Tomorrow is SQL Saturday #200 in Philadelphia. I'm traveling today to the City of Brotherly Love for the event. My partner, Andy Warren, co-founder of SQLServerCentral and SQL Saturday, is also making his way there for the celebration. This is the bicentennial event, and even though it might not be the two hundredth event to actually occur, it represents an amazing success of the SQL Saturday franchise and I am thrilled to be a small part of these events that have helped train, teach, and network so many SQL Server professionals all around the world. We even had Bill Gates learn of the events at SQL Saturday #175 in Fargo just a month ago.
When the first SQL Saturday took place in Orlando in 2007, Andy and I weren't sure how it would survive or grow. We wondered if we'd ever see 50 total events, or even 12 occur in a single year. Five and a half years later, these events have exploded, with over 80 taking place in the last year. Under the stewardship of Karla Landrum, more SQL Server professionals are getting free training every year than they ever might have dreamed of.
And they're excited by the opportunities offered by these events.
I've seen people drive from Jacksonville to Pensacola for an event. People come from Virginia to Ohio for a day. Plenty of other people adjust their travel plans to come a day early or stay a day late to attend a SQL Saturday. We've had attendees and speakers bring their spouses and children, and even sessions they could participate in. Hundreds of speakers have donated their time and money, traveled long distances to help others. We've had networking sessions, games, BBQs and water skiing scheduled at SQL Saturdays. Summer, fall, winter, and spring, in every month, in over 20 countries, the SQL Server community has come together to teach, learn, debate, practice, and take pride in the work we do.
I'm proud of what we've done together and amazed at how often we have done it. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and all the events that will come in the future.
PS - Putting together a SQL Saturday isn't too hard. Some events are extremely well organized and funded, but really if you can find a venue that will allow you to use a few rooms, you're set. Speakers will come, you can charge for lunch, and people will learn. That's what it's all about. Contact Karla Landrum if you want an event in your area.
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