Singin' the #SQLVacation Blues in Memphis, TN
I'm sure not everyone agrees, but Memphis means blues, BBQ, Elvis and BB King. It's Tennessee's biggest city, at approximately 650k residents, only 8% more than Nashville.
It's a strategic location on the Mississippi River made it a key shipping and immigration hub and, as a consequence, the city houses some of the state's prettiest and most distinctive neighborhoods built by various incoming waves of migrants. Memphis hosts a really cool series of celebrations and festivals called Memphis in May.
It includes specific events that promotes Memphis' heritage and cultural exploits, like the Beale Street Music Festival, International Week, The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (O-M-G, it's awesome), and the Great River Run.
Would you be surprised to know that the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is the world's biggest pork barbecue-cooking contest in the world, with teams coming from Brazil, Korean, Australia, and just about every country on God's green earth?
Depending on your age and pop culture references, you might know Memphis is the home of celebrities ranging from Aretha Franklin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Booker T. & the M.G.'s, Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Shawn Lane, B.B. King, and more recently Justin Timberlake.
It's about a 4-hour drive from my childhood home of Huntsville, AL and my current hometown of Nashville, TN. As you might expect, after graduating from college, I had plenty of friends who relocated to Memphis for work at corporations headquartered there, with household names like FedEx and AutoZone and the St. Jude's Childrens Hospital.
Many people around the world know Memphis from the multitude of movies and TV episodes featuring the humid, Southern city. Some of my favorite films set in Memphis include The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Trespass (1991), The Firm (1993), Hustle & Flow (2005), Walk the Line (2005), and The Blind Side (2009).
Memphis is on the Move!
I've spoken at the Memphis SQL Server User Group, the local chapter of Professional Association for SQL Server, a few times over the years. And it seems like lately the group has seen a remarkable growth spurt. The user group is now led by Jandee Richards, a Big Data expert recently moved down from the Seattle area to enjoy our clear, sunny, and blisteringly hot days. Here's what Jandee had to say:
When did you begin your professional career?
My first job while in college was tech support for a worldwide hosting company in 2002. From there, I transitioned to Systems Programmer where I fell in love with databases. My first database was Oracle 11.5.8 and then SQL Server 7.
What’s a normal day at work like for you?
I work as a consultant for a Redmond, WA based consulting company. There are no normal days for me. I spend time on-site with my customer working on marketing analytics and master data projects. I do SQL launch events, user groups, and assist with any pre-sales work my company needs.
When did you come to this area?
I moved to the Memphis area from Seattle in 2016. Memphis is quickly growing on me.
When and why did you decide to help as a volunteer leader?
I have volunteered at SQL Saturday events in Redmond and Olympia and try to attend the SQL Pass Summit each year. I wanted to become more involved in the organization and meet new people in the area.
What is the IT community like there?
Memphis has a varied tech community. It you are interested in a technology check out the Memphis meetups groups. There is sure to be a subject that sparks your interest.
What do you like about your area? What you recommend someone do there, if they came to town on their own #sqlvacation?
Well, there's Graceland, the Zoo, the Civil Rights Museum, and, of course, lots of BBQ.
What do you and your family enjoy doing in the area?
We have not acclimated to the summer heat yet and have been spending a lot of time in the pool.
Enter the #SQLVacation Contest!
Share your vacation photos with the #SQLFamily community and on social media using the hashtag #SQLVacation! Also, don't forget to fill out the entry form at the contest page for additional chances to win more prizes.
Now until July 21st, earn entries in our #SQLVacation raffle by coming to one or more of the events on the speaking tour. Share your photos using the #SQLVacation hashtag to be entered to win a SQL Sentry messenger bag. The winner will be announced on July 29th. User group attendees will receive exclusive SQL Vacation koozies too, while supplies last.
Kevin (@kekline) serves as Principal Program Manager at SentryOne. He is a founder and former president of PASS and the author of popular IT books like SQL in a Nutshell. Kevin is a renowned database expert, software industry veteran, Microsoft SQL Server MVP, and long-time blogger at SentryOne. As a noted leader in the SQL Server community, Kevin blogs about Microsoft Data Platform features and best practices, SQL Server trends, and professional development for data professionals.