Monday, September 17, 2007

Code Camp Season Update

My oh my how time flies. I received an email today from someone who hasn't seen any blog updates from me for a while (since 22 May to be exact), so about 4 months later I'll catch you up on what I've been doing.

Had a number of speaking engagments in the past few months. In June I spoke at the Tampa SQL/BI User Group meeting, doing a deep dive presentation into architecting ETL jobs. Late in June I spoke at the inagural meeting of the Sarasota (FL) SQL Server User Group. The topic there was ETL and Data Warehousing with SQL Server 2005. Had a good turnout for both events and they were a break from the typical entry-level talks I give at the local code camps. Also in June I was provided a pass to TechEd, held in Orlando. It was very informative and I was able to suck in a lot of knowledge about SQL Server, data warehousing, and implementing best practices. The week of Tech Ed was quite enjoyable - I stayed with Keith at the Disney resort, and the parties I attended that week warrant a separate post. Let's just say that it was a great week all around, capped off by a visit to the Islands of Adventure theme park on a rainy Thursday evening.

July brought the return of Tampa Code Camp III. I was on the board this year and my responsibility was the speaker and post-event party. I was able to round up a significant chunk of change from supporters and we had a great party at the Courtside Grille. Around 50 people came to the speaker party and 120 attended the post-event party held in the same location. I may have found my calling in this group, and Jeffrey Palermo, I think you're a great guy, but I'm going to considering throwing my own party at TechEd the MVP Summit. My session at the Code Camp was Data Warehousing with SQL Server. It was a good session with about 36 attendees.

August quickly came upon us again along with my second annual Jacksonville Code Camp. In 2006, the JAX trip was a lot of fun and kind of a cap to a wonderful summer (search for Jacksonville survival report on and the story should come up from devfish). It was more of the same in 2007 except it seemed to go by quickly. The four amigos (Joe, Keith, Stan, and myself) carpooled up 301 and arrived in time to secure a nice room at the Omni. Those guys in JAX put on a great show and I debuted with a new presentation: Introduction to SQL Server Integration Services. Attendance was less than I expected, but I was up against some strong presenters at 9 AM. The good thing about going early is that I was done for the day and had time to attend some other sessions, plus for the first time, I had my entire presentation finished a good week before the code camp. The highlight of this trip was the steak dinner Keith and I enjoyed at the Ruth's Chris on St. Johns' River.

September brings a continutation of graduate school which is keeping me very busy. However, I continue to squeeze time in for code camps and will be presenting at Tallahassee Code Camp III this weekend. To give you a little background, the first code camp I traveled to attend was in Tallahassee back in 2005. I drove up on a Friday evening, the weekend that Rita decimated the Texas coast. This was right after Katrina and I was concerned about being able to secure enough gasoline for the drive up and back. I told myself that I would fill up my car as soon as I arrived in TLH so I would have enough gas to get home, and sure enough I rolled into town about midnight only to find half of the gas stations closed, and many others were already out of gas. I began to sweat until I found one open with gas and topped off the 'Stang. The Code camp itself was relaxing and uneventful and I had a great time getting to know people at the Paradise Bar and Grill that evening. Another bonus was on the drive home I stopped at the St. Marks wildlife preserve and took all the country roads back.

Which brings us to today. As I previously said, graduate school is keeping me very busy. If I don't post on here too often, just send me a gentle reminder that I have a duty to write. I'm working with Jonas right now on possibly attending the first South American' code camp in Argentina in October. Stay tuned for updates on that exciting opportunity.

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