February 2nd unveiled a new SQL Server User Group in the Western suburbs of Chicago. The Chicago SQL Connection was a long time coming, and certainly a needed entity! No further proof than the 100 people in attendance was needed. Personally, I was hoping there would be a group to meet with outside of downtown Chicago, since in the last year I have relocated both my home and office to the area. The ChiSSUG which meets downtown is great, and Bill Lescher puts on a great program each month. For me, though, being a wife and mother and employed full time, the logistics of getting downtown on a weekday in time just don't work out. I had heard rumblings from others in the community that a group in the suburbs would be welcome. When I met Kim Young, the leader for our new group, we decided to work together to make it a reality. Kim has experience with user community groups and she led the way - two months later, the first meeting came to fruition!
We had an amazing kickoff, with Brent Ozar speaking on the topic of Performance Monitoring. People streamed in through the doors of the Microsoft offices in Downer's Grove starting at 5:30 and steadily until 6:30pm. It was nice to meet some people face to face whom I had only talked to via email or on Twitter. What was nice to see was that so many people seemed to know each other already. I hope they continue to spread the word and bring more SQL-minded people to the meetings in the months to come!
Support from the SQL community at large has also been wonderful - we have speakers lined up through May already! We also decided to become an official chapter with the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS). While we are still working on our website and currently do not have any contact information posted, we look forward to the backing of PASS to foster a successful run for the future.
This is my first experience with a User Group Community. There are certainly challenges - mailing lists, websites, disseminating information, finding speakers, sponsors and, let's not forget: incompetent pizza delivery. All of these things require mangement, time and negotiation ability. Thanks to Kim for having the expertise of being in this role with other User Groups previously! However, the prospect of bringing together a group of like-minded individuals and creating an opportunity for education and networking is so exciting, all the other work is worth it.
For more information on the next Chicago SQL Connection meeting coming up March 2nd, please check out the PASS Event Calendar, or leave a comment here and I will have Kim add you to our mailing list.
WHO Christopher Barwick, Big Hammer Data
"Business Intelligence: From Database to Warehouse to OLAP to Excel with
SQL Server 2008 & Excel 2007"
WHEN March 2, 2010
6:00 – 6:30 Meet and Greet with Pizza
6:30 – 8:00 Presentation
WHERE Microsoft Offices
3025 Highland Parkway Suite 300
Downers Grove, IL 60515
RSVP must be recieved 48 hours prior to attending as we must provide a roster to building security.