In the last week, I have been speaking at two different events in a few days: SQLBits 2018 in London, UK and SQL Konferenz 2018 in Darmstadt, Germany. These two events created for SQL Server professional are now “polluted” by BI sessions, which is the real reason why I speak there. I would not have much to say in a session about SQL Server these days, especially when I look at the great content of the sessions delivered by SQL developers and DBAs. However, the presence of BI sessions helps creating bigger events. This is better for the sponsors, making these events economically sustainable. Classical win-win. You might think that Microsoft plays a big role, but the reality is that these two events would exists even *without* having Microsoft as a sponsor. I’m not sure how many other vendors have a similar community ecosystem that self-sustain itself at this scale.

Figure 1 SQL Bits 2018

While the two conferences are similar from many point of views, there are also huge differences between them. SQLBits is now the main European conference for SQL Server. SQL Konferenz is a big “modern” country-level event, which is opening its doors to English sessions to increase the number and variety of speakers, and to provide more up-to-date content.

Figure 2 SQL Konferenz 2018

It’s a shame that the press ignore these events. Probably it’s because these are technical events with no big names in the keynote. Or maybe it’s because there are no more “technical” journalists. How many trends they would be able to see early without the bias of “press management” that you see in the “official” conferences!

One month ago I explained why I attend conferences and why I speak at conferences. This week, I realized that I forgot an important ingredient that connects attendees, organizers, and speakers at a conference: their passion. We like what we do. I feel this passion in the speaker room, at sponsor’s booths, at communities’ corners, and in every question I get from attendees.

You can change the country, the language, the culture, but you always see the same ingredients mixed together without the need for a recipe. It’s a kind of magic brought by unwritten rules defined by the big #sqlfamily we proudly belong to.

P.S.: at SQLBits I and Alberto Ferrari recorded an unplugged session with Adam Saxton and Patrick LeBlanc. I don’t know when @GuyInACube will edit and publish it, but we certainly had a lot of fun recording it. Watch out his YouTube channel, I hope it will be ready soon!