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Do we do enough?

By Chris Massey,

How often do SQL Server users attend free trainine eventsGiven how much activity I typically see in and around the SQL Server community, I was genuinely surprised to discover, upon running a poll on LinkedIn & Facebook, that there are people who don’t know that there are fantastic free training events available to them.

Naivety aside, I realise that, while the active SQL Server community is both vibrant and generous (just look at how that graph is skewed), there are always going to be DBAs & developers who are either indifferent or pure 9-5’ers. Or who are simply disconnected from the community by dint of distance, isolation or language.

I also recognise that my sample size is relatively small (just over 100 responses at time of writing) and, given that the polls were publicised primarily via social networks, the results are naturally skewed to willing networkers – although that almost makes the people in the dark even more startling.

Now, there’s only so much you can do to counter disconnection which is based on physical limitations, and beating apathy is just a long game. I want to dwell on the people who, for whatever reason, are simply unaware that free SQL Server training exists.

Do we, as a community do enough to reach them?

I’m talking about event organisers, tool vendors and concerned SQL citizens – everyone in the community. Obviously, our resources are limited, we do our best with what we’ve got, and, while I can’t provide an exhaustive list there, that’s already pretty darned good. But I can’t help but wonder what else we, as a whole, could do. Maybe a lot. Maybe nothing. Maybe I’m just barking up the wrong tree.

Of course, as the ultimate distributor of the software, with access to the contact details of  a reasonably large proportion of its end users, Microsoft would be a clear choice as a central promoter of events, and perhaps we should push / help them do that better.

Until that happens, share your tips and ideas on how we could reach this unknown audience, and the community will be a better place for it. What could we do, be we users, organisers or vendors, to reach the SQL Server users who are sitting in the dark?

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