I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now and I’m only over a month late!
Richmond puts on a good event. I first attended back in 2013 where I met Carlos Chacon when they had the event at U of Richmond. It was a good week as I parlayed the SQLSaturday in with going to Baltimore to visit a fellow DBA for my company, Sneha Surti. I flew up on Wednesday, met with some app owners that day and Thursday, attended a half day precon with Grant Fritchey and Steve Jones on Friday, and enjoyed the main event on Saturday.
That was 3 years ago though!
I’m a speaker (when I’m selected) now, and speaking at this Saturday was great. I decided to take a road trip to clear my mind as I’ve been very busy with work and non SQL related duties, and did the 9 hour trip over the course of late Thursday and Friday.
I got in at 6:15 local time, just in time for the dinner. The place was a mongolian bbq joint and I enjoyed the food. Nice giveaways too, as the local peanuts made for a great snack for my late night endeavors a few weeks ago; In 2013, they gave away a luggage handle tag (or whatever) to their attendees; I love mine and still use it. I ended up getting 2 more! The grand prize was the speaker shirt. A wonderfully soft, warm fleece.
I did fail at the dinner though, Kevin Kline and Louis Davidson both wore their Nashville Saturday shirts and while I packed mine, I did not wear it that day. I also did not reserve a hotel room, and apparently there was a gigantic soccer tournament in town that month. I was able to get a room about 20 minutes away, but I was happy with it vs….not having a hotel room.
I was able to take off Friday, but my team had an all hands on deck event scheduled for that evening. All I had to do was make sure services were running on several of our servers, but it was a pretty major ordeal in the scope of things. Props to Jack Donnell and Suresh Kumar for their work on that project. I can’t reveal what it was, it’s kind of top secret.
I got in too late for the first sessions as I always do, although this time the problem was more that a Starbucks barista did not know how to make an iced chai tea latte.
Seriously, it’s ice, half chai concentrate, and milk. THAT’S IT.
I’m not over it still to this day. Anyway, I get in late and visit the booths, and get acclimated to the new venue. The second set of sessions included a buddy of mine, Doug Purnell. We met in Atlanta back when I first started attending Saturdays, and we were both looking into speaking as a side gig. Doug did really well and put on a nice session. I’m looking forward to more sessions from him! The next session I attended was for Jessica Moss, as I’m quite interested in learning more about SSAS and her session was on tabular vs multidimensional. I learned some interesting stuff for sure and Jessica is one of the best presenters out there. After lunch I had some fun with Andy Leonard and Tim Mitchell in the speaker room.
My session went very well. Probably the best session I’ve had at a SQLSaturday. I gave my “Know Your Role” session on security, which is a topic I’m very well versed in and has very good and different content. I had a small crowd, but everyone was engaged and enjoyed the session.
After my session was over, I stuck around to do the wheel of death as it was called. The idea was that participants would submit a lightning talk and you would spin and do someone else’s session. Unfortunately, not enough submitted so we did SQL charades instead. Ended up having a blast. No video, but next time it happens there should definitely be someone filming. Package and Log Shipping, that’s all I’m going to say.
After the drawings, the after event was at a pizza place not far from the speaker dinner joint. Food was FANTASTIC. It appeared family owned and was incredible. I had a great discussion with William Wolf, his wife, and Slava Murygin. Always nice to meet new colleagues and talk real life and of course talk shop too. 🙂
Richmond again was a fun event for me and I’ll plan on going again probably next year.