Jeff Pries

Business Intelligence, SQL Server, and other assorted IT miscellany

Category: Charlotte

SQL Saturday Roundup: #560 – Charlotte, NC

SQL Saturday 560 - Charlotte, NCThis past Saturday marked Charlotte’s 5th consecutive SQL Saturday event, and my 4th in Charlotte (I missed last year’s due to a scheduling conflict) — SQL Saturday # 560.  Also fun, this happened to mark the 20th SQL Saturday that I attended over the past few years — a pretty cool achievement!

As a change to this year over previous years, this year SQL Saturday Charlotte offered 2 all-day precons on Friday, both of which would sell out.  With a “go big or go home” type attitude, they made life very difficult and forced me to choose between two incredible spears and presentations:  Adam Machanic’s (B | T) “Tuning Your Biggest Queries” and Jen Underwood’s (B | T) “Advanced Analytics”  With two fantastic speakers to choose from, each with a great, and relevant, session, I had some decisions to make.

After an easy drive from north Atlanta to Charlotte after work on Thursday, I headed out bright and early Friday morning to attend Jen Underwood’s (B | T)  “Advanced Analytics”  The precons were held in an off-campus location, the Ballantyne Center, which worked out to be a pretty decent venue.  Adam’s precon was held in a standard classroom and Jen’s precon was held in a computer lab, which provided each person a computer with a solid network connection and the ability to follow along with the presentation slides and run the lab exercises locally.

Jen Underwood presenting Advanced Analytics

Jen Underwood presenting Advanced Analytics

Jen’s Analytics precon was an excellent session and a great introduction to the topic.  The topic is far too deep to cover in a single day session, but Jen did a good job of hitting the highlights and getting people introduced to the material and inspired by the possibilities of the subject with plenty of resources for further learning.  This was certainly time well spent!

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SQL Saturday Roundup: #330 – Charlotte, NC

SQL Saturday Roundup: #330 – Charlotte, NC

Fall is definitely conference season.  With SQL Saturday Orlando last weekend and PASS Summit 2014 the first week of November, what could be more fun that squeezing in another SQL Saturday in between?

With Charlotte being nearby, as well as a BI-focused event that I’d intended in the past, it seemed like a no-brainer to make the drive up to check it up for its 3rd year running.  So, Friday after work, I hopped in the car and made the drive up to beautiful Charlotte, NC to attend my 13th SQL Saturday!

Unfortunately, with October being a very busy month as is, I didn’t have time to attend anything but the main event itself, but such is the way of the busiest month of the year!

I arrived at the site of the 3rd SQL Saturday Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College, bright and early Saturday morning.  As per usual, signage to parking was very clear and check-in with a pre-printed speedpass was a breeze.

Sponsors were arranged in a long row throughout the center of the building and were very easily accessible while moving between sessions.  Seemed like a good representation of sponsors with a few I hadn’t seen before and excellent raffle prizes.

The morning kicked off with a short presentation in the auditorium to introduce the organizers and sponsors as well as logistics for the day.  With the conclusion of the opening remarks, we were off to start the day of sessions!

Opening remarks at SQL Saturday #330

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SQL Saturday Roundup: #237 – Charlotte, NC

SQL Saturday Roundup: #237 – Charlotte, NC

Following the incredible PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte, the Charlotte BI Group was gracious to host another edition of SQL Saturday – BI Edition.

As I was already in Charlotte for Summit (and would’ve drive to Charlotte for this event anyway if I hadn’t been at Summit) I took advantage of the opportunity to keep the week of connecting, learning, and sharing with the community for one last day.

This is the second year that CBIG has hosted a SQL Saturday BI Edition and it actually marks the first SQL Saturday that I’ve attended twice in a row (as I really started getting into SQL Saturday last year with Columbus, GA).

As the first SQL Saturday that I’ve attended two years in a row, I thought the event went very well.  There seemed to be a good number of attendees and a lot of big name speakers.  Many of the speakers from Summit stayed the extra day to present at SQL Saturday, though I was surprised that it didn’t seem there were as many attendees from Summit at SQL Saturday that I would have thought.  There were some though and it was fun to identify each other.  Lunch was an excellent BBQ with a number of sides and various lunch time presentations.  I’ve had a lot of BBQ these past couple days, but it was still great!

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PASS Summit 2013 Roundup — The Adventures of a First Timer

PASS Summit 2013 Roundup — The Adventures of a First Timer

Wow, what a ride.  For the past year, attending various SQL Saturday and other events, I’ve heard the whisperings of PASS Summit in sessions and hallways.  This past week, it finally arrived and at last I had the opportunity to attend my first PASS Summit.

The whispers couldn’t possibly prepare me for what a truly amazing and motivational experience it was!  Summit was a non-stop week of connecting, learning, and sharing combined with a lot of fun and #sqlfamily that can only be rivaled by future summits (since all of my fellow first timers which I spoke to are now also completely hooked on the event)

I registered for PASS Summit 2013 all the way back in December of 2012.  It’s a bit of a gamble that something won’t come up when you register nearly a year in advance, but by registering that early, you can get some pretty deep discounts on Early Bird registration.  Plus, since you’re now invested, you can build anticipation and look forward to the event for almost an entire year!  Early Bird Registration for 2014 goes until December 6th this year, so I’ll probably do the same again.

Monday– Prep!  I took the day off from work to get things done before heading out of town for the week.  I’d heard from multiple people that you don’t sleep during Summit, so I planned to head to bed early so I’d start the week well rested.  I finished packing and went to bed a little after 1 am.  Whoops, so much for that.

Tuesday – I got up bright and early to begin my drive from Duluth, GA to Charlotte.  My goal was to arrive in Charlotte just early enough to get parked and checked in in time for the First Timer’s “Get to Know Your Community” meeting.  I planned to hit a couple of notable geocaches along the way, making for a longer but leisurely drive.

Ultimately, I took a bit too long on the drive up and I missed the First Timers “Get to Know Your Community” session, but I made it just in time for the First Timers Orientation session.  The orientation session was great and I was very happy to see so many well-known vets (sporting their stylish propeller beanies) in the crowd supporting us first timers.

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Preparing for PASS Summit 2013 — My First Time!

Preparing for PASS Summit 2013 — My First Time!

Being a regular attendee of SQL Saturday events in the Southeast, I frequently hear murmurs of PASS Summit and what a great thing it is.

With a little bit of luck it turns out that this year, for the first time in years its being held outside its usual home in Seattle, WA in the not-too-distant city of Charlotte, NC.  Seems like a sign to me!

PASS Summit is a BIG conference!  As such, there are a lot of moving parts in order to get prepared.  The PASS Connect page offers a great “one-stop” link resource for many of the major items:

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