Recap: #SQLSat157 San Diego – Space and Data

Sep 17, 2012   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Database, Database Design, NoSQL, Speaking, SQL Server, WIT  //  4 Comments

SanDiegoAirandSpace@VenusBarbie at SDASM#Chris2D at SDASM

This past weekend I attended SQL Saturday San Diego, AKA, #SQLSat157.  This was my first time speaking at this event and I want to give lots of thanks and kudos to the organizers for putting on a fine event.

Because I arrived in town early to meet with friends from both the space and data world, I was able to visit the San Diego Air and Space Museum.  It was fitting that it was the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s Rice University speech on space exploration:

There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

Not only is this fitting for motivating a generation to invest in space exploration, it’s fitting for professional development work, too.  We attend and speak at SQL Saturdays not because it’s easy, but because we need goals to serve to organize the best of our energies and skills. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been inspired to learn something new because I saw a fellow community member demonstrate how it could help make life for end users or co-workers better.  And SQL Saturday gives me a full day of these sorts of workshops and demos…all for free.  How great is that?  It means giving up a Saturday and for those of us who travel to speak, 2-3 days plus expenses.  And yet every time I leave one, I think "That was so worth it".

Sessions

@Data_Model with Llewellyn FalcoI spoke three times at this SQL Saturday: DB Design Throwdown, the Women in Technology Panel, and Career Management for Data Professionals.  Between those, I was able to see just a couple more sessions.  I really enjoyed Lynn Langit’s (@lynnlangit | blogNoSQL for the SQL Server Developer.   Lynn did a fabulous job explaining the differences between SQL and NoSQL technologies, as well as demoing MongoDB and cloud-based technologies.  You should spend some time on her blog; she has a lot of great stuff with plenty of videos and demos.

I also had the pleasure of being on the WIT panel with Lynn.  This panel, moderated by Tara Kizer, focused mostly on how we can energize the next generation of girls (and boys) to be interested in IT careers.  Lynn is doing some fabulous stuff over on http://teachingkidsprogramming.org, where she and her partner, Llewellyn Falco (@llewellynfalco | blog )  are building a framework for, well, teaching kids programming.  

I talked about the importance of talking with girls in your life, which is my usual homework assignment for attendees.  Having someone in the IT profession share the fact that the industry isn’t just about typing and programming can make a real difference to a girl who just needs to hear that IT professionals can make a difference in the world.  In fact, I have another blog post coming up soon on that topic.

Download the Database Design Throwdown: The Trailer presentation.

Download the Career Management for Data Professionals presentation.

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