One of my favorite technology events every year is SQL Saturday. For the past few years it’s been held at Georgia State’s Alpharetta campus. Each year I’m newly amazed by the huge turnout at this event, which is always sold out with a couple of dozen people standing around check-in early in the morning just hoping to get in. It always makes me realize that SQL Server is a big deal!
Some of this years tracks included Big Data & Data Science, Powershell, BIML, BI, ETL/SSIS, Reporting & Visualization, and DBA. I found myself glued to the big data track with sessions so interesting I couldn’t bring myself to leave the room! My favorite session for the day was Sentiment Analysis with Big Data by Paco Gonzalez, which touched upon data mining techniques including natural language processing and text mining Twitter data for sentiment and tone analysis. Pretty cool stuff!
SQL Saturday events are held worldwide throughout the year. You can check the schedule for events in your area on this site which lists them all.
SQL Saturday #111 was held at Georgia State’s Alpharetta campus just off State Bridge road (hwy 120) from 9am until 5pm on a beautiful spring day in Atlanta. The event was packed…every session I attended was completely filled (no seats available) so you had to arrive early if you wanted a seat. Since my work nowadays with Microsoft SQL Server is mostly about coding T-SQL stored procedures I limited my time to the T-SQL sessions. While the entire event was outstanding…well organized…good lunch…great speakers and session topics…the entire day was made worthwhile for me by one session I attended called T-SQL Brush-up by Jen McCown. I don’t have a ton of experience coding up T-SQL stored procs and so some of the commands Jen covered like OVER and PARTITION BY were like revelations to me. It’s always a great feeling when you are sitting at a learning event hearing things that immediately make sense and are applicable on your very next day of work. So thanks SQL Saturday #111 and Jen especially…as soon as I publish this post I’m going to start re-writing my T-SQL procedures to incorporate the things you showed me…work life suddenly became much easier!
The Winter 07 Atlanta Codecamp was a great success with 290 attendees. The day long event was held on Saturday, January 30th at DeVry’s Decatur campus. I’ve attended all three Atlanta codecamps and this one was definitely the best so far, although all of the Atlanta codecamps have been outstanding experiences in terms of value and inspiration. These camps are run by volunteer organizers and presenters. All of the sessions I attended were packed and sometimes so full you couldn’t get a seat. Each breakout consisted of 4-5 parallel sessions lasting approximately one hour. The sessions I attended over the course of the day were “Windows SharePoint Services v3: Feature and Solution Frameworks” by Dan Attis, “Building Document Management Solutions using Windows SharePoint Services v3.0 Content Types” by John Holliday, “Developing N-Tier Applications” by Jonas Stawski, “How To Build Windows Services Apps—Revealing Warts and All!” by Wallace Allison, and “Designing SOA Solutions with Biztalk, SQL Server, and WCF” by Mark Dunn & Mark Berry.
Although hundreds of prizes…books, shirts, software, etc. were given away once again I didn’t win a thing. This has to be some kind of record as I have attended all three Atlanta Codecamps and seem to be practically the only person not winning a single raffle prize. Some people leave carrying an armload of swag. Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining at all. I don’t attend to win prizes. I just think it’s a little weird to be so unlucky in these raffle drawings. But I’ll definitely be at the next Atlanta Codecamp prizes or not. Who knows maybe my luck will change?
Thanks to all of the volunteers and sponsors who made codecamp a great experience.