WIDBA - The busiest DBA in Wisconsin, its all I do and I do it well

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Just returned home from my sixth SQL Saturday speaking engagement on Powershell and SQL Server.  Had a great time in Madison this year, visiting with various people I have met over the years and visiting with lots of PASS MN folks that I rarely see now that I am telecommuting.

My session A Powershell Driven Life (scripts available) was well attended again and follows the theme I have used the past three SQL Saturdays, using pictures of various beers, etc as my lead in to each script.  The demos all worked perfectly (something I noticed a few speakers really struggled with) and I found myself going much slower than I intended too - getting through even less demos than I had figured was my minimum based on trial runs.  I don't know how the great speakers can predict timing so effectively.  One thing that surprised me was the sheer number of people new to Powershell that came to my "intermediate" session.  I tried to slow down and explain a few concepts that tripped me up when I was learning.  The feedback was excellent, and my numerical scores were lower than usual.  Personally, the feedback is more useful than the arbitrary grading scale.  (Or that is what someone with lots of 3's and 4's would say :) )

The thing I thought about this morning, is the sheer amount of commitment that is required from the organizers and speakers of these events.  My presentation code was basically already done, because it was developed "in the line of duty".  I spent an inordinate amount of time rehearsing - and hoping to develop a some comedic relief as I went along.  Speaking of comedic relief, my coworker @PhoneticTalk did a fantastic job of intermixing humor and content in his Power View session.  In developing this presentation, I did not track my hours, but if I was consulting it would be in the $1000's for billable time.  In talking with some fellow speakers, I still marvel at why people are willing to travel, finance their own hotels, etc and spend inordinate amounts of time speaking.  So, I will share in brief what speaking did for my career.

My current boss and I met when I was speaking at a user group.  That occurred years before I got the opportunity to work with them and so I have written off the tons of hours preparing and giving presentations as worth it. I am one of the lucky people with a challenging job on a great team of smart people who are fun to work with.  Not too mention, I am learning loads of new technologies and getting real world experience working with Analysis Services, after ~11 years on the OLTP side.  In addition, I know some really smart people scattered around the region and if needed, could probably reach out to them for help when I am in a bind.

So, I may not speak again for awhile, I enjoy Powershell talks but I am not sure where to take it from here - and its time to let some other folks jump in.  Based on the amount of folks that haven't used Powershell , I may be inclined to work on an introduction course if one is not offered next year.

If for some reason you read this and have thought about speaking but haven't, give it a try, a great opportunity might be sitting in the audience.