I promised a recap/review on my first SQLBits event so I finally got around to it, hopefully you will find it useful (even though it was 2 weeks ago!)
To start with I always wanted to go to a SQLBits event but over the past few years I decided to prioritise other training events but this year was a change and it went beyond my expectations.
I attended the 3 paid days which ran on Wednesday until Friday and soon as I parked my car and walked into the venue I realised the amount of effort that was put in this event. It oozed professionalism and signing in was fast and efficient. Day 1 I attended SQL Server Linux by Joey D’Antoni which was fantastic and packed full of demos. In terms of the course, for me installation seemed a walk in the park and even felt faster than the windows install ( Yeah I said it). Once you get past the installation it just felt like a SQL Server database, ok maybe the data files were in good old /OPT/ directory but T-SQL is T-SQL! It’s not perfect, but when AD authentication comes I guess that will be a game-changer.
Day 2 I attended Allan Hirt’s pre-con, all I can say here, is wow. Sometimes when you listen to someone they just capture your attention, I felt like this when I used to listen to my lecturer at University or Kimberly Tripp about indexing. Allan is a master in his field and I was scribbling notes like a man possessed. My biggest learning point was about DAGs – Distributed Availability Groups and I would love to attend more sessions from Allan. He was thrown loads of questions and he responded with high detail.
The structure of the pre-cons were fine for me, they were usually split into 1.5 hours sections (some people were getting tired after 1 hour) then followed by a break where we were supplied with buttery biscuits and fresh coffee (I was a happy man). Lunch was very good, I was expecting soggy cucumber sandwiches but we were given quite the opposite. Pre-cons were long yet enjoyable, if you go next year I suggest sleeping well the night before!
Friday felt different, straight away it was more hectic and busier where you attend whatever session you desire. It got busy and there was even an overflow area which was pretty cool! The only issue I had was I missed out on meeting my twitter friends! (I don’t have many but that ones I have a cool people) HOWEVER I did meet Steve Jones and Grant Fritchey which was awesome. I walked around the venue a lot and saw many “legends” that I probably regret not going up to saying hello, but it is not that easy, you can’t just walk up to someone mid-conversation and say “HI”…or approach someone in the cloak-room.
Believe me, I laid low for a while after this following conversation.
Me: “Hi Gail, so nice to finally meet you”.
Lady: “I am not Gail”.
Me: ………oh right.
Great social skills Blob. EPIC FAIL.