In July and October, I will be doing my "How To Design a Relational Database" full day conference in two places. First on July 26 for the East Iowa SQL Saturday, and then for the big daddy SQLPASS Summit in Charlotte, NC on October 14. You can see the entire abstract here on the SQL PASS site. It is essentially the same concept as last year, but this year I am making a few big changes to really give the people what they have desired (and am truly glad to have a swing at it several months before the summit to iron out any wrinkles.)
The first third of the day will be an example driven lecture that will be as tight as I can make it and still include all of the important foundational information that I can pack in. We will talk about the history of relational databases to get a feel for why we have the database environment that we currently have, then terminology, the data modeling process, a practical overview of the normal forms, and a bit about implementation. If it sounds like a lot in two hours, then you are right, but it is information that is essential to understand what we are doing the rest of the day (and hopefully the rest of your career!)
The second third of the day will be the class designing a database "together". I will have distributed a set of requirements for a database for us to design as a class, each person taking a turn to add an element. As we add elements, the class will be able to discuss if the item added is correct or not, simulating a typical meeting with N * 2 opinions from N persons.
The final third of the day will be a small team design session. I will distribute requirements to the class, broken up into several groups, and they will take them and do the design... Probably an hour later, I will take a picture of the design and put it up on the big screen for us to look at and discuss. This is a task I have done each time I have done this pre-con, and it is always interesting to see the several different ways the models turn out. Sometimes I learn a way to think about the problem that I hadn't thought about (and sometimes that is a good thing.)
Along the process of the two design sessions, I will be keeping a tally of topics that we haven't touched on in the discussion so we can hit those topics before the day is over. If we are lucky and the class is active enough, this section may not even need to exist other than to say "goodbye and good luck".
So hope to see you in Iowa City in late July (26), or (and perhaps again for) in Charlotte on October 14th at the SQL PASS Summit.