TechMentor Redmond 2019 Next week I’m excited to be going back to Seattle for what seems to be the umpteenth time. I’ve been selected to deliver two sessions at the TechMentor conference at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond: “The Force Awakens - Azure SQL Server for the On-prem DBA” and “Boring is Stable, Stable is Good - SQL Server Best Practices in Practice”. This marks my first time speaking outside of Europe and getting to do it at the Microsoft HQ is equal parts exciting and scary. I’m very much looking forward to meeting a US audience and sport my Star Wars waistcoat on the other side of the Atlantic.
I’ve had this blog post in my mind for quite some time, but, as is sometimes the case with these things, it did not feel like it was time to meet the public quite yet. Now it is. The bedrock of my career (and in many ways, my life) is community. I was a lonely child, sometimes by choice, sometimes not, and I didn’t quite see the point of people until a rather late age. It took me quite some time to get to grips with social interaction in general and it is in large parts due to my wonderful wife that I’ve managed to decode “people” and learn to see all the wonderful things that happen when people interact and do things together.
Tomorrow I’m heading to Oslo and the Nordic Infrastructure Conference (NICCONF) – one of my favorite conferences! I’ve been invited to deliver three sessions this year: “The force awakens – Azure SQL Server for the on-prem DBA” which is an introduction to Azure SQL Server in its different shapes, “Azure Machine Learning for the absolute beginner” which is an introduction to Azure Machine Learning, its capabilities and what can be done with machine learning, and finally “Learning to swim – an introduction to Azure Data Lake”, a quick overview of the what, how and when with Azure Data Lake. Now, I’ve been running around trying to find some props for these sessions, and so far I’ve got fun stuff for two of them.
The first month of the new year is more than half way done. Time flies, but I’ve already had time to go to SQL Saturday Linz in beautiful Austria. I delivered “Headless chicken - calming the sysadmin-turned-DBA” to a full room, and it was 60 minutes of fun, shenanigans and failing to use a flipchart properly - all while having an excellent discussion about the intricacies of waking up as a DBA. Tomorrow I’m leaving for a quick trip to Mechelen in Belgium and the first-ever Power BI Days conference! I have it on good authority that there will be a good crowd and I’m more than happy to be a part of Europe’s newest Power BI-focused event.
I’ve been thinking about this blog post a lot these last few days. The classic “end-of-year” post that most everyone does, but this one has turned out to be rather special for me. At the same time it is kind of scary, as when I look back on what I’ve done and accomplished this year, I realize how much it actually is - and how much I have actually chosen *not* to do. 2018 was the year I decided to step up my speaking game for real. I had spent 2016 and 2017 polishing my skills and sending abstracts to what felt like every conference there was.