Participating in 3 SQL events in 8 days
April 4th, 201210
Participating in 3 SQL events in 8 days
April 4th, 201210

Well, 8 days not including lead and lag travel time. A quick summary of the three events, and the flights it took to get me to each:

SQLSaturday #105 – Dublin, Ireland

Flights on March 21st:

  • Providence -> Philadelphia (236 miles)
  • Philadelphia -> Dublin (3,260 miles)

Time zone change: +4 when we got there, plus Daylight Saving Time kicked in, so +5 after the event.

I spoke at this event, and manned the SQL Sentry booth with cohort Scott Fallen. This event was a fantastic SQLSaturday – very well organized, a quite unique speaker dinner (on a boat that went up and down a canal, through several old-fashioned locks), and I had my speaker feedback before I even returned home:


We also had the Sunday free, where we rented a car, drove on the wrong side of the road (and the wrong side of the car), and visited the western coast – most importantly, the Cliffs of Moher:


I hope we get an opportunity to sponsor and attend future events in Ireland.

SQL Connections – Las Vegas, Nevada

Flights on March 26th:

  • Dublin -> Philadelphia (3,260 miles)
  • Philadelphia -> Las Vegas (2,170 miles)

Time zone change: -8

I presented two sessions in the SQL Server track: "T-SQL : Bad Habits to Kick" and "What's New in SQL Server 2012." These two sessions are getting a little old, but both seem to continue to be well-attended and appreciated. As a company we really enjoy this conference because we get a lot of different folks at the booth – developers, general admin folks, even some SharePoint people. We also really like hanging out after hours with the SQLSkills folks and other friends in the industry.

SQL Bits – London, England

Flights on March 29th:

  • Las Vegas -> Charlotte (1,910 miles)
  • Charlotte -> London Gatwick (4,000 miles)

Time zone change: +8

Bits is always fun – those guys do a bang-up job organizing this conference and we always find it very valuable as a company. I didn't speak at this event because I was a last-minute addition to the company roster – I had already committed to Connections, which overlapped with part of this conference. I did make it there for both the Friday pub event and the entire Saturday day session. This was the only leg on this entire journey where I felt any sort of jet lag whatsoever – I took a 2-hour nap on Friday afternoon. Greg (@sqlsensei) ran a half at Reading to benefit children with cancer, and set a personal record by finishing in about 1:49.

On this leg of my journey I also did the unthinkable – I forgot my iPhone in the seat back pocket when I deplaned at Gatwick. And the US Airways staff there was far less than helpful. They told me they had checked my seat multiple times (during the five hours it sat at the gate) and found no trace of my phone, however the passenger in my seat on the return flight to Charlotte later that day e-mailed me from my phone and told me he would drop it in the mail. So this in a way restored my faith in humanity, in spite of being completely frustrated with the ground crew at the airport.

And then…

…I had to get back home. Flights on April 3rd:

  • London Heathrow -> Philadelphia (3,530 miles)
  • Philadelphia -> Providence (236 miles)

Time zone change: +5

All in all it was a great trip. A little stress on Friday with my phone, but US Airways made up for it yesterday, and I hope to see the phone in my mailbox today. Total mileage (not including preferred bonuses and Nicole's miles): 18,602. Net time zone changes: 26. Value: priceless. Thanks to all the organizers of these great events.

By: Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, write at Simple Talk, SQLPerformance, and MSSQLTips, and have had the honor of speaking at more conferences than I can remember. In non-tech life, I am a husband, a father of two, a huge hockey and football fan, and my pronouns are he/him.

10 Responses

  1. Mark Broadbent says:

    Well done Aaron, a great effort by you. Thanks very much for making the effort, a SQL Server event without your attendance wouldnt quite feel right these days 🙂

  2. Aaron Bertrand says:

    Thanks Neil! Always a pleasure! I hate to admit it but I am writing this from an airport gate. 🙂

  3. Neil Hambly says:

    It Was Really Great to see you @ Dublin #105 and SQLBits X events, especially enjoyed the dinner and chat that followed, see you @ SQL Rally certainly know how to travel

  4. AaronBertrand says:

    SQL Bits combines a high-quality paid portion (one pre-con day and one session day) with a free training day much like a SQL Saturday. It's a different atmosphere, but more like the PASS Summit (mostly due to the SQL Server focus) than Connections.

  5. Chris Wood says:

    How does SQLBits compare to SQL Connections and the PASS Summit?

  6. Tracy McKibben (RealSQLGuy) says:

    Sounds like a fun couple of weeks…

  7. Andy Warren says:

    Aaron, that's one heckuva trip!

  8. AaronBertrand says:

    …and my phone just arrived. Battery is dead, but it's here.

  9. Joe Sack says:

    Great photo!  I really would like to visit Ireland again.  It has been 18 years since my last visit.

  10. Karen Lopez says:

    That's amazing.  Glad you found your phone.  Hope it doesn't come with a demand for compensation like mine did :).