SQL Saturday #146 in Nashua, NH
What to do on a Saturday? Attend a professional development conference! I was in attendance today at SQL Saturday #146 in Nashua, NH. If you've never been to a SQL Saturday, I'd highly recommend it. These are totally free, all day events filled with everything SQL Server related. Topics range in difficulty from beginner to advanced and touch on multiple disciplines. In attendance were sysadmins looking to improve their db backup strategy, DBAs, developers, BI experts, and even students.
The sessions were all helpful. I came away from each one with plenty of TODO's to bring back to the office. None of the discussions were so esoteric that you couldn't directly apply them to your work.
SQL Saturday is entirely unlike some other "free" conferences that are nothing more than veiled sales pitches by service providers. This is a great event put together by volunteers, industry leaders, and the wonderful sponsors who make it all possible.
Networking between professionals is highly encouraged. In fact, for each raffle, tickets were given to attendees by organizers based on whether the attendees were seen talking to one another. I got a ticket just for talking to one of the presenters.