PGH.NET Code Camp Review

This past weekend I had the pleasure of helping out David Hoerster (bio, twitter) with the setup of PGH.NET Code Camp.  Why, would I want to get up before the crack of dawn to help?  Well for starters David is a die hard Pittsburgh Pirates fan like myself.  Okay the real answer, is that I wanted to help with the code camp before I ran my first SQLSaturday in West Virginia.   This was a great practice before the game starts on May 1st.

In short I learned that if you have good volunteers it’s actually not too hard to have a great event.  If the event is free there will be people who just don’t show.  I guess mowing their lawn is more important than free training?  People will also leave before the event is over.  I could be wrong but I thought about half of the crowd left before the last session ended.  Finally, if a speaker doesn’t show you could replace the session with speakers panel.  This was a great move and actually was my favorite session of the day. 

SQL Server 2008 for Developers

During the day I also did a presentation on SQL Server 2008 for Developers.  I presented right after lunch and expected the majority of the crowed to have a food coma from the free burritos but this was not the case.  It actually was a nice interactive session. The following are a few quick facts from the presentation. 

About 40 people attended this session and only five of them are currently using SQL 2008.  I know this is a small sample size but it makes me believe that there are a lot of people out there still on SQL 2005 or SQL 2000.

The majority of the people awake (yes,  a few experience the food coma) were really impressed with using the real-time debugger to debug stored procedures, using merge to replace truncate table insert into table and use TVP to pass a data table in as an input parameter.

Follow-up Answers

The following are answers to some questions that were asked after the session.  Thought I would answer them here so others could find them in the future.

Can I create an index to filter based on dates?

Yes, you can.  I believe this is a new feature added in SQL Server 2008.  The following script will execute.

CREATE NONCLUSTERED INDEX FIBillOfMaterialsByStartDate
    ON Production.BillOfMaterials (ComponentID, StartDate, EndDate)
WHERE StartDate > '20000801' AND StartDate < '20010801';
GO

Checkout this MSDN link for more on Filtering Indexes. 

How can I make my database run faster? 

This is always a fun question and a hard one to answer without looking at the database and the server it resides on.   I recommended that this individual start with the free performance boosts.  This is also known as managing your indexes.   To do this checkout the following great links with video from SQLServerPedia.

Can I find the last time database objects were modified?

Yes, check out this link for a script that does the following task