March 2, 2015 by Mike Hillwig
In the SQL Server community, I’m not a big name. Compared to a lot of people, I’m a complete newbie. That’s okay. I just haven’t built the name recognition yet. It’s one of the reasons why my MVP award was an complete and total surprise.
With that said, there are a few events that I just don’t submit to speak. I absolutely love SQL Saturdays. But if you look at events like Atlanta, Silicon Valley and New York City, their speaker list is a who’s who of SQL Server MVPs. That’s incredibly cool for the people attending these events. They’re learning from the very cream of the crop of SQL Server professionals.
My company doesn’t pay for me for my community involvement. They will pay for me to attend the SQL PASS and MVP Summits. But that’s it. That means that this money is coming out of my own pocket. It’s also why I often try to stay and extra day, so I can eek a long weekend out of them. I go to these events because I enjoy them. However, I want to go to events where I know I can have the most impact. My favorite events are some of the smaller ones like the ones in Puerto Rico, Indianapolis, Connecticut, and my hometown of Pittsburgh. These events aren’t dripping with MVPs, and I feel like I can do more good there.
To be fair, I have spoken at SQL Saturday New York in the past. But if an attendee has a choice between listening to Mike Hillwig or Grant Fritchey speaking, they’re going to go hear Grant. I know I would.