Talking is Good, Where Can I Do More?

We can’t all just pick a street corner and start spouting off about whatever strikes our fancy. That’s not how things work, unless you’re a crazy street preacher. Very few people down at the local university will appreciate you getting on a soap box with a megaphone and ranting about normalization. Trust me on this one. A few days ago, Jen McCown (blog | twitter) put up a blog post aboutBreaking Into SQL Showbiz. It’s a great post and Jen encouraged speakers to get started with their local user group. Which I wholeheartedly encourage, btw. What happens next? Let’s say that you’ve given your first presentation at your local user group or for your co-workers and everything went well. Where do you go from there?

Other User Groups

Find other user groups in your area. You can find them through a few websites:

  • PASS – The Professional Association for SQL Server maintains a list and interactive map of SQL Server user groups.
  • INETA – INETA is a bunch of .NET focused user groups. They have an interactive map as well as a traditional location based search.
  • – is a great place to find people who are interested in talking about the same things that you are.


When you’ve decided that it’s time to move beyond user group meetings, or you want a bigger thrill, where do you go? Conferences, of course. For a long time I had a problem finding about conferences. It’s not as much of a problem these days.

  • SpeakNET This is an aggregation of other user groups, code camps, and local/regional conferences that are looking for speakers.
  • SQLSaturday There are so many great local SQL Server events that it’s hard to keep track. SQL Saturday does that for me.
  • Community Megaphone This is an aggregator built by a Microsoft Developer Evangelist. It makes it easy to find events to attend or speak at. There’s even an RSS feed.
  • O’Reilly Media O’Reilly produce some mighty fine books. They also put on some mighty fine conferences. If you’re interested in mingling with the not-so-Microsoft crowd, this is a great place to find events to attend and speak at.

You can also find a list of conferences and speaking events on twitter