Meetups Monthly Update Uncategorized

June 2021 Update

June 2021 Update

Hello Summer…

It’s summer in Florida and it is hot!  Kids are out of school and the pool is feeling just right!  We are working hard to provide events over the summer and have some speakers lined up for later this year.  Looking forward to getting back to in person events.  We had a lunch last month and planning a happy hour next week for all of those ready to get out and be social again.  

We have our date for SQL Saturday but we are still working on the logistics.  If you have a location that can be donated for our event, please let us know.  

We have officially started a volunteer group!  Thank you to those who have stepped up and set aside some time to help the group.  Volunteering is a selfless act that requires intention and dedication.  It’s not always easy with our schedules and we greatly appreciate those who have reached out!  This volunteer group will be focused on our lunch committee and our social media presence.  We can always use more volunteers so if you are interested, please let us know.


  • Our next meetup is June 16th, 2021 for a happy hour in Winter Garden.  I will confirm the location after today.  Here is the link to RSVP for Meetup .  In order to have an accurate number for the venue, please update your rsvp if you will not make it.
  • July 2021 – Lunch Meetup in Kissimmee – TBD
  • Aug 2021 – virtual meetup – TBD

Red-Gate PASS

Red-Gate announces Data Community Summit on November 8-12, 2021 will be virtual and free!  If you would like to speak the call for speakers ends on 6/17/2021 at 11:59 PM PST.  Here are the links:

Submit Proposal:

Register for event:

Look for a Survey Soon…Again…Again

We finally had time to review a survey platform and gather the questions, please be on the look out for a link via meetup email very soon.  We swear this time! 😉

Pay It Forward


Our next pay it forward discussion/interview will be with Kendal VanDyke.  We will keep you posted on the date of this because you will not want to miss his story.
Monthly Update

April 2021 Update

Things are Looking Up!

It’s been a long year but we’re making progress. We’ll be scheduling an in-person lunch event in May and we’ve reserved October 9th for the next SQLSaturday. Too soon to be 100% sure, but it’s time to lean forward some.

Meetings This Month

We only have one meeting planned this month, a lunch on April 28 at noon where we’ll be talking about what’s like to be a volunteer for a small group. It’s a really interesting topic and even if you’re not ready to volunteer, make some lunch and hang out while we talk shop. As always sign up at Meetup ( and the zoom link is there.

We’ll try to get back to our normal schedule in May, but it feels like everyone is tired of zoom calls and virtual meetings, us included, so we’re easing up this month.

Don’t Throw Away Your Shot

Too Hamilton? I received the first vaccine shot about 10 days ago and go next Friday for the second. Very minor side affects, just some warmth around the injection site for about 15 minutes and then it was over. I know it varies, but wanted to share at least that one experience if you haven’t decided to go.

Until Next Month

If you’re struggling (as we all do at times) and we can help, reach out via Meetup or LinkedIn. Sometimes a different friendly voice can make all the difference.

Monthly Update

SQLOrlando Monthly Update March 2021

Greetings SQLOrlando’ers!

Hope you’re all doing well and staying safe. Two meetings this month and I know for many of you meeting exhaustion is a thing. If it’s one meeting too many, we get it. On the other hand though, sometimes a few minutes with old friends can be just the thing to remind you that there is still much to look forward to.  

Lunch Meeting Today

Today at noon we have a change of pace, a presentation by Starburst about a distributed SQL engine. One of the challenges with SQL Server is that vertical scaling is easy (but ultimately limited by hardware) and horizontal scaling is hard (usually requiring app changes) so I’m looking forward to seeing a different approach and thinking about how it compares to what most of us do today. Make some lunch and join us for an hour, register at and it will have the link to the Zoom meeting.

Group Meeting on March 16

Deepthi returns! On March 16th we’ll have a presentation requested during her last visit with us, a deep dive on indexes. It will be St Patricks Day, so wear green and/or bring a green beverage to the virtual presentation from 7-9 pm. Register at, link to Zoom is on the page.

