Last Saturday I headed down to “the OC” for SQL Saturday #73 in Huntington Beach, California. The main organizer was Andrew Karcher, and the participating PASS Chapters were Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.
It was a terrific meeting. Here’s what I was able learn and do:
• Represent and evangelize PASS and meet more PASS Chapter Leaders and members.
• Talk to the organizers to learn how they pulled it all together.
• Observe how a SQL Saturday actually runs – the venue, logistics, number of organizers and volunteers required, speaker evaluations, giveaways, and door prizes.
• Meet as many speakers, sponsors, and attendees as possible.
And of course I wanted to learn more about SQL Server.
• Clint Kunz of Microsoft gave a very high level talk on the current state of Microsoft’s Business Intelligence efforts. Other speakers would be presenting the details in later sessions.
• I then heard Rob Kerr of BlueGranite speak on delivering BI solutions with SQL Server and SharePoint. I really enjoyed his practical examples.
• Ted Tasker of Microsoft gave a really good intro to Microsoft’s Parallel Data Warehouse (AKA PDW, Project Madison). This was great information about a very exciting project. PDW is big, powerful, and pretty expensive, but is a bargain compared to competing products from Terradata and others. I had a great talk with Ted afterward.
• The Women in Technology Virtual Chapter had a great panel on the theme “Encouraging the Next Generation.” Kudos to Denise McInerney, Meredith Ryan Smith, Lynn Langit, and Diana Dee.
• Clint Kunz talked about the Largest SQL Server Projects in the World. Very interesting!
• Harold Wong is a hoot! He gave a talk on virtualization basics that was really useful, and at the same time, very entertaining.
• The last session I attended was with Bret Stateham on SQL Server Reporting Services Map Visualizations. I enjoyed the interesting examples that Bret walked us through, step by step.
We closed out the event with a drawing for some great raffle prizes, and adjourned to Michael’s Sports Bar for food and drinks.
Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to put on this great event!