Ok, it has been quite a while since the event, two weeks and a day to be exact, but I needed a rest before hitting Windows Live Writer again. Speaking is exhausting, traveling is exhausting, and well, I replaced my laptop and had to get all of my software back together. (Between Windows 8.1 sync features, Dropbox and Skydrive, it has never been easier…but I digress.)
There are plenty of great vendors out there, but one of my favorites has always been Red-Gate. I have written half of a book with them, have a blog series on What Counts for a DBA, and have convinced at least one company to purchase their tool belt product for all of the developers/dbas (the company I work for!). I have also spoken on their behalf a few times, this time being the most fun.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend any of their events yet (full list here), it is a highly recommended experience. It is very much like a SQL Saturday, except perhaps that Red-Gate has a better budget than most, so the venue and food are at least a wee bit better. At a minimum you generally get two of my favorite speakers: Steve Jones and Grant Fritchey, plus lots of the Red Gate team looking to get and give feedback about their tools. They had two concurrent sessions, and for the most part, about half of the sessions were at least somewhat Red Gate tools specific. I was personally interested in the Red Gate sessions, so I missed the sessions by Nigel Sammy, Kevin Boles, Mickey Steuwe, and Kevin Hazzard.
Of course, the one non-Red Gate centric session I attended was the one I gave. I was a headline speaker for the conference, which was very gratifying I must admit. I try to seem very humble, but really I have a raging ego that must be served. But seriously, it was very much an honor to have my name just under Steve and Grant who are extremely good, very natural speakers. Lucky for me, they picked from the list of abstracts I submitted, my favorite session: Fundamentals of Relational Database Design (slides available here). The combination of this being a free event, not being recorded, a wonderful energetic audience who were into giving feedback (like the fact that the user it what matters in designing a database!), and a delightful lunch, I had a very nice session indeed. (It was quite well rated even, so for once I felt good and everyone seemed to like it simultaneously.) I learned later that it was being recorded, so if you want to see it again, or for the first time, I will tweet the address once I get it.
All in all, I just have to say that it was a great time, and next year I hope to at least attend their events if I don’t’ get a chance to speak again.
Now I just need to get to blogging a wrap up of the PASS Conference!