The SQLSaturday Sensation!
Congratulations, Brazil! You are the recipient host country for SQLSaturday #100!! On Saturday, November 26, 2011, when the wind begins to chill, and leaves turn brown and fall off the trees in the Northern Hemisphere, SQL learning will come to South America in Sao Paulo, Brazil! The weather will be warm and tropical!
Yesterday, it was announced, via email and twitter!
It feels like they’ve been selected to host the Olympics, or won a championship soccer game, as twitter was abuzz about the great news!
Here in our little community, us SQL folks are celebrating the 100th SQL Saturday Event since its original founding.
I originally wrote this piece, when we were at SQLSaturday #98, but held off publication. I have updated it accordingly.
Back in the day, when we wanted training, we searched for a class that would be local, affordable, and payable by our employer! Regardless, of whoever paid for the training, we would need our employers to sign off, if only because they themselves could afford us to be away from the office for a whole day. As a consultant, this too was a big consideration, that if your client decided to allow you the time to go, we’d have to eat a whole day of billable time! Many times important and pressing database issues prevented us from the training we very much desired and needed for professional development. For whichever reason many of us could not go, it was often because we couldn’t spare a busy workday during the week.
If only there would be some great SQL Training offered on the weekend! And so, in May 2007, the concept of SQLSaturday was born! Not only would this be a fantastic opportunity to learn SQL Server, but learn from the top SQL Server experts and MVP’s, as well as network with your professional peers, and be exposed to new products and services from industry vendors.
The mission is clear - to provide the tools and knowledge that groups and event leaders need to organize and host a free day of training for SQL Server professionals
The focus on SQL Server and the ability to leverage the time investment to help other cities and groups host their own events, is what made the event an enterprise endeavor.
The word that I can best describe SQLSaturday as an entity, IMHO, is franchise! Yes, the brand name and website are owned by the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS), but PASS licenses the use of both to groups or individuals that want to host an event at no charge.
Furthermore, as the SQLSaturday website continues, “event hosts take full ownership of their events: they plan, organize, and operate the entire venture from start to finish. PASS aims to provide the tools and coaching for them to make their free SQLSaturday event a resounding success. PASS is determined to stay true to the grassroots nature of SQLSaturday. For that reason, all sponsorship funds collected by events go to the event; there is no fee or percentage paid back to PASS or SQLSaturday.com. Just like the founders of SQLSaturday, Andy Warren, Brian Knight, and Steve Jones, PASS believes SQLSaturday has the ability to have a tremendous impact on the future of SQL Server and its user communities. We will do whatever we can to help ensure this vision!”
SQLSaturday has the unique qualities of uniting SQL Professionals and experts from around the world, as well as allowing us to participate in some way big or small. However you want to take part depends on your willingness and desire to get involved. Organizing, speaking, volunteering, coordinating, promoting, sponsoring, or just attending, are all within the realm of possibility.
I think I can clearly speak on behalf of the SQL Community – The SQLSaturday franchise has been a 100% success! Any disagreement?
Having been a part of some of these extraordinary SQLSaturday events, and dabbling in all of the aforementioned, including attending, coordinating, sponsoring, blogging, promoting and volunteering, it has been a tremendously enlightening and fulfilling experience. This is true personally and professionally!
Since its inception, SQLSaturday has caught fire, in addition to national prominence, spreading worldwide to places like South Africa, Portugal, Vancouver-BC and New Zealand. Another international venue coming up this fall is in Toronto, Canada.
Not only has SQLSaturday become an international event, it has inspired and spun off other exciting events such as SQLExcursions, SQLCruise, SQLPeople, SQLRally, SQLSolstice and SQLInTheCity! Some of these are free, others with a cost, but SQL Server ties it all together.
Nonetheless, SQLSaturday will stand out on its own as the precursor and pioneering vision to its SQL descendants.
When SQL Server folks ask me, how I can get learn more about SQL Server, or how can I get involved in the SQL Server community, one of my top tiers of advice is always “go to one of your local SQLSaturday events”. And, if there isn’t one, then you can organize one!
So, why editorialize about SQLSaturdays? There’s so many of these SQL events and training brewing, I can't possibly mention them all!
Well, when we we’re approaching that magic number there was speculation as to where SQLSaturday 100 would be. Questions abounded - Where will this be? Who will be there? No one knew for sure! I did tweet the SQLServerCentral.com compadres and SQLSaturday founders, Steve, Andy and Brian - wouldn't it be great to get them all together again at the 100th SQLSaturday? Granted, it all depends each of their individual and busy schedules. Brian Knight pinged me to come to Vegas, so I'm not sure he wanted to spot me at the craps table, invited me on a junket, or to organize one there :-) (Here are the venues of all one hundred events past and future.)
Andy Warren, Karla Landrum and I, were having a discussion on where the 100th event should be, Andy was just hoping for an exotic place warm and vacation like! In honor of its founder, he got his wish J
Andy blogged about this momentous occasion here: SQLSaturday#100
Indeed it is a milestone achievement and a great win for the SQL Community!