When I was growing up, we used to sit round the t.v. (families only had one in those days) and one of the programs we used to watch as a family was “Wish you were here”. It was a travel guide to not so far off, but at the time exotic locations showing golden beaches and crystal clear waters that were the envy of everyone who just used to end up at somewhere like Butlins.
The reason I’m writing this post is that I’m travelling a fair bit at the moment and although I will be dearly missing my own family, I will be in the company of my #SQLFamily. That’s right folks it conference time!
This Saturday see’s the first ever SQL Saturday in Ireland, it promises to be a great event with some 350 people registered and around 70 on the waiting list. If you had registered and can’t make it please let the organisers know so that they can allocate your place to someone else who is desperate to go. I’m going to be there on one of the sponsor stands and look forward to having a good chat about the problems you face. No hard sell, that’s not my style. I’m just here to help there’s also a great prize, as long as I remember to take it
On Sunday it’s back to old Blighty to prepare for the Maidenhead SQL Server User Group that I run. This is going to be a really exciting event as I have managed to coerce not one but two MVP’s in the form of Kevin Kline (Blog | Twitter) and Jen Stirrup (Blog|Twitter) that are due to be presenting at SQLBits later that week. If you live or work in the Maidenhead area, or even if you’re just down this way for SQLBits we’d love for you to come along. The event is being held on Tuesday 27th March and you can register on SQLServerFAQ.com or for further information about the group please head over to our new site http://www.sqlstudy.org It’s a completely free event, we’ll even provide refreshments and there’s a chance to win some cool SQL Server swag!
Thursday is the big one SQLBits X if you haven’t been to SQLBits before then what have you been doing? It’s the biggest event for SQL Server in Europe and this time there are some 1500 attendees registered across the three days and there are waiting lists for the Friday and Saturday events. Again if you can’t make it please do let the organisers know so that they can allocate your place to somebody else. I’ve been a volunteer for SQLBits a number of times and after packing hundreds of bags it’s really demoralising when you see them left over at the end, especially when you know of people who really wanted to go but were told the event was fully subscribed! Again I’ll be on one of the stands, so feel free to come over and have a chat about the issues in your environment, or even to ask for some advice on how to go about something. The more stands you visit and forms you fill in, the better chance you have of winning prizes at the end of the Saturday event.
The thing I love best about these events (awseome content and speakers aside) is the chance to speak to people who face the same day to day problems as yourself. You can bounce ideas off of them and vice versa. It really is a great opportunity to network as it provides such a great opportunity for both personal and professional growth.
As I’ve mentioned both SQL Saturday in Dublin and SQLBits X are full, buy there are plenty of people who give up their own time to run local user groups near you! To find your local user group in the UK please head over to http://www.SQLServerFAQ.com for more details. If you live outside of the U.K. then there’s a good chance that there is a PASS chapter somewhere near you, head over to http://www.SQLPass.org to find out where. Membership is free and they also provide some great content, in fact there is a free virtual event going on right now, so go over and sign up now!
The message from all UG leaders and conference organisers like myself is simple, “Wish you were here”