SQL Saturday Chicago Recap – #SQLAwesome

20100418 122-1The single word that best describes this past weekend is… awesome.  While there were some occasional bumps in the road – Wendy Pastrick (blog | twitter), Ted Krueger (blog | twitter), and Aaron Lowe (blog | twitter) deserves major props for putting this together.  Outstanding job!

There were a couple lumps so I’ll get those out first:

  • Google Maps decided to change my route to Chicago from taking 90 to taking 14.  This would have increased my drive time by an hour.  Next time I’ll use Bing Maps.
  • My hotel bed sucked.  No idea what it did to me but many people noticed that I was not quite right on Saturday morning.  A terrible night sleep kind of caused that.
  • Major Boo! to Old Chicago.  Sarah got a cold steak from an over worked waitress.  Two hostess and a manager were walking around while the poor girl got slammed when a conference of 300 people let out.
  • Pat’s Mai Tai didn’t have Mai or Tai in it.

Obviously, these things couldn’t be fixed by the organizers.  Regardless of the beds in the hotels, I’ll always stay where the blocks of rooms are – it just makes it much more worth it.


Now there were lots of things that were just great for this SQL Saturday.  Of course, since I did the lumps with bullets, these get bullets too.  So here are the awesomes:

  • Conference and hotel at the same location.  This was wonderful – I checked in and didn’t need to worry about driving for the rest of the program.
  • After party at the hotel – same deal as the conference.  Location, location, location.
  • While my morning was bumpy, the SQL Server comedy show by Kevin Kline (blog | twitter) and Brent Ozar (blog | twitter) helped lift my cloud and get people in the right mood for the day.
  • My sessions on Using XML to Query Execution Plans and Extended Events – Work Smarter, Not Harder.  Of course I mention my sessions, but these were probably the two most fun sessions I’ve done to date.
  • Spending the day after SQL Saturday in Millennium Plaza Park and on Navy Pier.  It was a gorgeous day.
  • Hot dogs, Philly cheese steaks, and cheese fries.  I ate these and they were good.

#SQLKaraoke – The After Party

This is part of #sqlawesome, but I guess it gets its own section.  The reason being is that the after party was as good as a night at Bush Gardens at PASS.  That is a huge standard to live up to and the SQL Saturday Chicago After Party achieved that.  If you were at the SQL Saturday event and skipped the after party, you really missed a good time.

We enjoyed some shop talk.  Ok, I don’t really know about that, but I think other people were talking shop.  Others grabbed some drinks and appetizers.  And a few others sang some karaoke.  I was one of those singers.  This was the saddest part of the event.  You can find some of the event on Tim Ford’s (blog | twitter) event post.  Or some evidence of it on Pat Wrights (blog | twitter) YouTube channel.

If you’d like to see my photos from the party, feel free to friend me on facebook.


I’m a huge fan of feedback.  Both the good and the bad.  Unsolicited goods are great, after the event I did get the following two compliments.  The first was an e-mail…


And then a tweet…


Thanks for these.  It’s great to be able to help people.  If anyone sat in and has other comments, I’m more than interested in hearing them.  These help make the presentations better for those that will see them again in the future.

2 thoughts on “SQL Saturday Chicago Recap – #SQLAwesome

  1. Brent, You may have better food choices, but I would go back to Chicago just for the Cheese Steaks from Clark Street Dogs!!

    Jason, you forgot to mention the great show we took in from the Blue Man Group! That was definitely a fun and worthwhile stop on our trip!


  2. It was great to see you as always, sir, and glad you liked the comedy show! Next time you come into town, let me know if you're planning to stick around afterwards and I'll give you much better food tips for sure.


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