Just a few notes from the SQL Saturday #204 event, in no particular order.
Speaker Dinner, this went well. I got there a little late and things were already in full swing. The dinner was at a pizza place. A nice perk was they had open bar, something that not all events have. The food was excellent deep dish pizza served buffet style. I settled in to chat with some of my speaker friends, Allen White, Eddie Wuerch, Brian Davis, Karen Lopez, Carlton Ramsey and Josh Fennessy. Lots of good conversation ranging from Big data to SQL Saturday war stories.
Saturday morning I awoke to find about 3 inches of snow outside. Yikes, I thought winter was over. I headed over to the event, held at Lawrence Technological University, known to the locals as “Larry Tech”. There were lots of event organizers and volunteers present and I had no problem finding the place and building. A victory for SQL Saturday signage.
My New Horizons colleague George Squillace was presenting for the 1st time at a SQL Saturday (and a lead off session to boot) so I headed off to his room to make sure everything was OK. George was already set up and ready to go. I stayed in his session for about a half hour and then headed over to the speaker room to practice my demos.
My 1st session of the day was my “Upgrade Roadmap: Let’s delve into SQL Server 2012″. I have done this one many times and it’s like an old friend. Still lots of useful, relevant content in it though. I changed it up and chose the Upgrade Advisor demo this time. I usually do an extended events trace on Deprecated Features demo but there’s usually only time for one demo, even with a 75 minute presentation. Just too much content there. I had about 25 attendees and I thought it was well received with several good questions and comments.
Out in the hall, I ran into David Klee, a fellow speaker. We’ve been crossing paths and almost meeting at SQL Saturdays for almost a year now. It was good to finally meet David and put a name with a face. We ended up having lunch and chatting about Hyper-V, Vmware and virtualizing SQL Server.
I sat in the Hadoop session by Rob Kerr. It was very informative. Based on some conversations, a lot of people are currently kicking the Microsoft/Hadoop/HDinsight tires but nobody has jumped in the pool yet.
My session on LinkedIn was up next. I really love to present on this topic. I had about 15-20 people attend the session. For a mid afternoon session, on a PD topic at a SQL Saturday, that’s a big turnout. My initial polling confirmed my audience as I suspected: 75-80% of the attendees were on LinkedIn, most had under 250 connections, and over half did not have a profile 100% complete. That’s why I was presenting on the topic, to teach people on how to get the most out of LinkedIn. The presentation went well, with all presentation feedback of 5 from everyone who filled out an eval.
After that, I decided to skip the last session and head for home to spend some time with my wife.
Thanks and Cudos to Joe Fleming, and his team of volunteers and organizers who did a great job for their 1st SQL Saturday in Detroit. Thanks also to the sponsors of the event. Without you, it would not happen.