Even though I have arrived late to Cambridge and stayed after even later hour drinking a couple of beers with the SQLSaturday organizers I was still capable to wake up very early because I wished to support the event organizers in the morning.
Me and Bruno Basto (another portuguese presenter at SQLSat #162) woke up at 6:20 in order to be able to be at the registrations around 7:15. Bruno was very kind to share his room with me, which had some good and not so very good sides, because every night before falling asleep we have spent a couple of hours talking on all matters around SQL Server and SQL Server community. :)
Arriving at the location of the SQLSaturday #162 in Cambridge I was struck by the location and the quality of the venue – Mark and his team have selected the hotel Crowne Plaza right in the center of Cambridge. I know that It was not an easy choice, because they could not get any other place on the base of the capacity or because of the other limitations, like the requested price. I think that overall the venue has provided the desired quality for the event attendees especially including the specificity of the event itself. Creating the very first SQLSaturday in the UK has a lot of responsibilities like setting the right standard on what can and what should be done, while opening more doors to the members of the SQLServer community in the UK.
At the moment of our arrival the registration was already going strong with all the sponsors being present at their respective tables and the registration table being occupied by Mark himself and his lovely wife Lorraine. PASS Table was occupied by Karla Landrum and Jonathan Allen (UK Regional Mentor) who were fiercely promoting the PASS. Actually on my arrival Karla went to help Mark with the registration process so I was given an opportunity to stay and represent PASS at their table.
It is quite interesting to find out that the most people coming to SQLSaturdays have no idea about the PASS or that each and every SQLSaturday is actually being organized in partnership with PASS. One might object against the whole idea of the SQLSaturday being supported by PASS because this support might be almost invisible, but actually one should not forget about some of the details like potential Sponsorship as well as an established brand itself, which in my personal opinion are some very important steps for the event success.
I have not spend whole lotta time at the PASS table because I was assigned as a “monitor” for one of the first sessions. Monitoring session at the SQLSaturday basically means to attend it but to watch out for the time, advising the speaker when time is getting close to an end, like 15 min before the final and then at 10 min and 5 min respectfully. Also it means to watch out for all the room not to get overcrowded and to support the speaker with whatever he/she might be needing.
The first session of the day that I was monitoring was the one on the Partitioning by David Peter Hansen. I really enjoyed it a lot – it was an introductional level session explaining some of the basics of partitioning practices. I also felt that the most of the attendees really enjoyed it, because there was quite a healthy level of interaction between the presenter and the attendees.
After that I have spent the rest of the time preparing and rehearsing once again my session which was the third one on the schedule. One of the most exciting things that has happened to me in that time was a very interesting conversation with Buck Woody at the speaker room. I have always had quite a high opinion of him, but after that conversation I can definitely assure you that it has jumped up 2 times at least. I always love talking to people from whom I might be able learn a thing or a two, and Buck is definitely one of those guys from whom I am looking to get more in the nearest future.
As everybody knows, the time passes really fast when you have a lot of things to do, and so around 10AM at the scheduled time I started delivering my session on the best practices for the developers to do when inheriting a database developed by others. I have had a small but rather nice number of people in the room where I was presenting which were not falling asleep but interacting quite actively. I was glad to receive a couple of questions by the email from the attendees which means that the session did not left the people indifferent.
to be continued…