The thing I miss about conferences is the people

December 14, 2021

Today has sucked.

I got home from being out last night, and saw a Facebook post from Euan Garden’s wife saying that he’d died. Euan was a good friend who worked at Microsoft in Seattle. We chatted online every few months. The last time I saw him was in 2019 at a conference in Seattle, as I was helping him into an ambulance. He had a congenital heart problem, which finally beat him. And I’m sad. I’m sad that I didn’t get to him more often. I’m sad that we didn’t talk more than we could’ve. I’m sad that he leaves his wife and daughter to live on without him. I miss my friend.

And then when I woke up this morning, I saw a post from another friend, saying that Dean Varga had died too. I only knew Dean as Stacia’s husband, but he embraced the SQL community and we embraced him. I’d known Stacia for many years before she married Dean, and I knew that when she was with him she was the happiest I’d ever seen. We loved Dean because Stacia loved him. I’m heartbroken for Stacia too today.

Today being T-SQL Tuesday, I’m responding to a post. It’s Xavier Morera’s question about conferences. He asks about our favourite conferences, our favourite presenters, and all that. Right now it’s just about the people that I haven’t seen for ages. The distance is always large, because I live in Australia. So I don’t really care where things resume. I just want to see my friends again. The best conferences are the ones where people are at.

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