Looking for long term friendship

No, this isn’t some cheesy Singles column advert posted in the wrong place. I am seriously looking for some friends. People that, like me, share my interests and want to have conversations about hard drive partition alignment, index fragmentation, query optimisation SARGability, memory allocation and more without the person we are talking to glazing over, patiently saying ‘Yes Dear’ and then looking past me to continue watching the latest episode of House.

Essentially, I am hoping to start up a SQL Server User Group in the South West of England. I am based in Devon so pretty much off the map for what is considered mainland England, from my experience Bristol is generally considered as far West as it is safe to go by many people! So, I don’t really know how this will take off. Judging by the vacancies offered in the emails and job sites I see, technical roles are pretty thin on the ground down here and DBA roles within that are even fewer. However I am hopeful there are a few people that use SQL Server that would like to get together for an evening once in a while to hear from some guest speakers, maybe have the chance to win a few modest prizes (depending on what sponsorship gifts I can arrange) and have a beer or two and some pizza*.

Now its your turn, I will happily find a venue, arrange the speakers, food and what not but I don’t want to be there on my own. Would you like to come along?  Do you know someone who would like to come? Can you advertise this event for me please? Can you help with give-away’s, a location or even some of your time to come and speak? At the time of writing I have nothing arranged further than the full stop at the end of this post. I have a feeling the first meeting will be in or around Exeter as I think that might afford the easiest location for most people to reach. I realise this is a long way from someone in Penzance or Bournemouth and depending on who contacts me I might look into arranging a roving user group that bounces between venues so that everyone can have an opportunity to attend. It all depends on who gets in touch to show that they might be interested. I am more than happy to travel within Devon and Cornwall to meet as many local DBAs as possible.

I am thinking that until I have a good idea of how many people are interested then I will aim to have the theme of the evening on something that all DBAs need and that would also  interest those IT people that are working as a ‘stand-in’ DBA where the business doesn’t have a dedicated post for the work. So, something like Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery, covering sub topics like backup+restore, maintenance plans, scripts and tools that make this job easier or even automated. If you have any other ideas then please don’t be shy, tell me what you would like to have as the ‘topic du jour’.

So, to sum up, please get in touch if you would be interested in attending at any time. I am looking for suggestions about What should be the topic, Where we should meet and When would be convenient. Don’t worry if you think you are not going to be able to make it this time or every time, let me know your thoughts and I will try to accommodate you as best I can when I arrange future events. Please leave a comment here or get in touch the contact details at http://sqlsouthwest.co.uk/, I am really looking forward to meeting you.

* – May not be pizza, it all depends on the venue, but there will be food, even if I have to save some of my packed lunch for you all. I also have to point out that if you do have a beer or two make sure you have arranged a method of transport home that involves you not being in charge of any vehicles. Car sharing and public transport are highly recommended.