On Day Four, Thursday, the cruisers buckled themselves in for a whirlwind day of training. We covered tuning T-SQL, managing terabyte databases, and things we wish we would have known when we started, but we also went off-agenda for a few surprises.
Sheldon, an IT officer on the ship, spent half an hour revealing what his life is like on board. Cruisers asked him about the ship’s database platforms (yes, they use SQL Server), the on-call rotations, virtualization use on board, and even whether he gets free WiFi (no). We were intrigued to hear about how servers are protected from hardware problems far from port and how servers get refreshed.
During the week, many cruisers asked me how to communicate problems to managers. They asked how I present architectural issues, hardware challenges, and development mistakes to non-technical folks, so I talked through one of my client reports. I explained how to do these same kinds of presentations to internal departments even if you’re not a consultant, because I believe it’s important to give consultant-quality documentation even if you’re a full time employee.
Because of the high number of very experienced SQL Server professionals on board the cruise, I prepared a surprise presentation – MCM Trivia. I covered a handful of things I found extremely cool as I was going through the program. I discussed how NUMA affects MAXDOP, why order isn’t guaranteed in a select statement without the ORDER BY clause, and more. I think this turned out to be the most interesting session for many of the attendees!
We finished up the giveaways with a Wet T-SQL Contest by the hot tubs. Tim and I asked trivia questions from the week’s presentations. Cruisers raced to get their arm up and their answer right, and at the end, the women made a clean sweep! Erin Stellato won a free SQLCruise netbook courtesy of MSSQLTips.com.