Quest Toad User Conference

>> Monday, 29 November 2010

I don't often talk about work, so indulge me!  Today was the first day I offed on the train since the London debacle but I survived dignity intact.

I enjoy a good geeky get together.  Today was the Quest User Conference in Birmingham. The brief said 'Smart Casual'.  What does this mean to a DBA?  Well it used to mean "wear clothes that cover all offending parts" but I was surprised at the number of suits.  It must show the current state of the job market.

The day started with a sql statement to set the level:

Husbands Query:
CREATE PROCEDURE MyMarriage (

BrideGroom Male (25) ,
Bride Female(20) )
AS
BEGIN
SELECT Bride FROM india_ Brides
WHERE FatherInLaw = 'Millionaire'
AND Count(Car) > 20 AND HouseStatus ='ThreeStoreyed'
AND BrideEduStatus IN (B.TECH ,BE ,Degree ,MCA ,MiBA) AND Having Brothers= Null
AND Sisters =Null
SELECT Gold ,Cash,Car,BankBalance
FROM FatherInLaw
UPDATE MyBankAccout
SETMyBal = MyBal + FatherInLawBal
UPDATEMyLocker
SET MyLockerContents = MyLockerContents + FatherInLawGold
INSERT INTOMyCarShed VALUES('BMW')
END
GO
Then the wife writes the below query:
DROP HUSBAND;
Commit;
Please don't leave comments tell me the failings of the procedure, it's a joke guys, it doesn't have to be syntactically correct...no it doesn't....shoo geek!

As always, I worked out the percentage of women to men.  Actually, across 12 years of IT user groups I have noticed this is getting better.  There were about 10% women across the entire attendance and 20% in the DBA stream.

Why is the ratio of women to men always so low at these things?  Are there really so many less women working in IT?  Ok, at a Unix user group I am often the only person that resembles a woman (with some suspicious possibles?) but DBAs and Oracle or SQL Developers? There should be more.  Are they too busy juggling home and work to be able to throw an extra journey, extra childcare and leaving home before children leave for school?  It would be interesting to try to find out.

Something else always strikes me at these conferences, how much pressure is on the presenters to have their laptop presentations working properly. With 200 men poised to tell them exactly how they should do it if they fail, the pressure must really be on!

The lowest point of the day was when I realised we were actively debating whether the tablespace map in the standard Space Management pack was less sexy than the one in the Space Management with on-line Re-org.  For those interested this looks like this:
See the coloured boxes, these are waaaay sexier...they expose so much more (fragmentation!)

The high point (or most ironic) was a very well respected Joe Baguley explaining exactly why you shouldn't work in a company that has a 'war room' and avoid 'the fault bridges'*.  My company positively thrives on both...but I already knew it was a bad thing!!!

If you do Oracle and don't do Quest - go have another look, they have evolved again.  Personally I would hate to be without Toad, and I'm not just saying that because I got a free lunch!
*I plan to do a full post on Fault Bridges

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