Friday, May 13, 2011

SQLRally, what a Ride

The week was a wonderful learning, networking and speaking experience.

It all started with Kevin Kline { Blog | Twitter } giving a Personal Development session on Leadership and Management. Got some great statistics and experience from the 30+ attendees at this Pre-Con.

Bill Graziano and Kevin Kline at SQLRally  Jack Corbett, Mike Walsh and Kendal Van Dyke  After hours at SQLRally Orlando - Johnnie's Hideaway

Wednesday and  Tuesday evenings were spent visiting with SQL Peeps at various places. I meet lots of new SQL People that are joining our community. 2 from Ohio – Tim and Dustin – were great to hang around and share about  what we do sharing SQL information and tools. Both were amazed by the end of Friday of everything that is available to them from SQLRally, SQLPass and SQLSaturdays plus blogs and webcasts. I am sure they were just like me when I first experienced all the sharing.

Thursday, I spent the day in sessions and visiting vendors. Brian Mitchell from MS showed Parallel Data Warehouse with the single SKU for everything to some internals and client tools. A no show from a speaker (black list) cleared some time to go by Confio, Idera and Melissa Data booths.  During the week , I spent sometime with Heather from Idera about their new ACE program. Vicki and another developer from Idera chatted about the SQLdm product. I was also able to demo Ignite for David at the Confio booth. Brian McDonald did an awesome job with SSRS Boot camp, good presentation and flow even though he was late.

Kendal Van Dyke (center) and friends  Confio and Idera at SQLRally  Aaron Nelson-The Dirty Dozen, PowerShell Scripts for the Busy DBA

Lunch each day was a great box lunch with a big cookie which over road the apple for me each day. I made sure to sit with different people each day to chat about real world stuff. The last day I sat with SQL People from Utah, California, Indiana, Florida, North Carolina and of course me from Louisiana. That was great. SQLRally hit it good with this one.

Thursday afternoon I saw Scott Shaw talk about The Enterprise SQL DBA, Stacia Misner demo SSRS visualizations and Jen Underwood explain the workings of PerformancePoint in SharePoint. All in one afternoon!!! I went back to my room for room service and a review of my presentation on 3rd Normal Form: That’s Crazy Talk!!! One last review and some practice on the Visio diagrams to demo and then off to bed.

Friday at 8:30 I presented to a 2/3s full room (probably 60-70) people about database normalization. Louis Davidson (DrSQL) { Blog | Twitter } was the ‘moderator’ for my presentation. What a blessing to have a guru in the industry watching me, I hope he has some constructive criticism for me!  Lots of conversation after the session and plenty of comments the rest of the day from others. It was the first time I felt I did not leave anything out or felt I tried to explain too much. I believe it helped to run through the session with developers at work before the Rally, and take some things out to reduce the session to under an hour. I noticed a lot of sessions either did not have enough time (60 minutes) or the presenters needed to reduce the content to finish on time and not leave the attendees missing something.

The rest of the day was spent in Eric’s SSIS Data Flow Logging, Devin Knight performance tuning SSAS, Julie Smith’s Cool Tricks for SSIS, Adam Jorgenson guiding Julie in a cube creation and Excel reporting and finally watching Jeremiah flying through SQL Server internals. Man, that is a lot. But, I have learned from past SQLPass Summits that I should just try to bring 2-3 new ideas back to the office. The first week back, implement one to show the value to the bosses. Play with the second one for a month and then implement. And summarize the last to the some group or department.

God Bless,


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