This is yet another late review of SQLSaturday 73 which I had to postpone writing a couple of times before. Same as last year, this SQLSaturday was hosted at the Golden West College on Huntington Beach, California so I was already familiar with the place. Different than last year event, fortunately this time I was able to attend the speaker dinner on Friday night which was hosted at the Acapulco restaurant in Costa Mesa, just a few minutes from Huntington Beach. I had a great time at the dinner meeting event organizers Andrew Karcher (@akarcher) and Thomas Mueller (@tmspecial), some of the local speakers like Denny Cherry (@mrdenny), speakers which I usually only meet at the PASS Summit like Denise McInerney (@denisemc06) and Meredith Ryan-Smith (@coffegrl) and meeting new people like Carlos Bossy (@carlosbossy) who was traveling from Denver, Colorado.
The day of the event I left home very early in the morning as Huntington Beach is about 75 minutes from my place up north at Santa Clarita and the traffic is sometimes unpredictable but fortunately arrived to the event on time for registration and get some coffee. I saw many familiar faces helping as volunteers for the event and I spent some time talking to some of them before heading for the first session of the day. I was planning to attend as many sessions as possible but since I was also presenting on three of them that proved to be very difficult.
The event was scheduled to run six sessions simultaneously and for the first round I briefly attended Clint Kunz’s session “Microsoft Business Intelligence All Up” and later Randy Knight’s “Become Bilingual! Oracle for the SQL Server DBA”.
Then it was time for my first presentation of the day, “Top Query Optimizer Topics for Better Performance”, which was the same session I presented at the PASS Summit 2010 and, at the moment of this writing, I’ve presented a total of nine times (and I’ve just found that I will be doing this session again at SQLSaturday 83 for Johannesburg, South Africa too!). Actually, since I presented some of these sessions on local user groups and code camps I was afraid that the people interested may have seen the session already and decided to attend other sessions instead. Fortunately attendance was really good as you can see on the picture below. I finish my first session by giving away a copy of my book Inside the SQL Server Query Optimizer.
After my presentation I attended the only entire session I would be able to see that day and actually one that I was very interested in. It was Ted Tasker’s “Parallel Data Warehouse – Architecture Overview”, an excellent session describing PDW massively parallel processing (MPP) architecture designed for data warehouses of dozens or hundreds of terabytes.
Sessions during lunch was a new addition to the event this year and during this time I attended part of Bob Abernethy’s “BI: Then and Now” session and later I hang out at the speaker room for a last review of my next presentation, which I was presenting for the first time. The only other lunch session available was “Women in Tech: Encouraging the Next Generation”, hosted by Denise McInerney.
My second presentation was just after lunch and the topic was “Partitioned Tables and Indexes: Management & Query Processing”. As mentioned, this was the first time I was presenting it and I think it went really well, which I was able to confirm by looking at the speaker evaluations later. I finished the session by giving away another copy of my book.
From my session on partitioning I quickly ran to another room for the SQL Server Panel discussion where I was participating too. The Panel was coordinated by Thomas Mueller and included speakers Lynn Langit (@llangit), Ike Ellis (@EllisTeam1), Denny Cherry, Bret Stateham (@BStateham), Andrew Karcher and myself. Topics included discussing our favorite new features of SQL Server Denali; advantages and drawbacks of SQL Azure, features that you would like to see in a future version of SQL Server, favorite third party tools for SQL Server, among others. There were also some topics based on questions from the attendees.
After the SQL Server Panel discussion I went to the speaker’s room again and was able to meet a few more of the speakers including Harold Wong. I also attended part of Denny Cherry’s “Index Internals” session. SQLSaturday concluded with a raffle where attendees got books and prizes donated by sponsors. The after-party was at Michael’s Sports Pub and Grill located just a few minutes away from the Golden West College where I was able to meet a few more people including Mark Ginnebaugh (@markginnebaugh) who was traveling to the event from the San Francisco Bay Area.
In summary this was amazing SQLSaturday and I had a great time there. All I can say is I am ready for the next SQLSaturday here in Southern California.