Take a look at the map above. Up to the right you see Linköping, Sweden – where I’m based. To the left you see Austin, Texas – a town 5.215 miles away. I’ve never been to Austin. Heck, I’ve never even been to Texas! So how is this relevant?
Angela D. Tidwell, a budding data scientist and a good friend of mine from the States is one of the organizers of SQL Saturday #890 in Austin, Texas. She reached out on Twitter the other day and asked me if I wanted to sponsor the event. They just opened up a “personal/blog” sponsor option. For $25 you get your logo and a link to your site among the other sponsors. I didn’t have to think about this very long at all. As you all know well by now, community is one of my main drivers. SQL Saturdays have been the bedrock of the SQL community for years, and many a speaker has started their careers in one of them. I started my speaking career at one. Therefore I jumped at the opportunity to help this event out.
What are SQL Saturdays?
Many SQL Saturdays are pretty small with less than 100 attendees. Some of the events have grown to five times that – or more. These events are completely free to attend and feature everything from local speakers to people from literally the other side of the globe . As they are free, many people who would otherwise not go to any training find a SQL Saturday to be a major boost to their technical career.
Who speak there?
Some of the speakers are known only at their own companies. Some of them are considered international rockstars. Well, at a SQL Saturday everyone is pretty much an equal. It is an amazing opportunity to get training, meet speakers and – most important of all – network with your fellow #SQLFamily.
So what is the issue?
Unfortunately, running a free event is neither easy nor cheap. The venue costs money. Just transporting all the stuff TO the venue costs money. Therefore they rely on sponsors, and anyone who has tried organizing an event of any size knows how difficult securing sponsorship can be. Hence I’m happy to have been able to contribute to SQL Saturday Austin, even if I can’t make it there in person.