I’ll be giving the following two presentations:
Hope to see you there!
About a week ago, I received an email from Carlos Chacon of SQL Data Partners inviting me to take part in a podcast. This was my first such request, and I jumped on the opportunity.
The podcast recording took place last night. My topic was along the lines of “writing and communication: why it matters to data professionals.” It was a lot of fun, and I very much enjoyed talking to Carlos and his partner, Steve.
The podcast should air sometime in March. It will be posted on their ‘blog. When it does, I’ll make sure that I post a link to it!
This morning, I saw a ‘blog post from my friend, Greg Moore, who wrote about his upcoming presentations at SQL Saturday in Washington, DC this Saturday. Greg is an excellent presenter, and I always recommend his presentations anytime.
It also made me realize a few things. First, my own SQL Saturday presentations are coming up quickly — this Saturday (December 9), in fact. Warning: dates in calendar are closer than they appear! So I figured I should do more to promote my own presentations. Come hear me speak at SQL Saturday #694 in Providence, RI. I will be giving the following two presentations:
Providence SQL Saturday is a special one for me. I first spoke at Providence two years ago, and it represented a couple of milestones. First, it was the first SQL Saturday I ever attended that was outside New York State. The first ones I attended were all in New York City (and to this day, I still try to attend that one whenever I can, regardless of whether or not I’m speaking) or in Albany. Second, it was only the second time that I had ever presented at a SQL Saturday. The first was earlier that summer, when I spoke at my hometown SQL Saturday in Albany, NY. In fact, the presentation I gave — talking to non-techies — is the same one that I will be giving this Saturday. I’ve since added to it and polished it a bit. Hopefully, this presentation will go even better than the last time I gave it in Providence two years ago!
If you’ve never been to a SQL Saturday, check it out. It’s a great day of learning (and it’s free — although there’s usually a nominal fee for lunch), it’s a great opportunity to network with industry colleagues, and it’s a fun social event (seriously, it is)! I look forward to every SQL Saturday that I attend, and this Saturday should be no different.
Hope to see you there!
Looks like my SQL Saturday schedule will be busy! Here are my upcoming dates (and I admit that I’m writing this for my own reference as much as anything else).
I am scheduled to speak at the following event:
I submitted my presentations to these events; no guarantee that I will be picked to speak at any of these, but you never know:
Event that is on the calendar, but not yet scheduled (hence, there’s no link to it yet); I intend to submit to it when it goes live:
SQL Saturday is a great, free conference for anyone who wants to learn more about SQL Server. Many interesting topics are presented, it’s a great opportunity to network, and it’s a lot of fun!
Hope to see people there!
I have two speaking engagements coming up within the next few weeks:
Hope to see people there. I can always use a good audience!
I will be speaking; I will be giving my presentation on documentation. There are also a number of other presentations that people might find of interest.
When I attended SQL Saturday in New York City a couple of months ago, I sat in on Lisa Margerum’s session on networking. It is an excellent session, and I recommend it highly.
A number of my friends are also presenting, including Greg Moore, Thomas Grohser, George Walters, John Miner, and Ed Pollack. They always give good presentations, and I recommend them highly. Check out the schedule for more details.
Hope to see you there!
The Facebook “Your Memories” feature can sometimes be an interesting thing. Yesterday, this memory from four years ago came up on my Facebook feed, and it’s one I want to share.
I think I’ve discovered the secret to great interviews — and I’m sharing this for the benefit of other job seekers like me.
Based on some resources that I’ve read (including “What Color Is Your Parachute?”), most job seekers go to an interview wanting to know, “what’s in it for me?” What they *should* be doing is asking the company, “what’s in it for them?” In other words, ask the company what they want and what you can do to fulfill it. Sell yourself on the precept of what value you bring to the company.
For the past two days, I’ve gone into interviews with this mindset, and it has served me well. It’s one of the reasons why I feel like I aced yesterday’s interview. Also, during this morning’s interview, I asked the question, “what are intergroup dynamics like? What other groups do you work with, how are the relationships, and what can I do to improve them?” When I asked that, I saw nods around the room that said, “that’s a good question!”
It’s too soon to say whether or not I landed either job, but I feel like I interviewed well, and I feel like I have a fighting chance.
Ever since I had this revelation four years ago, I’ve used this approach in every single job interview. I won’t say that I aced every single job interview — I didn’t — but this mindset has made for better interviewing on my part.
Let me back up a little before I delve into this further. It’s been often said that you should never not ask questions at a job interview. Asking questions demonstrates that you’re interested in the job. I’ve heard stories where a job candidate completely blew the interview simply because he or she did not ask any questions. Not asking questions demonstrates that you’re indifferent toward the company or the job.
That said, it’s also important to ask the right questions. Never ask about salary or benefits (as a general rule, I believe that you should never talk about salary or benefits, unless the interviewer brings it up). If at all possible, try to avoid questions that ask, “what’s in it for me.” Instead, ask questions that demonstrate, “how can I help you.”
Employers are nearly always looking for value, and their employees are no exception. When interviewing potential candidates, they look to see what kind of value the candidates offer. For me, I go to every job interview with a number of questions that I’ve formulated in advance — questions that demonstrate I’m interested, and I want to help. For example, one question I always ask is, “what issues does the company or organization face, and how can I help address them?” I’m asking what I can do for them. It shows that I’m interested, and it shows that I’m willing to lend a hand.
For your reference, I found this information in my local library. A couple of books I would recommend include the most recent edition of What Color Is Your Parachute? and Best Questions to Ask On Your Interview. Among other things, these books provide ideas for questions for you to take with you to the interview. Much of this information is also available on the internet; do a search and see what you can find.
I would also consider attending seminars and conferences, if you are able to do so. For example, Thomas Grohser, one of my friends on the SQL Saturday speaker’s circuit, has a presentation called “Why candidates fail the job interview in the first minute.” I’ve sat in on his presentation, and I would recommend it to any job seeker.
I won’t say that this mindset guarantees that you’ll get the job, but it will increase your chances. This approach shows the interviewer that you’re interested, and you can add value to the organization.
Best of luck to you in your interview.