This post is a bit late, as I actually blew past 50 SQL Saturdays earlier in the year, but now that the year is over, I wanted to reflect just a little bit on why I enjoy speaking at SQL Saturdays.
I’ve spoken at 57 of them so far and want to break 75 in 2018. Here’s the year-by-year breakdown:
- 2013: 1
- 2014: 3
- 2015: 9
- 2016: 22
- 2017: 22
I love that the institution of SQL Saturday is popular enough that someone can attend 20+ events a year all all around the world. In my case, the vast majority of my travel is inside the United States, but I get to see parts of the country that I otherwise couldn’t (or wouldn’t think to visit), and I like that.
If you’ve thought about speaking at a SQL Saturday, I highly recommend giving it a shot. You don’t have to be a great speaker, and definitely don’t need to be a natural speaker in order to present. That’s exactly the situation I was in back in 2013, when I gave my first SQL Saturday presentation. That talk had a total of four attendees and it wasn’t a polished talk at all—which is a nice way of saying that even my recollection of the talk was that it wasn’t very good…though at least I still had all 4 attendees at the end of the talk! But like with everything else, you get better through practice and training.
You also don’t need to criss-cross the country; start with a local conference if there are any, or a nearby regional conference if you can get away with it. If you speak at one a year, you’re still getting good experience presenting and helping share your knowledge with the community, as well as picking up additional information and potentially making great contacts and friends.
And if you happen to be in the southeast, you should submit for the Raleigh, North Carolina SQL Saturday on April 14th.