It’s a little hard to believe that it was already a week ago that I was at SQL Saturday #149 in Minnesota. It’s nice not to have to travel for these once in a while! This was a busy one for me, as I was part of the Planning Committee. I’d like to take credit for how awesome the day was, but I really can’t. While I did spend quite a bit of time talking through the various aspects of the day with Paul Timmerman (@mnDBA) and his wife Jenny Timmerman (@JenUMN), they really did a majority of the work. There were many others on the committee that also worked hard.
Lots of ideas from Atlanta were used, because they were good ideas! The planning committee had bright orange polo shirts. Volunteers had these really cool dark orange/heathered shirts. They were great for fall! They also stood out, so that anyone who needed help could find orange polos or t-shirts and ask away! This was especially helpful, since sessions were held in two different buildings on the University of Minnesota campus. There was GREAT signage everywhere (and smart, since they are reusable) to point people in the right direction. Between Jenny and I, each of us stayed near a different building for the first part of the day. We also occasionally walked people back and forth between the two buildings. Let’s just say, it became apparent by the end of the day (and the next), that I hadn’t done much walking since The 3 Day. Despite having the event in two separate buildings that were a courtyard away, things went very well! It was a gorgeous day out, so people didn’t seem to mind the walk so much. The only complaint I heard, and I only heard one, was how hot is was in the 2nd building, because the University was having some air conditioning issues. Other than that, I think everything went incredibly well!
My main duties in preparation for the day were two-fold. One, I was the eyes and ears at all the other SQL Saturdays I went to this year, and was to report back to Paul what went well, and what I would change. I was also helping with the volunteer responsibilities, and the evaluation forms. After talking to speakers at other SQL Saturdays, we decided that if we had room proctors, great, if not, oh well. Many speakers told me they didn’t mind collecting their own evaluation forms, and appreciated being able to take them that day. We basically used the ones that are on the SQL Saturday Admin page. I tweeked it somewhat to make editing more effective, and updated the logo. Rather than recording all the scores for the speakers, we had an event evaluation form that we asked people to fill out. It seemed many people did. Again, we used one from the SQL Sat Admin page. This form asked attendees who their favorite speakers were, and who needed a little more practice. It also allowed them to comment on the event as a whole. The information on these was what the Board wanted to know anyway…
As far as the event itself goes, we had lots of great speakers from both local areas, and from around the country. I couldn’t possibly name them all, and rather than missing someone awesome, I’ll refrain from naming any here. People were raving about all the great things they were learning, and couldn’t wait to see many of the speakers again at the PASS Summit! By mid-morning, people seemed to know where to go, so I got to sit in on my husband, Jason Strate (@StrateSQL)’s session on indexing. I have seen many of his presentations before, but not this one. It was really good! If I was a DBA, I think I would have gotten a lot out of it. He threw in several little tidbits as side notes, “by the way, did you know…” I think he gets better every time I watch him.
The end of the day came with a buzz around the raffle. I don’t know how many people were in the room for raffle, but there were a lot (oh, and one unicorn). Monkeys were flying around the room. It was fun. Unfortunately, I once again, did not win any of the kindle fires or tablets that were being raffled off. I also did not win any of the huge gift cards. I’m going to keep trying. One of these days, I’m bound to win SOMETHING, right?
Being that Jason is a bit famous in the Community for his love of #sqlkaraoke, he planned the after party at Elsie’s in Minneapolis. Their website says they were voted best karaoke in 2000. We could see why they haven’t been voted that since. Their food was good, but the karaoke was terrible! For most of the night, we couldn’t hear the singers, because the music was turned up so loud. The KJ that night was also less than impressive. Despite all that, we had a great turn out, and a lot of fun!
One more highlight: Jes Borland (@grrl_geek) got to sleep over. We ended up being so busy (picking up Jason at the airport) that we couldn’t really do the slumber party thing.
Here are a couple of other posts about the day. If you wrote one, and I missed it, please feel free to link to it in the comments.
Joe Sack’s recap
Hope Foley’s recap
Jason Strate’s quick recap and materials