Last weekend was SQL Saturday in Philadelphia, which marked my 3rd SQL Saturday, and even though people who stumble across this blog likely know what SQL Saturdays are all about, I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about them at a very basic level.
For years I thought SQL Saturday would be the kind of fluffy marketing stuff that you expect of free lunchtime webinars or a vendor launch event. That is not the case at all. I also thought that they would only be local speakers, which is totally not true. SQL Saturday speakers exist all along the spectrum from local people speaking to a PASS audience for the first time to Microsoft Certified Masters who traveled hundreds or thousands of miles just to speak. Yes, some are Microsoft employees, but most are not. Marketing is strictly frowned upon, except for lunchtime sessions and the sponsor hall.
Chris Bell put together a quick video of SQL Saturday Philadelphia:
SQL Saturdays may be held at a Microsoft office, but they are not purely a Microsoft pep rally. The attendees are among the most motivated professionals out there. These are people who are willing to give up most of a Saturday to come learn new things or meet new people in their field. Speakers are for the most part very honest about what Microsoft is doing well and what they aren’t.
For me, SQL Saturdays within a few hours from home will add up to a PASS Summit. By the fall I may be able to attend Summit, but I won’t really know til we are much closer. SQL Saturdays are a way to get the same amount of training and networking in without doing it all at once with a long flight to and from Seattle bookending it.
If you’ve been on the fence about attending a local SQL Saturday, let me push you right over the fence and yell in your ear, “Just go already!”