It’s Not About Me
This glance back is sorted in descending order because a piece grabbed at the end had the most impact on me personally. During the after lunch sessions I headed for the speaker room to see if the snow down south would affect my return home. The room was full of great people talking and I hung around listening while looking at the weather. After a few moments I realized that I still had a question to ask Andy Leonard (Blog | Twitter), but hadn’t seen him. I found him deep in conversation in the hall. After talking with me, he headed off to get ready for his session and before I could head back to the speaker room someone came up to me and asked a question. I spent quite a while offering advice and helping someone trying to transition into Business Intelligence, linking him to resources available and ideas on how to develop experience. Earlier in the day, after my session I was standing in the hall talking to some volunteers guarding the lunches when another attendee asked a question that started a conversation. And then there was this woman in the bathroom asking about performance tuning and if she should take a job even though that was a requirement she barely met.
Driving home it hit me. It is not about me. The best thing for me would be to sit in the speaker room and absorb as much as I could from some phenomenal people. The best thing I can do for the community and for those that attended is to stand in the hallways and be accessible.
The speaker dinner was hosted by Confio and was a huge success. We ate at Big Bowl, which is not a bowling alley but an Asian and Thai restaurant. The food and drink was sensational. The room was cozy, forcing us to get close, stay long and talk much. This is a not miss session to this speaker. It gives me time to build sustaining friendships with great people like John Welch (Blog | Twitter) and Allen White (Blog | Twitter). If during the event is attendee time, this is my time to learn and build. Who wouldn’t want to know that there is a brewery in North Carolina that according to Allen I can enter on a Saturday, be handed a mug and continue drinking until they kick me out!
Promoting SQL Saturday’s as a Networking Opportunity
Due to an unexpected Santa 5K, the day was put on an official 15 minute delay. Standing at the podium waiting for my session to start I realized that most of those faces in the seats were looking down at the schedule or their phone. So I sent this tweet (and read it to the non-twitters):
The PASS Summit is a great networking event. That said SQL Saturday’s are phenomenal networking events. It is about the scale. There is so much happening and so many people to meet at PASS everyone is pulled in multiple directions. At a SQL Saturday there are 15-ish other speakers, volunteers and two to three hundred attendees. This means my chances of standing and talking to Matthew Velic (Blog | Twitter) and Brian Garraty (Blog | Twitter) for an hour are so high, it happened. The regional networking options of a SQL Saturday are a marketing aspect promoters should be exposing. Why do many of us go to PASS? When we mention why others should go to PASS what do we mention? We promote the free training available at a SQL Saturday heavily, but the attendee community is hungry for networking too!
Women in Technology (WIT) Forum
The women in technology forum lead by Karen Lopez (Blog | Twitter) was to a full room with conversation spilling over the time available. We started out mostly female, but the guys came and they talked more than I did! Near the end Karen asked what PASS WIT (Twitter | #passWIT | Web) physically can do for the community. Please provide any thoughts on this question to Karen (or here and I will gladly forward).
The thought I shared with her in the hall after the forum was to set up some mentoring. No, not to girls, teens or college students – mentoring for people already in the community. I know that I can help women starting out, and I also know that I can be helped through the influence of other women. There are thoughts to share that a male mentor just doesn’t consider. Last week I discussed with my new manager about a Christmas gathering. My reasoning for this is that after 3 months working in a small shop with all male co-workers I need to meet the wives. This is something I learnt in the military – not to be the nameless face that their husbands spend all day with (or deploy to Columbia with), instead to be a friend who they know.
#SQLSat 62 Up Next
December is in full swing. Now is the time to focus on family and friends. It is the time to celebrate our savior’s birth. Before I blink though, it will be time to head to Tampa Bay for SQL Saturday 62. Look for me in a hallway, happily making conversation!