I spoke at the SQL Inspire event this last weekend and it was a greart experience. This event was sponsored by Linchpin people (founded by Andy Leonard, Brian Moran, and Matt Velic) and supported by Robert Pearl, Melissa Demsak, and others in the New York/New Jersey area.
The event is modeled after the TED events, which was inspirational and informative talks that bring people together to discuss ideas and thoughts about various topics. In this case all the speakers were technologype focused people, but bringing different points of view or frames of reference to our SQL world.
The event was held at the Microsoft office in Manhattan, the same place as the SQL Saturday event held there last year. I arrived just as the event was starting, and had breakfast. There was plenty to go around, which was good as I’d forgotten to pack the protein bars I normally eat in the morning.
There was plenty of coffee as well, and I had a cup while watching the event start with Robert Pearl talking about telecommuting. He had some good ideas for people that want to work from home, including some data and arguments that you could give to your boss.
The event was structured as a series of 20 minute talks, with a few breaks throughout the day. Tom LaRock had come down from Boston with his daughter. He had a great talk about “Someday”, which as he noted, “isn’t one of the seven days of the week.” Tom cautioned people against waiting too long to do things, or putting off the parts of their career that are important to them, or even the simple things that need to be done in every environment, like making sure you have good backups. He had one point in the talk where he was looking forward to things in the future, and he choked up while mentioning the chance to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. It was a touching moment, and I was choked up as well thinking about my little girl.
Michael Coles talked about the job market, Andrew Brust talked about Big Data, and Brian Moran talked about Linchpin people and how he is trying to change the way that people view their work and their business. Michael Corey had a great talk about how he had grown his career from DBA to CEO of a consulting company and how he runs a successful, moral, well balanced place to work. I grabbed a card from him and will keep NTirety, his company, in mind if I ever need a job. They seem to work the way I’d like to work.
My talk was right after lunch and titled “Finding Balance”. My focus was on the ways in which we can all manage to improve our careers, get raises, promotions, etc., while still managing to have a life. I’ll blog about it more, but the main ideas were three things I think are important to balancing out your life.
- Learn to say no
- Play your own game
The entire event was video taped and recorded, and I believe that the videos will be available in a few weeks for people to view. There were about 60 or so people there throughout the day, and they seemed to enjoy the talks. Quite a few people came up to me and other speakers at the end to thank us for the information we presented, and they seemed to be making notes or engaged with the speakers during the day.
There were a number of sponsors that helped bring this event to fruition, including my employer, Red Gate Software, along with Confio, Embarcadero, and Microsoft.
This was a much different type of event than many SQL Saturdays. The talks focused on abstract, more soft-skill topics, that were designed to inspire you, and get you to re-think the way that your career is progressing. I hope there are more of these events, or even that they can be held alongside other SQL Saturday events as a change of pace from the strictly technical presentations.
New York City was great, with mild weather on a November weekend. The sun shined as I went for a run out to Central Park on Saturday morning. I stayed at The Pod hotel, which is a hostel, and an ecclectic change of pace from many other places I’ve visited. We had a few people come out after the event to share a few beers and talk about the event, life, and a few other topics.
My thanks to Andy, Brian, and Matt and I hope they are able to run a few of these events in other places in 2012.