Other News

Red Gate has announced that SQLSaturday will be moved to a non-profit foundation. Details still being worked out, but if we can all get our vaccine shots we have a good chance at having an in-person SQLSaturday this fall.

Monthly Update

February 2021 Update

Honoring Gareth

We would like to honor Gareth’s memory by doing something annually in the community.  We can discuss some different options in our February meetup. Here are a few ideas we have thought of and we are certainly open to others, so please bring them up during our discussion.

  • An Annual 5K to raise money
  • An award to a community member representing Gareth’s great personality of kindness & helpfulness


  • Our next meetup will be Wednesday, February 17th via Zoom.  Bradley Ball will be our speaker and we will interview him on paying it forward to the community as part of our “pay it forward” campaign in 2021.  He will be speaking about Azure Synapse.  You can register for the meetup here:  February Meetup
  • We will also be hosting a virtual lunch the same day (busy day) where we can all catch up!  RSVP for the lunch:  February – SQL Orlando Virtual Lunch
  • Tuesday, March 16th – we will have Deepthi back for a St. Patti’s day themed Index session.
  • First week of March we will likely have a vendor sponsored lunch n learn to talk about a data product.  

Red-Gate takes over PASS assets

This is great news!  SQL Saturday and Summit will stay alive for all of us that love these times of year!  If you want to read more about it, please read Steve Jones’ post here: RedGate Takes Over PASS Assets  Make sure to sign up for updates on PASS events at SQL Saturday Site.

Look for a Survey Soon…Again

Last month we mentioned this, but life happened and the survey obviously did not.  We will try again this month to send out a survey post meetup to see where we can improve.  

Pay It Forward

As mentioned in the January meeting, we would like to share with the new and older members of the group how PASS and SQL Meetups or any meetups has helped in their career or personal life.  If you are willing to share or be interviewed please do not hesitate to reach out to us.  Sharing is caring and we are never alone in our journey to success.  

Another way to Pay It Forward is to speak for our group!  Teach a 101.  Speak for 5 to 60 minutes on a topic.  It can be a 100 or 500 level.  The point is to just start somewhere.  I challenge you all to think about something that might help others to learn one new thing.  This is why we do these meetups!  We love to learn and connect!    One event we have promised for this year is a virtual beginners workshop to SQL.  We could definitely use some 100 level 20-60 minute talks about setting up a home environment to learn on your own.  This would be an excellent entry point for a new speaker!  (Just sayin…)    

Alright, so that is your February update for your SQL Orlando group!  We hope to see you all at the meetups this month or next.

Monthly Update

SQLOrlando Monthly Update – January 2021

January 2021 Update

Mourning Gareth Swanepoel

If you haven’t heard yet, longtime member of the Orlando data community Gareth Swanepoel passed away recently. We will be doing something to honor his time with us, but right now we’re still processing and haven’t decided on the best way to do so.


  • Our next meetup will be January 13th at noon via Google Meet. For this lunch meetup our topic will be “2021 Learning Resolutions” and we’ll be talking about what we all hope to learn (and why we want to learn it) this year and ideas on how you (we) can help someone else grow by paying it forward.
  • We’re hoping to have a technical meetup this month as well, watch for the announcement via Meetup!

PASS Is Ceasing Operations on January 15, 2021

As noted on their blog, PASS will be ceasing operations on January 15 (this Friday). If you have access to any session recordings from a PASS Summit you can download them before Friday at

SQLOrlando will continue operations, but it will definitely be a year of adjustment, particularly with regards to SQLSaturday. We’re mildly hopeful that someone will be able to obtain the rights to as well as the source code, but we don’t know yet. If that doesn’t happen we’ll still move forward with a fall event with a different name.

Look for a Survey Soon

Look for an email from us in the next week or so with a survey link to help us understand your focus in 2021.

