[EN] Reminiscence Boulevard: SQL Folks in Exeter, Maidenhead, Midlands.

IMG_3158In March I had great, great pleasure for speaking three times in United Kingdom (in fact in England). I spent about week in England with three SQL Server UK Community Groups: in Exeter, Maidenhead and Birmingham.

Phase One: Exeter | 8th & 9th March

SQL Saturday, completely free training day oriented for SQL Server technology was prepared by Annette { @Mrs_Fatherjack} and Jonathan { @fatherjack}  and many of very important friends of SQL Server Community. In my opinion this event was a big success and it was my first SQL Saturday this year. I received great support from one of volunteer (fantastic Jonathan’s daughter) who catch me on Exeter Railway Station. If you ever watch IT Crowd – I could say “SQL Server in the Basement”. But the location was great, with good four IMG_3270conference rooms, special veeeeery coool speakers Room and exhibition/luch/prize area. I meet a lot of fantastic Speakers like André Kamman, Christian Bolton, Denny Cherry, John Martin, Jamie Thomson, David Petter Hansen, James Rowland-Jons, Thomas Kejser, Mark Pryce-Maher, Mladen Prajdic, Gavin Payne, James Boother, Neil Hambly, Richard Douglas, Alex Whittles, Dave Ballantyne and few more.  I want to say big thank You for Thomas Rushton, who spend a lot of time with organizing all stuff around speakers.  This Saturday was build in two parts:

  • Friday -  the pre-conf’s day with five great pre-confs (unfortunately I had no chance to be a attende of any of those). Full list You will find here, at SQL South West site.
  • Saturday – fantastic day with 28 sessions, ane great keynote (by James Rowland-Jones) and Discussion Panel provided by Jen Stirrup (about networking)

IMG_3172On Friday evening everyone from speakers, frinds and some of attendees we went to La Tasca (famous, fabulous, fantastic spanish tapas restaurant). Thee hour of speakind, drinking, tasting tapas. Short back to hotel under the rain, and another hours of talking. Really exciting evening. Of course I didn’t missed night watching of Exeter, thast means walking and watching for night life.

Saturday morning wasn’t very easy for me, but I had enough time for coffee, bisquits, meeting friends and coosing sessions. I were on fer very interesting sessions:

  • David Peter Hansen {BLOG|TWITTER} | Layered Partitioning – manage very large data sets
  • James Rowland-Jones {BLOG|TWITTER} | Keynote: Data Professionals : Learn One New Skill
  • Dave Green {BLOG|TWITTER} | "I’m sure my procedure does what it should!"
  • Thomas Kejser {BLOG|TWITTER} | Quantifying the cost of Compression
  • Gavin Payne {BLOG|TWITTER} | I want to be a better architect
  • John Martin {BLOG|TWITTER} | SQL Sever, the DBA & Compliance

IMG_3329All sessions in ma opinion are connected by sentence: “If You missed those sessions – You are Henry Fool” >> Great value from David about partitionng, indexing, B-Trees and performance; fantastic keynote by James about linked past and future about SQL Server Learning; interesting performance by Dave with laptop and tablet, great value from Thomas about compression costs; interactions betreen erchitecture, knowledge, expertise, open minds by Gavin and last but not least some new facts about cpliance and common criterias by John.

imageAt the end of the day in last slot I had big pleasure to speak for few folks, which were very, very brave and talked with me about Licensing Nightmares. This time it was not very big group, but I received grat value after my session with great comments:  "Well done on a tricky (and a bit tedious) subject area" & "Really useful session – the best of the day (and they’ve all been good)" Thank You my attendees. I really apreciate it!


Phase Two: Maidenhead | 12th March

IMG_3423I was in Maidenhead (the City) and SQL Maiden HQ (Quest) once, on the sessions by Jen Stirrup and Kevin Kline. This time I provide one of my favourite session about High Availability of SQL Server in the context of Service Level Agreement. Few very friendly folks, which help my a lot with this session – because they had experience with unavailability and SLAs. First session was held my be, the second by Richard Douglas {BLOG|TWITTER} which working on first floor in (and for of course) Quest. Before the session I spent about two hours in the same desk as Richard working on my things in Quest UK’s Head Quater. Really nice experience especially with veeeery big – but really quiet – open space. Again with very good feedback: Quality of Speaker / Quality of presentation: 8.16/9

It was really great to hear abour experience with recovering 3,5 TB Data (from Online Game Industry): two and hald day for recovering and FIVE days for reindexing. Richard provided very good session (form SQL Saturday in Exeter) about Natural Born Killers – with great explanation how our procedures and internal part of our environment avoid for our performance.


Phase Three: Birmingham | 14th March

SQLMidlands_IMG_3597My last SQL Server UK User Group Meeting in this “Anorak’s Spring UK Tour” was held in Birmingham. In Exeter (thank You Gavin Campbell {TWITTER} Leader of SQL User Group in my second family city: Leicester – all because of You ) I meet SQL Server enthusiast, expert and experienced user who take me via M5 and A… something from Exeter to Leicester. With Stuart More {BLOG|TWITTER|RIDER| FLICKR} we spent few hours on talks, listening (Einstürzende Neubauten RULES!) and commenting. It’s important, because we meet again in Birmingham as a speakers. Stuart kicked my ass with the detail how to jump from SQL Trace to Extended Events and it really hurts. Very good session definitely to short, especially with tons of demos about Extended Events.  I had great moment about one and half hour before Stuart’s session: I served mine. A lot of SQL specialist, folks, enthusiasts came to SQLMidlands event, invited by Alex Whittles (Leader of SQL Midlands User Group). I meet guest like Rodney Kidd {TWITTER} and one ‘brand new’ for me: Melville Thomson {BLOG|TWITTER}.

imageI presented one of my newest session: Maintenance Plans for Beginners with great feedback and interaction of audience. Lot of discussions (but not from beginning) and some comments and questions after. Special thanks forcomments: "Very inventive spelling of some words! (Not a criticism)", "More examples would have helped", "More advanced session would have been good"

SQLSatExeter_IMG_3370After almost three hours meeting we went with few people fo SQL Geek Beer After Event Party in very nice Pub. Near the eleven pm (when the pubs going closed) Alex and me went for curry – to Fantastic Indian Cuisine ASHA’S (the network is very limited to: Dubai, AbuDabi, Bahrain, Birmingham, Cairo, Kuwait, Quatar).

Great memoriers, a lot of experiences, many new friends and colleagues. It was first Anorak’s UK Tour – The Spring Tour. I know it wasn’t The Last. Summer Tour is coming…

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