The SQL Connections event was held this week at the Hyatt Grand Cypress in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Orlando, Florida.  I had the honor of speaking at the event this year, as well as to hear other great independent speakers like Kim Tripp, Itzik Ben-Gan, Ron Talmage, Brian Moran, Andrew Kelly, and Bill Vaughn.  In addition to the independent speakers, I was also able to see some of Microsoft’s best SQL Server personalities like Gert Drapers, Matt Nunn, Donald Farmer, Dan Winn, and Vineet Rao.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

There were many sessions with practical tips and techniques, as well as a lot of information that looked forward to the eventual release of SQL Server 2005.  If SQL Server isn’t your bag, there are also entire tracks devoted to ASP.NET and Visual Studio – though I have to admit that I didn’t go to any of those sessions.

 

On top of that, there was a nice exhibit hall where you could see products from vendors like Imceda and talk to the staff at SQL Server Magazine.  All in all, it was a lot of fun.

 

I’m curious about how you spend your training/conference dollars.  I’d like to know how you divvy up any money available for activities like this.  For example, does your company only let you go to one event per year?  If so, which is it - TechEd, PDC, PASS, SQL Connections, or something else?  Or perhaps you’re a consultant who, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid – so you never go to conferences.  Or maybe you have some training budget, but you use it for true coursework and not for conferences.  I’d love to hear what your experience is.

 

When I figure out how to add images to my blog (that'll be no time soon, I'm sure <grin>), I'll add some pictures of me with the other speakers.

 

Many thanks,

 

-Kevin