(Remember, it is best to post new blog entries on weekdays during the business day. Not at 7PM on a Saturday.. Do as I say not as I do)
I miss my wife and kids. In that respect, I am eagerly awaiting the airplane to come take me back to Boston so I can journey home tonight. I have never been to Florida in October. In that respect, I am really dreading that flight back. Yes, I enjoy fall a LOT. Yes, I like having fires in the new wood stove. But I also love late spring back home and that is what it has been like down here both days. WOW. Beautiful clear skies, not too humid, full sun. Maybe it’s because I left during a Nor’easter but I’m blabbering again…
The SQL Community IS Community
I really liked watching the show Lost. I used to think it was because I enjoyed trying to figure out the next mystery (and believe me, I did). At the series finale, I realized it was getting to know the Characters as they developed. It was the finale and build up to it that made me realize that was really the most important part. Sure the island mysteries would have been fun to figure out but those characters were well developed and written to the point that you “got to know them”. It was a TV show, mike! I know, I know…
Well the online (and in person) SQL Server community is the same way. I really don’t know if other technologies have such awesome people, user groups and events as we do here in SQL Server. Coming to SQL Saturdays and Conferences really reinforces that. Online we help each other out with #sqlhelp. We have even debated beliefs, the role and growth of women in technology, identity columns vs. natural keys for primary keys and always come out as a closer bunch of people. (Okay.. that last part was an embellishment, I think we’ve probably burned bridges when it comes to identity columns ).
We pray (well those of us who pray, others offer thoughts and well wishes) for each other when tragedy strikes us at our home lives. We root for each other in new jobs and life experiences. We go out of our way to offer help for each other when we can.
This is all online! Finally when we meet in person at these events, hugs; really firm handshakes and a general attitude of genuine excitement to finally meet hits us. I don’t know, I think that is pretty neat and one reason to keep working hard in the SQL community (if not harder!) and not let kool-aid catch-phrases like something is web-scale woo us away (at least not completely, right Jeremiah??)
Hi, my name is Mike and I am a bit of a dork because I’m smitten with the SQL Server community.
Floridians Make Excellent Attendees!
The last time I had this much fun giving a presentation was in Charlotte (maybe I just need to move South? Maybe it is the sweet tea and its addicting ways talking here…) and it was even a bit more fun here. I had about 20-25 people (standing room only! Small room so not a big accomplishment but exciting). My talk wasn’t overly detailed but it was my, “As A DBA, Where do I start?” talk and it was great fun to give. I put some fun (well to me anyway) slides in there, I try to use good self-effacing humor and even tease developers. The group played along, interacted with me, laughed and really seemed to be having fun. I also hope they took away some tips and slight changes in thought process with regards to some of the “itties” we discussed. I haven’t been speaking for awhile, but I have to say that having a room with energy (no, no.. I don’t mean it the way Shirley McClaine means it…) coming back at you is better than caffeine for getting a speaker (this speaker, anyway) energized. I am not a Buck Woody, Tom LaRock, etc. (not looking for compliments here, I mean it) but I am starting to really feel more comfortable talking in front of crowds. Still find that funny for the guy who failed High School communication class because he was petrified to speak in front of the class on a topic that I found interesting.
I had a blast. I actually may look into submitting an abstract or two to Tampa for their SQL Saturday in January.
Andy Warren, Jack Corbett and gang put on a fun event. The Speaker dinner from Confio the night before was a great way to say hi to other folks speaking and check in with people I talk to on twitter or have met at the Summit or other SQL Saturdays.
I got to see the tail end of the work that was done for this event when I helped load (and then unload) a U-Haul and helped register some folks. They paid attention to many details I would have never thought of. I learned a lot for when I help Grant Fritchey, Tom LaRock and Adam Machanic put on the SQL Saturday/Data Camp in New England next April.
So Many Speakers!
Another nod for the community. We are really growing some great speakers all over the place. I got to watch a few sessions (Ken Simmons, Troy Gallant and Argenis Fernandez) and they were great. The sessions were all well attended and there were some great notes being tweeted about the sessions. Again, it is so great to see so many people willing to take their own time away from family to drive to an event like this for the one goal of helping someone else grow their career.
So Many Attendees!
The turnout was GREAT. I think the final count was somewhere just under 300. That is 300 people in the Orlando area willing to give up their time, spend $10 for lunch and learn about a topic they deal with at work all week. Recruiters/Hiring Companies – YOU ARE THE ONES WHO SHOULD BE SPONSORING THESE EVENTS!!! Who would you rather hire? Someone who is decent at what they do but happy with where they are (self capped) or someone who thinks they could learn a bit more and goes out of their way to take advantage of learning opportunities on their own time? I’d pick the latter also. So get out to your local SQL Saturdays, Data Camps, Code Camps, User Group meetings and offer to sponsor them. Some folks are looking for work, some are able to be lured away
Still Haven’t Been To a SQL Saturday?
What are you waiting for? Read Janice Lee’s thoughts on why you should NEVER SKIP A SQL SATURDAY here. I hope to see you at a future SQL Saturday. You’ll learn a lot. You’ll meet a lot of really fun folks (even if they are a bit strange), you’ll have fun. JUST DO IT!
I have a flight to get ready for, good talking to you.
I have a few blog topics to get in the hopper as a result of this weekend. None of them are technical but they’ll serve as some blog posts to watch out for in the coming 1-2 weeks if you subscribe to my feed.
- User Group Sponsorship –> Expanding on the thought above about the benefit of user group sponsorship and the caliber of those who attend meetings and events
- You Can Speak Too –> I am a prime example. I am not saying I am even that good. I am just saying that if this shy (I know… But I really am) guy can get up there and talk to a group of people that don’t know me (even with some of those developers my mom has always warned me about in the room) that you can also.