Lena Weiner-Bishop was lucky enough to chat with New England SQL Server User Group Leader Adam Machanic at SQL Saturday in Boston. Machanic shared with her some insight into the importance of the SQL Server community and revealed why SQL Saturday events are so useful to so many SQL Server professionals.
In addition to running the user group, Adam Machanic is a SQL Server developer who also runs a training company called Data Education. While he did not organize SQL Saturday #203 (where we caught up with him), he has previously organized three SQL Saturday events. Machanic also discussed the origins of the Professional Association for SQL Server's (PAAS) SQL Saturday events as a way for SQL professionals to get together, share their knowledge, help each other and provide a full day of free training and community to SQL pros. To this day, the only charge to attend a SQL Saturday event is ten dollars for lunch, and PASS can boast that every Saturday is a SQL Saturday -- on average, two SQL Saturday events occur each weekend worldwide.
When asked what the benefits of attending a SQL Saturday event are, Machanic said, "…all the benefits of free training. You can come and learn from people, share experiences, network, meet other people who do what you do, and really just feel like you're a part of something bigger." Machanic went on to say that many of the people who attend the SQL Saturday events are the lone database administrators in their organizations, and the sense of community these events provide is exceptionally helpful to them. Machanic also had words of wisdom for soon-to-be grads looking to work with data, he discussed which speakers he looked forward to watching at SQL Saturday #203, and offered advice for attending SQL Saturday.