A few days ago (ok, almost two weeks now) the first SQLSaturday in Germany took place. And I can only say: it was an awesome event. And why? Well, first of all: it was completely free. You did not had to pay any attendance fee, you just had to invest some time on this Saturday. Secondly: You could choose from a variety of interesting sessions which covered BI, Dev and DBA topics. And the, in my eyes, most important reason: the chance to get in touch with a lot of skilled people, start discussions, exchange knowledge and/or experience you’ve made.
For me it was also the first time that I not only attended such an event, but also volunteered as well.
So, for me the event already started on Friday where I helped with the preparations. The main task was to pack the SQLSaturday bags, which was really time consuming. On the other hand I still had time to take a few pictures of the preparations. To get an idea, please take a look here.
The Saturday itself was, in the beginning, a bit stressful for me. Why? Well, I also helped at the registration (e.g. handing out the swag bags, badges, t-shirts) that morning and the people came in waves. But hey, when the first sessions started at 9 a.m. everything was fine and I could also attend (with a little delay of 15 minutes ) the first session that day “Execution plans in SQL Server” by Michael Rother .
Then it was Andreas Wolter’s turn, talking about Tracing with Extended Events. Really an interesting session and a requiem for SQL Server Profiler (“Hasta la vista, Profiler”). Andreas combination of his knowledge and humour made it fun session.
Without going in too much detail, just a little sum-up of the other sessions I have visited: SSIS Change Data Capture hosted by SQL Server MVP Allan Mitchell (twitter). This session was well-attended and and a good mixture of slides and demoes.
After the lunch break (pizza
time!), I just made a quick visit to Oliver Engels and Tillmann Eitelbergs session, when they were talking about Data Quality Services, followed by Hugo Kornelis’ (blog|twitter) “Everything you always wanted to know about MERGE” session which also was one of my highlights (UPSERTS,DUPSERTS and “we get the maximum of two…. things”). After a little photo session break where Tobiasz Koprowski and I took some pictures of all speakers it was time for the last session of that day. I went to the “Introduction to (MERGE) Replication” session by Johannes Curio.
But the SQLSaturday did not end with the last session. There were some raffles since the sponsors had a lot of prices to give and I have to say “Thanks” to Quest Software Germany for the Amazon voucher I got .
To wrap it up: The first SQL Saturday in Germany was a great experience for me. I have met many people I only knew through twitter or their community work. Just to mention a few: Torsten Schüssler, Niko Neugebauer, Hugo Kornelis.
Thanks to all the other Volunteers, it was a lot of fun working together and hopefully not the last time.
Last, but not least, thank you to all the speakers who spent their time to present at the SQLSaturday. What an awesome crowd:
A very special thanks to the most important persons of this SQLSaturday: Kostja Klein, Oliver Engels and Tillmann Eitelberg, who invested a lot of time to make this event possible.
P.S. You find all of my pictures from this event here.