point, I’d like to see something else.

And a nice special treat in the speaker room. Cookies!

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A fun event, that ran smoothly, and one I enjoyed. I hope to go back there sometime in the future.

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