SqlSaturday Cambridge, #SqlSat411, re-cap

Early Friday morning, I left Copenhagen for my second SQL Saturday in Cambridge. Two years ago I had a blast at same event, as documented here. My expectations were high, but I was completely blown away by the work and preparation that had gone into the event. I apologize in advance to those who are attending the SQL Saturday in Copenhagen next weekend, we cannot provide the same level of experience I am afraid. A huge effort was made by the team, so hat tip to them!

After arriving at the DoubleTree, down town Cambridge I hooked up with Johan L. Brattås (b|l|t) and Boris Hristov (b|l|t) to walk the streets and see the impressive sights (mostly colleges). Spending the afternoon in good company was topped of with the most amazing dinner settings at the Gonville & Caius College, where a team of servants had a dinner lined up, with millimeter precision.

Up early on Saturday  morning, to get to the venue, I even had to wait for the hotel to have breakfast ready – I knew I had to have something to eat, because normally the lunch bags at these events are…erhh…scanty, to last for a whole day at least. Speaking of the venue, I also need to mention that it was absolutely fabulous for events such as this – kudos to the team for snagging this. On another note, it was not until I saw the picture on the wall, that I made the connection – it has Maersk written all over it 🙂

I didn’t get to see much of the other sessions, as I was preparing for my own. Introduction to MDX was executed way better than Scaling out Analysis Services, but I guess you learn as you go – apologies to the two (2) attendees for the latter one – I hope you enjoyed the ten minute early break 😉

After the almost unbearable exitement at the raffle – volunteers, organisers and speakers went punting, as depicted below:

If ever in Cambridge, you should definately do this – get a guided tour, as they know all kinds of odd stories that add to the image of Cambridge. Cambridge, where I certainly hope I have not set foot for the last time. Well done Mark and Team.

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SqlSaturday Cambridge, #SqlSat228, re-cap

SQL Saturday

This past weekend, was one of the most exciting weekends so far this year. In case my wife is reading, this is of course in a different league, and nothing like when you gave birth to our third child just four months ago 🙂

In the summer of 2013, it was annouced that The Minnesota Vikings would host The Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley Stadium, London UK. I was really exited about the opportunity, to actually see the team I root for live, would be within reach, them playing a venue this close. I quickly realised, that there was to be held a SQL Saturday in Cambridge, just the day before. As I described in my post here on getting the mail from Mark Broadbent (b|t), it would require all of my chaneled into a single burst, to be able to attend both events.

But here I am, having just had an amazing weekend in both Cambridge and London. Flew from Malmö in Sweden to Stansted, took the train from there, arriving just in time for the speaker dinner. The venue was amazing and I think everyone was a bit humbled by the surroundings in the great dining hall. That feeling faded, as more wine was served and the chatter started getting louder 🙂

Speaker Dinner

Got up first thing Saturday morning, to get ready for the first session on InMemory OLTP Introduction by Anthony Saxby (t). I didn’t get up as early as some of the other attendants, Rob Sewell (b|t) reporting he got up at 04:00, but it still felt early. After the first session, I just wanted to run through my session, which wasn’t until the afternoon. But better safe than sorry. So when I tried to plug my laptop into the adapter I brought, I found out it didn’t fit. Since I bought the adapter, I’ve gotten a new laptop, with a new plug, that didn’t match. “Ok, you’ve got time” i thought, and went through my bags to find some kind of pliers, to make room for the new plug. Of course I didn’t bring any pliers! I am flying Ryanair, where you are only allowed to carry 10Kg of hand luggage. After thinking it through, I went to the reception at the Queens College, and asked for any Tool that would make adapter and plug fit. The guy behind the counter brought the full toolkit, so I finally got it fixed and went back to my room to prepare. I had enough time to get one test-run done.

My presentation went really well, at least I myself think so 🙂 Except for the guy snoring in the front row, people seemed to listen to what I was trying to bring forward. Front-row guy was excused, as this was the second to last session of the day. And after the session a couple of attendees approached with some questions and shared their own experience with AMO. Always nice to chat on a subject, where you get the distinct feeling, that the other party has put heart and soul into it.

Around 17:00 all the attendees, speakers and volunteers gathered in the big auditorium for some prizes 🙂
There were actually some really great prizes among the lot. A Nokia Lumia 1020, All PASS Summit 2012 sessions on disc, great books and other really cool stuff. last but not least, I should mention Buck Woody, who did a fantastic job on bringing a game show atmosphere into the room. Apparently the trip was worth it for Rob, since he left with one of the prizes!

Buck Woody - Buck

The evening offered a really late night snack at Zizzi (French people giggle every time they go by) in the company of several of the volunteers, speakers and attendees. Here’s a shot from the end of the table.

Dinner Saturday Night

And by that final note, a great event ended. A shet load of work invested by Mark and the rest of the team. Cudos on a job well done!

NFL

Next morning, it was off to London, to get ready for the game at Wembley. Great game, not the result I’d hoped for and an appalling display of fan-care by the players. I went straight to the hotel, then off to Wembley Stadium. I had bought a ticket on eBay, and was kinda nervous that it could turn out to be fake. It wasn’t 😀 Wembley Stadium

Since Minnesota Viking got the better of the Steelers, and you could imagine some sort of disappointment would show of off the players. But the way both Big Ben, Coach Tomlin and Brett Keisel went right past all the fans, without even looking in their direction was way below the professional level I would have expected. Troy Polamalu was the only player I saw, who actually engaged with the fans. Big thumps up for that 🙂
Troy Polamalu #43
So, all in all the Sunday ended well. I got to see some of the top players of the league and last but not least, a great statdium
Wembley by Night

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