Last time I did one of these, I was way over 50 before I started writing. This time around, I’m at 99 and poised for 100.
For those of you keeping score, here’s the year-by-year breakdown:
- 2013: 1
- 2014: 3
- 2015: 9
- 2016: 22
- 2017: 22
- 2018: 26
- 2019: 17 (through 2019-09-28)
I won’t have quite as many SQL Saturdays this year as last, but I should still be somewhere around 20 by the time we’re done.
My 100th SQL Saturday will be SQL Saturday Orlando 2019. I love that the math worked out this way because SQL Saturday #1 was in Orlando, way back in 2007. That kind of happenstance pleases me.
I may not be the first person to get to 100 (heck, I’m not even the first Kevin to get to 100) but when I presented at SQL Saturday Columbus in 2013, the idea of doing it 99 more times would have been ridiculous…and yet somehow it happened. Probably from me bribing a bunch of people.
The Institutional Value of SQL Saturday
I greatly appreciate the work Andy Warren, Steve Jones, and a cast of thousands have put into making this a successful global institution. SQL Saturdays have given me the opportunity to travel and speak all around North America and Europe.
On the opposite side, SQL Saturdays give people in our community a chance to see and speak with some of the best regional and national experts on topics across the data platform for the cost of a lunch and a Saturday indoors. It’s hard to think of a better deal than this.
You don’t see this kind of institutional support elsewhere. Code camps are great (by the way, have you signed up for Raleigh Code Camp yet? It’s this Saturday, October 5th), but they’re entirely independent. Learning that your city has a code camp going on is tricky and if you’re a non-local speaker looking to present at different code camps, there’s no really easy way to know where and when they are taking place.
This is the key benefit behind SQL Saturdays: they’re in one place, so we can easily see who’s putting them together and when.
The Places You’ll Go
SQL Saturdays have given me a great excuse to travel around significant parts of the world, including:
- The United States. I’ve presented at SQL Saturdays in 27 states and Washington DC. I’m still holding out for SQL Saturday Maui…
- Canada. My first foreign SQL Saturday was Nova Scotia, the File Not Found edition. To this day, it’s still one of my favorite events despite having 5 speakers and just over 5 non-speaking attendees. Aside from that, I’ve been to SQL Saturdays in Edmonton and Victoria.
- Latin America: Costa Rica and Mexico.
- Europe: Austria, England, and Ireland.
Now that I’ve hit 100, I don’t have any more milestones, but I’d like to keep presenting at SQL Saturdays. Keeping up that 2016-2019 pace will be a challenge so I might not be able to do quite that many, but this isn’t the end for me, not by any stretch. In 2020, I’d really like to visit a few that I’ve never seen before, hit a few new states, and maybe venture into South America or Asia—especially if I can work out the travel details on the cheap.