Last year in October, I went to my first SQL Saturday. It was my first ever live event that I had attended. I had heard of PASS I had wanted to attend PASS, but I’d never been. I had not been to a SSUG, SQL Server User Group for the uninitiated. I wanted to but the nearest was 1 hour out of the way on a 2 hour one way commute when I lived in DC. I had watched and viewed the 1st 24 hours of PASS, which was fantastic, but no live events. SQL Saturday 49 in Orlando was my first and it was fantastic!
I met a lot of great people that day. Noel Mckiney (@NoelMcKinney | Blog) we had lunch on the lawn and talked for quite a while at the after event, Patrick Leblanc (@patrickdba| Blog), he was at the same table as me and Noel at the after event he was easy to talk to and we had fun just talking about food and New Orleans, and my friend, and ½ of my Future Law Firm Biguns & Balls, Jack Corbett (@unclebiguns | Blog).
When I went to the after event I knew no one. Everyone I had listed I had just met that day. I walked up to Jack and started talking, I don’t know what it was about him but he just seemed like the kind of guy I would want to hang out with. It is awkward going to a place where you know no one, but the SQL Community has a way of welcoming you in. We all have a lot in common, once we get talking the conversations have a way of flowing.
I left that evening and I decided that come next year I wanted to present. As the days wore on I didn’t want to wait until next year. I looked at what all the presenters were doing and decided I wanted to get myself ready, so I started a blog, hopped on Twitter, created my Linkedin Page, and started working on abstracts for presentations.
The first SQL Saturday would be Tampa Numero 62. I submitted 3 abstracts and one was selected. I was excited beyond belief! So over the next 2 months I worked on my presentation, presented it internally to all of the DBA’s I work with, got their feedback, tweaked it and went to 62. There I met up with Kendal Van Dyke (@SQLDBA | Blog ), Andy Warren (@SQLAndy | Blog), and Jack. We had lunch together and they were talking about SQL Rally, user groups, and the great food they have at Tampa every year.
Kendal had just started MAGICPass, and is the President of the SSUG I now call home, and I asked if they had openings for Speakers, they did and that led to a presentation to MAGICPass in February. I talked with Jack as well, since he was the President of OPASS, the Orlando SSUG, and that led to a March Presentation for OPASS. Later that month a speaker had to bow out from presenting to the PASS DBA Virtual Chapter. Jack had been approached about presenting, and he very graciously suggested me. It was a great presentation, my first remote, and I loved it!
In April I presented at SQL Saturday 74 in Jacksonville, and had a great SQL Road Trip with Kendal, Dan Taylor (@DBABulldog | Blog), and Karen Lopez (@datachick | Blog). It was a great SQL Road Trip, and a good chance to talk about the SQL Community and what we can do to make it better. Also played my first game of SQL Alphabet during the road trip.
I had emailed Jack back in December about the upcoming SQL Rally and he had encouraged me to submit, I owe him a lot for that encouragement. And in May I made it to my first ever SQL Conference, the Inaugural SQL Rally in Orlando FL. SQL Rally was my first ever conference for multiple days. And it was great, I got my first dose of SQL Karaoke, and met a lot of people in person that I had previously only tweeted with.
Fresh off of SQL Rally I thought, why not submit to PASS. To be honest Dear reader I didn’t expect to get in. I was realistic about it being the first year that I’m doing this. And I was floored, the community voted and I got in! And this year I will be presenting a DEEP DIVE on Compression at PASS!
One year ago today I was still 4 months away from starting a blog, getting on twitter, and attending my 1st ever SQL Saturday. So Dear Reader, if you are in the same spot then SUBMIT! Work up and abstract, email me if you need help.
There is nothing that I have done, that you cannot achieve. The hardest part of a journey is often the first step. So what are you waiting for? Take the first step click Here to go to the SQL Saturday Page, find one near you and start today! Everyone that you see speaking at events started somewhere, and we would love to see you there.