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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

Richmond Code Camp X Recap


The tenth Richmond Code Camp was held today at the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College campus on Parham Road.

It. was. awesome!

With 40 sessions and over 400 registered, this #RichCC was arguably the best one yet! There's a lot that goes into planning an event of this magnitude. I commend the Code Camp Leadership Team for their hard work, but the team possesses a quality that will ensure many more Richmond Code Camps to come: absence of ego.


There's a bad joke about a widow who visits the funeral home before services begin. She's astonished to find the suit she provided for her late husband on the cadaver in the next coffin. Aghast, she notifies the undertaker who assures her the matter will be addressed. As she steps out of the room she hears the undertaker yell into the back room "Lou! Swap the heads on two and three!"

Over the past five years, we've "swapped heads" a few times on the leadership team. I'm honestly not sure who led the first Richmond Code Camp, my turn came up around #2 or #3. After a few turns, it pased onto another, then another. Areas of responsibility also rotate. I remember Fran La Vigne (Blog | @Tableteer) and I sitting in a Panera Bread in Short Pump Virginia selecting speakers for that first event.

There's no penalty for stepping up or down on our team. Life happens, people move, get more and less busy, change jobs, and just have other plans. Why punish people for that? Especially in a volunteer organization? The on-point person doesn't try to "edge out" previous leaders. That's because we're all pretty secure individuals. It's a great group to be part of, and I love every member of our team.


As usual I didn't get to watch an entire presentation (except my own). I caught a lot of Jessica Moss's (Blog | @JessicaMMoss) talk on Data Warehousing. As always when I hear Jessica present (or speak), I learned new stuff. Jessica is a great speaker and Richmond is fortunate to have her as part of our community.

I had to duck out to set up lunch (which was late for the first time ever in Richmond Code Camp history!). While waiting for the Pizza Dude to arrive, I had a great chat with "Robin's Mean Husband" (apologies for the inside joke in a public blog...).

I presented after lunch. No one fell asleep (yay!). I did my talk called Building Your First SSIS Package and, just like in the same presentation for SQL Saturday #46 in Raleigh NC a few weeks earlier, the keyboard stopped working in the middle of my demo. I finished using only the mouse - again - but it's definitely time to place a service call to Dell.

The coolest thing about community events is the cool people. I skipped the next session to talk with Joel Cochran (Blog | @JoelCochran) , Frank La Vigne (Blog | @Tableteer), Kevin Hazzard (Blog | @KevinHazzard), and G. Andrew Duthie (Blog | @DevHammer), TBDDEOTP (The Best Durn Developer Evangelist On The Planet). It was great to catch up with everyone and just geek out a little.

For the last session of the day, I snuck into Joel Cochran's talk on Blend. Joel loves building solutions with Blend and it shows. I was in there for 15 minutes and I picked up a ton of tricks. Joel is also my star SSIS pupil. We spent a Saturday in July working together on database design and SSIS mentoring. He has taken that ball and run with it!


For some reason, I thought it would be fun to drive to and from Boston to deliver From Zero To SSIS in cooperation with Boston SQL Training last week. The drive up was rainy bu ok. The drive back wasn't. It took me three hours to go the first 100 miles. No fun at all. Watching the Arrival Time inch forward on my Garmin all that time was no fun. I left Boston around 3:00 PM and arrived in Richmond about 12 hours later, grabbed four hours of sleep, and then rolled out for Code Camp!

Despite a rough start to the day for me personally, Richmond Code Camp X was a huge success!



Published Sunday, October 10, 2010 12:29 AM by andyleonard

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