There are many great things to say about this past weekend’s SQL Saturday in Minnesota.  First, the organizers and volunteers put together a perfectly executed event.  Being an organizer of many SQL Saturday events, I know the pain and stress that goes into the actual day of the event due to things simply not going right.  Well, if there was something that didn’t go right, stress compounded or any pain inflicted, I can tell the organizers, from my side of things, the event was put together and executed perfectly.  A special thanks to them!

The event started on Friday for me with a pre-con titled, “Make me a Tuning Believer”.  The pre-con went very well.  I had a full room and through the day we had some very good discussions from query writing methods, tuning execution plans and indexing methods to alter how plans are generated, down to index analysis for missing, too many, over-lapping and duplicate indexes.  One of the great parts of the conversations, having the chance to show how tools like Database Tuning Advisor and the missing index DMVs can be used effectively to analyze and correctly implement or alter indexing.  As we all know, those tools have been misused badly in the past and it was a high point of the day being able to show a full room some good ways to make use of them more effectively while not making them the problem.

On Saturday, the fun just kept coming.  Here is just a few of the highlights of how great the day was.

  • A perfectly executed session, “Consulting The Good, The Bad, The Ugly”, with Hope Foley (T | B) on Consulting to an interactive and energetic room of attendees.  Hope is really exceptional as a person, SQL Server Pro and presenter.  I think this session has a great deal of value and Hope makes it just that much more valuable.
  • Finding my wife and both of my sons having a great time in the speaker room with all my awesome SQL friends.  I can’t thank everyone enough for being so kind, generous and welcoming my family as one of their own.
  • An hour long lunch discussion about query tuning and indexing titled, “Lunch-on-a-Stick”, with Joe Sack (T | B).  I’ve wanted to meet Joe for some years now and finally had the chance.  Not only the chance to meet Joe but to sit up in front of a great group of attendees with him and field questions that sparked some great conversations on the topics.  Truly an honor I’ll remember for some time.
  • Immediately following lunch, I ran over to another building to present about Merge Replication for Offline Data Mobility.  I really enjoy this topic and session.  The attendees that show for this session are always in the mist of designing a replication topology or deep in it.  The session sparks some high performance enhancements and stability in large and small merge replication topologies.
  • During the Merge Replication session I was heckled and heckled well by non-other-than, my own 7 year old son.  The tweets are absolutely worth showing and hilarious as I remember back to it.  (Oh, and don’t worry Hope, the bag of chips wasn’t that distracting :p )
  • The day was really a great day with many of friends and making new ones. Thanks again to the organizers for the hard work and execution of a great event.
  • Now, to think of a good way to get back at my 7 year old for all that heckling I got!