Pay It Forward

You’ll hear us start to talk about this at every meetup, so much of the value of participating in a local group is paying it forward, in all kinds of ways. We’re going to start sharing stories about our members paying it forward, both to celebrate the effort and to share ideas on how to do it. 

Monthly Update

SQLOrlando Monthly Update – December 2020

December Update

The holiday season is here, hoping that the end of 2020 is safe and fun for you! 


  • Our next meetup will be January 13th at noon via Google Meet. For this lunch meetup our topic will be “2021 Learning Resolutions” and we’ll be talking about what we all hope to learn (and why we want to learn it) next year.
  • We’ve cancelled plans for any type of in-person Holiday Meetup, better to do our part to keep everyone safe and look forward to getting together again sometime next year.

Next Year

  • We’re still finalizing the plan, but we’re hoping to continue with one virtual lunch a month, a quarterly evening meetup, and a SQLSaturday in the fall (we’re hoping in-person, but if not it will be virtual). We have not planned any full day classes, too many unknowns at this point.
  • Katie will be taking the lead on most of the events next year and putting more time into providing volunteer opportunities (one example is a Social Committee that will work on lunch topics & guests). Andy will be working on documentation and process for all the things we do so that as we bring on new volunteers we’ve got an easy way to show them what to do and how to do it. Look for more details on the volunteer stuff in January.
  • While you’re thinking about next year, think about taking the big step of volunteering to speak at one of our events. It’s a fun way to give back and a way to grow some new skills. We’ll be there to coach you to success too.

Pay It Forward

You’ll hear us start to talk about this at every meetup, so much of the value of participating in a local group is paying it forward, in all kinds of ways. We’re going to start sharing stories about our members paying it forward, both to celebrate the effort and to share ideas on how to do it.

Monthly Update

SQLOrlando Monthly Update – September 2020

September Update

Hope you’re all safe and making the best of it. If we can help in some way, please reach out.


Our September Virtual Lunch will be on September 23rd at noon and we’ve already scheduled the October one as well for October 21st. Both will be via Google. These are low effort and more fun than you might think. Participate or just listen in while we chat, it’s all good and a way to feel a little more connected in these disconnected times.

Katie is working on a guest speaker for an evening meetup in late September/early October, more on that as soon as we have it confirmed. 

We will plan for no events in November to give everyone time for Thanksgiving and family.

It’s hard to know what December will look like and it seems unlikely we will be able to do our usual holiday dinner event (due to both safety challenges and not being able to get our usual meeting space). As an alternative I’m proposing we do a holiday lunch at a location where we can sit outside (perhaps Fourth Street Grill in Lake Mary) if it seems safe to do so. Let me know what you think of that. I know it would be good to have something to look forward too!

PASS Summit 2020

Just a reminder that the PASS Summit is virtual this year and is being held the week of November 9th.

Keep Learning

It’s definitely a little hard to stay motivated about learning right now, there’s a lot going on in our lives, and that’s just a little more stress on top of the rest. If I can offer a couple of suggestions:

– If you’re not in the mood (or have time) to learn right now, that’s ok. Put a reminder on your calendar 60 days out that says “Schedule Learning Time Again If Things Are Better”. That’s a way to make a deliberate decision about now and not just totally lose sight of the need to add some skills over time.

– If you want to be learning and are struggling to get it done, put it on the calendar! Block out 30 minutes a week to read a blog post, watch a video, try out a new idea.

Monthly Update

SQLOrlando Monthly Update – August 2020

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re all doing well during these stressful times. If you aren’t doing well, please reach out to either me or Katie, maybe we can help in some way – we are #sqlfamily!


Thanks to all of you who attended our evening virtual meetups in May and June. We’ve just scheduled a virtual lunch meetup for August. I know, virtual lunch seems a little strange, but these are strange times. Use this link to register: We’re evaluating each month if we can get back to in-person events, but right now between the health risks and the challenges of finding space it’s just too soon.


