Nearly two weeks has passed after another SQLBits and what another fabulous event. After an incredibly early morning train journey down to Brighton for the excellent Thursday training session with Thomas Kejser and an enjoyable time presenting my “SQL Server Clustering for Dummies” session I am well and truly back down to earth with a thump.
Personal highs for me were :-
- Finally getting to meet Allan Hirt and not only that but I had a Geo-Cluster debate with him in the speaker room
- Meeting a few of the new first time SQLBits speakers -in particular Atul Thakor (blog|twitter) who I had a very long chat with in the speaker room and on the morning before his presentation. He had run into lots of problems with his laptop and demos prior to his session -which can strike the best of us, but managed to keep his wits about him an plow onto success when he finally came to present. What a top guy, and look forward to meeting him again in a User Group or another conference.
- Recognizing some audience members in my Clustering for Dummies session from my SQLBits 7 session. I ran into a couple of them later on and said a big thanks for the support, gave them my personal email and very much hope they do drop me a mail sometime to say hello.
- Bumping into some old faces…people I’ve met in Seattle, previous UK conferences and User Groups and old colleagues. A special big-up to Judith Kinsella who made the effort to come to my presentation (which threw me when I saw her in the audience), although she keeps telling me that I remind her of John Peel and just can’t take me seriously
- Being able to enjoy the experience a little more, due to familiarity of proceedings. Anyone who presents at a major conference for the first time will tell you that it is all a bit of a daze, stressful and is a big unknown what you have let yourself in for. This time I knew what to expect, what I was doing and what I needed to do.
- Seeing some great presentations.
- Excellent weather!
With all the good things going on their were a few disappointments, such as :-
- Not being able to spend a drunken Friday evening celebrating due to my early morning (8.10!) session. Actually this was probably for the best, and although I am a bit grumpy in the morning I felt perfectly relaxed (probably too tired to get nervous).
- Spending hardly any time with my mate and Data-Viz guru Jen Stirrup who I saw precious little throughout SQLBits due to the fact that she was incredibly busy with sessions galore during the day and also doing the rounds meeting and greeting in the evening. Oh to be popular eh Jen! We did at least manage to catch up from time to time in the speaker room so that was nice to have a couple of chats.
- Not going to as many sessions as I intended. I don’t know if every speaker is the same but due to the huge amount of time and preparation (and worrying) that goes into a brief 60 minute period I find it quite odd when it is all over. Sometimes, all I want to do is let your head clear for a little while and that is exactly what I did. I dropped my stuff off and met up with a friend for some excellent Eggs Benedict and strong black coffee in lovely sunshine outside of a Cafe in the posh end of Brighton.
- Getting a little too plastered on the Thursday night. When you are waking up with a massive hangover you have probably gone too far the night before …and yes people I probably had. The only success from all this was the fact that I’d felt myself feeling rather ill and stop drinking alcohol, otherwise I hate to think how I would have felt the next day.
To summarize though, another fabulous event and I can’t wait to see where the next one will be. My personal preference is for it to be held in Edinburgh, although I would have liked that one to be during Summer months. So perhaps the favorite right now would be Bristol which should be a little warmer than the rest of the country around that time.
Roll-on SQLBits 9!