I know I should have posted this a long time ago but I have the same excuses as everybody, work, too busy, kids, wife etc etc etc 😉 .
Last year I entered the contest for the worst day of DBA’s life from Simple-Talk. The prize was a ticket to the SQL Cruise in the Mediterranean. That sounded really good and I started thinking if I had a really bad day in the past. It took me a while to choose which one because there were a lot of winners in my mind.
I sat down one evening and started to write my story and it got quite long at the end. I didn’t hear anything anymore after I send the story and thought that it might not have been good enough, but suddenly on November 4th I get an e-mail from Tom Russel stating that my story was judged as one of the favorites and that, if I wanted I could be put on the shortlist. Hell yeah put me on that list!
Now my story is mentioned on the shortlist and people can vote for the one they want to see. I send the link to everybody I know to vote for me because I really want to go on the cruise.
The story goes back and forward between me and the editors to make the story easy to read and make it so it fits into the genre of the DBA Team. Suddenly at the and of November I get an e-mail from Tom that I won.
I had to read the e-mail multiple times because I didn’t expect to win but it was true.
I didn’t know what to expect by going on the SQL Cruise besides the fact that I’d never been on a cruise before either.
During the check-in I met a few other cruisers who I could recognize due to the SQL Cruise t-shirts they had got from the goodie bag send earlier to members of the SQL Cruise. After the check-in I met a lot of the other cruises and the trainers.
The first thing I noticed was that everybody was so friendly and welcoming to me. They didn’t know me so why should they be like that. I didn’t expect that.
I met Andrew Kelly, Grant Fritchey, Aaron Bertrant and a lot of other people. I’ve read the books they’ve written and now I’m shaking hands with them and converse with me like they knew me for ages.
I’ve been in a lot of training sessions internally in companies but also at external locations. These training sessions usually go about a certain aspect and you don’t get the chance to dive into it so that it will stick.
The training sessions on the SQL Cruise are totally different. The trainers will tell a story but you’re allowed to start a discussion whenever possible. We’ve had situations where a trainer was convinced that a certain settings should be set on sight but other MVP’s and MCM’s didn’t agree. That resulted in a 15 minute discussion which was really educative.
One of the really strong items during the cruise were the office hours sessions. These sessions were set up in a way that cruisers could ask questions to other cruisers and/or trainers. You’re there with a lot of brilliant minds and people are experts in their own field. Somebody will know what to do with your question and I learned a lot from that.
Next to the sessions and the office hours I got the chance to network with the other cruisers. It made my network so much bigger and I got the chance to slingshot my career. I’ve been waiting to get the chance to give back to the community and now I got the network to get me in contact with people who could make this possible.
In the end I learned more in one week than I would be able to in months of training somewhere else. I met more people and got more connections and friends than I could normally get.
If I ever get the chance to do this again I would go in a heartbeat.
I want to give a special thanks to Tim Ford (t | w) and Redgate (t | w) for making this all possible.I also want to thank all the cruisers for this wonderful time and I hope to see you soon at other events.