Here I am at my keyboard on a Monday morning after #SQLSatDallas 2019, drinking my coffee and contemplating the sessions I attended and great info I received this past weekend. There were so many presentations I wanted to attend! I always have the best intentions to attend a session each hour. It never works out that way. Why? Because I often get caught up answering questions, sharing stories, talking to sponsors, and helping others. Mind you, I am not complaining at all, I absolutely LOVE helping others, sharing stories, and meeting new people!
One lady in particular, (I wish I had gotten her name!) asked me for help finding sessions that would suit her best in the quest to learn SQL. She and I stood a while and sifted through each beginner session, I tried my best to steer her toward the presentations I thought might give her more guidance in the areas she was seeking. It was so awesome to be able to help create a learning path for her.
As an organizer for the upcoming SQL Saturday Austin, this has given me some ideas to try to formulate. More on that after it happens. If I devise a plan that works, I will share it in a blog post for you!
I Challenge you
As a speaker, I am putting a challenge out there to other speakers: offer to help attendees customize their schedule. For so many, this is their first SQL Saturday experience and we want them to leave with as much pertinent knowledge as possible! We also want them to go back to work telling their coworkers and friends how much they learned as well as how awesome of a community they are now part of!
More Than Tech
In one of these chance meetings, I ran into Mohammad Darab and Brent Ozar chatting by the water coolers. Not wanting to interrupt, I gave a quick wave to both of them and was instantly invited into the conversation. The three of us chatted about this and that, SQL and personal stuff. We took the opportunity to connect and share. Thank you Brent and Mohammad for the wonderful conversation, insights, and laughs.
A bit later I joined Brent, Kenneth Fisher, Hasan Savran, and Leslie Andrews for lunch. We sat and chatted about SQL, careers, families, personal stuff, theology (bet that surprised you!), shared photos and ideas. We talked blogging, presentations, and just general interesting topics. Brent and Kenneth both gave us all some great books and blogs to check out. I even got to share how cool my camera phone is, check out the pics!
While we were sitting at the table, several people came up to say hello and asked Brent for a photo. I get it, he *kinda* looks like Tony Stark. It was cool to see that no matter what we were talking about, attendees still felt comfortable coming up to the table. There was no air of superiority coming from the table, no elitist vibe, just a group of friends chatting and leaving space always for one more to join.
This is the coolest thing about our community, the inclusiveness of it!
I learned a lot at SQL Saturday Dallas about branding, containers, Kubernetes (K8), Python, and Docker. The most important lesson I learned this past weekend was something very personal just to me. I found my place. I found what I bring to the industry. This is something I have been searching for a while now.
We all have something very special to offer. For some, like Buck Woody, it is his superior knowledge, quick wit, and verbal prowess. For Kellyn Pot’Vin-Gorman, it is her amazingly vast knowledge of all things tech, personal strength, and interesting life stories. For Chris Hyde, it is his ability to pick up coding languages and easily make them not so scary for others to learn. What is your very special thing to offer?
The Human Side of Technology
For me, I learned that my special offering is my love for the human side of technology. I know how to code in Python, build a Power BI dashboard, how to query a database, and how to create a solid machine learning model. However, my strongest and most unique quality is the ability to easily connect and create meaningful relationships with people who are sometimes too shy to reach out. Inclusiveness and celebrating our differences has always been important to me. This is where I need to focus in this industry. Tech is great, humankind is glorious!
Thank You for Saying Hello
A few people came up to say hello and to tell me that they follow me on twitter, read my blogs, and/or remember my session from last year. Thank you so much for stopping to say hello! It means the world to me that someone will take a moment out of their day to speak with me, so please keep doing that! Thank you in particular to Sarah Brewster and Toni Haag for the awesome conversation. You two ladies are awesome and I cannot wait to see where you go from here!
“Forge your own path and set it on fire- so bright that people don’t just come to see the flames, but want to follow in your footsteps before the coals cool down.” – Kellyn Pot’Vin-Gorman