SQL Saturday Dallas Reflections

SQL Saturday Dallas, which was our third, went off without a hitch. While there were a few items we’ve identified as needing work, overall the event was swimmingly successful.

Kevin Kline - Troubleshooting and Performance Tuning Microsoft SQLServer with Dynamic Management Views (DMVs)

The festivities started on Friday with our three Pre-Con events. Kevin Kline (Blog/Twitter), Jessica Moss (Blog/Twitter), and Randy Dyess from Solid Quality Mentors.

I attended parts of each and impressed by all of them. For the price you couldn’t beat the educational value of the North Texas SQL Server User Group Pre-Cons.

After the Pre-Cons the core volunteers went to the Region 10 Educational Center (great facility by the way) to set up for the event.

The blind leading the blind.

A special thanks to Heather Sullivan (Twitter), Head of SQL Server Tools for Idera Software, for bringing so many people to volunteer. I think the total number was 8 and those folks worked their butts off.

Natural Born Leader

Have I mentioned lately how much I love SQL Saturday Events? I’d love to be able to present more often. Attention SQL Vendors and Sponsors, that was a hint. 🙂

After that we went to the speaker’s dinner, which was held at Dave and Buster’s and a great time was had by all. Where else can you spend hours talking to Steve Jones (Blog/Twitter), Jessica Moss (Blog/Twitter), Andy Warren (Blog/Twitter), Wes Brown (Blog/Twitter), etc.

Scott Whigham and I playing pool. If you squint hard, I almost look like Tom Cruise in The Color of Money.

SQL Saturday always starts early when you are a volunteer. One of my responsibilities was registration, and everything went well. The success is mostly due to having so many committed volunteers, and they made me look good once again.

Throughout the day, things continued to go well. Speaker shirts were well received, the food and the Paciugo Gelato (fancy ice cream) were a big hit.

I want to give special thanks to a few people and groups. I apologize for leaving anyone out.

  • I really appreciate the sponsors who make these events possible.
  • Tim Mitchell (Blog/Twitter) who was not only a core volunteer and a presenter, but took the pictures as well.
  • All of the volunteers, especially our core team.
  • All of the presenters, many of whom traveled to speak at the event at their own cost.

Because I was so busy, I only attended a couple of presentations. Sean McCown (Blog) presented “How to Curse in an Interview” and it was one of the most intense talks I’ve ever seen in a technical setting. I also watched Sri Sridhara (Blog/Twitter), NTSSUG President, present “Turbo charge your DBA career” and he had the crowd mesmerized.

I presented “T-SQL Programming to Survive a Zombie Database” and it went very well. I love teaching, and I think it shows. In fact, Jen McCown (Blog/Twitter), who’s opinion I greatly respect, attended and tweeted the following:


If you missed the session, I will be presenting an extended version of it at the NTSSUG Meeting next Thursday 10/21 and the downloads for the session have been posted here.

Of course I went to the party after the event and spent quality time with community members. Everyone should attend the after parties. There’s a wealth of help available there for free, not to mention those folks are fun to hang out with as well. Where else can you ask for free help like this?

  • Adam Saxton (Blog/Twitter), Senior Escalation Engineer for SQL Server Support, about SSRS problems.
  • Steve Jones or Andy Warren about branding.
  • Tim Mitchell or Sean McCown about SSIS.
  • Wes Brown about SQL Server storage.
  • Jessica Moss about Microsoft BI.
  • Tim Costello (Blog/Twitter) about data visualization and Tableau.
  • Trevor Barkhouse (Blog) about performance tuning.
  • Ryan Adams (Blog/Twitter) about mirroring.
  • Kevin Kline about… well everything.

These events are free sources of SQL education, but that’s not the most important aspect. They’re about people, great people who share your profession and interests. How did I meet all of these great people? I joined PASS, participated in my local SQL server user group, and went the extra mile to be social.

You can do it too. Throw caution to the wind and talk to people, we don’t bite. Well, I’m not so sure about Sean.

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