Attending SQLBits as a virtual participant

Attending SQLBits as a virtual participant

This week has been great for me as a learning opportunity by going to SQLBits for the first time ever. Well…actually not going but logging in from home watching online. So as SQLBits as all good things is petering out/comes to an end time to do a personal summary.


I aimed to to a summary blog post for each day. However eagle eyed readers will notice that I stopped on Thursday which was the first conference day. Reason for this is my engagement with Code First Girls on Thursday night along with a cold which came back on Friday. Nonetheless I hope my summary proves useful to some of you and if not at least it helps me to memorize some things better 😉.


General pros about going to a conference:

  • Have the time reserved for learning instead of struggling to find the time in parallel to working.
  • Learn about various topics and get inspirations from a lot of great people what to improve at work…and sometimes it is about the little things as well that can make a difference.
  • Get to know great and likeminded people.

Pros about being a virtual attendee:

  • Stay safe regarding Covid
  • Be with your family as well and enjoy the family meals
  • Save time you would have spent with travelling
  • The precons have been awesome
    • I went to Brent Ozars session on Tuesday on Parameter Sniffing and had a great time…Brent really was on top of the questions and it felt like a conversation.
    • Same thing for Adam Jorgensens session on Wednesday on Thriving as a Technical Leader. Dr. Victoria Holt did an amazing job with moderating for the virtual participants and I got to know some other great people from this group.

Cons (about virtual instead of in-person attendance)

  • You are naturally more consuming than interacting…sessions are cut-off at the end…the speaker might say “I’ll stick around for questions in the lobby” however you are cut-off of that. There is the chat and the Q&A of course however to me it does not feel like the same. Therefore I would prefer in-person attendance over virtual one next time. Moreon I realized that I also missed a great opportunity to connect with other attendees, learn from their questions and get talking to them.
  • The schedule feels a bit unnatural…sitting at home I (selfishly) would rather have consisent 10-15 minute breaks than having a gap for 50 minutes as others at the conference have their well-deserved coffee break. As an early starter of the day it was also hard for me to stick around until 7pm in my timezone.

So next time I try to be there in person. This year actually virtual attendance was necessary because of the travel ban by my company and also me getting sick the week before. So I am glad that I could attend SQLBits and thanks to the great organizers, volunteers and speakers.

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