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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Opening Keynote – SQL Saturday #33

I didn’t quite read this, but this was the written part of what I have as the opening keynote for SQL Saturday #33.

Welcome to SQL Saturday #33 here in Charlotte.

My business partner, Andy Warren, has had a ton of ideas over the years. He likes to remind me that they might not all be good ideas, but there’s no shortage of them. A few of them stand out, like his idea for the Best of SQLServerCentral books. I was driving home in a rare Denver rainstorm one night when he told me we should republish the best articles from the year in a book format. I had to pull over and debate it since I was sure no one would want a copy, but I was proved wrong. That series has been very popular over the years and we are on our eighth volume this year. SQL Saturday was another one of idea I didn’t believe in at first

When we started our training business, SQL Share, we were looking for ways to market the business. We tried some of the traditional methods of advertising, and had even considered purchasing a booth at the PASS Summit or TechEd. Those were expensive, and we were not sure they would be good investments. In our market research, which is really just a fancy term for us talking to regular people like all of you, we realized that the vast majority of IT professionals never attend conferences and other large events. Lots of people rarely go, usually once or twice in their careers, and a very lucky, select few go quite often.

When Andy approached me with the idea of running free events to get more training out to those that can’t go to conferences, I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure that it would even run, much less help us market our business, but Andy had proven me wrong before and both Brian Knight and I lent our support.

And money.

Over many phone calls, we worked on the idea and eventually SQL Saturday #1 in Orlando was held three years ago. Since then dozens of events have been held all over the country, and while they haven’t necessarily resulted in a lot of monetary profit, they have brought us a lot of satisfaction, and I’m proud to be associated with them. I’ve helped in a small way, but most of the credit has to go to Andy Warren.

Comments

Posted by Jack Corbett on 6 March 2010

Thanks for posting this Steve.  SQLSaturday is definitely something to be proud of.  I was fortunate to have been an attendee at #1 and involved in a few others.  I wish I could attend them all and I doubt I would have gone to the PASS Summit without having had the SQLSaturday experiences.

Posted by Steve Jones on 8 March 2010

Good to hear, Jack. Glad you finally made it to the Summit and (many) SQL Saturdays.

Posted by ScottGleason on 8 March 2010

SQL Saturday is a huge success and will continue to be a success if the focus of bringing training to the users is unchanged.   DBA are grateful for the leadership and vision of people like Andy Warren, Steve Jones, and Brian Knight. (..the list of names continues)

But it’s not just the end user that has received benefit from SQL Saturdays.  SQLSaturadys have also helped promote the visibility of a local User Group into the public eye.  In Jacksonville FL we see on average 15 to 20 attendees (per SqlSaturday) that don't know about the local users group.

:-) Scott Gleason

Posted by Peter Shire on 8 March 2010

I'm still recovering from hosting SQLSaturday #33 in Charlotte, two days ago. Even now, with much of the hard effort fresh in my mind, I can clearly see the huge benefit it has brought to the local…actually to the entire Southeast SQL Community. We educated hundreds of people, introduced them to the brightest minds in the industry. We showed them the faces behind the Microsoft SQL Server Support Team and we launched 6-7 new speakers on their speaking careers. We introduced Charlotte in a memorable fashion to the attending PASS executives and most of all - had an extraordinary time. Thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors, speakers and most of all the attendees. This great event would not have happened without the confluence of all these groups and specifically without the community leadership of Steve Jones, Brian Knight and Andy Warren. Thank you gentlemen for building SQLSaturday. I look forward to seeing you again in Charlotte soon.

Peter

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