When I first heard about SQL Rally, I had so many questions running around in my mind. What is a Rally? How does that relate to SQL Rally? How big is this Rally? How does this fit into place with SQL Saturday and the PASS Summit? As much as I asked these questions I don’t think the answer was really fully realized by me until day one started. So I figured that if I had all these questions maybe someone else did as well, so I figured I would answer these questions from the view point of someone who attended the event.
If you take many of the great benefits of the PASS Summit and SQL Saturday and combine them into one event you have a real close description of what SQL Rally is. There were a number of speakers with a mixed combination of skills speaking on a number of topics. The event was hosted by three dedicated individuals with the assistance of not only PASS, but the local user groups as well. How is this different? In the past I don’t recall PASS chapters driving the organization of the PASS Summit. At the same time I don’t recall an event that I have seen where PASS has driven the format of a SQL Saturday (not to say that my impression is 100% accurate).
The Rally had a feeling of the PASS Summit committee and the PASS Board supporting a local group of individuals really dedicated to sharing knowledge. Or maybe said another way, the Rally was an event hosted by a few SQL hard chargers with a big backing by PASS.
So what does this mean to you?
If you are an Attendee
There is a ton of great content, but seats in the regular sessions and pre conference sessions are limited. As with supply and demand issues, fewer sessions is intended to keep the costs lower while still offering the more popular sessions. These cost savings are passed along to you the attendee.
If you are a Speaker
The Rally is a great event to help you decide if you want to move up to a larger audience, it’s an opportunity to improve your speaking skills and to learn what does and does not work for you when you speak.
I spoke with an attendee at the speed networking event I was assisting with and he said it was an opportunity to gain new SQL Server Skills with a group of people that was just like him.
The Rally is just that. It’s not the Summit, but has many of the same benefits of going to the PASS Summit. It’s not a SQL Saturday, but it has many of those benefits as well. It’s the SQL Rally, and I had a great time. I think the SQL Rally is the piece we needed to ensure that more people are now offered a number of education and networking opportunities.