My First SQL Saturday #sqlsat71

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April 3, 2011 by Mike Hillwig

Yesterday was SQL Saturday 71 Boston. It was held at the Babson College Executive Conference center, and it was a pretty amazing experience. Not only were the venue and food fantastic, but the event itself was pretty amazing.

SQL Saturday actually started on Friday evening with the speaker’s dinner. We met at the Top of the Hub in Boston for cocktails. I got to meet a ton of really smart people. We socialized and just had a great time. The sheer brainpower was unbelievable.

Saturday’s event was great. All of the sessions I attended were fantastic. I got to hear Andrew Kelly, Aaron Bertrand, and Adam Machanic all speak. These are incredibly smart people who really know their stuff. And getting to hang out in the speaker’s room, was amazing. Just listening to some of these guys and gals talk was… well… I just can’t articulate it.

My session was in the afternoon, and it went well. I was speaking on virtualization of SQL Server. What I had expected was an audience who didn’t have a lot of experience with virtualization. What I found was that I had a group who had virtualized their test environments and were starting to virtualize their production environments. I walked in there pretty calm and then found myself incredibly nervous when I had a more seasoned audience than expected. After I calmed down and slowed down my speaking a bit, I got into it.

Because my session was the success story of how we virtualized SQL Server in my company’s environment, my presentation wasn’t very visual. Now I realize that it needed something more appealing. And I should have been prepared with more technical details of what we did and how the environment looks today.

I found myself wrapping up my presentation 30 minutes into a 60 minute session. What did I to? I took the opportunity to turn it into a roundtable/Q&A session. And you know what? It worked!

Still the feedback was pretty good. And it helped me realize that I know what I’m talking about.  I think I want to keep doing this. I know some good stuff, and I want to continue to present it. Right now, I’m putting together my presentation proposals for two sessions for SQL Saturday 79 in South Florida.

And this has certainly cemented that I will be attending PASS in October.

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