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SQLSaturday 21 – Orlando Announced!

Posted by sqlwiseguy on July 28, 2009

Andy Warren and crew at OPASS have announced that SQLSaturday 21 – Orlando will be held at Seminole Community College, 100 Weldon Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32773, on October 17th.  The call for speakers just opened this afternoon and we have our first session submitted, and it wasn’t by me or @SQLChicken!

This is the third SQLSaturday in Orlando and second at this location, so hopefully we have the kinks worked out.  There is one change this year that there will be a $10 charge to cover lunch, likely from Jason’s Deli.  You’ll still get water, soda, donuts, coffee, and fruit throughout the day for free, plus the usual swag.  That’s not to mention the excellent FREE training.  I attended the first SQLSaturday Orlando and was a speaker/volunteer at last year’s event.  I’ve yet to meet anyone who has not thought it was a terrific event.  I’ve also spoke at the SQLSaturday 14 – Pensacola and everyone there enjoyed that event as well.

If you work with SQL Server there’s no better way to get a free day of training, so register now.  If you work with SQL Server and are passionate about it, then there is no better place to share that passion by presenting.  I don’t think that there is anything more rewarding than sharing your experience and expertise with others.  I’ll be submitting at least one session.

If you have any questions about SQL Server then suggest a session.  I know I check the suggested sessions for ideas and if I have the necessary knowledge I’ll submit a session based on a suggestion.

I’ll be there, and hopefully I’ll see you there as well.

Posted in Code Camp, Community, OPASS, Professional Development, Speaking, SQL Server, SQLSaturday, Training, User Group, Volunteering | Leave a Comment »

Making SQLSaturday Orlando Bigger and Better

Posted by sqlwiseguy on June 1, 2009

Once again I am a bit late in getting this out, but on Saturday, May 23rd, I participated in the first planning meeting for SQLSaturday – Orlando 2009.  This will be the third SQLSaturday in Orlando, fourth if you count the Tweener Weekend.  Andy Warren is once again taking the lead role for the event, although he is looking for someone else to take that over for 2010, and he asked a few folks that have been involved in OPASS and the other Orlando SQLSaturday’s to join him for lunch to begin planning this year’s event.  Here are few things we discussed:

Getting People to Attend the After Party

With ~275 people attending the event, getting less than 50 to attend the After Party seems to be a low number, especially when most of them are speakers and volunteers.  We understand that it’s a long day of training, but we also think that one of the most valuable aspects of the day is the networking opportunity.  We discussed having a barbecue (burgers and dogs) on-site instead of adjourning to a restaurant.  I personally think this will be a great way to get people to stay.  I know I have been to events where once I get in my car, even with the intention of going to the after event party, I decide I’m tired and would rather go home.  If I never get to my car, I probably hang out.  There are definitely some logistical issues with doing the After Party on site, but I think the payoff will be worth it.

Growing the Event

How do we get more people to come?  There have to be a lot more than 400 people working with SQL Server in the Orlando area, right?  What do we need to do to get them to come to a free training event?  Certainly adding some “name” speakers would help, but that adds to the event budget and it reduces the number of slots for local speakers.  One of the area where I think we are weak is that we don’t market the event enough to developers.  A lot of the content provided is applicable to .NET/Java/Web developers who access SQL Server.  There is almost always content around SQL Injection which is applicable to developers as well as DBA’s.  One way we want to do this is by adding a slogan or motto that will show that SQLSaturday is for anyone who has any interaction with SQL Server.

Charging for Lunch

One of the biggest expenses for the weekend is providing lunch.  A couple of events have charged for lunch and we discussed and pretty much decided to try adding a $10 lunch fee.  This will allow us to use the budget for providing a better overall event and possibly more swag instead of lunch.  This also will help us as we move to on on-site After Party which will be included at no cost.  So for $10 you get a full day of training; coffee, donuts, fruit, soda, water throughout the day; lunch; and a barbecue.  What could be better.

