Last weekend Dublin held it’s annual SQL Saturday event at the Hilton in Charlemont Place. For those of you who don’t know, SQL Saturday is a worldwide initiative which organises free conferences for professionals working with SQL server. In the words of the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) who organise it:

“PASS SQLSaturday’s are free 1-day training events for SQL Server professionals that focus on local speakers, providing a variety of high-quality technical sessions, and making it all happen through the efforts of volunteers. Whether you’re attending a SQLSaturday or thinking about hosting your own, we think you’ll find it’s a great way to spend a Saturday – or any day.”

This year the Dublin team organised a preconference event on the Friday where Prodata delivered a series of courses including: Storage and Virtualisation for the DBA by Denny Cherry, Building the Modern Data Warehouse Architecture by Karen Lopez, Real World Database Configuration and Tuning, SQL Server For Developers by Mladen Prajdic and a Microsoft Azure Bootcamp by Conor Cunningham and Ewan Fairweather. I went to the Microsoft Azure Bootcamp which proved to be highly informative, (see my next blog post on Microsoft Azure).

On the Saturday event I went to a series of presentations but the two which stuck in my mind are: “Big Data, Big Project” by Buck Woody from Microsoft which reaffirmed many of the messages I had taken in on the Friday session (but delivered in Buck’s own inimitable style); and “The Irish Economic Crisis Visualised with Power BI” by Carmel Gunn & Bob Duffy of Prodata.

Carmel & Bob’s analysis of the period leading up to the economic crisis and the period after it right up to the current day reveals some startling facts, not least of which we are not out of the woods yet!

Anyway I will leave it there but I am looking forward to next years event and I may be looking up the Belfast SQL Saturday too!