On the Monday before the PASS Summit in Seattle this year, we’re putting on another one of our FreeCons. The FreeCon is different from a typical conference pre-con – it’s free, and it’s about the SQL Server community, presenting, marketing, branding, networking, and yes, some technical stuff too.
In the past, they’ve been invitation-only, but this year we opened up applications to the public. One of the application questions asked, “What’s the one thing you want to learn from the Brent Ozar Unlimited team?”
The answers were really enlightening, and we figured you’d like to hear ’em too, so here’s some of the highlights:
Business / Branding / Marketing Answers
How some of the brilliant marketing initiatives come about (brainstorming, creativity, etc) .
Tips on protecting IP and what works for you.
How to know when you are really ready to become a consultant.
Shameless self promotion 🙂 I’ve got skills and I want to market them better. I know about many different aspects of IT and SQL Server, but aimed at the small to medium shops. A more personal relationship with my customers is key.
How to build brand. I’m not a consultant or self-employed, but I am interested in expanding beyond the user group core of my local community. I don’t really know where to start or have a very solid idea of what it would entail–aside, of course, from the limos and champagne…
How to build demos that don’t suck.
How to build an plan to move from being a known speaker to one of the best speakers. I have had some great success but would love some help getting to the next level.
How to approach New technical initiatives at work and how to approach upper management correctly to gain buy-in.
Tips about presenting and stage-presence.
Performance tuning especially query optimization and hardware optimization.
SQL 2014 in-memory tables; service broker; pushing the limits of availability groups, interesting stuff with larger/distributed setups
Best arguments to convince my employer that my unofficial, very-time-limited accidental DBA-ing isn’t going to cut it (especially since I got primarily other responsibilities), we need a dedicated DBA.
Community / Volunteering Answers
Finding the right mix of technical ‘up-keep’ and community leadership/involvement.
What you define as community success
Why public speaking at SQL events is so important.
I would love to learn how you guys structure your days and manage everything that you do (working, speaking, blogging, training). What are your personal stories, how did you get to where you are today, and what have you learned along the way?
Your Answers Help Us Build the Agenda – and the Community
As I wrote five years ago in my post Rock Stars, Normal People, and You, building a successful community means reaching out to those around you, giving back, and propelling the community forward. It’s been so exciting to hold these events and see the graduates go on to do amazing things for themselves and the community.
This year’s FreeCon is about finding 50 people who are excited to keep pushing the boundaries of community, and then us all helping each other fill in the gaps to multiply our efforts.