On Saturday, October 1, 2011, CACTUSS – The Capitol Area Central Texas Users of SQL Server – hosted their first SQLSaturday in Austin. CACTUSS is led by my good friend and fellow PASS Chapter Leader, Wes Brown (twitter | blog). Saturday was a big day for Wes. In addition to pulling off a successful SQLSaturday event – Wes was finally named a SQL Server MVP by Microsoft on Saturday as well. In view of Wes’s many years of contribution to the SQL Server community many of us were shocked to realize that he had not previously received this well-deserved designation. So there was much to celebrate at the end of the day.
A big thank-you goes to the key volunteers on the SQLSaturday #97 team – AJ Mendo (twitter), Jim Murphy (twitter | blog), Richard Heim, Mike Byrd, and Amy Muehleman. Another big thanks goes to the sponsoring vendors and especially to Idera for providing not only Platinum level funding, but manpower too!
The SQLSaturday #97 team did a really good job of focusing on one of the original key tenets of SQLSaturday – providing opportunities to grow new, local speakers. Of the 5 sessions I attended, 3 were presented by “new” speakers – AJ Mendo, Rudy Rodarte (twitter | blog), and Jim Murphy (all from Austin). All three did a really good job and I hope they continue to get opportunities to share their passion for SQL Server with the community. There were other new speakers as well, plus some of the “usual suspects” and high profile speakers like Jennifer and Sean McCown (aka the Midnight DBAs), Thomas LaRock (aka SQLRockstar), Conor Cunningham (from the Microsoft SQL Server Dev team), and, of course, being in Austin – Joe Celko. From what I heard, the overall program selection and speaker ratings were a hit with the 200+ attendees.
While I didn’t get everyone’s story, I did visit at length with another new speaker at the networking after event held at Iron Works BBQ. Steven Ormrod (twitter | blog) is an excellent example of what SQLSaturday is all about. With this conference, Steven completed the 2011 Texas SQLSaturday Trifecta. It started with his attending PASS Summit in November 2010 and learning about the SQLSaturday concept. He attended SQLSaturday #57 in Houston in January; followed that up in April by attending and volunteering for SQLSaturday #63 in Dallas; then he took the big plunge and submitted to speak at SQLSaturday #97 in his current hometown of Austin. While I did not witness his presentation, I did hear the praise he received from a couple of folks sitting with us as they rehashed his session.
So, it appears that the two main tenets of SQLSaturday (providing free training and growing local speakers) were definitely accomplished by the organizers of SQLSaturday #97. Well done!
For those who are looking for session slides for my presentation “Managing SQL Server in the Enterprise with TLAs”, they are available on the SQLSaturday #97 Schedule session link here. Thanks to all who attended my session and for being an engaged audience with my topic. I enjoyed sharing my passion for SQL Server with you.
And, finally, before you start asking – yes, we will have a SQLSaturday in Houston in 2012 – hopefully, we’ll be announcing a date very soon.