Last week, I had travelled to the beautiful city of Christchurch, for speaking in SQL Saturday South Island. This is by far the farthest I have travelled for a SQL Saturday, nearly 8500KMs from Singapore. I am so glad, I made it as it turned out to be a excellent event organized by my dear friend / brother Hamish Watson, Martin Catherall and rest of the SQL Saturday South Island team.
My talk was on "Cardinality estimator - A ride from SQL 7.0 to SQL Server 2016", going thru the various changes on CE 120 and CE 130. Personally, I enjoyed delivering this one as the audience was fairly well informed and it gave me the license to get lot more detailed on the subject. No one left the room since I started the talk and it was a very interactive session, which gave me a feel that the talk was well received too.
After my session, I managed to interview couple of wonderful MVPs, Mr. Manohar Punna and Mr. Steve Knutson for #DataChannel. Both the interviews were on my editing table and will be out in few weeks’ time :)
The Oz/NZ SQL family is so warm, welcoming and take so much of care, that it is always a pleasure being part of their events. I always have a ball of a time in company of Hamish, Martin Catherall, Manu, Warwick, Martin Cairney, Rob Douglas, Patrick Flynn, Reza and Leila (though they had to leave a little early this time around). Thanks for making me feel part of the family as always.
One of the main reasons for me deciding to take part in this event was beacuse of Mr.Hamish Watson, who invited me way back in Aug 2016 itself. While he calls me "SQL Brother", he took care of me like his real brother, taking me around the beautiful city of Christchurch, taking me to his home, showing me his farm as well. I got a chance to meet his wonderful family, his wife and 4 lovely kids and I really wish them all the happiness in this world. Hamish also cooked delightful vegetarian dinner for the entire family, making the overall stay at his home memorable. I really don't think I could play such a good host as him and I had lots to nice things to learn from him and his family.
Finally, I also did the tourist thing of sightseeing and shopping in Christchurch. After travelling around a few countries and a number of cities, I can certainly say, Christchurch is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. The mountains, the ocean, the beach and the country side are so scenic. Sadly, multiple earthquakes in last few years have caused loss of several lives and properties but nothing stops the New Zealanders from being happy and keeping the city neat, clean and beautiful.
I managed to visit a place called Gondula which is a location on Mount cavendish, at about thousand feet above sea level, from where one gets an aerial view to the city & harbor at one side and calm endless pacific ocean at the other side. Needless to say, the views were simply stunning and I was awestruck to see how nature has blessed this place with so much of beauty. Gondula is one of the two stunning locations I have ever been too (the other being the great oceans road / 12 apostles in Australia).
Overall, a memorable trip both professionally and personally, thanks again to Hamish Watson for giving me an opportunity to be part of this excellent event!!!
if interested, please check out more photos here