A couple months ago I delivered a short (15 minute) presentation at work about the importance of having a good professional network and how I’d found mine. As I was developing it, I had to keep redirecting myself as the theme would start trending towards how great the #SQLFamily is. To be fair, that’s what inspired the topic in the first place, but 15 minutes of stories about my friends is not what my co-workers signed up for.
Developing this presentation made me really miss my friends in the community. I haven’t seen y’all in person since February 29th.
I talked about the presentation on Twitter a bit, and a few folks asked if I was going to offer it up to the community as well. Chris Wood (twitter) was perhaps the most vocal in asking about it, and after a few nudges I reworked the talk to be more focused toward a SQL Server User Group audience and expanded it from 15 to 30 minutes. Chris invited me to present at Edmonton PASS on September 17th.
A couple days before, Matt Cushing (blog | twitter) and I got on a video call and he let me do a practice run with him. It’s meant to be 30 minute talk and he clocked me at 29:58 but we were on the phone for 90 because we had a bunch of catching up to do. Matt gave me some terrific feedback that I was able to roll into the talk and on the night of the main event, it went pretty well.
Also “at” Edmonton, Tracy Boggiano (blog | twitter) gave her presentation about mental health, and it’s a message I think we all (and our managers) need to hear. Tracy is one of the folks I refer to in my session who is doing amazing things not only in our professional community, but also the community where she lives. Seeing her present the same night was a real treat.
Need a Speaker?
So…if you’re looking for a “lighter” session, non-technical, just to help spread the message about the awesomeness that is #SQLFamily, drop me a line either via email or on Twitter. The presentation runs about 30 minutes, so I can be an “opening act” ahead of a longer session if you like. I talk about how I first got involved with the community in 2012, what it’s all about, and what it’s meant for both myself and my employers. Plus, lots of pictures! Here’s the abstract:
You’ve been told for years that it’s important to have a professional network. The community that has grown around SQL Server is one of the strongest and most supportive networks around for technical professionals. We’re more than acquaintances who see each other at meetups - we’re SQLFamily. This introduction to SQLFamily will help you learn where to find folks, how to get involved, and how it can positively change your life and career.
We’re Not Going Anywhere
Greg Moore recently wrote about #SQLFamily on his blog as well, and he hits many of things I touch on in my talk as well. So between his post and the response I got in Edmonton, I feel like this talk is in a pretty good spot.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about PASS, Summit, and the future of this community. I believe that regardless of what happens with PASS and the events that are directly tied back to the organization, this community is connected enough that we will still be there for each other. And one day, we’ll all be able to see each other in person.