I attended my first SSUG meeting last night, in Columbus, GA, the Local PASS Chapter. (http://columbusga.sqlpass.org) I had been meaning to attend for a couple of months, but it is in another state and another time zone, so their 6PM meeting falls in my 5PM get out of work time, and there's an hour drive from here to there. Yesterday, my boss gave me the OK to go.
I am an "Accidental DBA/Developer” trying to self-teach myself SQL Server for the last two years. I finally am getting to the point where I have an inkling of how much I don’t know, and this year, I am doing things about it. Joined Twitter, and follow SQL Server folks, joined PASS, SQLServerPedia, SQL Server Central, etc. and am finally getting myself “hit and miss” training.
It almost seems that I learned more in last night’s User Group meeting than I have in the last two years! Ken Simmons (http://cybersql.blogspot.com) did a presentation on Automating Routine Maintenance, which may sound boring, but for someone hungry for knowledge, was downright perfect! He ran through the why’s and what for’s of why certain maintenance tasks should be performed, and how best to go about it. He presented his (really well written and useful) scripts that he uses to maintain the servers he is responsible for. Those scripts alone would be worth a month of work for me to build, and the explanations given about them worth even more time in learning.
I had arrived late, so I didn’t get a chance to join the meet and greet, but I did get to interact with some of the folks there for a little bit after, and even won Quest Software’s “Tweet SQL” Tee-shirt in the drawing at the end. I had gotten the wrong size, so Ken brought me out to his car after to get me the right size, and that afforded the opportunity to talk one-on-one with one of the SQL Server community’s greats, which was unbelievably fantastic!
Being able to match real human beings to words on a screen was such a great experience, I will definitely be going back next month, which, while not scheduled yet, I am sure will be after SQL Saturday #25, which I will also be attending, to be able to learn more and meet more of the community!