SQL Saturday Olympia Recap

  • That weekend was a bit of a whirlwind adventure but good stuff all the same!  I left Friday morning to head over to Olympia Washington for the SQL Saturday to do a presentation. Was excited to get over that way for a SQL event (hopefully another one in October as well but that’s a work in progress).  There were a lot of folks I hadn’t met yet so was pumped.  We got out there in time to catch the speaker dinner which was really nice.  Got to meet some really nice folks like Rick Morelan twitter | blog.
  • Then comes the event.  The hard part is always having to choose which sessions to attend.  I caught Greg Larsen’s nice one with an Alice in Wonderland back story.  Then came one of my favorite topics…PowerShell.  You can’t tell from my lack of blogness about it but highly addicted to Powershell.  I guess my only tech blogs so far are ones devoted to it so guess that’s at least saying something.  So I was excited to catch Nicholas Cain’s twitter | blog session on it and was bummed missed it the other week in Chicago.  Mr. Joe Cool Smooth was not fazed by demo VM issues with licenses.  Very good stuff and some nice nuggets I am going to try out soon.  Up next was my presentation right after lunch.  It was nice to have the time at lunch to get setup.  I’m always sweating bullets until the slides come up on the overhead 🙂  It came up so had that going for me but was a bit bummed.  There was one question I am kicking myself I wasn’t able to answer.  My new theory to help me exorcise those demons is to blog on them later.  Thank you to Scott Stauffer twitter | blog for helping me out during one of those moments I started to get flustered.  Its always nice to have those friendly presenter faces in the audience to help.  After my session the shoulders relax and can get on with grabbing sessions of others for the rest of the day.  My next one I attended was Buck Woody twitter | blog.  This was the first time I had gotten to see one of his in person so was very excited for that one.  Very good stuff on Azure but was really impressed by his style and presentation.  Some folks just have this presenting stuff down.  Then wrapped up the day with Ron Talmage (link) session on his experiences with data warehousing.  Love to hear folks actual working experiences so was a nice one.
  • Then comes my favorite part of these events…the aftermath.  I LOVE the networking that goes on after the events.  This one was held at The Office Bar and Grill.  So got to hangout with SQL folks, enjoyed a burger, and got to try a nice local brew called Mac & Jack (good stuff).  Got to put faces to twitter handles like Argenis Fernandez twitter | blog.  One of my favorite conversations of the night though was when I got to meet and talk with Mike Decuir twitter | blog.  He hasn’t done a presentation yet but is working toward it.  I’m still a very big newbie to the game but was very excited to try to pay forward some of the encouragement I had picked up a long my way and pass it on to him.  Go Mike! 🙂
  • The journey on the red eye back was like an epic struggle with layovers and odd ball issues but would do it again in a heartbeat.  SQL Saturday Olympia was a great event….thank you to all who organized it!  Is it possible to get addicted to SQL Saturdays?  Not sure but I may be on my way!
  • Here are my slides too for folks looking for them.

SQLSaturday Chicago Recap

  • SQLSaturday Chicago was another fantastic experience!  It was my second one and was just amazing.  It definitely helped me to recharge my SQL mojo and remember that I really love doing this stuff.  Was a rough month at work and really needed that recharge.
  • We drove down on Friday and got there in time for the speaker dinner.  Enjoyed a couple 312’s and pizza.  It was nice to see folks I hadn’t seen since the last event and also to finally put some faces to names.  Conversation went to one of my favorite topics too…how people ended up as DBAs and in the industry.  Seems so often it’s an odd twist of events that land people in the DBA role.  I was then kidnapped by some fellow co-workers for a little birthday celebration.  Thank you Kandy, Teri, and Caroline!
  • Then the big day!  I caught Allen White’s session in the morning on PowerShell and PBM.  His sessions are always great and love catching them any chance I get.  That and as most folks know I’ve drank the kool-aid big time with PowerShell.  Followed that up with Aaron Bertrand’s session on Denali.  I seen some things on Denali but not much so wanted to catch that one.  The thing that stinks with all SQLSaturdays is the struggle to figure out which sessions to go to.  The line up for Chicago was so incredible…every session I wrestled with myself figuring out which one to actually go to.  After that was the Women in Technology luncheon which I was so pumped to be on the panel.  It was full of great discussion.  It was a bit hectic and rushed with lunch but great still the same.  I always love those WIT events.  Jes did a great job leading the conversation and keeping us all on time.  After that I caught Jeremiah Peschka’s session on SQL Refactoring.  It was great….just love his delivery and slides!  So artistic…makes my slides feel insecure and inadequate 🙂
  • My presentation went surprisingly well.  I had so many doubts coming into this one.  I had been swamped at work so didn’t prepare as much as I normally like to do.  Then I checked out the lineup at the same time.  When I saw Brent Ozar’s session going on at the same time my heart sank.  One because I would have liked to catch his session too but more because I thought I would be presenting to the walls.  I was so happy to see the room filled up!  I think the session went well.  I had folks who seemed really engaged and asking great questions.  I felt more at ease too.  Getting a bit more used to this public speaking thing I guess.  I know some of my first sessions you could have pushed me over with a feather and fried an egg on my face.  Oh and when it’s over the way that heaviness lifts and you can relax…also good stuff.  Luckily I didn’t have the same jerkface that was in Christina Leo’s session in mine either.  I always have “that guy” in mind when I’m preparing for these.  I know all the presenters were ready to grab torches and pitchforks and hunt him down…I mean really…really?  Read about her experience here.

