SQLVacation Postcard: Evansville, IN
Our long #SQLVacation is nearly at an end because our stop in Evansville, IN is our last roadtrip location for the family and the penultimate (i.e., second to last) technical session of the journey. Ah, the taste is a bittersweet. On the other hand, while it's been a load of fun for my Horde, it hasn't exactly been a vacation for me. After all, I've been working double-time the entire roadtrip.
Evansville is such a beautiful place that it was name La Belle Riviere ("The Beautiful River") by the early French trappers who were the first Europeans to explore the river valley. Today, the city is the commercial and cultural hub of the "entire tri-state area!". (I can't help but say that in the voice of Dr. Doofenshmirtz from the TV show Phineas and Ferb).
The Evansville SQL Server users group meets monthly in the Evansville Central Library (in Browning Room B), 200 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Evansville, IN 47713. If you're planning to attend, be sure to register HERE so the organizers can get a proper headcount for the lunch. I'll be delivering two sessions at this event: SQL Server Internals & Architecture and Ten Query Tuning Techniques Every SQL Developer Should Know. You can download the slide decks from SlideShare.Net.
The user group is led by Edward Rhoades, an enterprise DBA and all-around Renaissance Man of IT. Let's get to know a little more about Evansville, the user group, and its hardworking volunteers:
- When did you begin your professional career? I began my professional career as a retail manager. After about 10 years of retail manager, I decided to go back to college to get a degree in Information Technology. After I had a job as a developer post college, I got a job as a DBA at Atlas World Group about 4 years ago. I was mentored by a great bunch of SQL DBAs there and I owe them a lot as they were my first #sqlfamily. Even though I have shifted a tad in focus from DBA to developer to IT Manager, I still am a DBA.
- What’s a normal day at work like for you? My work life is stretched supporting a lot of different kinds of technology. One hour, I could be writing a Reporting Services report. And then the next hour I could be troubleshooting an Active Directory issue. And then I could be meeting with a customer to talk with them about their EDI requirements. This is a big difference from when I was a production DBA. I do miss those days of getting knee deep with SQL Server internals and performance tuning.
- When did you come to Evansville? I have lived here most of my life. For about 10-15 years, I was living in different areas of the country and living abroad in Scotland. But I've gravitated back Evansville. It's where family lives and since family is important to me and my wife, we like living here.
- When and why did you decide to help as a volunteer leader? A year or so ago, the previous leader came to me and had asked if I would like to take on a leadership role. I said sure. But I didn't know at the time that my role would morph into becoming one of the co-leaders of the group. There are multiple positive experiences about being a volunteer leader. I would have to say that at the top of the list for me is that I get to collaborate with some great people who are working on some cool things here in Evansville. Both of the other co-leaders of our group are awesome to work with and we're lucky to have them.
- What is the IT community like there? Our IT community is small but we've attracted some great minds to work here. We continually look for opportunities to engage people to attend one of the several user group meetings here. We have active PowerShell, .NET, SharePoint user groups that are focused to provide their membership quality education and networking opportunities in our IT community. I love the PASS community! Last year was the first time I attended the PASS Summit and I really enjoyed meeting a lot of people who I see on twitter all of the time. I hope that everyone from our user group could get the opportunity to experience the #sqlfamily like I have. My goal with our group is for every member to feel like they are a part of the #sqlfamily We're always looking for speakers, members, and sponsors for our group.
- What do you like about Evansville? What you recommend someone do there, if they came to town on their own #sqlvacation? For historical buffs like myself, our city is rich with culture and history. We have lots of museums, like the Children's Museum of Evansville (CMOE), the Evansville Museum, the LST 325 Navy Ship, Willard Library, and the Reitz Historic Home. We also have a vast list of unique restaurants and micropubs for people to experience. Check out directory of activities at http://www.celebrateevansville.com/ for a great look at all our city has to offer.
- What do you and your family enjoy doing in your city? We are big fans of taking advantage of a lot of the cool things in our downtown area. We are big fans of the museums and historical places in Evansville, the cool Children’s Museum, and the Evansville Museum. We also have a 7 mile greenway space which runs along the Ohio river that is great for running, walking or biking on. We also like to see an occasional baseball game at historic Bosse Field.
To learn more about the Evansville SQL Server Users Group, follow them on Twitter at @evvpass or check out their webpage. They usually meet every third Thursday between 11:30 and 1pm at Central Library in downtown Evansville. Edward can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and via email at email@example.com. Get involved with your local chapter of PASS! You won't regret it.
And please let me know what you think about, well, about whatever's on your mind. Inquiring minds what to know…