My first time, lessons learned!

This past weekend, I had the privilege of doing a presentation at SQL Saturday #514 in Houston Texas.  I had been to other SQL Saturdays before as both a participant and a “volunteer”; but I had never have spoken before.

Speaking in front of people is usually no big deal to me.  I have been designing, presenting, hosting and administrating all types of training for the Boy Scouts for many, many years.  I have taught Scouting newbies how to tie a knot to presenting on topics like “Project Planning and SMART goals” (email me if you want to know what SMART goals are).  I have even coordinated an all day training event very similar to SQL Saturday for my Council called University of Scouting.

But what was different about this experience was the topic.  I have been active in the Boy Scouts since I was eleven.  I know Scouting information, concepts, and topics backwards and forwards. I have been facilitating trainings (presenting) since I was 15. So Scouting is 2nd nature to me.  But presenting on SQL Server topics was somewhat nerve wracking.  For me it was a test of not my presenting abilities; but my SQL DBA abilities.  As an “Accidental DBA” I have always questioned my abilities with SQL Server.  Everything I have learned about computers I have learned my self, so I am always 2nd guessing myself. 

As a “First timer”, I thought it would be best to cover Beginning Level topics.  My thought was 1) I knew the material and 2) after reading Tim Ford’s #EntryLevelChallenge it motivated me to remember my fellow newbies.

I won’t go into the topic of my presentation today as this is more about the experience.  The audience, which I had 14 in attendance, was very attentive and I don’t think I put anyone to sleep!

I do need to work on my demos.  They all worked as expected; but switching between laptop and projector, throwing SSMS on the projector screen, changing screen settings from duplicate to extend was all too much.  There has to be a better way to switch between PowerPoint in presentation mode and SSMS to do demo. So I will practice that.

I thought I did best on time management.  The time allotted was 60 minutes, I said “Thank you for your time” at 59 minutes and 30 seconds. 

Over all the experience was well worth it. By the responses I received from the speaker evaluations, I think I did an OK job.  I had no major criticisms except to slow down, I assure you that was nerves at the beginning. 

SQL Saturday

This Saturday is SQL Saturday #514 in Houston, TX. 

And this Saturday, I will be doing my first presentation at a SQL Saturday.

Luckily my presentation is in the morning so I can get it over with and enjoy the rest of the day. Otherwise, I probably would be stressing about it all day!

Hostile Takeover is my presentation on what do you do when handed the keys to a SQL server you have never seen.  What information would you want to know and more importantly HOW do you get that information!

I will show some easy to use tools and scripts developed by people way smarter than I am.  Heck, I will even show you how to hack into a SQL Server!  As far as my website goes, I will update my slide deck and scripts repository after SQL Saturday!  And hopefully I will find the time to upload the information to the SQL Saturday website!

SQL Saturday Baton Rouge #150

sqlsat150_webOn Tuesday, I was notified that my presentation, “Making the CASE for a full-time DBA” got accepted on the schedule for SQL Saturday Baton Rouge #150.  WooHoo, my first SQL community event presentation!

I am thrilled and nervous at the same time.  I have many years experience speaking in front of people, that’s a no-brainer for me.  However, I have never spoken in front of peers on “work related” topics. 

My presentation is targeted to those “Accidental DBA’s” who find themselves administering and managing SQL Servers. 

  • Developers, Computer Technicians, System Administrators and other IT personnel who were not hired as a DBA, but find themselves doing the job.
  • individuals who scratch their head, Bing and Google-it to find answers.
  • individuals with less than 2 years of DBA experience.

The “who, what, where and how’s” of getting simple information out of SQL server and discovering the “major” problems and no-no’s in the SQL world.  Hopefully, I can provide some simple ways, steps and information that will make your “Accidental DBA” career easier. 

Once you can better understand SQL, just maybe you might like the work and want to be a full-time DBA.  How do I change career paths, where do I find more information, do I need certifications?  I will also briefly discuss how to “pitch a full-time DBA position” to your Manager, Director or VP.

There will be some humor, laughing (probably at me) and hopefully some informative information for those non-DBA types, the DBA newbies or DBA “wanna-bies”.

Thank you again for the SQL Saturday team, I hope I don’t disappoint.


UPDATE:  Because of my work, unfortunately I was unable to participate and had to withdraw from presenting.  I was crushed.  But there is always next year!!!!