“Why would you do that for free?” she asked. I was kind of surprised and paused for a minute because it had been some time since I had thought about it.
To set the stage, I was visiting a relatively new client and since they have casual Fridays, I wore my speaker shirt from SQL Saturday Chicago which is personalized with my name. The client asked about it and I told her that I often volunteer and present at SQL Saturdays and User Group Meetings. The conversation went like this:
Her: How much does that pay?
Me: Umm… nothing. It’s volunteer.
Her: Well, they do reimburse you for travel expenses, right?
Me: No, that’s my responsibility.
Her: I don’t get it. Why would you do that for free? Why work for nothing?
Me: It’s not work because I love doing it. I enjoy teaching and presenting, and well… just hanging out with these people.
….. Skeptical look from the client.
Her: It’s a career thing, right? There are people who will advance your career there?
Me: Umm.. there are some career aspects about it, but mostly I went to that event, and really all of these events, because I like the people. Don’t you travel to spend time with people you like?
Her: Well yeah, but not other [Business Type Removed] people. It’s not a social thing.
Me: Well, I guess it’s a PASS thing, a geek thing.
Her: I don’t get it.
Me: I’m going to several events in the next month and maybe your DBA’s would like to attend Austin’s SQL Saturday…….
It’s a PASS thing, you wouldn’t understand.
I’ve been a member of this community for a few years and it’s a big part of my life. If you haven’t gotten involved and embraced the SQL Community yet, then what are you waiting for?
Why attend these events? What do you get?
- Free or inexpensive training.
- Access to some of the best minds in SQL Server.
- Exposure to new SQL Server ideas and features.
- Inspiration to increase your skill set and improve your career.
It goes without saying that those benefits are important. However, they’re not the most important aspect of these PASS Events. For example, the knowledge is great, but I can learn from books, recordings, blogs, etc. Thanks to the community, tons of free information can be found on the Web.
So, what’s the most important aspect of these events? For me, it’s all about relationships. Building bonds with these people is everything and all of the other stuff is a by-product of that. The events are fun, especially if you volunteer and speak at them. I love this community. That’s the intangible aspect that I couldn’t relate well to the new client.
This Saturday (10/1), the fine folks at CACTUSS will be hosting SQL Saturday #97. Some of the best minds in SQL Server will be there to share their knowledge and passion for SQL Server. Oh, and I’ll be there as well to present the following two topics:
Data Warehouse Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make
Many data professionals understand the basics of Data Warehouse design, including Dimension and Fact Tables, slowly changing Dimensions, and the use of meaningless surrogate keys. However, it isn’t until you’ve created a dimensional model and put it into production, that you realize just how much of an impact seemingly trivial mistakes can make. They can hobble performance, allow inaccuracy, and perhaps worst of all, inhibit adoption and usage of the new system.
Learn how to avoid many common mistakes, from someone who’s made them and then found ways to correct them.
SSIS Done Right With Package Configurations
Everyone starts creating SSIS Packages the same way. We hard code connection strings, file locations, etc. Package Configurations are a powerful way to control your packages at run time. This allows you to seamlessly move packages between servers, dynamically assign data sources and destinations, cycle through data sources, and create reusable code.
In this presentation, I’ll demonstrate an easy to understand three step process which you can use with all of your packages to increase your productivity in SSIS.
PASS Summit 2011
This year I’ve been selected to give a five minute lightning talk. DBA Lessons Learned from The Godfather. In that presentation, I’ll share how themes from the Godfather novel and movies apply to our profession and the SQL Community.
I’m really looking forward to these events. I can’t wait to see some of my friends again and get re-energized about SQL Server, blogging, and the community.
I hope to see you there.