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SQLBits 8 – Hangover


Yups, 10 days have passed since I attended the SQLBits by the Seaside, and I am yet to recover from the hangover. And nopes, I am not talking of the hangover from the beer I drank (though I must admit I did guzzle down a few too many, thanks to all the wonderful sponsors who were way too generous handing out free coupons). SQLBitsLogo I had become a big fan of the SQLBits conferences, ever since I attended the last one in York. But this time, I was even more excited because it was going to be held in Brighton. Sunny forecasts and the prospect of lunch at the beach just made me count down the days till April 3. In a sadistic sort of way, I was even more pleased with myself on registering pretty early because many people could not get it done on account of the registration being fully booked. In fact, I had to use some native Indian yoga tricks to restrain myself from flaunting it off in front of my poor colleagues who couldn’t get a reservation. Due to work reasons, I had only gone for the free community day sessions on Saturday. I reached Brighton by 8.55am and straightaway jumped into Marco Russo’s (blog | twitter) session on Analysis Services Advanced Best Practices. IMG_0043IMG_0044 Even though it was a level 400 session, Marco explained the concepts in a very simple way so that everyone could understand and the session was pretty captivating. In the end, I took away some very nice design related tips for SSAS dimensions for scenarios like SCD type 2, parent-child, etc. Next I went for John Stevens-Taylor’s (blog | twitter) session on Data Modelling for a Flexible Cube. The room was so jam packed with people that I had to stand at the back and even then, people were pouring in. Since I had sprained my ankle the other day, I couldn’t stand for long and I came out rueing on not coming early to the room. This feeling was compounded when I came to hear the amazing feedback on the session. After that, I was double minded on whether to go for the SQL Product Team Panel session by the SQL CAT Team or for Vincent Rainardi’s (blog) session on Advanced Dimensional Modelling. I decided to go for Vincent’s session and had a very enriching time there learning about  Fact Table Primary Key, Vertical Fact Tables, Aggregate Fact Tables, SCD Type 6, Snapshotting Transaction Fact Tables, Dealing with Currency Rates, When to Snowflake, etc. IMG_0049IMG_0048 Soon after the session, I was able to materialize my dream of having lunch at the Brighton beach side, soaking up the warm sun and watching the surfs getting washed up the shore (ok, I admit, and some hot chicks in bikinis Flirt male) The next one I attended was Jamie Thomson’s (blog | twitter) session on SSIS Dataflow Performance Tuning. Though I am more of a SSAS/SSRS person than SSIS, I just couldn’t stop myself from attending Jamie’s session, I had attended one of his sessions in a Local User Group meeting, and have remained a big fan of his presentations after that. IMG_0050IMG_0051 His session was heavily based on demos which made it very interesting and I had some great takeaways from his session on performance tuning and execution trees. Next on my list was Alex Whittles’ (blog | twitter) session on Automating SSAS cube documentation using SSRS, DMV and Spatial Data. Now if you are one of those who follow the SQL world in twitter, you would be already aware of the ‘Spatial Art’ tweets being passed around by Alex, Alastair (blog | twitter) and Simon (blog | twitter). This got me hooked and I was waiting for the session to actually see it live. IMG_0053IMG_0054 Alex’s slides were so beautifully done and I was so much in awe of his presentation skills. The topic was like a breath of fresh air and to top it all, I won a book on Microsoft SQL Azure during his session. Soon we had the customary post event party and lots of prizes were announced from 50” plasma TV to Xboxes. Everyone I spoke to had lots of fun and a big thanks to all the sponsors without whom it would not have been possible. Sponsors A special mention for Fusion-IO for successfully conducting the Crappy Code Games in Manchester, London and Brighton, was really an awesome event. Totally loved it! (Click here to read my London experience). Now this post would not be complete without thanking the people behind it – Simon Sabin, Christian Bolton, James Rowland-Jones, Martin Bell, Darren Green, Chris Webb, Allan Mitchell, Tim Kent and Chris Testa-O’Neill. A big, BIG, BIG thanks to all of you guys. Now for those who missed SQLBits 8 (and those who are still in the hangover like me), what better way to relive the experience than Jamie’s videos. Catch them right here – Reflections on SQLBits 8

1 Comment

  1. […] Liverpool. Oh sheesh, I did it again! I tried to avoid it but just like the winter, here comes the familiar feeling of hangover. This was my third SQLBits and like always, I had been counting down the days […]

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