Notes from the 2012 Tampa IT Pro Camp & Some Misc Thoughts

I drove down Saturday morning to do a beginner presentation on SQL Security. Event was hosted at Rasmussen College, great venue. Good rooms, good parking, easy access, I think the two challenges with the site are the hallways aren’t big enough to put the sponsors there, so they had to go in a room, and there is no “big room”, which is nice for a kick-off type thing first thing in the morning (which is optional for me, but some like it).

I had about 15 attendees, heard the total attendance was 150. Good questions in my session, and it was a real mix. Someone from IT security, a former DBA,a network/server type guy,an Access person, and a few more. If you’re a speaker, go to these events, there are people there we need to reach, that want to learn, and we can show them the right way! I had a great time, worth the drive down and back.

Now to some broader thoughts.

Chad Miller and Blain Barton are driving these events, doing a great job and trying to do something similar to Code Camp and SQLSaturday, yet different. Very successful in Florida, but not much growth outside yet. That’s ok, early growth takes time to figure out the formula. I talked to Chad about it some and he sees the biggest challenge is the lack of user groups that target this segment, so there is no “committee” in cities that will work together to bring one to their group. It will be hard to scale if Chad and Blain drive every event. Not impossible, but not easy.

Not sure how to fix that. Trying to run a group that has something for everyone – Windows, Exchange, Sharepoint, Virtualization, etc, etc, could easily mean one size fits none. Ideally each technology would have their own group, I guess?

Early days for them. In the SQL community we’re further along. We started earlier if nothing else. Makes me appreciate that, also makes me think about how we can do more than just grow the SQL space. Clearly we’re one model for making things work, we should do more to share that, but maybe also think about more direct help for other tech areas that are ready to grow.