Posts tagged Training

April Houston SQL Server Users group meeting

In Houston?  Hungry for lunch?  Want to learn SQL Server from an expert?  Head over to the Microsoft office and learn the top SQL mistakes and how to avoid them from Kevin Kline

Not in Houston?  or hungry?  there’s always the live meeting option!

Here are the details from the HASSUG Site:

Houston Area SQL Server User Group Monthly Meeting Reminder 

When: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 – 11:30am-1:00pm 

Where: Microsoft Houston Office

2000 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. S. #350

Houston, Texas  77042-3615

Pizza and drinks provided by Idera.

LiveMeeting Link:

Conference Call for audio – 1-888-320-3585 (passcode 76027128)

Topic: Top 10 Mistakes on SQL Server

Speaker: Kevin Kline, Technical Strategy Manager, Quest; Immediate Past President of PASS (blog | twitter)

Convincing your boss to pay for your training


Things are tight

It seems like budgets are being cut everywhere, and IT training seems to be one of the first places cut.  In an earlier post I outlined where you could get a lot of valuable training for relatively little cost.  In this post I will explore a few methods that have worked for me over the years to get your boss to say YES to paying for you to refresh your fountain of knowledge.

The direct approach

It may seem obvious but, if you don’t ask your employer, they cant agree to send you to a SQLSaturday, or to the annual SQLPASS Summit.  So sometimes its just as simple as broaching the subject with your boss.  But before you try that continue reading!

Explain the ROI

Many times the people who make the final decisions about training forget what a struggle it can be to not only stay current on technology but to actually excel with it.  Last year PASS put together a very good list of ROI points  This could be used for any SQL event, make it work for you.


If you volunteer for SQLPASS (at the local or national level) you may be eligible for a discount admission to the annual summit.  This discount can range anywhere from 100$ all the way up to a full comp (free) admission.  Armed with the discount, and your ROI documentation it can be quite a bit easier to convince your boss to send you to a weeks worth of invaluable training that they perceive to be discounted.

Offer to partner

A few years back this might have been unheard of but, I’ve recently decided to start trying this method to get approval for some training.  Try to combine the ROI documentation with an offer to pick up 1/2 the tab for the training.  For instance, split the cost, ask them to pay the airfare to a SQL Saturday, while you pick up the hotel, food and ground transportation.  Another idea, offer to pay the airfare/conference registration(Free if you volunteer enough) and let them pick up the rest to send you to the SQLPASS Summit.  Either way its a win-win for both parties, you get to make a small investment in your career, and it shows your employer your serious about that career.

Mix and Match

Hopefully you can take a few of these ideas and mix-n-match them to reach the ultimate goal of getting your desired education.

Accessing Top Quality Training

Where did the Training go?

With the economy being what it is, many companies are cutting back on training budgets yet our need for knowledge as database professionals never stops.  Luckily the SQL Server community is one of the liveliest around and there are solutions.


I’d estimate that  almost everyday of the week you can find live webcasts about various subjects in the SQL Server arena, the problem here is that many of these top quality training events aren’t well publicized.  I never knew about them until joining Twitter a few years back.  As it turns out, many SQL user groups around the world stream their meetings online via live meeting, there are PASS VC’s webcasts, Vendor sponsored webcasts, and the list goes on and on.

Local Events

Local events usually put on by your Local PASS Chapter, these are usually monthly events put on by your local PASS Chapter.  The added bonus is that these events provide networking opportunities. 

Regional Events

For the time being these usually are SQL Saturdays.  Held at various metropolitan areas across the US these are currently one of the best bets going for very cheap, very good, education.  I would highly recommend that you consider traveling to one of these if they are within a reasonable drive, or better still, a cheap flight 

National Events

Generally speaking these are SQLPASS and SQL Connections.  I’ll just say that these are topflight, all in wonderful opportunities, and if you have the chance Id highly recommend that you attend, everything I said about the other training events, is 10 fold when dealing with a week long immersive opportunity.

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