In about a month, I’ll be joining a handful of data professionals to attend a wonderful event called SQL Cruise. Yes, as you guessed from the name, this event is happening on board a cruise ship and not only we are going to enjoy the wonderful view of Alaska’s mountains, but we are also going to have excellent speakers with fabulous content, as well as fantastic networking opportunities between the attendees.
So what’s so special about this event that keeps me coming back every year?
Let start with the speakers AND the content. Check out this list. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Pretty awesome, huh? Not only you will have top notch content from these speakers, you have their full attention in-between sessions for any issues/challenges you are currently have in your environment. It is a ship, we are at sea, they can’t really get away from you 🙂 It could be that performance issue you’ve been dealing with in the last few months, or some architecture challenge you are about to embark on, or even just a career advise. There’s no rushing between one session to another. The speakers are available to you in between sessions and that is so valuable. Even if they duck out to the coffee shop, it is still on the ship. Don’t tell them, but they are really trapped and you get to exploit that, in a good way!
Next are the attendees. Check out the list for this upcoming cruise. Pretty impressive list, yes? I know, I am on that list but think about the variety of backgrounds these attendees come from and how awesome it is to be exchange experience, or discuss some challenge from someone that has been there and done that. Real world problems, with real world answers. I have to say, this my favorite part. I made friends on a personal level from this event more than just a professional peer (Karen, Erin – I’m looking at both of you). Now we run races together, discuss baseline performance collection or integrity of the data or just simply be there for each other. You can come away from this cruise with new professional contacts and personal peers to bounce ideas off of. It is phenomenal, and a networking opportunity that you really can find in no other venue compressed in a short cycle of time!
Last but not least. The cruise itself. All you can eat buffet, phenomenal views of the Alaskan coast and mountains, never-ending entertainment (beyond your SQL peeps) and excursions while you are not soaking the knowledge or picking up some smarts from these speakers. Do I need to say more? Win win and win again. Really, if you add it all up, the value of this cruise and what you can bring back from it are without comparison.
There is still room if you are interested. It is very affordable considering the value that you are getting. If you have a +1, start talking to your partner/spouse and pitch it to them, then pitch it to your boss. If you solo, just run it up the flagpole with the boss. If you need help of how to pitch it to your manager, Tim Ford has brochure/fliers and all the former attendee are a tweet away and I’m pretty sure you can gather many input from them. If you are not in twitter — you have no idea what you are missing!
Managers – these section is for you.
I know you probably think – there’s NO WAY that I am sending my people to training in a cruise. They won’t learn anything. They will be out partying. I’m not spending my training budget for THAT. I know what you mean. See – I’m in a management myself. I have to be wise with my training budget on where I want it to go and how I think my team can benefit the most and what kind of value the company is going to get in return. I’m accountable for that return on investment as I have to stand in front of my own boss and set the expectation of what kind of value that we as a company will get by going to variety of these training/event and I choose very wisely. There are many fantastic training opportunities throughout the year and this event absolutely high on my list.
My husband, John, wrote a post that went more detail about this two years ago. He was an IT Managers for years and responsible of DBA team and training budget as well and if you still have doubt this event, go ahead and read it here.
If that still doesn’t convince you, and you still have doubts, please free to contact me directly and I am more than happy to share my experience to you. Not just as a data processional, but from the management point of view. No, I am not being paid by SQL Cruise to say and do this. They still invoice me for the training and I have to pay the cruise just like anybody else. If anything, I am doing it from my own benefit because the more people attend, the more *I* get to interact with them and exchange experience.
Lastly, this event is made possible for you by some awesome sponsors. They are the reason why it’s so affordable. SQL Sentry, Brent Ozar PLF, Quest, Idera and Redgate — thank YOU for your continuous support to make this event possible for the community. You. Are. Awesome.
The countdown has begun. All aboard!