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So Long and Thanks For All The Fish

Not to try and steal Satya Nadella’s thunder today at WPC but I’ve got some exciting news of my own to share. I’m excited to say that I’ll be fulfilling a lifelong dream and going to work for Microsoft!

Every Beginning Has an End

matrix3This news is kind of a bittersweet though as I’ll be leaving Pragmatic Works after almost four amazing years. It has truly been an awesome experience. In the last four years I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the best folks in the business and had opportunities I would never have dreamed of. Here’s a highlight list of some of the best parts:

  • The amazing people I’ve had the honor to work (and karaoke) with
  • Learning the ins and outs of SQL Server from some of the best in the world
  • Opportunities to write on major SQL Server book titles
  • Learning and teaching exciting new technology like Parallel Data Warehouse/APS
  • Developing and delivering exciting training content
  • Helping others through mentoring and teaching in the Pragmatic Works Foundation
  • Ability to shape and have input to software offerings
  • Company culture built around giving back to SQL Server Community
  • Literally scaling mountains

I’d like to give a special thanks to Brian Knight (Blog | Twitter), Adam Jorgensen (Blog | Twitter) and Bradley Ball (Blog | Twitter). My time at Pragmatic Works was great and I couldn’t have asked for better people to work for. Thank you guys for everything.

 

So What’s Next?

The good news is that in my new position I’m afforded the opportunities (and encouraged!) to continue being involved with the community. You’ll still see me presenting at SQLSaturday events, picking up the slack on my blogging, webinars, and hopefully presenting at future PASS Summit (buahaha, now I get to submit under the Microsoft call for speakers!) and other conferences.

I’ll also be delving into some other areas, mainly in the development space. You’ll be seeing some new content from me in areas such as BI development, Big Data, Cloud development, and Windows/Windows Phone development. Should be fun!

And like that…he was gone

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Technical Presentations: Give it a Shot!

If you have never done a technical presentation I HIGHLY recommend you do try it at least once. Volunteer to speak at your local user group or SQL event. Andy Warren (Blog | LinkedIn) recently added the idea of mini-presentations to both his user group meetings as well as the upcoming SQL Saturday #21 in Orlando. The mini-presentations are 15-minute time slots to give first-time presenters the opportunity to practice technical presentation and public speaking skills. If a user group or event is a bit too much for your first time do what I did: user your co-workers! The first time I was going to present my PBM talk I didn’t want to go to my user group without practicing first. So ask your co-workers if they wouldn’t mind letting you practice on them during lunch hour. It makes it much easier doing the presentation to a group of folks you already know and are comfortable with so its a good way to ease into the public presentations. Heck, if you’re feeling really saucy you can start a series of lunch-n-learns within your department and provide free training for everyone: Win-win y’all!

Still don’t have the warm and fuzzies? Well the fine folks at PASS have compiled a great list of resources for learning how to present at events. Check that page and there are TONS of great advice from absolutely awesome speakers like Steve Jones, Kimberly Tripp and Paul Randal.

The last few months I have been travelling around presenting on Policy Based Management at various groups and events. At each event I have learned something new either from conversations with the audience or things simply not going right which cause me to work on those things the next time. But the one thing I haven’t really gotten much (other than the occasional side conversation with a few folks) is presentation feedback. I’ve signed up over at SpeakerRate.com and have put up the different events I’ve spoken at so far. So if you’ve had the pleasure/displeasure of attending one of my sessions I would really love some feedback. Thanks in advance!

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