It’s been a really tough decision to make, but we’re going to cancel plans for SQLSaturday Orlando this year. A lot goes into that decision, but there are three big factors we considered:

  • Finding a venue and being reasonably certain it will still be available when the event rolls around
  • Finding speakers willing to travel (and taking some risk to do so) and worrying about if we have to cancel if they’ll end up losing money on committed travel costs
  • Keeping us all safe. Learning is important, but for now we’re opting on the side of caution

We also thought about a virtual event. It’s a lot of work and a much different experience for everyone – attendees, speakers, and sponsors. We’ll keep that idea in reserve for 2021, but hopefully things will improve before then.

PASS Summit 2020

The 2020 PASS Summit will be a virtual event this year. Register here and be sure to select the option that shows you’re affiliated with SQLOrlando (we get a small incentive for each registration that we use for food at meetups, etc). Pricing is subject to change, but as of June 27 you have these options:

  • Full day online class for $399. These are held Monday and Tuesday the week of Summit, so you could sign up for a class each day.
  • 3 Day Online Summit for $599. After the event you get on-demand access to all sessions for 12 months.
  • All in One Bundle. For $999 you get the 3 day Summit plus two full day classes.

I’ve attended two virtual events this year and both tried really hard to be more interactive than just one session after the next, but it’s definitely a different experience to try to sit and watch session after session. The good news is that because you can download it or stream it later you don’t have to consume it all at once. My suggestion would be to attend the ones you really want to see live (maybe 2 or 3 each day) and then put an hour on your calendar for the next year to watch one session per week. That’s a great way to not feel guillty about not stareing at the monitor for 3 (or 5) days straight and show your boss how you plan to make the most of the spend (and hey, no travel expense!).

Getting Started Event

Back in May we had planned a free one day Getting Started event for people interested in SQL Server, Reporting Services, SSIS, or PowerBI. We’re now thinking to do that as a one day virtual event (probably in the form of 5 or 6 separate Meetups so that attendees can pick and choose). This will also be a chance for us to try some stuff out as far as managing an all day event.


If you’ve got ideas on things we can do until (or when) we can resume in-person meetings, please send them, the more ideas the better. 

Monthly Update

SQLOrlando Monthly Update – May 2020


Greetings everyone!

We’re planning to have an online only event on May 27th. Topic, time and how to join us will be announced in the next week or so. We’re thinking it will be an hour presentation plus some time for us to just chat a bit. Hope you will be able to attend.

We don’t yet know when we will be able to resume in-person events. Our plan is to revisit on the first of each month to see how things stand, not least of which is being able to find/use meeting space. That extends to SQLSaturday planning too. If there is a reasonable way to hold SQLSaturday, we will. Lots and lots of unknowns. 

Hope you’re all safe and doing ok. If you’re not doing ok and we can do something to help, please contact us.

Upcoming SQLOrlando Events

  • May 27. SQLOrlando Meetup Online (registration is NOT yet open)
  • Oct 3. SQLSaturday Orlando! (Registration will tentatively open June 1)

Other Events

Monthly Update

SQLOrlando Monthly Update – April 2020


We’ve cancelled all of our April events. In May we will probably have an online-only event with a shorter presentation and time for questions and chat. We’ll just take things a month at a time for now.

It is a stressful time and you may have less energy for learning about SQL. That is ok. Return to it when you have the energy and enthusiasm. If you do want to continue learning, here are a few resources you should look at:

For those of us who work with data we live in interesting times. Consider downloading one of the publicly available datasets and working with it. Maybe you can learn how to import into SQL, graph it in Excel, visualize it in PowerBI or R, or even create your own model.

Many of us are working at home and many of us are not working, both can leave us craving some casual  conversation at times. Our Slack group (free) is small but growing and is a good way to reach out during the time at home. Use this link to join the group.

Hope you’re all safe. Hang in there.

Upcoming SQLOrlando Events

  • Oct 3. SQLSaturday Orlando! (Registration will tentatively open June 1)

Other Events