What began as one-on-one training has led to one of the more popular professional development opportunities for Team CoreLink. Manager Mike Sluke hosted the first SQL with Slukes in February 2019. Since then, 65 knowledge-seekers have completed the course, with many more already scheduled to participate throughout the summer and fall.

Sluke developed the program after facilitating regular meetings with former Team CoreLink member John Beyer, who’d inquired about learning SQL for future career prospects. The original meetings soon included Sr. Software Engineer Steve Danielson and began taking form as a structured time of information. In collaboration with Director Evonne Amundson, Sluke transformed the information from the regular SQL meetings into training materials for a wider audience.


With the help of the Learning & Development team, SQL with Slukes became hour-long sessions available to all members of Team CoreLink. There has been interest across the organization, including those in the following roles: BA, Tester, Dev, PM, Manager, and others.

Each training session consists of 3-5 hour-long classes, with Sluke and his fellow facilitators adapting to the interests and skill sets of those enrolled. So far, there have been ten complete sessions. Over 67% of participants have been non-developer employees.

Beyond enhancing his SQL skills, Danielson has been impacted by the opportunity to help others grow. “I’ve really enjoyed helping facilitate. Each time I assist with a class, it reinforces the SQL commands I have previously learned. It has also provided me with an opportunity to interact with people who I don’t get to work with on a daily basis.”

Business Systems Analyst Heidi Ladwig was one of the earlier participants, who also became a co-facilitator. She agreed with Danielson that facilitating offered an added benefit to the training. “Helping others with questions has not only been fun, but it has also allowed me to learn the concepts even better.”

Of her time in the class, Agile Project Manager II Amy Roehrich said, “I thought the training went extremely well and I was glad that I took the time to go through it. The facilitators did an excellent job with the pace of the class. We were able to ask questions, speak up when we were struggling and they asked probing questions to get us thinking instead of just giving the answers. It was extremely beneficial and I am excited to start using what I learned.”

Test Engineer II Andrea Nyland found the class to be educational and fun. “I absolutely loved this training! Mike and the trainers really made it a safe place to learn and grow. I loved the hands-on experience there was, as this is how I learn, and I absolutely love the fact that they are sending out weekly SQL questions so we can keep using what we’ve learned.”

Those weekly questions are distributed by Danielson to encourage each past participant to continuously hone their skills. Sluke and Danielson have continued to improve the content after each session, adapting the course structure based on the feedback from those who’ve attended.