The SQLBits 2023 experience
Ah, SQLBits, my old friend! I recently attended the 2023 event, and boy was it a doozy. Just like last year, I found myself wearing many different hats at the conference. In fact, I wore so many hats that I started to feel like a hat rack! This was actually my third time attending SQLBits in person, and I have to say, it just keeps getting better and better. Talk about multitasking! (sorry Linda) So, what exactly changed this year?
SQLBits 2023 had taken place in Newport, Wales and once it was announced it caused a small tsunami online. It wasn’t that big of a deal for us, as we were driving there, but due to several unpleasant circumstances (strikes, weather), it could cause some disruption or stress to the attendees. Despite the potential obstacles, I have to say that it was worth it. We got to explore a side of the country that we had never seen before, and it was simply stunning. I definitely plan on coming back to Wales, although maybe next time I’ll wait until the rainy season is over. Does the rainy season ever end in Wales? Someone please tell me it does… nervous laughter
SQLBits 2023 took me on quite the adventure with its Dungeons & Dragons theme! Even though I’m not exactly a D&D enthusiast, I have to admit that I had a blast. It was a refreshing change of pace from the usual tech conference scene.
I mean, what’s not to love? We got to roll dice, explore imaginary worlds, and battle fierce monsters (okay, maybe not actual monsters, but you get the idea). Plus, I now have a collection of dice at home that could rival any seasoned D&D player.
SQLBits really outdid themselves this year by offering a crèche for parents who needed childcare. I have to say, this was a game-changer for me and my partner Magda. It was amazing to be able to focus on our roles at the event without having to worry about our child’s wellbeing.
What was truly unique about this was that the crèche was available for the entire duration of the conference, including precon days. I’ve never encountered such a service at any other conference before, and I’m so glad that SQLBits decided to carry on with it.
Not only did it make our lives easier, but our child also had a great time. They got to enjoy rainy walks around the venue and even made a wooden dragon as a craft project! And they weren’t the only ones - there were a couple of other children in the crèche as well, so they had company and didn’t feel lonely.
Overall, I’m so grateful for the crèche service at SQLBits. It really made a huge difference and allowed us to fully enjoy the conference without any worries.
Ah, the infamous orange shirts of the SQLBits crew! This was my second year wearing one, and let me tell you, it’s quite the experience. Being a part of the crew is truly something special, even if it means starting your day extra early before everyone else arrives at the venue.
But you know what? It’s worth it. The support we received from the committee, the tools provided to us, and all the preparation that went into the event months ahead of time made the experience truly unforgettable.
It’s amazing to see the sea of orange shirts bustling around the venue, making sure everything runs smoothly.
All in all, being a part of the crew at SQLBits is an experience I’ll never forget, and I can’t wait to do it all again next year!
Wow, I still can’t believe I was selected as a speaker at SQLBits 2023! It was such an incredible honor and a pleasure to be able to share my knowledge and experiences with others in the community.
Even though I had a shorter format (only 20 minutes), I have to admit that it still raised my adrenaline levels. But hey, that’s all part of the thrill, right? I’m so grateful to everyone who attended my session and asked such thoughtful questions.
If you missed my talk, don’t worry - I believe it’s available on Canapii. And of course, a huge thank you to my partner Magda for capturing this photo of me in action.
Celebrating @SQLGeordie ‘s birthday together in Wales at @SQLBits with almost the complete team! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/46eleJZfOW— datamasterminds (@datamasterminds) March 16, 2023
Networking at events like SQLBits is truly invaluable! There’s so much you can learn just from chatting with fellow attendees and visiting the sponsor booths. You never know what new tool or technology you might discover.
But it’s not just about the new tools - it’s also a great opportunity to reconnect with old colleagues or meet potential future ones. In fact, my first SQLBits experience was with a colleague from the same company. Over the years, we went our separate ways and worked for different places, but this time we were able to reconnect as colleagues once again. It’s a small world, after all!
So, my advice to anyone attending a conference like this is to take advantage of every opportunity to connect with others and learn something new. Who knows where it might lead you in the future?
I’ve been putting my photography skills to the test and snapping shots left and right. It’s been a blast, and I can’t wait for you to check out my work on Flickr. but here I wanted to share work I did at SQLBits. Below are links to the days I attended. If you like any photos, or you find yourself or your friends there, feel free to use them on social media. I only ask for one thing - tag me, please. This way I know you liked them :-)
And that’s a wrap on SQLBits 2023! It was an unforgettable experience, and I’m already counting down the days until next year’s conference.
Having been to a few other big conferences in the past, I can honestly say that SQLBits is something special. It’s not just a place to speak, attend sessions, and party (although those are definitely perks) - it’s a place where you can feel safe, accepted, and like you truly belong.
So, a huge thank you to everyone who made SQLBits 2023 such an amazing experience. Here’s to SQLBits, the community, and all the amazing things that are yet to come!