Attending el primero sql saturday en España

This weekend was the first SQL Saturday in Spain – SQL Saturday #338. It was truly a great event. Kudos to the whole team  !!

It was organized by Ruben Pertusa (T), Miguel Egea, Pau Sempere, Alejandro Leguizamo and a lot of other great community fellows.

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I had the pleasure and honor to join this great team to present on one of my favourite topics : Self service BI against multidimensional data models. Thanks for having me as a speaker, I really enjoyed being there with you.

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Again I had the chance to meet with some friends of the community like Oliver Engels, Niko Neugebauer, Davide Mauri, Tillman Eingelberg, Uwe Rickens and Mikael Wedham who made a short appearance saturday afternoon – having to work for the Tech Ed starting in Barcelona on tuesday (28 October).

Friday evening we went for the traditional speaker’s dinner to a great place : Restaurant 336.

We were welcomed with a cold glass of cava and then we had some really great assorted tapas, mushroom dumplings, mussels, knife-mussels and other Mediterranean delicacies followed by a dish of our choice. I picked the grilled Sea bass and wasn’t disappointed, it was fresh and perfectly grilled so the meat was easily removed from the bones while having this particular flavor that only a grill can give to fish. During the dinner we emptied a few pitchers of Sangria which was really cold but a bit too sweet to my taste – the red wine was not as distinct as I could have wished. Then it was time for dessert, coffee and a ride back to the hotel because I had the first morning session.

A great speaker’s dinner that will leave a challenging job for other SQL Saturdays organizers trying to match the quality and the choice of the food.

The team did a great job and convinced the IQS (faculty of chemistry) of Barcelona to host the venue with very comfortable auditoriums, a cafeteria for coffee breaks and an atrium decorated with wooden panels and old displaying tables where you could feel the patina of the years.

Having the venue at the foot of the Tibidabo was a very appalling location and Ï couldn’t help, after my morning session was completed to take a run uphill along the trail of Aigües, a 10kms dirt track frequented by walkers, mountain bikers and runners of all ages and speed. This track displays a magnificent view over Barcelona while winding itself between the bushes, cactuses and the Mediterranean trees. I don’t know if it was the view or the run but it left me breathless.

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The sessions

As always they were a lot of high quality sessions. Most of them in English and a few of them in Spanish. I was expecting some more local speakers  but I am sure that it will come in the upcoming editions of SQL Saturday Barcelona.

It was now the third time I was doing this session and I enjoyed very much being able to present about this subject. The timing was good, the audience was awaken (it was only 915 AM) and I had some very positive feedback leaving me with the impression that the session had been educational on several plans.

Universities as venues

It is now the third SQL Saturday that I attend and which is held in some form of university.

  • SQL Saturday Cambridge in 2013 in Queen’s college
  • SQL Saturday Porto in 2014 at the Engineer school of Porto
  • and now SQL Saturday Barcelona at IQS.

This actually is a very smart move because generally speaking this kind of venue is empty during the Saturdays and has all the facilities for presenting, hosting and catering for a few hundreds people. This has even convinced me further that our upcoming SQL Saturday in Copenhagen in September 2015 at the IT University of Copenhagen will beneficiate from this kind of facility.

Don’t get me wrong, it has been great to have the two previous SQL Saturdays At Microsoft HQ in Hellerup but we struggled somehow with the room capacity and the number of rooms available for the event. The IT University will provide us with 5 auditoriums with state of the art AV equipment and the biggest room will be able to seat 400 people…this is going to be epic!!

Sunday after the event we went for a walk in the city, passing by several Gaudí houses and lunching by the Sagrada Familia before being driven out to the airport by the ever-working Ruben.

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Thanks again for a great weekend under the sign of the SQL community and hasta la proxima vez!

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