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T-SQL Tuesday #153: The Conference That Changed Everything For Me

T-SQL Tuesday is the brainchild of Adam Machanic (blog). Steve Jones (blog, Twitter) is currently maintaining this amazing initiative.

This month’s topic has been chosen by Kevin Kline (blog, Twitter), “Tell us the story of how attending an IT conference or event resulted in an amazing career or life opportunity.

My Story

In the past couple of years, I became more active in the data community. First, as an attendee where I visited a couple of local meetups (Meetup) about Big Data because I was working with open source big data technologies at my first job and didn’t have the required knowledge.

After changing jobs, I quit attending for some reason and lost track of community events for a while. Until I met Benni De Jagere (Twitter), who worked as a consultant at the company I was working internally at that time. He was talking about dataMinds (Website), a group of data enthusiasts who were hosting evening sessions around Belgium about the Microsoft Data Platform.

After attending some evening sessions, I registered for SQL Saturday Holland to have a full day of learning. At this event, I focussed on gathering knowledge and less on establishing new contacts. After attending, someone told me about SQLGrillen, now DataGrillen (Website), a free conference in Lingen, Germany. And as curious as I am, I registered right on time to get a ticket. So my next conference was scheduled.

After attending some more conferences I really started to admire the work everyone was doing to prepare and host these conferences and evening sessions, after some hesitation and a talk with Stijn Wynants (Twitter). I decided that I wanted to contribute to the community as well and thanks to Benni & Stijn, I joined dataMinds as a core member in 2019.

Last couple of years, I assisted to host dataMinds Saturday, dataMinds Connect (already assisting for my 3rd time) and since this year (2022) I started to assist and host/moderate dataMinds evening sessions (virtual & in-person) as well together with Benni.

In 2022, I also did my first presentation and what a coincidence, I delivered it at DataGrillen, the first multiday conference I ever attended.

If I think about what I have been doing in the past couple of years, I learned a lot by attending community events and meeting awesome people at conferences that share common interests. And last but not least trying to give something back to the community by assisting at dataMinds.

So it isn’t only 1 conference that changed my life but a series of events that guided me to what I do at this moment.

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