2014/01/18

T-SQL Throwdown at NTSSUG

The second public running of T-SQL Throwdown happened at the North Texas SQL Server User Group in Dallas on 2014/01/16.

One of the lessons I learned from the first running at SQL Saturday was that almost nobody reads the rules ahead of time. At that running, I had listed three things as required: a laptop, SQL Server installed on the laptop, and a copy of the AdventureWorks database. I came somewhat prepared for people who had not read the requirements ahead of time. I brought several USB sticks with AdventureWorks loaded. However, it takes time to pass the USB sticks around and for people to load it and get up and running.

To reduce setup time for this running, I decided to ditch the requirement for the AdventureWorks database. All the questions were based on tables for which I provided the create and insert statements. It worked, and the event started a little bit more smoothly, despite there being more teams and participants. Still, there may be room for improvement, and I have feedback with some good ideas that I will play with for the next running.

There were no evaluation forms for the audience to fill this time. Thus, I do not have objective documentation of participants' experience. Anecdotal feedback based on hallway talk was generally positive: people had fun and networked, meeting at least two of my three objectives for the event. These were: learn some SQL, make a new friend, and have fun. I am hoping that the learning of SQL happened when team members discussed solutions to the questions presented.

Overall, more encouraging feedback leaves me with the desire to keep running this event and to improve its scalability. T-SQL Throwdown will be back...