Notes from SQLSaturday #227 in Charleston

My first time in Charleston! Quick notes:

  • Made the drive with the family in 7 hours, not bad, and easily the least stressful long driving trip we’ve done – kids getting older does help!
  • Nice low key dinner Friday night at the Noisy Oyster
  • Wingate hotel right next to Charleston Southern University was a good place to stay, plenty of restaurants near by, and the best room AC I’ve had in a while – so nice to sleep in a pleasantly cold room.
  • Walked over to the event venue at CSU the next morning, nice cool morning for a walk
  • Minor issues at registration with printing SpeedPASS for those that didn’t pre-print. (We need to do more to smooth this out, and I’d like to see it change to also support smart phone check-in).
  • Brief opening notes from Ryan McKnight (event lead), then a short presentation from sponsor eGroup.
  • I had about 15 in my 9am presentation on Professional Development Plans. Pretty good interaction for first session of the day.
  • I watched Brian Kelley present Being the Swiss Army Knife of DB Pros. Nicely done, and I logged some of the books he recommended for my own list.
  • Lunch was a buffet in the cafteria, plenty of choices, good salad bar even. Great conversation with Chris Skorlinski from Microsoft (who I think I last saw at SQLSaturday 30 something in Charlotte)
  • After lunch I watched Chris Bell present on Indexing Encrypted Data. Interesting solution, good discussion on how crackable passwords are with current technology.
  • The projector in Room 3 briefly stopped working during the 10am session, by the 2:30 session the projector had failed completely, resulting in Jason Brimhall having to rearrange things on the fly to connect to a projector using a a 2 foot cable and then finally start delivering his presentation on compression, all without losing his cool. Good presentation too!
  • Jason Brimhall, Shannon Lowder and myself took questions for an hour at the end of the day to fill a gap in the schedule. Talked about getting started with Reporting Services, when and if to switch from Crystal Reports, security, more security, career choices, and I think a few more things – was too much fun to stop to write it down.
  • Skipped the after party to drive by the USS Yorktown, named after her predecessor that was sunk at Midway (and was originally named Bonhomme Richard – and then there was another Bonhomme built later as part of the Essex class…see Wikipedia for more) and then to downtown Charleston for a walk around. Nice downtown area, love the market set up the have, and then a nice dinner at the Noisy Oyster (different location than Friday night).