SQLSaturdayA quick glance at our Events page shows that SQL Solutions Group is committed to supporting PASS (Professional Association for SQL Server) events, including regular involvement with SQLSaturdays around North America. We love these chances to meet, learn from, and interact with our industry colleagues.

For those of our team who frequently speak at SQLSaturday events (pretty much all of the consultants), it’s doubly exciting to share insights, experiences and best practices. The collaboration in the SQL community really is hard to beat. We’re proud to also sponsor these events from time to time.

“The SQL Server community is very active and thriving, populated by knowledgeable, friendly people dedicated to helping each other,” says Mike Tutor, Senior Consultant at SSG. Mike will be speaking at the Sacramento SQLSaturday event on July 12. “SQL Saturday events are great places to network and share ideas and lessons learned.”

So what is SQLSaturday? According to the PASS SQLSaturday website, the “program provides the tools and knowledge needed for groups and event leaders to organize and host a free day [!] of training for SQL Server professionals.”

Ben Miller, Principal Consultant at SSG, says,

Why SQLSaturday? SQLSaturday is a way to connect with the local SQL Server Community and network with true peers. It is a 1 day event that is free and provides some great training for SQL Server Professionals. I love to network and share the information that I have learned not only from my jobs, but from others that are willing to share with me through the community. I go to every event I can and even to the point to pay my way to get there to speak. I love the SQL Server Community.

On most Saturdays of the year, you can find a SQLSaturday event happening somewhere—in North America or around the globe, providing training—from beginner to advanced—covering a wide variety of SQL Server subjects. Many events also include a pre-conference event the Friday before. These are deeper, half- or full-day explorations of given topics and involve a fee.

Wayne Sheffield, Principal Consultant at SSG, is very passionate about SQLSaturday:

As an attendee, it’s all about the training. It’s free, and somewhat close to your neighborhood. The variety of topics cover all aspects of SQL Server – from performance, to covering specific in-depth topics, and just how-to-do-things in all areas of SQL: overall SQL, SSRS, SSAS, SSIS, queries, analysis, feature comparisons, how to use new features. If you examine the topics that have been presented at the various SQL Saturdays, you will find someone has spoken about whatever topic you might be interested in. This truly is a mini-PASS summit, just down the street and around the corner. And did I mention that it’s free? If you care about SQL Server, then it is literally a no-brainer… if there is a SQL Saturday within an hour of you, then you should be there. (I regularly see folks not presenting that have traveled 3 hours or more to attend.)

As a presenter, there are several reasons that I go to SQLSaturdays to speak:

  1. When I first started out in SQL Server, I had a lot of help from the SQL community. Now that I’m in the position where I am, it’s time for me to pay it back and help others. Now that I’ve started speaking, I pay it forward by helping others out…who in turn eventually help others and possibly start speaking themselves. There literally is nothing like seeing the spark in someone’s eyes when they “get it” – seeing this is very addicting as a speaker.
  2. Enhance my game.
    1. Speaking: Believe it or not, when I first started speaking, I was petrified. Well, I’d have to improve a bunch to only be petrified. Now, I’m actually comfortable when I get up to speak. And I get to solicit the feedback from other national speakers on how best to improve my presentations.
    2. Knowledge: there is nothing like speaking on a topic to make you research it to death and consequently learn every nook and cranny about that topic. You can’t know too much about SQL Server.
  3. Networking / Community associations: By presenting, I am going to a lot more SQL Saturdays than I would otherwise. This leads to running into a portion of the same group of fellow speakers at various events. It truly is a bit #SQLFamily – we get to catch up with each other, both on a personal level and in a SQL Server level. And attending all of these exposes me to even more and more people – people that I network with and become part of the community. You can’t have too many friends, and you never know when one of them will provide you with your dream job.

Anyone involved in SQL Server should take full advantage of these events. Chances are very good that you’ll find an event close to you during the year. And if you attend a SQLSaturday event where we’re speaking, come say hello!