This past weekend I had the honor of speaking in my (new) hometown of Denver, Colorado at SQL Saturday #169. Besides speaking I was also a part of the planning committee for the event. Between getting to speak again, helping out to make the event a success, and having some of my family and friends see me speak, this has been the best SQL Saturday on record.
Planning The Event
I’m not sure which Denver SQL User Group meeting it was, but there was a request for volunteers to help with the upcoming SQL Saturday in Denver and I quickly signed up. It was great to spend more time with the members of the user group and work together on the event. The theme we decided on for this SQL Saturday was: Colorado’s 14ers. Colorado has the most 14,000ft+ mountain peaks, coming in at a whopping 53. I was tasked with designing the room signs, swag bags, and one of the swag items for the speakers.
For the room signs we came up with the idea to use a picture of one of the mountain peaks and to really emphasize the 14ers theme I threw in the elevation as well as the coordinates.
We came up with idea of using drawstring bags with the SQL Saturday logo on it not only to hold all of the handouts and swag from the vendors, but also so everyone can have something cool to remember the event by.
To do something special for the speakers and to stick with our 14er theme, I came up with the idea of getting a paracord keychain in the SQL Saturday colors from Etsy. If you ever go hiking or camping having some paracord around can be very helpful.
Carlos Bossy’s company Quanta Intelligence was extremely generous and sponsored the speaker dinner at Hacienda Colorado. The food was awesome and as usual with Colorado, it was another nice night to eat outside. It was great to meet new people and catch up with the out-of-towner’s that I have met at previous SQL Saturday’s.
My Presentation – The Accidental Programmer
SQL Saturday #169 Denver was the second time that I gave my “Accidental Programmer” presentation. Like every SQL Saturday, it is an honor to get the opportunity to speak and once again I am extremely grateful. What made this SQL Saturday more special is that my father drove down from Wyoming to see me speak as well as my amazing wife, our 4 year old son (somehow he stayed quiet the entire presentation), my sister, and my good friend Josh.
After the constructive feedback I received from SQL Saturday #159 in Kansas City I made some modifications to try to make my presentation better. From the attendee’s questions and speaker evaluations for this SQL Saturday, my changes definitely took my presentation up a notch. However, I still am not relating to the group as well as I would like to and have already got a jump on tweaking my presentation even more for the upcoming SQL Saturday #165 in Lincoln, NE.
I started the event off with Glenn Berry’s (b|t) session called “DMV Emergency Room!“. He explained his approach to diagnosing problems through the large amount of DMV’s that SQL Server offers. I am looking forward to running his scripts and see what is going on with the systems at work. Next I sat in on Mike Byrd’s presentation on “A Practical Approach to Table Partitioning“, which provided some good insight into when and how you should implement partitioning in your own system.
I spoke during the third round of sessions before lunch. For the first session of the afternoon I chose a personal development session, “What To Do When It’s Just You” and got to hear Doug Lane (b|t), Mike Fal (b|t), Carlos Bossy (b|t), and Glenn Berry (b|t) give an open panel discussion of ways to approach your job and handle different situations such as time management and handling expectations when you’re the only database professional at your job. The information applies to just about any job in the IT field and it was very helpful since I am the only database person at my company.
The second to last session I attended was Mike Fal’s “Musically Speaking: Building Better Presentations“. Since I am new to public speaking I figured it would be a good idea to get some tips on how to make my presentation better. Mike compared the similarities between the components of a good song with a slide presentation. Doing it this way definitely made it easy to see how I can improve upon my presentation.
For the last session of the day I wanted to sit in on a topic I knew nothing about, so I chose Jessica Moss’ (b|t) talk on “Upgrading and Overhauling SSIS Packages for 2012“. Even though I have not worked with SSIS I was able to follow along with how to perform an upgrade/conversion from an older version of SQL Server. This information will definitely come in handy down the road at some point.
Just like my first SQL Saturday this one was awesome. I got the opportunity to speak in my hometown and have my family see me speak. It was great to see everyone and meet new people again and it was fun to be a part of the group planning the event. I am looking forward to speaking at the next SQL Saturday #165 in Lincoln, NE.