SQL Saturday Roundup: #328 – Birmingham, AL

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of trekking to nearby Birmingham, AL for SQL Saturday #328.  Seeing as Birmingham is so close to Atlanta and I hadn’t been to a SQL Saturday event since the Atlanta event in May, I figured this would be a great opportunity to make a short road trip to a venue I’d not yet attended.

The first SQL Saturday I attended was in Columbus, GA in September of 2012.  Since then, I’ve attended 12 events of varying sizes.  I found Birmingham to be very similar to the Columbus event — a small attendee base, but great speakers and a huge Atlanta presence.  It looked like quite a few of us made the trek out to Birmingham!

I arrived at the registration desk and check-in was very smooth.  As always, I had my SpeedPASS pre-printed and cut out…always make sure to do this, it saves a ton of time!

Being a smaller event, the venue was a tad confusing — a single 1-hall building with sessions and sponsors on both the first and second floors.  Despite the initial confusion of finding all of the rooms and sponsors, it was pretty smooth after that.

Samford University campus at SQL Saturday 328

I attended a number of excellent sessions throughout the day.  I started things off with a little of introduction to Hadoop with Stuart Ainsworth (B | T), which was a great high-level overview of the large and complex Hadoop ecosystem.

Stuart Ainsworth presenting A DBA’s Guide to Hadoop

Next, I sat with Ed Watson (B | T) and Mike Lawell (B | T) for a two-part session on database performance monitoring and tuning.  The two had great banter and put on an excellent session.

Ed Watson and Mike Lawell presenting on database Performance Tuning for Mere Mortals

Christine Assaf (B | T) gave an excellent and very high energy presentation on Mastering Your Resume and Interview.  Christine gave a very fun and informative talk, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone.

Christine Assaf presenting Mastering Your Resume

Finally, the day concluded with the traditional closing comments and raffle of vendor prizes among the attendees.  Based on the size of the crowd, it looked like they had pretty good retention keeping a large number of people to the end of the day.

SQL Saturday Birmingham closing comments and raffle

With the conclusion of the raffle, my day in Birmingham was over, as I needed to start heading back to Atlanta.  Thanks to the Steel City crew for putting on an excellent event!