SQL Saturday #49 Recap (long overdue)

So, this post is at least a month overdue.  What can I say, I’ve been busy shooting zombies (Left 4 Dead 2) and trying to learn a new environment at work.

Speaker Dinner / Night Before

Prior to arriving at the speaker dinner I had a somewhat stressful event in that I lost half of my tire driving down I-10 with a car full of stuff (I was moving that day).  Luckily I was able to avoid anything seriously wrong and still make my way down to the dinner and was only about a half hour or so late.

First and foremost let me say that Karla and Rodney are awesome.  They let me crash at their place and hang out with the cool kids all night.  Second, Confio is awesome.  They paid the bill for the speaker dinner which I’m sure was not cheap.  The dinner was great (I love shepard’s pie) and there were a LOT of people who showed up.  I had an excellent time talking with old friends and some people whom I just met for the first time.  It really is nice to see how great of a community we have. 

After the speaker party wound down I was lucky enough to spend the next few hours goofing off with Karla, Rodney, Shawn, Jorge and Thomas LaRock until the wee hours of the morning.  I’m still trying to think of an SQL alphabet entry for ‘Z’…

Check In / Etc

I was a little later than normal getting into the conference but when I got there everything was going really smooth.  There was plenty of doughnuts, sodas, coffee, etc.  I Didn’t have as much time to socialize in the morning as I had the first session.  Such is life.

SSIS – Data Flow Buffer Breakdown (Me)

I really enjoyed giving this session.  One thing that was a little odd to me was that when I asked for a show of hands for how much experience people had with SSIS most of the audience had only been working with it for less than a year.  I’m not sure if that means that we didn’t convey the “advanced” tag enough on the schedule or what, but I think that nearly everyone walked away with something.  Also, I received lots of positive feedback on the evaluations.  I even had the current president of PASS sitting in on the session.  Fun stuff!

NOTE: The download link on the SQL Saturday link appears to be broken.  What you have to do is save as and rename to include the .zip extension.  Not sure how this got lost when I uploaded it…

Learning SSIS under 1 Hour (Jose Chinchilla)

I hopped out of the session for a bit to grab a soda and came back in part way through.  Jose did an excellent job of providing an introductory look at SSIS.  However, as always, beware of “typing” in demos.  Also, I would advise AGAINST using the data sources.  They don’t really do anything for you and configurations are ten times better.  Save yourself the headache…

Planning Your ETL Architecture with SSIS (Rafael Salas)

This was definitely one of the sessions I felt I had to catch.  Rafael has been one of the pillars of the SSIS community for the past several years and it showed in this presentation.  As always, I picked up an item or two.  For instance, I am now returning whether or not a package was previously run INSIDE of my audit initialization sprocs to help with the restartability… and the giant union all on the side of the data flow to catch all exceptions is visually pleasing. 

Speaking, Should I? (Patrick LeBlanc)

I caught the end of this presentation as I as coming back from lunch and preparing for my next presentation.  Patrick is hilarious.  Really, if you haven’t seen him perform… erm, I mean, present, you need to do so as soon as possible.

SSIS – Configurations, Expressions and Constraints (Me)

This is the session I have presented most often.  I felt it went off fairly well and I even finished most of the material I have ready.  I received lots of positive feedback on this presentation.  About the only negative was that my laptop died right at the end of the presentation (during the middle of a demo) because I had forgot to plug it in at the beginning.  Still, all in all a successful presentation!

Moving Data with SQL Azure and SSIS (John Welch)

This was the other session I really wanted to sit in on.  John Welch is a very very bright guy who knows a heck of a lot about SSIS.  As such, I get excited whenever I get the chance to sit in on one of his sessions.  This session explained some of the different methods for pushing and retrieving data from SQL Azure and when each of them might be appropriate.  Although I don’t currently work with Azure, but I’d be surprised if that is the case in a few years.

Empty Session

I was a bit beat from the rest of the day and decided to just try to catch up with some people during this time slot. 

Swag

As is becoming a tradition Andy once again flung swag from the second story down to the courtyard.  Ninja balls, Ninja Shirts, Hats, Books, Software, Cups, … You name it and it was flung (Except for the Ipad).  As usual, I didn’t win any of the “big” items Smile

After Party

The event was back at the irish bar and I’d say somewhere around fifty people showed up.  I had a good time socializing and talking with a lot of the speakers and a few of the attendees.  But, after a few hours it was time to drive back to my new home in Jacksonville (which I had yet to see with my stuff in it… That happened the Friday when I was driving down to Orlando!).

As always, I’d like to thank Andy and Jack for putting on such a great conference.  It takes a lot of hard work and dedication!

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