Lance England

Best week EVAR

Last week was one of the busiest, yet most fulfilling weeks I’ve had in a long time. I had the privilege of spending five full days in Advanced T-SQL training taught by the one-and-only Itzik Ben-Gan (@ItzikBenGan)! Itzik is a world-class teacher, and we rolled through a laundry list of cool T-SQL features, best practices, query tuning techniques, query plan exploration, classic problem solutions and more. At times the pace was “fire hose” speed, but that’s where notes and reference materials help. I came out of the training a better data professional, with the humbleness to see where I measure up to Itzik. (Ha! I can at least see the mountain top from where I stand.) At first it was surreal having Itzik standing in front of the room teaching us, but he is so approachable and such a good instructor that soon we were just casually asking him questions.

Spending five days with Itzik is a highlight of my career, and that alone would be enough to make it best week evar, but wait … there’s more! Itzik also presented at the Atlanta MDF user group meeting and covered “Efficient Interval Management” using an advanced technique using RI-trees to improve queries that require two range predicates. The performance gains were incredible. I cannot summarize it here, but if you missed the meeting, check out the slide deck. Like most tools, it doesn’t apply to every situation, so as data professionals our value is in making such judgment calls.

OK, five full days with itzik and a user group presentation. How can I make the week even better? How about attending SQL Saturday #220 that weekend?! Yep, as if my brain wasn’t full enough from Itzik, I attended the largest SQL Saturday to date. One session I attended was a little disappointing, but the rest were really, really good including sessions from Teo Lachev (@tlachev), Adam Machanic (@AdamMachanic), Javier Guillen (@javiguillen), and Stacia Misner (@StaciaMisner). As usual, the event was top notch and well worth attending.

Last but certainly not least, for the first time I decided to attend the after-party event. I got to chat with some familiar faces, and even met some new folks. My only regret was not attending this event in previous years. Several times I found myself thinking “Why haven’t I gone to this before?”

Whew, the week was exhilarating and frankly it made returning to “normal” this morning a bit drab ;) So, that was my best week EVAR*

*yes, i misspelled this on purpose! Humor, people!

20 May 2013 Permalink data