Pre and Post Event Seminars

On the Friday before SQLSaturday #1, End to End Training hosted a one day seminar with Joe Celko for $99 which brought in about 50 people.  One of the reasons was to get Joe to come and speak at SQLSaturday.  You can agree or disagree with Joe, but he is knowledgeable and certainly generates interest.  We discussed the feasibility of doing multiple events like this during the week before and possibly the Monday after SQLSaturday.  This could possibly encourage some speakers from out of the area to come to Orlando to make a little money and stay and speak at SQLSaturday, so maybe we get a couple bigger names to come, which may help us meet our first goal of growing the event.

This is one of my longer posts, but I think it was worth it to let people know what we are doing to try to make SQLSaturday Orlando a better event.  I think it’s a great event already, I was an attendee at the first one, and a speaker and volunteer at the second, but there are always areas where you can get better and we want to do that. 

I’ll be speaking at SQLSaturday Pensacola this weekend, June 6th, and this will be my first non-Orlando SQLSaturday so it will be good to see how someone else puts together the event and hopefully get some ideas to bring home to Orlando.  So if you are in and around Pensacola I hope to see you there.  There’s a great lineup of speakers.

Posted in Code Camp, Community, OPASS, PASS, Professional Development, SQL Server, SQLSaturday | Leave a Comment »

Orlando Code Camp, Linq, and the DateTime Datatype

Posted by sqlwiseguy on March 25, 2008

I spent last Saturday at the Orlando Code Camp and had a good time. I went to most of the Linq sessions. Since my co-worker, Rodd Harris, and I are in the process of developing a new application in C# and SQL Server, I felt like I needed to become more familiar with Linq. I really enjoyed Jim Wooley’s sessions on Linq to XML and Building Data-Driven Web Sites Using Linq. Check out his web site at ThinqLinq.com, which is built using Linq.

I am mainly a SQL Server DBA/Developer, so I have some concerns about Linq To SQL regarding security, performance, and maintainability. Especially when I hear things like, “With Linq, you’ll never have to write a stored procedure again.” Well, I would beg to differ with that comment. Stored Procedures help isolate the database from people who think they know SQL and those who know how to use Access or ODBC to get to the data. Call me paranoid, but I think that some paranoia is necessary for a good DBA. I certainly believe Linq is a useful tool to have in your toolbox, but it should be used with thought as every tool should be. Toward the end of the day I had a good discussion about it with Andy Warren from End to End Training. He and I have similar feelings about Linq To SQL, but I think Andy is a little more anti-Linq To SQL than I am.

The coolest thing I learned about Linq was that it gives developers the ability to do heterogeneous joins. So I can have a Linq to Objects query and join on a Linq to SQL query. Now that is cool! For example this code creates an xml document using the new VB support for xml literals and then joins a Linq To XML query to a Linq To Objects query (taken from Jim Wooley’s Linq To XML presentation):


Dim fileTypes = <FileTypes>
<FileType extension=".xml" description="Extensible Markup Language"/>
<FileType extension=".dtd" description="Data Type Definition"/>
<FileType extension=".htm" description="Hypertext Markup Language"/>
<FileType extension=".rtf" description="Rich Text Format"/>
<FileType extension=".txt" description="Text File"/>
<FileType extension=".wpd" description="WordPerfect Document"/>
</FileTypes>

Dim results = _
From fi In New System.IO.DirectoryInfo("C:\projects\linq\shakespeareXml").GetFiles _
Join ext In fileTypes. On fi.Extension.ToLower Equals ext.@extension _
Where fi.LastAccessTime >= Now.AddMonths(-6) _
Select FileName = fi.Name, Exten = ext.@description _
Order By FileName Descending

For Each item In results
Console.WriteLine(item)
Next

If you have the opportunity to go to these events and local user groups you should make the effort. It is worth it. You will always pick up something useful and it’s a great opportunity to network.

I also found a cool blog post over at SQLSkills.com on why SQL Server’s datetime data type starts at 1/1/1753, 1753, datetime and you.

Posted in Code Camp, Linq, SQL Server | Leave a Comment »