Upcoming speaking engagements (as of 12/27/2022) #SQLSaturday #WELocal #SWELocal #STCSummit

With only four days left in 2022, I don’t have any more speaking engagements in 2022. I do, however, have a couple lined up for 2023! Besides, it’s been a while since I posted one of these updates…

I am confirmed to speak at the following events.

  • March 3-4, 2023, Hartford, CT: WE Local Conference: I will be speaking at a conference hosted by the Society of Women Engineers in early March. This will be my second time speaking at this conference; I also spoke at this same conference in Buffalo last year. For this conference, I will be giving not one but two presentations: “Tech Writing for Techies,” an introduction to technical writing to technical people who don’t get tech writing, and “I lost my job! Now what?!?,” my presentation about the job hunt and surviving an unemployment situation.

    My job hunt presentation seems to be pretty popular, because I will be giving this same presentation at…
  • May 16, 2023, Atlanta, GA: STC Summit: This is a large national conference that takes place May 14-17. I am scheduled to speak on the 16th! I am especially excited about this conference, because I have been involved with STC for a little while, I’ve been wanting to get more involved with them, and speaking at STC Summit has been on my bucket list. I can now check that off my list! I’m also excited because Atlanta is a brand-new city for me. I have never been to Atlanta (other than changing planes at the airport, which doesn’t count)!

There are also a couple of SQL Saturdays to which I intend to submit. As of right now, neither of them is open yet for submissions, but I plan to submit to them once they’re open.

  • May 6, 2023, New York, NY: SQL Saturday #1048, NYC: I pretty much attend NYC SQL Saturday every year (in fact, NYC was the first SQL Saturday I ever attended, way back in 2010), so I will likely be there, regardless of whether or not any of my presentations are selected.
  • October 14, 2023, Burlington, MA: SQL Saturday Boston: The site for this event isn’t up yet; right now, it’s only a “save-the-date” on the SQL Saturday website. Nevertheless, I’ve attended Boston SQL Saturday a number of times, and I’ve become close with the folks out in Boston, so I will definitely submit when this one opens. That said, October is a long way away, so I’m hoping I don’t have any conflicts with that date!

So that’s what I have on my presentation calendar for next year. Hopefully, I’ll see you at an event near you!

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Happy holidays, winding down 2022, and what’s in store next

As I write this, it’s the day after Christmas, 2022. Hopefully, those of you who are reading this had a wonderful holiday season. I hope you had a great Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or whatever your holiday celebration of choice is! For me, personally, Santa didn’t leave me much, but honestly, the older I get, the less important tangible Christmas gifts get. I got to spend quality time with my wife and my (now-13-year-old — !!!) niece, and that was the best Christmas present I could’ve asked for.

Now that 2022 is almost over, a lot of people spend time reflecting upon the past year, and trying to figure out what the new year will bring. I am no different, and I have to say that it has been a very eventful 2022.

I won’t get too much into it, as I try to avoid writing about things that are too personal in my very public ‘blog, but I will mention that 2022 was a very trying year. I had to deal with family issues this past August, which included one parent’s death and the other parent facing twilight years of life. (As I write this, the latter is still an issue and is ongoing.) Around the same time, we also dealt with the deaths of one of our beloved pets and a couple of friends of mine from college. To say that this made 2022 a very trying year is probably an understatement. All I could think about is a quote from the fourth Indiana Jones movie: “We seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away.” Professionally, I lost a job, got another one, and nearly lost the second one (disclosure: I managed to pull myself out, and am still employed there as I write this). I will not get into any details about the second one, except to say that I discovered something very personal about myself, and although it wasn’t directly related to the other personal issues that I just wrote about, those issues did nothing to help my situation.

What I will mention is that my personal issue was the fodder behind the article I wrote about taking care of yourself.

But enough about the crap that I had to deal with in 2022. Let’s talk about the good things that happened.

I did experience a lot of good things this year. Let’s start with my speaking schedule. Although things are still picking up after the pandemic, I did make it to speak at four in-person events this year, including a new one that had nothing to do with PASS, and my fourth consecutive time speaking at PASS Data Community Summit (or its equivalent).

I still shake my head that I’ve spoken at four straight PASS Summits. I don’t consider myself a SQL expert; as I often say, although I do have SQL experience, my knowledge of SQL falls under the category of “knows enough to be dangerous.” But I’ve been picked to speak there four times, so I must be doing something right!

I think the sentiment of speaking at events like these was best summed up by this tweet from a first-time speaker during PASS Summit.

Not all my 2022 successes were professional. I got to play several gigs with my rock band. I spent some time accompanying a local musical. My alma mater’s football team went 7-5 and is heading to a bowl game. And I got to attend countless events that allowed me to connect (or, in some cases, reconnect) with friends and family. While I did deal with a lot of issues in 2022, I’m happy to say that I’m definitely on the upswing.

That brings me to what’s next moving forward. I’ve received word that I’ve been invited to speak at two more events: another WE Local conference, and at STC Summit! I’m especially excited about the latter, because I’ve been a member of STC for a little while, and speaking at STC Summit has been a bucket list item for me. I also saw save-the-date entries for SQL Saturday as well (including one in NYC that my friend, Thomas Grohser told me about when I was in Seattle last month), so there will likely be more opportunities for me to speak as well. There are also numerous opportunities that are crossing my path. I won’t write about them all now, partially because none of them are in stone, but mostly because there are a lot of them, and I don’t remember them all! So I have a lot to look forward to in 2023 and beyond.

So, that pretty much sums up my reflections. I hope to be doing more as my issues are farther in my rearview mirror, and my upswing continues! Stay tuned for my exploits in 2023, and I hope all of you are on a similar track!

Speaking at another Summit! @stc_summit #STCSummit

The weekend before I left for PASS Summit, I received an exciting piece of news!

I learned that I have been selected to speak at the 2023 STC Summit in Atlanta, GA! STC Summit takes place May 14-17, 2023!

I am excited about this event for a number of reasons. First, it’s my first Summit experience unrelated to PASS. Second, it’s for STC, which is an organization with which I’ve been involved, off and on, for a number of years, and is actually more closely related to what I do. Third, I’ve been trying to become more involved with STC, which includes speaking at events, Fourth, I have never been to Atlanta (other than changing planes at the airport, which doesn’t count), so I will be experiencing a new city. And finally, it’s an opportunity to network with a new group of people, specifically a group of peers who are more closely related to my profession!

The presentation they selected is my session about job-hunting and unemployment, titled: “I lost my job! Now what?!?” In spite of the relatively pessimistic topic, this is actually (I think) one of my better presentations, and I’ve used it to (hopefully) help many people out as they seek new employment.

I’ve been wanting to get more involved with STC for a while, and getting an opportunity to speak at STC Summit has been a bucket list item for me, so this is a pretty big deal for me! I’m excited about the prospect of presenting to a new audience and to network with a group of my peers!

We’ll see you in Atlanta next May!