This year I was lucky enough to get time to attend the community day of SQLBits 2014 which this year was held at the Telford International Centre. Simply, what an amazingly organised day that was packed full of great content. A big thanks to all the organisers, volunteers, speakers and sponsors that made it happen!
Below are a list of the sessions I attended along with a few personal notes that I took away from the sessions.
How the SQL Server Engine Thinks - Brent Ozar
Well I must admit, I was always going to attend this session from the outset as who doesn’t want to learn from the SQL master himself! Brent’s session was targeted about understanding indexes, statistics & sargability and how they affect the execution plans in both a positive and negative way if done incorrectly.
My personal take aways from this session where a better understanding of indexes and how more smaller targeted non clustered indexes may not always be appropriate in all environments and depending on workload. Also touching on sargability which will ensure I’m improving my T-SQL queries for the future!
Power BI, zero to export - Peter ter Braake
In Peter’s session we explored Power Pivot, Power Query, Power View and Power Map. While I’ve heard if not read up on these tools before, it was great to see a real life practical example of what can be achieved with these tools as it was something on my personal development list that I wanted to explorer. The session defiantly wet my appetite more.
Branding Yourself for a Dream Job - Steve Jones
While this session wasn’t directly SQL Server or database related I felt it would be a worth while investment in myself. Steve’s session was on about branding your professional self and the do’s and don’t of social media, as well as publishing articles. A key point from this session is that while your image isn’t everything it is very important.
Intro to R - Stephanie Locke
Unfortunately I had planned to attend the session called MDX 101 being given by Alex Whittles though somehow I ended in Stephanie’s introduction into R by mistake. I did however learn that R is a very flexible language which is mainly used for reporting and documentation purposes. R also have modules which can be added which can allow for pretty reports to be created easily within code as well as real time reporting.
Continuous Integration for Databases - Steve Jones
Part of my current job role is to carry out deployment responsibilities of all our applications and services to the production environments so this session immediately sparked my attention. We instantly think about continuous integration for software development but what about for databases?
While the demo gods weren’t on Steve’s side for part of the session, I did learn a lot about of continuous integration for databases and the tools available to facilitate this including those by Red Gate Software (Steve’s employer). This session also covered the basics of using automated testing like you would against your normal code base.
For a full list of the sessions that were available for the whole of SQLBits 2014, visit the below link.
Once again, thank you to everyone who made SQLBits 2014 a success!