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Arnie Rowland

Discussion of issues related to SQL Server, the MSDN SQL Support Forums, the complex interplay between Developers and SQL Server Administrators, and our sometimes futile attempts to have a 'normal' life.

An Open Letter to the SQL Community: Regarding Speakers

(Part 1 of 2 -about and for Speakers.)


The SQL Server community stands out as one of the most open, sharing, and giving technology communities. Around the world, there are active and robust User Groups, free all day SQL Saturdays, and regional events, all with the singular focus that all who use SQL Server and the Microsoft data platform can quickly and easily gain the knowledge and skills to enhance their, and their organization's productivity.


There is a very special sub-group within the global SQL Server community, and it is comprised of those that passionately, time after time, step forward to offer  their knowledge and experience as volunteer Speakers at SQLSaturdays, User Groups, and many other free community events. These Speakers  tirelessly inform, explain, educate, answer questions, and serve as ambassadors of the community, to the community.


They often travel great distances, at substantial costs, both to their budget and family. They spend considerable amounts of time preparing their presentations, perfecting their demos, pondering the questions they might, and do, encounter. They invest time and energy communicating with those that have attended their sessions. As a bonus, they often learn from the attendees asking questions that hadn't been previously considered.


It's important to keep in mind that Speakers, like all of us, are only human. In spite of all their preparation, things go awry. Demos don't always work as expected, equipment fails, connections don't connect, and sometimes things just don't go right. Maybe they misspoke and offered a piece of information that caused confusion, or weren't completely up to speed on some nuance or edge case feature, and sometimes they may have responded in a manner that seemed a bit less than desired. But you know what? Audiences are for the most part, very supportive, accommodating, and forgiving; they usually realize that the presentation, like any labor of love, may have a few rough edges. They realize that the Speaker is doing the best she/he can at the moment, under the circumstances, in that particular situation. Our audiences are excellent.


Except forthat guy. You know him. We've all been in sessions with him; we've been annoyed by his distractions, rambling questions that seem to be more about showing his knowledge or experience, or his attempts to discredit the Speaker. It's all about him. We find ourselves wishing that he would just STFU! If you are reading this, most likely, you're not that guy. You obviously care about enough the Speakers that you want to know more. If you encounter that guy in a session, politely remind him that you're there to hear from the Speaker, about the session topic, and that the diversions are distracting. I guarantee you that the Speaker will appreciate everyone's effort to keep the session on topic.


This community of Speakers deserves our appreciation, our heartfelt thanks, our acknowledgement that the SQL Server Community is robust and thriving because of THEM! Having such a high quality  community of folks willing to freely share their expertise and knowledge in virtually unparalleled in most professional fields. We all benefit from this great community of SQL Server Speakers.


Please join me in saying THANK YOU Speakers!

Published Wednesday, December 6, 2017 5:32 PM by ArnieRowland


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