Back in August 2012 I had the honour of speaking at the last (but one) SQLSaturday to be held in New York City which marked a particular milestone in my SQL Server journey. While I had (by then) already spoken at the two American SQLRally events (Orlando and Dallas) and delivered a lightning talk at the 2011 PASS Summit, SQLSaturday New York was my first ever SQLSaturday in the U.S.A and because of that it was already special before I had even arrived.
Because I was already committed to presenting in New York, I was also fortunate enough to be offered a slot on the SQLSkills Immersion Event 1 (now known as IEPTO1: Immersion Event on Performance Tuning and Optimization – Part 1) to be held in Bellevue Seattle the following week (a long story!). The time spent in the excellent hands of Paul and Kimberly (of SQLSkills) and hanging out for the week with a great bunch of guys helped me realize that my target was attainable, whereas before it was something that only other people could achieve. Because of those people I met (and let’s not forget the reason why I was in America in the first place – SQLSaturday #158 New York), they quite literally helped me (finally!) achieve my MCM after so many years of procrastination. So, many thanks go to Paul, Kimberly, Edwin, Sean, Ryan, Ali and NYC for the inspiration and opportunity.
New York was an amazing experience, if not a rather surprising one. I arrived expecting the weather to be cold and remember even wearing a woolly jumper in anticipation of this -despite it being mid August! 🙂 I had only ever seen NY on the TV portrayed as a freezing cold City with steam bellowing out of the sides of the Sewer man-holes for dramatic effect. Too much Cagney and Lacey and Taxi had made me lose all sense of reality, for it was in fact scorching hot! The event was organised really well by those concerned and I had a great time, and a special mention should go to my good friends AJ and Martin who I shared a couple of nice beers
bears (←correction 🙂 thanks Martin!) with, but my trip was over far too quickly.
I’m really pleased and grateful to be speaking again this year at SQLSaturday #380 New York on Saturday 30th May and hope to take in a few more sights on this trip than I did last time. I will be delivering my session Lock, Block and Two Smoking Barrels (which is currently in the works), so I better really start working hard to complete it!
The moral of this story is that sometimes it is hard to see value in attending or speaking at an event or justify the cost (especially if you are travelling from afar). The return on investment is impossible to completely predict, but more times than not your attendance will be rewarded or lead onto something else. If you are coming to SQLSaturday New York this year, then I look forward to seeing you and maybe sharing a cold beer or two after the event is over.