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).
Scheduled to speak
I am scheduled to speak at the following event:
Presentation abstracts submitted
I submitted my presentations to these events; no guarantee that I will be picked to speak at any of these, but you never know:
- March 24, 2018: #723, Rochester, NY
- April 21, 2018: #714, Philadelphia, PA
- May 19, 2018: #716, New York, NY (I will likely attend this one, regardless of whether or not I’m chosen to speak)
Save the date
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:
- July 28, 2018: Albany, NY (my hometown SQL Saturday!)
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!
This afternoon, this article about being a likable speaker crossed my inbox. It’s a quick and easy read, and I thought people who do public speaking or present regularly (as I do for SQL Saturday) would find this of interest. I thought it was worth a share.
My local SQL user group is hosting SQL Saturday on July 29, a week from this Saturday!
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!
This coming Saturday, June 3, I will be speaking at SQL Saturday #638, Philadelphia (okay, it’s actually in a town called Whitpain Township, not Philadelphia, but that’s what they call the event, so…)!
I will be giving the following two presentations:
- Tech Writing for Techies: A Primer — Documentation is one of the most critical, yet most blatantly ignored and disrespected tasks when it comes to technology. Businesses and technical professionals ignore documentation at their own risk. This session discusses what tech writing and documentation is about and why it’s critical for business. It also explores possible reasons for why it’s ignored, how documentation can be improved, and how “non-writers” can contribute to the process.
- Disaster Documents: The role of documentation in disaster recovery — I was an employee of a company that had an office in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Prior to that infamous date, I had written several departmental documents that ended up being critical to our recovery. In this presentation, I provide a narrative of what happened in the weeks following 9/11, and how documentation played a role in getting the organization back on its feet.
While other disaster recovery presentations talk about strategies, plans, and techniques, this presentation focuses on the documentation itself. We will discuss the documents we had and how they were used in our recovery. We will also discuss what documents we didn’t have, and how they could have made the process better.
Hope to see you there!
At SQL Saturday #615, I had the pleasure of sitting through a session by Eugene Meidinger titled “Drinking From the Firehose: a Guide to Keeping Up with Technology.” His presentation brought to mind my earlier ‘blog article about struggling to keep up with technology, and he also mentioned a few things that didn’t occur to me. I won’t rehash his presentation — I didn’t ask him for permission to use it, and I don’t want to step on his toes — but I do want to mention a few points he brought up. (I was actually hoping he would have an article on this topic to which I could link, but I wasn’t able to find one on his ‘blog.)
The first point he makes is that keeping up with technology is impossible. He points out that “keeping up is ill-defined.” What, exactly, does it mean to keep up with technology? It’s such a vague, gray area. He mentions that you are never “done,” and keeping up is more an emotional issue than a goal. He also mentions that the rate of change is accelerating. How can you keep pace with something that is always getting faster? It can’t be done.
Eugene talks about what he calls “the contradiction of learning.” To add value, we need to specialize, but to avoid being irrelevant, we need to generalize. Personally, I’ve based my career on being a jack-of-all-trades, but I’ve also discovered that employers are looking for experts in a single area. That is difficult in and of itself. If you specialize in an area, who is to say that it will be relevant down the line? When I was in college, COBOL was a big deal, and many employers were looking for people who were well-versed in COBOL. When was the last time you saw a job listing for a COBOL programmer? On the other hand, SQL has been around for quite some time, and there seems to be no shortage of SQL positions. So how do you know which technology should warrant your focus? It’s hard to predict.
I don’t want to delve too deeply into Eugene’s presentation; it’s his presentation, not mine, and I don’t want to take too much away from him. (His presentation slides are available at the link to his SQL Saturday presentation above, if you want to read more.) If you ever have an opportunity to catch his presentation, I encourage you to do so.