SQLSaturday #162, Cambridge UK, part 1

Cambridge, my Cambridge oh SQLSaturtday

It was almost a regular friday morning at the office, on the 7th of September of 2013.
I called it almost a regular because there were some little differences like starting the working day very early around 8AM, and working not until the late evening because I had a very important task todo – to catch a plane to London UK and then to get to the SQLSaturday #162 in Cambridge.

As any reasonable human would expect I thought that most complicated part of my day would be to catch a plane and to do the trip between London and Cambridge. I was wrong, so wrong since my day started with a good amount of tasks at the Production environment with a whole lot of people requesting my help. It was exactly one of those days when things go wrong for a number of projects for a number of reasons but at the same time.

So from a typical less stressful friday this day has very rapidly become a nightmare, which lasted right until the moment when I had to finally leave to catch the plane and let me tell you that it was not an easy task because having a director of IT on your back screaming at the people around you is not a pleasant thing and even though he is not mad with you directly, you don’t want to wave with a flag to be fired at. :) I honestly started to think if I would be able to catch the plane at all, because no sane DBA would leave his/her company in a situation when some of the important tasks on the business side cannot be done.

It has got a little bit worse before it got better, because as I was already switching my PC off and I have already cleaned out my desk, I have got one of the Project Managers running to me and waving with his hands screaming that he needs my help and saying that he has got a critical problem in a production environment that was needed to be solved ASAP. I had to use my jedi powers to keep calm while thinking hat I would be loosing a plane while solving his situation. My actual jedi powers were not need since he was actually joking so my breathing slowed down and I was able to see the light again and I was free to catch a cab until the Lisbon Airport.

Traveling in Europe is typically a very simple task, since the procedures are quite standard and there are no complications with visas and so on. The only thing which can go unexpected is the flight delay or eventual cancelation, these are the things which scary the people out. Our plane was delayed for a good 30 minutes, but because we have had no critical hurry – we could just sit back and relax.

Being a speaker at SQLSaturday in Cambridge has some very very serious privileges, like being picked up at the airport in a luxury car and being brought right to the door of the hotel, and just to have it my mind that we are talking about the distance between Cambridge and London which is around 80 miles !!!

After a very nice and comfortable ride which took around 90 minutes we were ready to take on the Cambridge folks, but since we have managed to leave the airport around 7:30, it was only somewhere after 9PM that we have finally managed to leave our baggage at the hotel and start looking for the venue of the Speaker Dinner, which was just another XXX given by Mark Broadbent and his team. Knowing that the dinner was to take place at 7pm we actually had quite low hopes of getting some food at the “Strada” italian restaurant that was chosen for the speaker dinner purpose.

We were very pleasantly surprised by the fact that the organizer team and the invited speakers were still finishing their desert, so we have got a special treatment of being able to get some very nice italian dishes and to join the rest of the crowd (~40 people).

While waiting for the food being prepared I have had a wonderful opportunity to meet and great so many great friends like Mark Broadbent, Karla Landrum, Rodney Landrum, Allan Mitchel, Jen Stirrup, Hugo Kornelis, Neil Hambly, Rob Volk, and so many others!
The environment was not just fantastic, no … It was inspiring.

Me & Bruno Basto (the other portuguese speaker) have spent quite some time in the night chatting with other speakers and organizers, exchanging opinions and simply trying to adapt to a different environment of a different country. I love those speaker events because they really serve as an adaptation period for the speakers coming from different countries and places. It gives the opportunity to establish the first contacts which shall be eventually continued during the event and even after it.

So after spending a couple of hours at the restaurant and at a pub where we went with some other speakers.
I felt that I was ready to face the crowd of the SQlSaturday #162.

To be continued…

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