Impressions of My First (SQL) Intersection

I got to attend my first SQL Intersection conference a last month!  Sorry I’m late writing about this.  I took a week off to get my new puppy settled at home.

I was really excited to attend this conference!  I’ve only heard good things about it, and to top it off, it was in Orlando at the Disney Swan!  Okay, so this may have been the source of sadness to my daughter, who had other commitments she couldn’t break to go with me, but it looked to be a lot of fun as well as a lot of good info. 

It was.  Once I actually got there.

I got to the airport in St. Louis a good two hours before my flight was due to take off at 3 PM.  A half hour before boarding was due to begin, I think to check my work email.  Where I see that my flight has been cancelled.

Off I run to the ticket counter.  There had been no verbal announcement that I heard, so it took a while for the line of disgruntled travelers to form, but form it did.  At least I was one of the first in line.  The gate agent said that there was bad weather forecasted for the area which caused the cancellation.  Unanswered was my question as to why earlier and later flights to Orlando had not been cancelled as well, or why the flight couldn’t have been delayed.  I was offered the option to fly up to Detroit (where I had a lovely conversation with a fellow traveler that ended up in us following each other on Twitter), then down to Nashville. From Nashville, I had an over two-hour layover before I changed planes to Jacksonville.  From there, I could drive to Orlando.  Needing to decide too quickly to Google, I asked how far Jacksonville is from Orlando.  Two hours, I was told.

Note to self.  Gate agents lie.

I landed in Jacksonville after midnight.  Off I drove (for 2.5 hours) to Orlando in the middle of the night.  This is how cautionary tales are written.  I arrived at the hotel at 4:30 AM.  The staff (mildly surprised to see I really made it) welcomed me and informed me that the shuttle for the Swan would leave in three hours.  I heard myself say “No….”.  The desk clerk told me it was only a few miles away and I could just take an Uber (because I was not driving anymore for a while).  I got 5 hours of sleep and went in.

It was worth all of it.  Paul Randal troubleshooting wait stats.  Jonathan Kehayias talking about the benefits of transactional replication as an availability solution.  Bob Ward and Buck Woody doing a keynote that they could probably take on the road.  Bob Ward doing comedy at all may have been worth the price of admission in and of itself.  Brent Ozar showing how to do dynamic SQL safely. Bob Ward and Grant Fritchey discussing Kubernetes.  And (I wasn’t present for this, but reliable sources confirm) Paul Randal and Grant Fritchey doing karaoke.

Now for the cool stuff coming down the pipe:

  • You’ll be able to run SQL Server on a Raspberry Pi.  My husband had better hide his.  I am not to be trusted.
  • If you put your 2008R2 database into Azure, Microsoft will give you security updates for 3 years.
  • In SQL Server 2019, table variables run faster (hint: batch processing)
  • With containers, three seconds to install a cumulative update and three seconds to roll it back. Holy cow!
  • No more watching the grass grow waiting for an eleventy billion row transaction to roll back. 

Intersection is a very different atmosphere than PASS.  PASS is like a temporary city of citizens from around the world.  You have the chance to interact with thousands of people and participate in a huge variety of workshops. Intersection is much more intimate.  You are interacting with hundreds of people and a smaller subset of top shelf workshops presented by the best in the business.  You have the opportunity to interact with the presenters, and Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp make a point of being available to answer questions.  It’s apples and oranges, but I really did love this orange, and I learned alot.  Better yet, the conference is offered twice a year.  It’s happening again later this year in Vegas.

Oh….on a final note, I also learned that the Eagles were talking about Orlando (not Santa Rosa Hospital or Hollywood) when they wrote Hotel California.  Because….you guessed it….my flight home was cancelled as well.   But never fear.  Another airline swooped in like an avenging angel, and I made it home before midnight – with a stopover in Atlanta, where a cucumber martini and some prosciutto, fig and ricotta toast brought me back to my happy place.  All is forgiven.

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