SQLDownUnderCodeCampLogo Last Weekend I ventured down to Charles Sturt University at Wagga Wagga to attend the annual SQL Code Camp. For those of you who knew me then, you may realise that this trip was almost like facing a fear!! If you haven't heard all about it – you can see my previous blog posts here and here.

But like all good adrenalin junkies, (OK maybe it was just because I am disorganised) I made the decision at the last minute & figured as I wasn't already in hospital having organs removed that I may as well head down to Wagga Wagga.

I am so glad I did – not only did I return with all of my Internal Organs in tact and no broken bones, but I also learnt some things in the process! :)

The main point that stood out for me was how important it is to understand the execution plans for any SQL statement – as small tweaks in the way you write your SQL code can give some massive improvements in performance.

The other topic that seems to recur was related to Analysis Services – and MDX. It was pointed out several times that you need to keep in mind that MDX ISNT like SQL and so you need to understand the Hierarchies and Dimensions and how to work with them. You need to remember not to treat the requirements for building MDX statements in the same way you would a SQL query to really effectively work with MDX (I am heading off to find a copy of “MDX Solutions” by George Spofford et al. now)

One thing that always appeals to SQL people – is stats! And we had two appearances of the awesome TED video by Dr Hans Rosling showing the best stats you have ever seen: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html

There were a number of great demos that showed how simple SQL 2008 makes things like Peer to Peer Replication, enforcing business conventions using Policy Based Management, working with spatial data, Database Migrations from apps like Sybase, Breaking Service Broker is actually really hard to do and making very cool looking reports using SQL reporting Services is incredibly simple. Ahhh so much goodness crammed into two days!

I even have a new acronym to add to my collection thanks to Peter Ward: CBRE – Cover Backside, Retain Employment. (and some great tips on backing up & restoring data to go along with it!)

I was a little disappointed not to see any SSIS presentations – but maybe if I decided to go down sooner – I could have submitted an abstract and talked about it myself?

20% of the attendees were female which is am awesome percentage for these types of community events! It was great to get to meet & talk with the women who ventured along to Code Camp – some even made the journey across from Perth & up from Hobart.  I also was lucky enough to meet the ONLY Female on campus student currently studying IT at Charles Sturt. Hopefully I will get to keep in contact with all of these ladies in future.

As always we enjoyed some lovely Wine & Cheese tasting thanks to IT Masters & Charles Sturt University – and even had a BBQ Dinner on Saturday night provided by Redgate.

There were a few new ventures mentioned:

  • Rob Farley launched his new company LobsterPot: www.LobsterPot.com.au
  • Wardy IT, AB Training & Portal Synergy Announced their TechSummerFest which will be hitting Australian cities in Late November/Early December – kicking off in Hobart: www.TechSummerFest.com (site isn't yet live – but check back soon).

If you couldn't make it – don't worry too much as there is a good summary of the event via Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/codecampoz – or you can use the Summize tool to search the hashtag #SQLCC08: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23SQLCC08