Wednesday, June 2, 2010

SQLCruise Contest Winner

As you may have heard, as part of our sponsorship of the inaugural SQLCruise, we decided to run a contest to provide one lucky winner a free ticket for the cruise and training.  When we started the contest we expected that most of the submissions would be in the form of tweets or short blog posts, and we did receive many of those which were quite good.  We were surprised and impressed, however, by the effort, ingenuity and humor that went into four submissions in particular.  So much so that we had a tremendously hard time selecting a winner… how could we possibly choose between:

  • Jorge Segarra (blog | twitter) – Here's a guy who, and I can't think of any other way to put it, was born to go on this cruise.  Not only was his video hilarious, it was replete with gratuitous SQL Sentry references, and was actually submitted before the contest officially started.  Talk about enthusiasm!  It was a shot across the SQLCruise bow – "If you want to go on the cruise, you're gonna have to go through me!!"  It also served to ensure we wouldn't spend any time reviewing half-hearted submissions (thanks man! ;-)  How could we in good faith not send him, and deprive the other SQLCruisers of four days of laughs and learning with the Chicken?
  • Matthew Velic (blog | twitter) – A guy who's new to SQL Server and who desperately wants training, and who would apply that training daily for a very worthy cause, fighting Pediatric AIDS.  He clearly spent a lot of time on his video as well, as the production values were through the roof.  How could we not send Matthew?
  • Rebecca Mitchell (blog | twitter) – A DBA in Colorado who not only has the technical skills required to successfully manage lots of SQL Servers, but the creativity to write a poem about SQL Server (yes, that's right, and probably the longest poem I've ever seen, let alone read), with cleverly infused references to SQL Sentry's deadlock analysis and every DBA’s favorite breakfast meat to boot.  How the same person can have both abilities is frankly beyond my comprehension.  How could we not send this rare talent on the cruise?
  • Erin Stellato (twitter) – Erin lives and works in Cleveland.  I mean, how could we not send her? ;-)  Well, her video also happened to be extremely well done, with Hollywood quality acting, score, humor and special effects.  Seriously, she too needed to go!

So after going round and round for hours, we couldn't decide, which left us with a couple of options: either put it out for a community vote (which we may actually do next time), or just bag the whole idea.  Unfortunately we had a hard deadline from Carnival so there was no time to put it out to vote.  Punting on the contest was out too as we certainly couldn't punish everyone for being "too good"… that's just not how we operate here.

After some more agonizing, another idea came to us.  It was extreme… but clearly it was the best option, and a quick review of the official contest rules confirmed that it was indeed "legal":  Jorge, Matthew, Rebecca, Erin, pack your bags, you are all going on SQLCruise!!! ;-)

We have no doubt you will all make the most of this awesome opportunity.  Have a great time, and be sure to spread the word!

Thanks to everyone who participated, I do wish we could send all of you… maybe someday.  Meantime, I hear there are still a few seats left!