SQL Saturday #390 – Philadelphia Recap

I was at SQL Saturday #390 in Philadelphia last week and it was an exciting, but short time. The event was at the end of a  five day trip for me, Seattle first and then Philadelphia, so I was tired by Saturday morning. However I enjoyed it, met lots of people, and learned a few interesting things.

Unit Testing with SQL Server and tSQLt

Friday I taught a pre-con event with Sebastian Meine on unit testing your T-SQL code with tSQLt. We had 9 people signed up, which was encouraging. Not a raging success, but certainly better than the 2 people that some friends had predicted. Everyone was interested in unit testing and producing better code.

The day went well, and we ended a touch early. There were some good comments and suggestions from people on unit testing techniques, including a solution to one of our exercises that I hadn’t expected. I learned a few places need the demos to be expanded a bit, but overall it felt like a good start to teaching unit testing. I’m looking forward to trying this at a few other events in the future.

standing in front of the class

Better Development at SQL Saturday

I was really only able to attend a few sessions (in addition to the one I taught) at SQL Saturday #390. However I was pleased to see that after my CI session, there was one on Continuous Delivery, and then one on Git for DBAs. Both of these topics are important, and well attended, which makes me think that more people are starting to lean towards building more engineered database development processes.

My CI session went well. I didn’t get to show the failing CI process based on a test and more data, but I did get lots of good questions that I need to answer in the next few weeks. A few of them (for me to remember).

  • How do I get started with a small development team?
  • How do I start adding tests in an existing software project?
  • Can you demo a column rename (or table rename)?
  • Show static data flowing through the process

It’s good to get questions, and I hope I answered them all. If I didn’t, or you need clarification, let me know.

Once I finished, I wandered over to see Mark Wojciechowicz talk about Continuous Delivery. Mark is a consultant that’s trying to keep a CD process working at a client’s site. He’s been working at it for awhile and we talked about it Friday (he was in my class) and Saturday. It sounds like he has some good things going, and using a home grown process that works well.

He showed some of the reasons why CD matters, especially for his client. They make lots of changes, and use a smooth process to push through bug fixes as well when there are issues with something in production. I hope he gets his deck up soon because he had some good quotes and notes in the PPT.

I especially like his thoughts that if something hurts in software, you should do it more. That comes from Thoughworks and some of the progressive companies that are rapidly building high quality software and don’t let the problems of deployment slow them down. They tackle those issues just like others, and you should, too.

From there I saw Justin Dearing talk about Git and DBAs. He’s a developer and tends to like the command line, but he showed how we can use Git for a VCS in the command line, but also from SSDT. That’s an interesting approach, and while I liked his message, I think some of the people there using a CVCS, like TFS, didn’t understand why Git matters. I need to write more on this as well.

Justin had a minor issue with branching, not because he doesn’t do it well or understand it, but because he’s moving fast and talking. That’s what I am, in general, against branching. The real world moves fast, it’s easy to get caught up with some other thoughts and get lost with branching. I need to formalize my thoughts as I’ll be talking branching at DevConnections (register and come see me in September).

Overall a good time and people seemed to really enjoy the SQL Saturday. I had about 20% of my attendees that were new, which is great. I hope to see more and more people coming to the events in the future.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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