ThatJeffSmith

SQL Saturday for an Oracle Guy

I recently had the opportunity to attend a SQL Saturday event, #46 in Raleigh, NC.

Techie Training, on a Saturday. Really?
Yes, really. And I had some reservations before attending. However the fact that this event was free, minus $10 for breakfast/lunch, and the entire #SQL universe on Twitter has had nothing but good things to say about the event convinced me to give it a shot.

Why does an Oracle guy care about SQL Server?
I guess it’s time I made a confession: I have been dabbling in SQL Server since about 2004. Here of late, my job requires that I do more than just dabble. I have the full AdventureWorks 2008 R2 setup on my laptop and half the customers I work with running SQL shops. So here was an opportunity for me to really strengthen my SQL chops!

The Courses/Presentations
I did 3 sessions in the morning:

  • TSQL Mistakes Programmers Make
  • Partitioning in 2005/2008
  • Maximizing Plan Reuse
  • I would give 2 ‘A’s and 1 ‘B’ to the instructors. Their technical and presentation skills were very good. Their field experience and personal horror stories are really what resonated with me, especially as I am helping customers overcome these same challenges in the field. I was most the surprised by the amount of content that directly correlated with Oracle RDBMS architecture. I was constantly translating in my head between the two platforms, much like a Spanish major who hasn’t yet learned to think/dream in Spanish.

    So I left with a very warm feeling. One, I hadn’t wasted my precious personal time one iota. Two, I realized I known a lot more about SQL Server than I gave myself credit for. But, again like the Spanish major, I need to do immersion learning. While I have tons of real-world field experience in Oracle, I need to make more excuses to build, live, and breathe the SQL stuff if I am ever going to jump to the next level.

    I wasn’t the only Oracle guy there.
    One of the volunteers was a former Oracle DBA who had just been tagged to implement a 3rd party SQL application. Two of people in the classes asked Oracle questions. One of the instructors was a full-time Oracle consultant :)

    Quest has some REALLY cool SQL posters
    As an attendee I finally got to be on the receiving end for the swag! I thought 3 posters that @kekline had designed were really cool, and it made me feel a bit proud to be associated. I was a good boy and did not participate in the raffles, and I did make an effort to introduce myself to the Confio and Red Gate folks. The Red Gate guy actually works across the street from the official Toad Pub in Cary, so I look forward to heisting a few pints with him – strictly personal of course.