SQL Saturday #57 – Houston

SQL Saturday #57 was this weekend! Sean and I went, talked, webshow-ed, and then presented a total of SIX sessions! 

Travel

Sean and I drove down Friday afternoon – only confusing I-35 with I-45 for about an hour, and then diverting back toward Houston.  We really enjoy these trips together, because we’re DBAs and parents, so we rarely get to have a full conversation with each other without the phone ringing or one kid or another demanding chocolate milk. 

Speaker Dinner and Webshow

The speaker dinner was a lot of fun. After, we met up with 

in our hotel room for the DBAs@Midnight show (ep 2.23).  Tim and Eric played heckler, and we had a nice jaw with Wes and Patrick.  (The preview will be up on YouTube.com/MidnightDBA later this week, and the episode itself will be up on MidnightDBA.com next week.) 

SQL Saturday Morning

Six hours later, we rolled out of bed and on toward the event.  SQL Saturday Houston did a really good job with logistics, venue, sponsors, communications, food (Panera muffins for breakfast!)….just about everything. I pinged them a little for signage, but only a little…they had a great venue map and great schedule communications that more than made up for a little weakness in signage. 

We made sure it was okay with the organizers, and went ahead and live-streamed all of our sessions. Hey, you’d know these things if you followed us on Twitter

Sean’s first (of FOUR) Powershell session was “Beginning Powershell for DBAs 1.0”. It was moderately attended – SQL Saturdays tend to have a lot of people that skip the 8am sessions (go figure) – but well received. I didn’t get to attend his second session (“Beginning Powershell for DBAs 1.5”), but I hear it was better attended, and I like the idea of a nice two hour beginner’s event. 

I didn’t get to hit that 9:45am session because *I* had my first session: “Women in Technology: Why are we Still Talking About This?”  This was a last minute addition for a speaker dropout, so I decided to make it a panel discussion. Karla Landrum (blog, Twitter) was kind enough to join me on almost no notice, and we had a great talk. Nancy Hidy Wilson, Houston User Group chapter leader and SQL Saturday 57 steering committee member (blog, Twitter) joined in….as did Geoff Hiten (blog, Twitter), MVP and newly appointed SQLPASS Board Member, joined us. As it turns out, Geoff now has the WIT virtual chapter under his umbrella of responsibility, so he’s getting involved!  

Next, I went straight to my second session, “T-SQL Code Sins: The Worst Things We Do to Code”. Here we have to break from the narrative and describe the venue: 

The venue was really quite cool.  It’s a church, laid out in four adjacent buildings. The main SQL Saturday building has a large open area for registration, noshing and mingling, surrounded by 5-6 classrooms and the speaker room.  The second building we used is clearly the youth center. On one end is a really nice area with tables and chairs, then an open area with couches and video games, and finally a very nice concert hall (seats about 200 over six hundred) with a professional light and sound setup and a BROAD, RAISED STAGE. 

The Code Sins Pulpit

 

This is where I was slated to teach Code Sins.

Awesome. 

In short, the session went very well, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. I gave out a dozen Ding Dongs, and two books, to the people that pleased me the most (either with nodding, laughing, questions, or their answers). 

The rest of the day went well – lunch, attending Erin Welker’s 0 to Cube session (which was fantastic, despite some major glitching with the display), and Sean’s last two sessions. 

Closing Ceremonies

In the rock room, of course. Nancy thanked volunteers [pic on phone], sound guys, sponsors. Nicest room by far for the big presentations. Announced Dallas SQL Saturday (April 2). “Anything we did right today, it’s because we watched them do it first.” Awwww…. 

If you live in or around Houston, be sure to join the HASSUG and be a part of this great group! 

Sessions

If you saw our sessions (or view the recordings), please visit the SQL Saturday #57 SpeakerRate page and let us know how we did! 

As I said, we live-streamed our sessions via our Droid X phones on Ustream.tv.  These recordings don’t get the screen, and the video and sound aren’t professional by any stretch. But IMHO they’re still worthwhile, because you get the entire talk immediately, without having to wait for us to produce them.  (Speaking of which, I’ll put up code and slide deck and more later this week…) 

My sessions: 

  • Women in Technology: Why are we Still Talking About This? (recording to be published next week)
  • T-SQL Code Sins: The Worst Things We Do to Code (recording on Ustream)

Sean’s sessions: 

7 thoughts on “SQL Saturday #57 – Houston”

  1. Thanks for the great write-up Jen! I’ll be getting my post-mortem posted soon…I hope. BTW – the “concert hall” actually hold 600+ and we had 400+ chairs setup – so we can definitely grow more in this facility (Bammel Church of Christ) if they let us come back!

  2. Actually, for concerts we pull all of the chairs out. That way we have more room, and less broken chairs! ;-)

    Let me echo Nancy’s thanks for the write-up, and thanks for recording your sessions. I’m going to have to watch them again when I’m not getting distracted so much!

    Lynn

  3. The whole event was just AWESOME. If there were any hitches along the way they certainly didn’t show. The Code Sins session was great!!! Hope to see you again next year if not before then.
    Philip

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