What a difference a tweet makes
I’ve been involved with SQL Server longer than most folks, but was always a sort of lone wolf. In the early days, there was no community to speak of, and even when the community started to gain momentum, I shied away from it.
That changed after the 2015 Summit, when I made a conscious decision to become involved in the SQL Server community. I spoke at my first user group, began applying to SQL Saturdays, and last year, I submitted abstracts to speak at the 2017 Summit. I was not at all surprised that my abstracts were not selected, but after reviewing the schedule, I was a bit disappointed to see my favorite feature somewhat under-represented (In-Memory OLTP) .
So I took to twitter, and wrote this:
And so it began, my roundabout path to presenting at PASS Summit 2017.
Niko Neugebauer – who I had been in touch with for a while, but had never actually met in person – replied to my tweet, and a dialog ensued.
After a bit of back and forth with folks at PASS, a panel had been formed to specifically discuss In-Memory OLTP, and I would be a member of that panel. Included was of course Niko himself, who was a fantastic MC, as well as Bob Ward, Kevin Farlee, Tehas Shah, and Jos de Briujn. Sunal Agarwal was also supposed to join us, but due to scheduling issues, couldn’t make it. Many of the Microsoft panel members were responsible for actually delivering the In-Memory OLTP feature, and to say that I was honored to be on a panel with them would be a great understatement. It was really thrilling – definitely the highlight of my presenting life!
Presenting takes you deep
Think you know a topic well? Presenting will prove that you don’t! The simple act of organizing your thoughts, such that they can be imparted to others, forces you to drill down into a topic in a way that you would never otherwise get to. All of the facts about SQL Server are written in the documentation, but delivering those facts to a room full of people requires a variety of skills: creating slides, demos, scripts, and anticipating questions.
My life as a jazz musician before I got into SQL Server included a lot of public performance, so I was pretty comfortable being out in front of a room full of people. There’s some common ground between jazz and presenting – they are both “live”, and anything can happen at any time. Projectors fail, other issues arise, and you have to find a way forward no matter what.
I encourage all readers of this post to submit abstracts for the 2018 PASS Summit – my experience is proof that you never know what will happen!