Speaking at SQL Saturday Jacksonville on May the Fourth

SQL Saturday Jacksonville this weekend!

Coming up this weekend, on the least holiest, but still very awesome holiday (May the Fourth), I will be in Jacksonville, Florida delivering a couple of sessions. Now, you might say: “Louis, why would you be travelling on May 4?” Check out the logo for Jacksonville’s event:


That’s right, since this is Star Wars day, Jacksonville will be doing a Star Wars themed SQL Saturday. I will be giving the following sessions, both in the Hoth Room, which I anticipate being a bit colder than I am going to like at 9:00 AM, so we may just have to pull out my light saber (yes, I have a few actually) Tauntaun to keep warm.

Database Design Fundamentals

Data should be easy to work with in SQL Server if the database has been organized as close as possible to the standards of normalization that have been proven for many years, but are often thought of as old-fashioned. Many common T-SQL programming “difficulties” are the result of struggling against these standards and can be avoided by understanding the requirements, applying normalization, as well as a healthy dose of simple common sense. In this session I will give an overview of how to design a relational database, allowing you to work with the data structures instead of against them. This will let you use SQL naturally, enabling the query engine internals to optimize your output needs without you needing to spend a lot of time thinking about it. This will mean less time trying to figure out why SUBSTRING(column,3,1) = ‘A’ is killing your performance, and more time for solving the next customer problem.

Relational Design Critique

The process of designing a relational database is not overly complex, and may be done by almost anyone on the development team. The process requires one to take the time to understand the requirements, when they exist, and apply a straightforward set of transforms to produce table structures that meets the needs. The tough part is that the process requires time and experience, neither of which anyone has enough of. In this session, to help the attendee differentiate right-enough designs from overly simple or overly complex designs, we will look at a variety of database snippets, each inspired from a real life design. We will discuss the pros and cons of the approach taken, and consider possible remediations to learn from a failure that was made by someone else.

Also, during the lunch hour, between sessions, I will be hanging out in the SQL Jedi Clinic, which is described as:

“We will have a room setup for you to ask our SQL Jedi Master’s for assistance with any current challenges you might be having. Look for this image posted at the door.


I will be wearing my speaker shirt for this one for sure… Jedi robe. May the fourth be with you always.