Columbus, Georgia welcomes #SQLVacation

Kevin Kline

Published On: July 1, 2016

Categories: Community, SQLPASS, SQLVacation 0

Columbus Welcomes our little #SQLVacation

Lovely Columbus, Georgia is situated along the banks of the Chattahoochee River on the Alabama-Georgia border and is the second biggest city in the state. It is close to Fort Benning, home of the United States Army Infantry School and one of the biggest employers in the region.

It is also home to lots museums and tourism sites, such as the National Infantry Museum, dedicated to the United States Army's Infantry service. The city is home to headquarters for quite a few big companies such as Aflac, Synovus, TSYS and Carmike Cinemas. If you're more on the sporty side of life, it has the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world constructed on the Chattahoochee River.

The Columbus SQL Server User Group mission statement is "... to create and maintain a local forum for SQL Server professionals to provide education, networking, and opportunities to influence the direction of SQL Server and related products and services."

Meet the SQLPASS Columbus User Group Leader, Tim Radney

The user group leader is Tim Radney (b | t), a top-tier consultant with and a frequent contributor at I've had the pleasure to know Tim for several years now and have always found his writing and speaking to be top-quality. On top of that, he's got a really cool hobby farm that, as an avid gardener, makes me green with envy!

Microsoft MVP and SQL Server Expert, Tim Radney

When did you begin your professional career? I started custom building computers and started my own company in 1997, however I would say my career didn't actually launch until 1998 when I was contracted by a large regional bank. That contract ended up lasting 9 months and then turned into a full time job for 17 years. I left that job 1.5 years ago to join SQLskills.

What’s a normal day at work like for you? I work from home helping clients from all over the world. My days are spent helping clients, writing articles, learning new features, helping people on twitter or forums, etc. Basically just playing with SQL Server

When did you come to this area? I moved here in 1999 to work for the home office of the Financial company. I got my start with them in Birmingham AL at their Mortgage division.

When and why did you decide to help as a volunteer leader? When I started out as a full time DBA, we ended up with nearly 100% turnover in the DBA group. The two people I was told were going to help train me ended up leaving. I quickly found the SQL Community through my first PASS Summit in 2008. I quickly learned of great resources like the PASS Chapters, SQL Saturdays and sites like and

Seeing all the giving back made me want to contribute. I first started answering questions on, started a blog, was asked to present at a SQL Saturday in Tampa in 2010, took over a user group, was asked to volunteer for SQL Saturday 89 in which I was the official event organizer, became a PASS Regional Mentor and three years ago was awarded my first Microsoft MVP award. I love sharing and helping others, and we have a great network of others who all love to do the same.

What is the IT community like there? There is a good close group of Systems Engineers that I get to hang out with from time to time and several DBA’s that stay in touch, however Columbus seems to be a unique area that when people get off work, they are off work. Personal time is for personal time. Even looking at sporting events, the local indoor football league just won their league championship and the game was marginally attended. There is an awesome Makers group here in town.

What do you like about your area? What you recommend someone do there, if they came to town on their own #sqlvacation? The River Walk is nice and we have some cool museums. We also have the longest urban white water rafting course in the country. We have some cool local pubs and restaurants and most of the common chain stores. Columbus has a lot of big tech in several of the large companies. This allows people to learn and work with some really cool technology and not have to live in big metropolitan area. That is what brought me to the area.

What do you and your family enjoy doing in the area? Me and my family typically just stay at home and enjoy our compound.

Get Involved in the SQL Server Community and SQLPASS!

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about the SQL Server community in western, central Georgia. They're a great group of people who are eager to help you build your professional career. I encourage you, wherever you are located, to become an active member of your local SQLPASS chapter. We never know where our next better career opportunity will come from. But we do know those opportunities will never come along if we don't spend at least a little of our time meeting new people and networking.


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Kevin (@kekline) serves as Principal Program Manager at SentryOne. He is a founder and former president of PASS and the author of popular IT books like SQL in a Nutshell. Kevin is a renowned database expert, software industry veteran, Microsoft SQL Server MVP, and long-time blogger at SentryOne. As a noted leader in the SQL Server community, Kevin blogs about Microsoft Data Platform features and best practices, SQL Server trends, and professional development for data professionals.


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