TSQL Tuesday

TSQL Tuesday #96 – Folks who have made a difference

SqlTuesday

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Ewald Cress, and the topic is ‘Folks who have made a difference’. This is an opportunity – and right around thanksgiving – to give a shout-out to people who have made a difference in our careers and in the data community. To me this list is so long that I would need several blog posts to write about every person on it. But am going to pick one person, and for a very good reason. That person is Andy Warren(b|t) – the founder of SQL Saturdays.
Back in 2008, I was actively running the local user group here at Louisville, and volunteering for PASS in several different capacities. I was always looking for other opportunities to bring training to the local community, that was more than one hour talks we had at user groups. Part of the reason I wanted to do this was because the vast majority of people I worked with and attended user groups were folks who had never attended any kind of formal training.Very few companies paid for them to go, and the idea of investing your own time to learn was very new, back then. You learned what your boss wanted you to learn, and if he gave you time/money for it. That was the general attitude, and one that struck me as very wrong, although I didn’t get very far trying to say that to most people. I met Andy at the networking dinner that he and Steve organized, at the summit. He asked me if I had heard of SQL Saturdays. They were free day long trainings, and could be held anywhere. It was interesting, but I was apprehensive. People attending training on saturdays? In a little town like this? I wondered about it and when I got home – I called my contact at a local school on a whim, just to find out if they had any classrooms they could lend to us for free on a saturday. The answer was a very emphatic ‘yes’, of course they could. Their rooms were small but they had 4 rooms, plus a nice big hallway, and small private rooms too. They’d like the exposure in community and actually wanted to do it. This looked like something that wanted to happen.
I registered on Andy’s site, picked a date and then looked to him for guidance on the rest. He guided me through it every step of the way, with constant reassurance that ‘if you build it ,they will come’. SQL SAturday #1 was event #23 for PASS. It was held at New Horizons, with 60 people in attendance(I expected about 40 people), 4 speakers(Arie Jones, Allen White, Kevin Kline and Dave Fackler) and two sponsors. I think we had about 3k as sponsorship money to run it. Almost every attendee said emphatically about how much they loved it. New Horizons wanted to host it yet again. The upcoming year, 2018, will be our year #10 running SQL Saturdays, in a row. Every year, we have been getting bigger and better. Hundreds of people have received free training, so many careers and lives have been touched.
I would never have done it if it was not for Andy talking me into it. I think every one of you who has been part of SQL Saturday Louisville need to be. Thank you Andy, for showing us what we could be.

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