Monday, June 8, 2009

SQL Saturday 14 – Pensacola Networking Wrap-up

For me the event actually started Friday night at the Speaker/Volunteer party at The Fish House.  We spent the evening out on the deck with appetizer’s and drinks meeting and greeting old and new friends.  It was great to re-connect with Rodney Landrum, Karla Ramail (the event organizer, thanks for a great weekend), Nathan Heaivilin, Pam Shaw, Brian Knight, and Steve Jones, all of whom I had met at SQLSaturday – Orlando and at other events.  Then I was able to meet Brad McGehee, Ken Simmons, and Tim Mitchell, each of whom I had interacted with on-line, but had not met in person.  Finally there are all the new people which included Sven and Li from Troy University, Ryan Duclos from Mobile,  Shawn, Tony Davis of RedGate/Simple Talk and others.  To be honest I’m pretty happy that I remember that many names the next day.  Oh, and of course, old friend, Andy Warren was there, pushing me to meet new people.  I was able to meet Jessica Moss who is an MVP and regular speaker at these events, on Saturday morning.

At the after party I spent most of my time with a group including, Andy Warren, Steve Jones, Tim Mitchell, Nathan Heaivilin, Pam Shaw, Jessica Moss, and Don Demsak.  This is definitely an interesting group to spend time with as the topics range from technical, to professional, personal, and politics, and with Andy around you know there will be some interesting discussions as he likes to be controversial to get other people involved.  Add in the fact that most technical people tend to have strong opinions and see things as black and white, you never know what will be said.  Then this group, minus Don and Steve, adjourned to the Fish House for dinner although we took a round about way there.  How many techies with smart phones does it take to find a restaurant within walking distance of your location?  Well, in our crew it took 2 with the help of the rest of us.  We ended up walking around a couple of blocks before circling around the the Fish House, which was pretty much in sight of Rosie O’Grady’s.  Needless to say it was quite amusing to think we walked about 2 times further than we needed to.  Again, it was a good time of discussion and fun.

Tim Mitchell is from the Dallas area and now the idea is to get him to spearhead a SQLSaturday in the Dallas area.  I’d like to get over there as I have a brother in Texas (about 4 hours away from Dallas) and I could take my family to visit him and do the Dallas SQLSaturday in one trip.  Plus, Tim is a great guy and it would be nice to help him out and get to spend some more time with him.  Not to mention the opportunity to meet more new people from the Dallas area.

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