SQLSaturday #527

Awhile ago, I heard about SQLSaturday.  SQLSaturday is a free one day event held by local SQLPASS (Professional Association for SQL Server) groups.  This event was held in Columbus, OH this past Saturday.  It was a fantastic day and it got me really excited to start doing more business insight (BI), analytics, and database work.

I feel like there are things you know you know, things you know you don’t know, and things you don’t know you don’t know.  SQLSaturday moved many topics from “I didn’t know I didn’t know” to “I know I don’t know”.  What this ultimately means is that I have a long list of things I can look up and learn more about.  I’m really excited!

With SQLSaturday, there are 6 one hour blocks for classes.  During each one hour block, there were 5 different classes/talks that you could choose from.  There were many classes I wanted to go to, but ultimately I chose the following:

It’s OK To Talk To Strangers

This course was taught by Cassandra Faris.  The course gave tips on how to talk to people you meet at conventions and how to build and keep your network.  I’m quite shy, so I knew this would be a great class to start the day off.  There was nothing here that I didn’t already know, but it is good to hear it again.  Cassandra helped motivate me to try harder to talk to people at conventions and I’m excited to start working to make my network stronger.

An Introduction To The Magical World of BIML!

This course was taught by Jonathan Stewart.  I’ll be honest: I didn’t know anything about BIML when I signed up for the class (which is why I signed up for it).  It turns out BIML is an XML based language to programmatically create SSIS packages.  This course showed me lots of things I didn’t know that I didn’t know (and therefore lots of stuff I can look up!).

Microsoft Business Intelligence 2016 – More Love for Your Data

This one was taught by Tamera Clark.  This talk showed what is new with SSRS in 2016.  Since I haven’t used SSRS very much, this course wasn’t as helpful for me.  It is the only one that I wish I wouldn’t have gone to.  Even still, it was good to see some of the features of what SSRS can do!

Why PowerBI? Introducing Microsoft’s New BI Tool

This was probably my favorite of all of the courses.  It was taught by Eugene Meidinger.  He started the course with a little background about himself.  This was exciting to me because his story was pretty similar to my own – he took a job where he ended up teaching himself SQL and BI and it turned out he loved it.  He gave a good introduction to PowerBI and, again, it was great to see some of the features of the software.

(Way Too Much) Fun With Reporting Services

This course was taught by Stacia Varga.  Stacia is sort of the “Queen of SSRS”.  She has written several books on it and is very knowledgeable.  It was cool just to see her working with it, and I’m glad I signed up for this one.  SSRS tends to be looked at as a read only service (it does stand for Reporting Serves).  Stacia built a Words With Friends game with SSRS, which is totally outside the scope of what most people think of when they are using SSRS.  Though this wasn’t my favorite talk, I have a feeling it will be the one that affects me the most.  It is great to see an off the wall way to use something before you use that thing a lot yourself.  I think this talk will keep me open minded about everything SSRS is capable of.

R For The SQL Server Developer

This course was taught by Kevin Feasel.  It was one of my favorite talks.  Kevin did an awesome job showing us R and giving a good idea of all of the powerful things it can do.  I haven’t decided if I will take the time to learn R, since I am pretty efficient with Python, but I’m seriously considering it.


I can’t wait to go to another SQLSaturday.  In fact, I signed up for the one in Indy while I was at this one.  I also am motivated and excited to get involved in the local SQL community.  I am feeling really excited about the skills I have taught myself and the skills I am about to learn.

Have questions or suggestions?  Please feel free to comment below or contact me.

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