T-SQL Tuesday #61–Giving Back

T-SQL Tuesday

The topic for this month’s T-SQL Tuesday (Giving Back to the SQL Server Community) is one that is near and dear to me so I figured this would be a great way to finally get started participating in T-SQL Tuesday. Blogging is something I haven’t been very consistent with so I guess my first commitment in terms of how I will give back to the community in 2015 is to participate in T-SQL Tuesday every month.

It also doesn’t hurt that my co-worker here at SQL Solutions Group, Wayne Sheffield (b | t),  is hosting this month so I am getting plenty of encouragement to participate.

Getting Involved in the Community

As SQL Server professionals, we have the privilege of being part of the greatest technical community there is. Unfortunately I didn’t figure this out until about 4 years ago. I’ve been involved with SQL Server almost exclusively since 1997 and I had attended many PASS Summit Conferences and gone to a few local user group meetings. I had done a bit of speaking but I certainly wasn’t consistently engaged in the  community.

In 2010 I decided that needed to change. I started by submitting to our local SQLSaturday event here in Salt Lake City and had so much fun I decided I wanted to get more involved. I began by submitting to several SQLSaturday events around the country, and was surprised and pleased to get asked to speak at many of them.

Since then I have spoken at 37 SQLSaturday events all over the United States and Canada, as well as numerous code camps, user groups, and virtual chapters. I was also honored to be chosen to speak at the PASS Summit 3 years in a row as well as at SQL Rally.  Being an active part of this community is a highlight of my career and I only wish I had gotten more involved sooner.

The takeaway here is that I would HIGHLY encourage anyone out there who is on the fence to get involved. The community will welcome you with open arms and you will make great friends and learn a ton along the way.

Looking ahead to 2015

Wayne has challenged us to think about what we are going to do to for the community in 2015.  So I thought I’d put some community goals in writing:

  • Speak at a minimum 12 SQLSaturday Events. I really need to make this a one-per-month kind of thing. I did something incredibly stupid yet fun this year: 9 straight weekends of SQLSaturday. I also want to do one of these events internationally. I have been all over the U.S. and Canada but would love to get out and see folks in other areas of the world.
  • Blog more consistently. I really enjoy speaking and I think I’m pretty good at it so I gravitate towards that. Writing? Not so much. But it’s something I keep saying I need to do more of.  So my goal here will be to publish at least one technical blog post per month in 2015.
  • Do better at attending my local user group meetings. It has been a challenge due to the fact that I travel so much but it’s kind of ridiculous that I do community things all over the country but rarely make it to the meetings of our local chapters.

Looking forward to a great 2015!  Thanks for this topic Wayne.

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