Today's winner is! Aadhar Joshi!
Congratulations for winning a free month of PluralSight. I'm E-Mailing you the code right now.
We still have two free months to give away and a great book on the 30th!
Update: Everyone is eligible for the book drawing on the 30th. You can enter your name every Monday for the Pluralsight give away as long as you have not already won one. There are two more Pluralsight codes to give away and the book at the end of the month. Good luck to all who try! Week 1 only had one person competing. Week 2 had six people.
There are multiple user groups around the country online and offline. I'm mostly going to concern myself with the offline user groups for a moment. A great place to find them is to go to the SQLPass site.It's a great place for a few reasons.
Who doesn't love free training!? Well... some people I'm sure. But seriously, user groups are fantastic ways to get free training. Depending on what's going on, you can get very involved in the discussions. User group meetings don't have to be boring presentations only. The OKC SQL user group even hosted a Jeopardy style presentation with prizes. Even with the ice on the ground, the turnout was amazing.
I know, you love your job. I've heard you talking about how much you love your boss and all your co-workers. Have they stopped reading? Good. Not all jobs are permanent. I'm not saying quit... I'm saying it's good to know what's around and who's looking. Maybe they need a DBA, but after talking to them you find out they just have a simple problem you can fix over the weekend. Who doesn't like a bit of quick consulting money? If nothing else, building a network will help you when you decide to start looking.
First Time Presentation
So you think you can dance? Well let's not jump to the big stage right away. Here's where you can shine and get some good pier review before you end up on YouTube. These are people who have presented before or just starting out who need to learn. It's a great place to open up some 101 information. You do not need to present internals and talk about MCM level items just to get some light. Let's keep the community strong and get our friends trained. You may know something they don't.
Preparation for SQL Saturdays
Do you want to start becoming a national or even international speaker? User groups are a great way to prepare to speak at a SQL Saturday. They're great to debut a new presentation you want to get out into the world. Do you know who you need to talk to about SQL Saturday? I'm guessing your local user group has some information for you. ^.~
We all love prizes. Most user groups at least have some prizes to give away. Why not go for a free PluralSight card or some books. If they have no prizes... at least you win free training!
Don't have a user group?
Contact someone in the community to help you set one up! If you're really interested, getting sponsorship is easier than you think. If you need help setting one up, I can try and get you in contact with some good people.