Wheeling, WV to Houston, TX – A SQL Saturday #57 Recap..

Everyone, If you attended SQL Saturday #57 in Houston, TX thank the host and the sponsors. With out their dedication and hard work this event wouldn’t have happened.  Finally, if you haven’t done so submit a speaker evaluation for the sessions you attended.

Now that the basics are covered lets move on to the recap.

Why Houston?

Last week I took a trip out to H-Town to speak at my eighth venue in the last twelve months.  Family was a huge motivator for attending SQL Saturday #57.  Being a graduate of James E. Taylor High School in Katy, Texas I was able

John Sterrett SQL Server 2008 for Developers Presentation

If you build it they will come!

to double dip and visit my parents and my oldest brother.  I flew in on Thursday to surprise my father for his birthday. I got an extra bonus when I arrived.  I found out that this was also going to be the same day my nephew was born.


On Saturday, we meet up at the church for the first SQL Saturday in Houston. Yes, that sentence is correct.  The Houston Area SQL User Group was able to get the Bammel Church of Christ to host the event. I have to be honest when I found out that a church was going to be used I was skeptical.  Normally, these events are at a community college, university or Microsoft Office.  I wondered if a church be a good venue for a SQL Saturday? I was right, it wasn’t a good venue. It was a fantastic venue.  Kudos to Nancy Hidy Wilson (Blog | Twitter) and the Houston User Group for selecting this venue.

Connecting (Volunteer & Speakers Dinner)

Normally, when I am selected to speak at a SQL Saturday I always attend the volunteer and speaker dinner and the after party. Its a great opportunity to network.  We met up at the Outback Steakhouse in Tomball.  I felt like I was back at summer camp as I hanged out with some friends and also made some new friends. (Thomas LeBlanc, Wes Brown, Ryan Adams, Jen and Sean McCowen, Sri Sridharan, Tim Mitchell and more…)

My favorite quote comes from Sri, “John you cannot say its a once in a lifetime opportunity. Your Steelers are always in the Super Bowl.”

Learning (Presentations I attended)

  • Dean Richards – Best Practices for SQL Server on VMWare
    With the economy changing we all need to find ways to do things cheaper. One of the easiest ways to do this is to virtualize your servers. The concept seams great but SQL Server can be tricky to manage.  How do you configure the guest memory? How does the host share its CPU power with guests? I learned this and a lot more during Deans session.
  • Ryan Adams – Manage Your Shop with CMS and Policy Based Management
    Those of you who know me know I am very excited about Central Management Server and Policy Based Management. I currently use it to evaluate my daily checklist against 100+ instances of SQL Server with 3,000+ databases.  I am extremely interested in seeing how other DBA’s use it.  Ryan is into mirroring and loves the mirroring facets provided with PBM.  I am glad he showed this to me.
  • Thomas LeBlanc – Transition from DBA to BI
    Any time I can sit in the front row on a sofa and watch Thomas speak its a win-win. This talk was special because  I got my learn on and felt like I was at comedy hour.  I enjoyed his path from DBA to BI.  I really liked how he was able to use his DBA skills to make a good first impression.  He also showed us a great spreadsheet out there on the interwebs to build a data dictionary for your facts and dimensions.

Sharing (My Presentations)

  • SQL Server 2008 for Developers (About 30 attendees)
    Every once in a while I submit this topic to see if people are still interested in seeing demos going over the new features provided for developers with SQL Server 2008.  During the presentation I polled the attendees to see who hasn’t migrated to SQL Server 2008.  There still is a crowd that wants to know how to implement DateTimeOffset, T-SQL enhancements,  Merge, Table Value Parameters, Change Data Capture.  I spoke right before lunch and had a few people stay extra to go over a bonus demo.  I also talked with a few of the attendees later in the day and I got some great feedback.If you attend my session please submit feedback.  You can find the slide deck and sample code on my blog.
  • Evaluate your Daily Checklist using CMS and Policy Based Management (5 Attendees)
    My PBM and CMS talk was included in the last session.  This was my first presentation using VMWare Workstation.  I did this for two reasons. One, Brent Ozar made me do it. Finally, I wanted to throw up an instance of SQL 2000 for this demo and I couldn’t do it with Windows 7.  Even though the crowed was small one attendees told me he is going to start using PBM and CMS due to my presentation. This is the greatest complement I could receive. 

    If you attend my session please submit feedback.  You can find the slide deck and sample code on my blog.

Bloggers SQL Saturday #57 Posts

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