(scottish) sql bob blog

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Some thoughts of your typical data shepard / data groomer / data dance teacher sort of person.


Why go to SQL Bits?
On the face of it going to a conference looks expensive.  So why should you commit the time and effort to go?  That's a good question.  Do you know everything you need to know to do your job?

a) if not then going to SQLBits is the ideal opportunity to learn more, make yourself a better ( insert your job tile here ) assuming you want to be?

b) if you do then why are you not speaking at SQL Bits?  Knowledge matures, develops and then fruits as it is shared.

Stand on the shoulders of giants
At the conference there is a wide variety of subjects covered these range from technical deep dives, to the geekest technical humour you could ever ask for.  All the way over to advice on leadership, and managing your career .  You also get learn from other peoples hard won wisdom and experience, which has been won over thousands of person hours.   The speakers are delighted and eager to share their experience and save you the hours of effort it to gain the knowledge they have.  Writing this post after SQL Bits XXII l feel that l gained more practical knowledge in 4 days than l did in the previous 12 months.  That alone is what l call value for money. 

Continuing Professional Development 
Having worked with a number architects (they that design building) companies l have been made aware of the concept of Continuing Professional Development. In that any qualified architect is expected to learn and refine their skills for as long as they are a practising architect.

Sponsors
Another big part of the conference is the sponsors, they have stands set up in the main part of the conference.  Yes they are their to sell their products, on the other hand they are very generous and have many have prizes to give away.  Entering the competitions to win prizes can be as simple as giving your email address, others you might have to work for.  Such playing a racing car or sail boat simulator, these are geeks what do you expect !  Some of the sponsors have technical evangelists who are there to speak all of whom in my opinion are worth going to just for their sessions alone.   Next how often do you get to meet with representatives from Microsoft and ask them questions face to face.?

Fun and Games
There's even more fun to be had.  So far l have only attended two SQL Bit conferences.  The evening parties are well something to be experienced, the best way to put it is that these are dreamed up by geeks and attended by geeks.  Both of these groups of people know how to have a good time.  Also if you visit the sponsors you might just come away with tokens, for free drink, at the parties.  Need l say more?

The last question that occurs to me is why do l go?  Personally and ultimately l want to be the best possible person doing my job.  To provide my customers with the best possible service l can offer.  To achieve that will take time, energy, and sacrifices.  Part of that will be paying my way these conferences till l can convince my manager to pay for at least part of them.  Until then l will go to learn and develop, then one day return and speak myself to starting paying back my technical debt.