Tag Archives: Learning

SQL Saturday Exeter 2014 – over for another year

Thanks to all those who came to SQL Saturday Exeter on Friday and Saturday, we really hope you enjoyed your time with us and learned a lot.

If you didn’t make it along, here’s some of what you missed:

Friday was a pre-con training day, with 8 all day sessions each giving in-depth knowledge on a specific area of SQL Server. Emil Glownia started the review ball rolling, with this post on Friday following the pre-con training day.

The Friday night party was Surf themed, and many entered into the spirit of things. We had a surfing simulator going, and fierce competition ensued for top position.


The following morning, SQL Saturday itself started in earnest. We had a great turnout, and many full sessions.  For some speakers the demo gods were kind, for others, not so – an ever present reminder that typing in a demo can be dangerous!

Sometimes though, it was necessary to resort to the somewhat older technology of the flipchart!

(We ask speakers to upload session materials to our schedule page, or their own blog – which should be linked to from the schedule page – and tweet about them #SQLSatExeter)


It’s great to see speakers learning from their experiences at the event too – for example James Skipwith has written a blog post on what he’s learnt

For some, all this learning wasn’t enough, and so a party of 40 select people (well, O.K., the first 40 to put their names down after the shout went out) headed off for a curry!

Throughout the event there was great conversation from the SQL Community on twitter, using the hashtag  #SQLSatExeter

Some who attended have already shared their thoughts on the event – here’s a blog from Al Eardley.

Thanks to everyone for making the event what it was; we really couldn’t have done it without you – whether you were sponsoring, speaking, attending or just spreading the word.


We look forward to seeing you again soon.

The SQL Saturday Exeter #269 Committee.



(with apologies to @thomasrushton who missed out on being in this photo as he was doing something far more sensible at the time)

Asking Your Boss to Pay for SQL Saturday Exeter Pre-Cons

We asked Rob Sewell ( t | b ) what he’d suggest to help you to convince your Boss to pay for the SQL Saturday Exeter Pre-Con. Here’s his response:

SQL Saturday Exeter Pre-cons are great value. Only £185!

Right. There you go. That should be good enough for you?


Don’t just walk up to your boss and say please will you pay for this training. Examine the course and the speakers bio and understand what it is about and what sort of subjects it includes. Get the details :- the date, the place, the start time, check your colleagues holidays to make sure there is cover. This way when your boss asks some follow up questions you have the answers and they can make a decision there and then. You can find some of that info here


In all seriousness, compare the cost of a five day SQL course from a well known training provider. I picked one at random from their site and it was £2,650 +VAT. No disrespect to the quality of their trainers but our speakers are very special. They are extremely qualified and experienced from the real world and at less than £200 that is a bargain. Take a look at their bios and add it the list of things to mention to your boss.


Your boss needs to know what the session can add to the business and customers. After all they are the ones who will be paying for the day.

Maybe it’s an upcoming project or perhaps you’ve taken responsibility for some new databases. You can point out the benefit going to the session can bring. You will be able to work smarter. Your new knowledge will help avoid mistakes early.

Perhaps your company is frequently bringing in consultants who take their knowledge with them. You can point out that you will be able to communicate with them better and make sure the business gets exactly what it wants or maybe even not require them because you will be able to do it yourself. Use something from the course you want to go on and match it to something that will have tangible benefit to the business and to your team not just specifically to you.

There are too many courses and too many possible benefits to list here and the best ones to use will be specific to your situation, so use phrases like “…going for this day will teach me all about SSRS and I should be able to write that report for the CIO in the way she wants it…” rather than “….It will make me better at SSRS..”


If you attend a SQL User Group already point out that you spend your own time improving yourself and that means that there is a discount on the price and that because you will be in the area you will be attending on the Saturday which is free. Better value for the business!


Take a look at the sessions here and read them to get all the details. Any questions email sqlsat@sqlsouthwest.co.uk or @sqlsatexeter, then make some notes on the benefits and go and ask your boss. If you don’t go and ask them they can’t say yes!!

Then don’t forget to let us know that you are coming, and come and say hi.

With thanks to Brent Ozar, Allen Kinsell and Paul Randall and Kimberly Tripp for inspiration.