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SELECT TOP 5 Sessions FROM SQLBits2023

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I’ve been lucky to finally attend SQLBits this year, and this came after a very long hiatus from trips abroad for me. I’m so happy to have attended, and finally, meet the best of our SQL and Data community!

SQLBits is an excellent event for the SQL and data community to connect and learn from each other. It’s a great opportunity to meet like-minded professionals, attend informative sessions, and engage in meaningful discussions.

Here are my top 5 favorite sessions that I attended:

  1. The Kingdom of AdventureWorks Calls for Aid – Mar 16 10:00am GMT – Main Keynote
    • This keynote seriously has to be one of the best things I’ve seen ever! WIth Buck Woody acting as the eccentric GM (Game Master), prodding everyone on stage to put on their act as DnD characters going on an incredibly geeky and perilous adventure! Hilarity ensues.
  2. Debugging SQL Server – Mar 16 12:00pm GMT – Bob Ward
    • This was, by far, one of the best sessions in this conference, and exactly the sort of sessions I love seeing in events like these – where you can get a serious deep-dive into something, get some delicious behind-the-scene stuff, and learn things that aren’t widely available elsewhere.
  3. Don’t Let Your Permissions Be Hijacked! – Mar 18 9:00am GMT – Erland Sommarskog
    • This one was definitely my favorite session in this event. Erland is famously known for being a super-fast speaker, able to cram a huge amount of information into very little time. He did so fabulously in this important session about little-known security vulnerabilities in SQL Server. I definitely learned something new here!
  4. Working with data using Azure Functions – Mar 18 2:10pm GMT – Steph Locke & Liam Moat
    • I came to this session hoping to learn about concepts and use cases for Azure Functions, and while I did get that, I also got something I didn’t quite expect – an amusing demo of VS Code CoPilot in action, doing its absolute best to try and help Steph write her code while she desperately fumbles for a prompt to write something for her that she has no idea how to do on her own!
  5. Unveiling the magic of CI/CD for SQL Server using GitHub Actions – Mar 18 4:00pm GMT – Kevin Chant & Sander Stad
    • This session was essentially a remix of Kevin and Sander’s famous Azure DevOps Duet series of sessions – which are great, don’t get me wrong – but it’s hardly anything that I haven’t already seen before. Well, except maybe that part where they showed what happens when you click on “>” while on the GitHub website. That… yeah, that kinda blew me away. Also, Kevin and Sander are always a delight!

And here are some honorable mentions:

  • Business Continuity for Hybrid and Cloud Native SQL Server Deployments – Mar 16 10:10am GMT – Allan Hirt
    • Allan shared some very important points about backup/recovery strategies and helped me organize some things in my head about the different HA/DR options available in SQL Server.
  • Azure IoT from the edge to ADX – Mar 16 11:30am GMT – Johan Ludvig Brattas
    • Johan presented a nice high-level overview and introduction to ADX, which is a relatively new technology in Azure that I personally find very interesting. This was a short 20-minute session, which I wish was longer so that we could have time to see more use cases.
  • What can you do to protect your SQL Server and why it matters – Mar 16 1:40pm GMT – David Postlethwaite & Gethyn Ellis
    • This was another short 20-minute session where the presenters skimmed over the material way too fast. This one definitely should’ve been a longer session.
  • A DBA’s Guide to the Proper Handling of Corruption – Mar 16 2:10pm GMT – Brandon Leach
    • I was already familiar with all the materials covered in this session, but Brandon is a delightful speaker and it was great fun to attend nonetheless.
  • Building Trust in Teams – Mar 17 9:00am GMT – Richard Campbell
    • I was hoping for a lot more from this session than what I actually got… Richard is a magnificent speaker, but his slides had nearly no written text on them so it was difficult for me to retain the information he delivered (I guess I’m more of a visual learner than a listener). I vaguely remember there were quite a lot of important points delivered. But I’m gonna have to review this session’s recording to remind myself what was in it.

Do you also want to watch these sessions?

SQLBits has a public YouTube channel where recordings of past events are available for free. I don’t know when, but I expect that the video recordings of these sessions will become available on this YouTube channel within the next few months or so.

Did you actually attend SQLBits 2023? Then you already have access to all session recordings via the Canapii app!

What’s next?

Attending SQLBits was great fun. I will definitely do my best to attend the next SQLBits event next year, and hopefully even as a speaker!

In addition to attending SQLBits, there are many other ways to stay involved in the SQL and data community. You can participate in online forums, join local user groups, attend webinars, and stay up to date with the latest industry news and trends through blogs and social media.

In fact, I will be attending as a speaker at the upcoming Data Saturday in Croatia – June 3rd, 2023!
I will be delivering one of my newer sessions – How To Save Money On Your SQL Server Hardware. I hope to see you there as well.

With that being said, there isn’t a lot of anything out there that is quite comparable with a SQLBits event!

Look at how much fun we had and all the amazing people we met:

See you next year!

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