At the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta this past weekend in Denver, I presented a talk on “Beginning SQL Server”, a high level look at the product for non-technical people: managers, analysts, project managers, even very new technical people. I’ve heard this requested a few times at SQL Saturday events in 2009, so I put one together, with the idea that I’d explain to people at a very high level what SQL Server is.
And that’s hard.
I had spent quite a few hours over the last 4-5 weeks looking for analogies that would make sense to a laymen for databases. I used Excel, filing cabinets, and a few more ideas, mostly with images, to convey to laymen what a database was, and how SQL Server compared with other databases. There were a couple other local SQL Server pros on hand, I think mostly to support me, and they thought the explanations made sense. I also got quite a few complements from others that were non-technical people. A business analyst, an older gentleman from the VAX/COBOL era, and a couple other people mentioned that this made sense for them in understanding how SQL Server fits in an environment.
However I learned a few things as well.
Overall it went well, and I’ll be looking to put this on the site, as well as present it at some of the other events I attend. I’m going to try and get it scheduled as an early morning session or a first thing to get people up to speed.