Right before the last Minnesota SQL Saturday, I was asked a few questions about learning about SQL Server which led me to recommending that the person attends the local SQL Saturday. Shortly after that recommendation, I received the following reply:
Darn, I just tried to register for [the Minnesota SQL Saturday], but registration is closed. How often do they host these?
The Minnesota one happens only once per year. In most cases, there is only a single SQL Saturday in a region within a year. But there are SQL Saturday events every weekend around the country… and sometimes the Caribbean and other places worldwide.
On the face of it, It may seem silly to go to another state, or country, for a SQL Saturday. But that just isn’t so. Depending on the speakers, which vary by event, it can sometimes be a very good idea to travel to SQL Saturdays. As an example, since you are interested in BI, an event with notable BI professionals or an event that is specifically focused on BI might be better than an event with more broad topics.
Another reason to travel to other states for SQL Saturdays is that it can often force you to network into a new group of people. This can lead to rapidly expanding your professional network to include people that you may not have considered previously. And this network might be the source of answers to problems, new clients, or coworkers. If it works out for you as it has for me, it may turn out that you meet some of your best friends through SQL Saturday events.
What do you think? What advice would offer to someone that asked the same question? Leave your replies in the comments below. Also, if you want “the unicorn” to answer a question in a future post, send me a message on LinkedIn or at AskTheUnicorn.