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T-SQL Tuesday #133 – Learning new things by building demos

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My T-SQL contribution for this month is about how I have been learning new things by building demos. Because it has taught me a lot over the years.

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Lisa Griffin Bohm. Lisa has invited us all to talk about what we have learned from presenting.

You can read more about the invite in detail by clicking on the T-SQL Tuesday logo below.

T-SQL Tuesday #133 - Learning new things by building demos

Demos

I had a think about this and reminded myself how much I have learned by building demos. Because in order to do SQL Server related demos I’ve done various builds over the years.

To give this some context I have added the below examples.

PowerView

Before the days of Power BI, I use to do a PowerView session. At the time I thought it would be a really good idea to deliver the demo on my laptop.

Not in PowerView in Excel though. Because that would be far too easy. Instead, I chose to do it for PowerView running on SharePoint.

Which meant I had to learn how to install and configure SharePoint to run PowerView. Not only that, but I had to learn how to do it so that it would run optimally on a virtual machine.

I also took this one step further, by having SQL Server installed on another Hyper-V virtual machine on my laptop. So, I had to use make sure I had Hyper-V configured optimally and use things like differencing disks

In addition, I had to learn how to present this all properly. Luckily a former colleague gave me a tip about how to switch desktops easily. From there I was able to switch between easily between slides, the virtual machine and the browser showing the PowerView.

Because I learned so much from doing this, I did do a session on how to use Hyper-V on your own laptop for a while. In fact, a former colleague use to joke about the fact that I had a Datacentre configured on my local laptop.

However, as you will see below, I use Docker a lot more these days.

SQL Server related services in Azure

It’s very fitting that this topic is in December. Because last year I had to record a video for the Azure Advent calendar event done by various community members.

Due to the fact that I had to record the demos and it was my first video I had a big learning curve. Especially since I also had to learn hot to put it all together learning Camtasia. Including how to put snow effects into the introduction.

You can read more about my learning experience recording it in a previous post here.

Docker

As of late I have done a fair few demos and posts about using Azure DevOps and GitHub for SQL Server deployments.

To get the SQL Server setup configured without slowing down my machine I have started using Docker a lot more. It was an interesting learning curve. So to make it easier for others I wrote a post about it here.

Takeaway

As you can see, you can end up learning a lot more then expected when you decide to create demos for a topic.

Creating these demos over the years has helped me out in other ways as well. For example, I’ve been using some of the recording equipment more due to this year’s events.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed learning all the things I mentioned above. Plus, it’s also being useful for other things. Like the time I thought it would be a really good idea to run a Hadoop cluster locally using Hyper-V.

Final word

I hope my contribution about learning new things by building demos inspires some of you. Because doing new demos brings many advantages.

Lisa chose a really good topic for this month. I am now looking forward to seeing what new demos people are inspired to do next year.

If you have any questions or comments about this post feel free to reach out to me.

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