  • Then came my favorite part..the aftermath!  This was my first experience with SQL karaoke and it was outstanding.  I am so not a karaoke kind of gal so didn’t actually get up there and sing but it was fun to watch for sure.  I would have to say my favorites were “Summer Nights” with Jes Borland and Jason Strate and “Pokerface” with Nicholas Cain and Jose Chinchilla.  Then when they kicked us out of that room we moved to the lobby for more chit chat and jello shots.  Oh the stories!  I just ate up every minute of the talk with everyone!  I stayed up till 4:00am taking it all in..and that’s unheard of for this poor mom.  I can’t remember the last time I stayed up that late.  Grant Fritchey started talking about how he got where he is…what was I going to do leave? Ummm no.
  • Thank you all so much for the encouragement, advice, and just in general good vibes.  Them SQL people are good people I tell ya! 🙂  And thank you too to all the people who put on a really fantastic SQL Saturday…great job!

24 HOP…Pure Awesomeness!

Well I had to get away from everything being “da bomb” so awesomeness it is!  This past week was my presentation for 24 Hours of PASS.  The presentation gods were nice to me which was great.  Had a nervous bit in the beginning when Brett’s internet connection was acting up but that worked itself out at the last minute.  Karma keeping me on my toes I guess.  And thanks to the instant feedback I got on email and Twitter it seemed like folks dug it.  I had a goofy grin I think for the rest of the day.  I have watched so many sessions for 24HOP that it was really kind of odd in a great way to be on the other end of it.  To all the folks at PASS…thank you so much for the opportunity!  There was never a presenter who appreciated the chance more!

Here are the slides from the presentation.

It’s official…SQLSaturday Chicago!

Just heard word that my PowerPivot session got picked up for SQLSaturday in Chicago in a few weeks!  Looking forward to meeting everyone involved for that one.  March is going to be pretty awesome….24 Hours of PASS and now this!  If you’re able you should come join the fun.  It’s on March 26.  Here’s the link.  And too…it’s the day after my birthday so that means I’ll get to celebrate in Chi-town…bonus!  #sqlsat67

Really starting to sink in…

I am doing some preparation today on my 24HOP presentation today.  It’s really starting to sink in how cool it is to have this opportunity.  Very stoked to be able to do a presentation for PASS!  I have seen so many great presentations from folks, it’s a bit hard to believe I’ll be doing one for others.  It’s also extremely cool to be a part of the one that is dedicated to all women.  I have always been a bit of a tomboy and loved beating guys at things that were seen as “their games”…i.e. fishing, playing pool, etc.  I got into IT partially because I kept hearing how it was a male dominated field.  The challenge of getting in and showing I can be just as good as any of the guys gave me a little extra incentive.  Just very honored to be presenting with other women who are out there rocking it as well.  I love seeing anyone exceed and do well in this awesome SQL community but makes me smile a bit wider when it’s a fellow chica!  Make sure you sign up for 24 Hour of PASS.  (Hash tags:  #24HOP #sqlpass #passwit)