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.
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.