Networking is to interact with others to exchange information and develop professional and social contacts. This statement itself speaks about the power of networking. We do network with people in our day to day life in offices, gym, meetings, malls and other public places. However, this isn’t professional networking. We meet, we talk and we forget. In this blog, I’ll share my experience as to how we can leverage networking for our professional growth.

Before I go ahead and tell you how networking has helped me in my career, I would like to share this awesome moment with you all.

Power Of Networking: T.K. “Ranga” Rengarajan, Former Corporate Vice President for Data Platform, Microsoft, USA.

This is me with T.K. “Ranga” Rengarajan, Former Corporate Vice President for Data Platform, Microsoft, USA. (Read through end to find how I got a chance to share frame with him)

Let’s get on with the story now. I was working as a production support, DBA that involved a bit of development too. I used to read blogs of SQL Stalwarts (Grant Fritchey, Andreas Wolter, Amit Bansal, Denny Cherry) to name a few and Microsoft SQL Server Experts. These guys were my SQL Heroes and someone I aspire to be one day.

Following SQL Stalwarts footsteps, I published my first blog on SQLServerCentral.com. The next thing was to join a local user group. This was when I found SQLServerGeeks.com. I got in touch with Amit Bansal, who’s the founder of SQLServerGeeks.com and in no time I published my first blog on SQLServerGeeks.com. Amit motivated me to present a session in a SQL Server Day event, which was a half day in-person event organized by SQLServerGeeks. The session was attended by 150+ SQL enthusiasts and was well received.

Power Of Networking: SQLServerGeeks SQL Server Day Gurgaon

SQLServerGeeks SQL Server Day Gurgaon

This was the first time I realized the power of networking. I got to meet 150+ SQL geeks in person. It has been four years since I presented my first session and some of us are still friends and have helped each other in resolving n number of SQL issues.

I continued with blogs and in-person events. With every SQL Server Day, I attended, I get to know about what others are working on, the problems they are facing, share different ideas and what not. I gained knowledge, learning from other’s experience.

All this community work and still I wasn’t able to meet my SQL heroes. There weren’t any SQL conferences in India, which would have given me a chance to meet them. The SQLPass and SQLBits conferences which happen in the US and UK were out of my budget.

And then came the biggest announcement, the SQLServerGeeks Annual Summit 2015 and an opportunity for me to cherish my long term dream of meeting the SQL Stalwarts. The SQLServerGeeks Annual Summit 2015 was very cheap compared to similar international conferences and had same speakers and offered similar learning opportunity. I registered for the summit immediately. The overall summit expense was somewhere between 18-22000 rupees and that too because I registered for a Pre-con too.

I met my SQL heroes from industry and Microsoft. Got answers to my SQL and career queries. Some of them are my Facebook friends and still answer my queries.

However, SQLServerGeeks Annual Summit 2015 had more to offer. Remember my picture with T.K. “Ranga” Rengarajan. Yes, I got to meet him, share my ideas, my thoughts something which some of the Microsoft employees won’t get a chance to do.

Networking helped me to reach out to the SQL community and SQL heroes and learn from them. Last but not the least, it helped me to get my dream job. Yes, I joined SQLMaestros, led by Amit Bansal as Principal Consultant. Now I do what I have always aspire to do. SQLMaestros is the only entity in India with two Data Platform MVPs. I do consulting, training, POCs and am living the life of a SQL hero :)

SQLServerGeeks Annual Summit 2016 is happening in August and is the biggest networking event if you work on Microsoft Data Platform stack. This is for all SQL Server fans, especially in India. It’s your chance to connect with international SQL Server speakers, meet your peers and be part of Asia’s first and only SQL Server conference. So, go and invest in this awesome conference for long lasting benefits. Click here to register for this mega event

Happy Networking !!!