I spent the past couple of days in Darmstadt, Germany for Deutsche SQL Server Konferenz 2015. This was the first time I spoke at a conference (not a SQLSaturday), and it was an absolutely amazing experience. I want to thank PASS Deutschland for doing a fantastic job to make this a great event!
The one thing I would like to have changed is that I should have learned German before going to Darmstadt :) The quality of speakers, sessions and topics covered was very impressive, and there were many sessions in German that I wanted to see. But I can’t complain at all, I got to see some great sessions and have learned new things that I look forward to trying.
The welcome and keynote was in German, so my first session on Wednesday was Boris Hristov’s session on Policy-Based Management. I chose this session because I wanted to see Boris speak live to learn from his presentation skills, and also because it was a topic I didn’t really know anything about. I’ve become more and more interested in learning about DBA features I don’t use every day, it gives me a better understanding of SQL Server and I hope that knowing as much as I can makes me a better developer.
Boris Hristov (@brshristov): You want rules? You need Policy-Based Management!
After lunch I attended Cédric Charlier’s session on his NBi testing framework, and this is what I’m most looking forward to trying out at work. It was a fun session, and I liked how similar it was to my own Biml session – being such a lazy developer that you’d rather create a framework to automate something for you than do it manually :)
Cédric Charlier (@Seddryck): Automate the testing of your BI Solutions with Nbi
Next up was Davide Mauri’s session on schema-less tables and dynamic schemas. This was a really interesting session because we’re currently looking into going beyond the relational model at work (Big Data is still a buzzword!) and this gave me lots of pros and cons of the different alternatives.
Davide Mauri (@mauridb): Schema-less table & Dynamic Schema
(I was looking forward to this session, so I brought popcorn!)
Next up was Karen Lopez’ session called “7 databases in 70 minutes” which was actually completed in 45 minutes. This one was too much of an overview for me, but it was nice to get a reminder of the types of databases and how they’re different from each other.
Karen Lopez (@datachick): 7 Databases in 70 Minutes – Traditional and new database technologies in a modern data architecture
Finally, Kroll Ontrack did their “cocktail session” and demoed their database restore product. The cocktail was actually local beer, but I didn’t complain :) We got to ask a lot of questions, and the developers also talked to us after the session to get more ideas and suggestions. It will be interesting to see if any of them make it to the next version!
Kroll Ontrack (@KrollOntrack): Fast MS SQL table restores: Wishful thinking or reality?
Then it was time for the after party with food and drinks to celebrate a great day. Lots of laughter and interesting discussions :)
On Thursday I wanted to see Davide Mauri’s session about real time data integration, and I decided to attend it even though it was right before my session. I was slightly unfocused because I was getting excited and nervous about my own session, but it was interesting to see how you can use service broker for real time ETL.
Davide Mauri (@mauridb): Real Time Data Integration (in the Cloud or not)
Then it was time for my own introduction to Biml session. I was prepared, but very nervous! Two minutes before my session was about to start there were only a handful of people in the room, but it filled up rather quickly during my introduction. There are always things I can improve and a few things that didn’t go as planned, but overall I was happy with my session. I got so many great questions from the attendees, thank you! (I will add a few things to my slides and demos based on those questions.) I also managed to stay on time, no demo failures, more interaction with the attendees, and I think I repeated most of the questions asked – those were major improvements from the last time I presented. I’m not sure if I’ll get any feedback from the organizers, but I got good feedback from a couple of the attendees. They said I sounded nervous in the beginning (I was!), but that it got better as soon as I got started. They also thought the flow of my presentation was good and that I covered the topics in a logical way. If you were there, please let me know what I can improve! :)
Cathrine Wilhelmsen (@cathrinew): Generate SSIS packages automatically with Biml and BimlScript
After lunch I attended William Durkin’s session on migration in the real world. This was originally supposed to be in German and was changed to English in the last minute. Very impressed by how he handled that! Again, this is a topic that I don’t really know much about, but I enjoy listening to case studies and see if I can learn something new.
William Durkin (@sql_williamd): Real World SQL 2012 -> SQL 2014: Migration einer AlwaysOn FCI/AAG Umgebung
The very last session was a deep dive by Chris Adkin, and it really was a deep dive. I have to admit that most of the session was too advanced for me :) But I did pick up a few things related to SSIS performance that I want to read up on.
Chris Adkin (@ChrisAdkin8): Deep dive into SQL Server batch mode and CPU architectures
To sum up: this was a great event. Thank you again to PASS Deutschland, organizers, volunteers, speakers and of course attendees! I hope everyone learned lots of new things, made new friends and had fun. I hope I get to come back another year :)