SQL Vacation 2018: It's Always SQL in Philadelphia

Kevin Kline

Published On: July 10, 2018

Categories: SQLFamily, Community, Speaking, SQLVacation 0


Home to the first zoo in America and the birthplace of the Marine Corps, Philadelphia is a beautiful city filled with history. You can take a picture with the Liberty Bell or enjoy the many murals of the city. This mural capital of the U.S. also has an impressive background in medicine, being home to the first hospital and medical school.

Grab a Philly cheesesteak as you meander around the many museums in this beautiful city. And although historically inaccurate, you can still tour Betsy Ross’s house to see what flag making really takes.

Hear SQL Ring

The Philly SQL Vacation stop was made possible by Philadelphia SQL Server User Group (PSSUG) leader Sebastian Meine. Sebastian is the SQL Stylist at sqlity.net. Check out what Sebastian had to say about being a SQL Server professional in Philadelphia.


When did you begin your professional career?
That depends on which career you are talking about. I was the founding member of a nonprofit supporting church music 22 years ago. I guess you could count that as the beginning of my career as a nonprofit leader. (I now run two nonprofits -- one of them PSSUG -- and I'm also a regional mentor for PASS.) My technical career (read: my first paying job) started during college. At that time, I was helping a marketing company with on-site IT support. That job also laid the foundation for my interest in marketing.

What’s a normal day at work like for you?
I usually start out the day with a little exercise routine before I go sit down at the computer for the rest of it. There, I do customer work -- like, fix a client’s SQL Server performance issues -- as well as non-customer work -- like working on getting the next client. Most of the time, I have somewhere between 6 and 8 projects to juggle.

What was your first IT or computer project that added value?
About 30 years ago, I wrote a vocabulary learning program for Chinese. What was new at the time was that it allowed you to “paint” Chinese characters. All other learning programs at the time just displayed the complete character.

What sort of career do you think you’d pursue today if you hadn’t chosen IT?
I do not regret my choice of going into IT, but one of the options that I did consider at the time was to become a chef. You'll have to ask my wife if that would have been a wise decision.

When did you come to the area?
I immigrated from Germany 15 years ago and have been in the Philly suburbs ever since.

What made you decide to help as a volunteer leader?
I always enjoyed helping others advance their careers (and businesses). PSSUG seemed like the perfect opportunity to use my IT skills for good.

What is the IT community like in your town?
Well established. I don’t think there’s a topic that you can’t find a user group for.

What do you enjoy doing in the area?
Biking and singing.

What do you recommend visitors to your town do on their own #SQLVacation?
Keep an eye out for the murals. Philadelphia has one of the largest collections of murals in the world.

And, of course, stop by one of the many PSSUG meetings.

Enter the 2018 #SQLVacation Contest

This year, my co-workers surprised me with a bobblehead in my likeness, which I actually don’t hate. You could win one, along with a bunch of other SentryOne goodies, by entering our 2018 #SQLVacation contest. Visit the SQL Vacation web page to learn more about the contest and the next stops on the SQL Vacation tour.

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.