With SQL Rally right around the corner I thought now would be a good time to get my preview posted. Since the event is in Orlando and just a few miles away from my most recent #NASATweetup experience, I thought it was best to tie the preview to a movie with a space theme. Karen Lopez (blog | @datachick) suggested Space Cowboys, which I thought was perfect. I mean what better way to describe SQL Rally than a movie about launching four geriatrics (that washed out of the space program 30 years ago) into orbit to fix a decaying satellite filled with nuclear warheads?

So here we go!

“I was just reciting the Shepard’s Prayer. Alan Shepard’s prayer. Oh Lord, please don’t let us screw up. Amen.”

Exactly. I couldn’t say it better myself. This is the very first SQL Rally event that PASS has put together. We’re bound to have a few bumps as most every event (large or small) does. And of course we don’t want to screw anything up. ‘Nuff said.

(And May 5th just so happened to be the 50th anniversary of Alan Shepard’s flight as well, so this quote really works for us on a lot of levels with regards to “firsts”.)

“Did you ever meet a kid who didn’t grow up?”

This is how I feel whenever I go to a SQL event be it a SQL Saturday, the PASS Summit, SQL Rally, the MVP Summit, or a user group meeting…it doesn’t matter what event because I always feel like a little kid heading off to camp to meet up with friends I haven’t seen in weeks or months. Combine this event with the idea that I might be able to see the launch of the space shuttle and I am happier than a schoolgirl at a Justin Bieber concert.

“First one to pass out buys a beer tonight.”

Looking for something to do in (or around) the Orlando area? Check out these posts by Kendal Van Dyke (blog | @SQLDBA). I’ve heard rumors that #SQLKaraoke will be happening but nothing confirmed as of yet. Regardless of that it would appear there is no shortage of things to do (including a trip to the Kennedy Space Center if you are so inclined.)

“Exactly what kind of modifications has your team made?”

Events like this allow for the free exchange of information between everyone involved. One of the things I am looking forward to learning more about is ‘Denali’, the code name for the next version of SQL Server. I expect to be able to talk with other database professionals about Denali and get a feel for what features hold the most excitement for everyone. In fact, I might just go around asking people that exact question, but more on that below.

“We have to brush up on your hospitality skills.”

This quote goes out to Orlando, even though it doesn’t need much help with their hospitality skills. I expect that this is going to be a top notch event and I also expect that everywhere we go in and around town we will get the very best treatment. I also expect the weather to cooperate nicely, but that is only because I am comparing it to the poor Spring weather we have been having here in the Northeast.

“I’m an engineer, for crying out loud.”

Most DBAs today wear many hats (probably too many hats). This is especially true for the ‘accidental’ DBAs, or anyone that has been told “hey, you there…pretend you are the DBA for the next week or so, OK?” I talk with lots of customers and clients that fall into this category and the sense I get from some is that they really want to be identified as one thing, and one thing alone. That could be a DBA, but often times it is a developer, or a system administrator.

“See, you don’t think like that, do you?”

Events like a SQL Rally allow for me to meet and talk with a lot of people and I am often surprised as to how many different ways there are to solve some common problems. What is great is that we can all share our stories with each other. After the event is done we go back to our shops and we can then try to implement some of those same solutions, perhaps create a hybrid with our own stuff, and before you know it we have built something new. Meeting people that don’t think like me is exactly what I want when I go to events like a SQL Rally.

“Do you think he made it?”

When this event…the first SQL Rally…is finally over we are going to look back and ask “how did we do” in a similar manner to how Frank’s wife asks if he thinks Hawk made it all the way to the moon.We’ll take all of the lessons learned, wrap it all together in a package, and look to hold more SQL Rally events in the future.

Next week I am going to try to do something new. Using Audioboo I want to record some very quick clips during the event. My idea is to talk with a handful of people at the event for 3-5 minutes and publish the clip. I make no promises about the clips being entertaining, and if I am talking to Denny Cherry (blog | @mrdenny) then I certainly will not promise they are free from swearing. Like I said, I want to try something new and we will see how it works for future events as well.

See you there!