Sowing SQL Speaker Seeds

(To all experienced technology speakers, especially those in the PASS community, and especially those in the Twin Cities, MN regional area…)

You have the power to help transform someone’s career.

Do you remember the first time you spoke at a user group meeting? Do you remember your first Speaker badge at a conference? How nervous were you? How close were you to abandoning the whole affair? Did you need a little encouragement to take the plunge?

There are hundreds of data professionals in Minnesota who have toyed with the idea of presenting but assume that no one would want to hear from them. They presume their voice adds nothing to the chorus. But you know better. You know how everyone brings a unique perspective which might be just the approach an attendee needed to make things click.

Our PASSMN user group‘s mission is to strengthen our community and inspire our members to share their stories. But we can’t do it alone. We can set the stage, bring the audience, and fill their bellies, but you speakers make it all happen.

As a veteran, you’ve made the rounds at SQL Saturdays. And you’ve helped out with your local user groups. But have you taken the next step? Have you become a force multiplier by helping others join your ranks?

With this year’s SQL Saturday in Minnesota, we’re providing a unique opportunity for new speakers to take their first steps. We will help those curious find a mentor to guide them through creating their first presentation and actually walking out in front of a crowd to deliver it. We’re reserving space at SQL Saturday for new speaker lightning talks. Mentors will work with their mentees to come up with a talk idea, coach them through creating their presentation, and be there for support when they take the stage.

There’s about one week left in our call for speakers, which ends July 23rd. Take this weekend to think about who in your network would be open to taking the next step. On Monday, open the door for them and help them submit a lightning talk. You’ll have plenty of time to work on it between early August and their world debut on October 7th, 2017. We and they will thank you for it.

SQL Saturday 682 - Minnesota - October 7th, 2017

PASSMN SQL Saturday 2017 – Call for Speakers

PASSMN’s SQLSaturday #682 on October 7th, 2017 has been published!

There are a relatively short 5 weeks for speaker submissions, which will close on July 23rd. So don’t delay! We plan on announcing selected speakers August 4th. As a reminder, the event is on October 7th.

We are looking for some unique contributions from the speaker community. In addition to 60-minute standard sessions, we’re hoping to offer one or more panel discussions, lightning talks for new speakers, and guided conversation over lunch. We also hope to host pre-cons on Friday, October 6th. Continue reading

Deploying the Old Fashioned Way

T-SQL Tuesday Logo

For this month’s T-SQL Tuesday, James Anderson asks us to write about Shipping Database Changes.

These days all the rage is continuous deployment. Once development is “complete”, you push a button, (insert automated process here), and boom, the code is in production. I applaud shops which can reach this stage. It requires extreme devotion to automated testing and scripted processes. I haven’t worked with that sort of a system. However, many of the same principles apply to deploying the old fashioned way. Continue reading

Curds, Code, and Config

Pyle Center

The Pyle Center on the UW Madison Campus at the end of SQL Saturday #604.

Salty and squeaky make a good curd. Informative sessions and engaging conversations make a good conference. SQL Saturday #604 in Madison, Wisconsin this past weekend had plenty of both. I’m happy to have contributed with my session, “XML vs JSON – Battle Royale”. Continue reading


by Riley Major on 2017-03-28

Jenessa White at Minnebar 12

Jenessa White leads a conversation on junior developers at Minnebar 12, 2017-03-25.

Technology has a problem, and we need to do something about it. To be fair, it’s a problem with society, but it’s worse in tech.

Despite our lip service, we do not celebrate and encourage diversity with our actions. Worse, we actively drive women and people of color out of our communities. Continue reading

Mmm… fudge.

T-SQL Tuesday Logo

Kennie Pontoppidan hosts this month’s T-SQL Tuesday and asks us to write about “the daily (database-related) WTF”. I will admit that occasionally I submit to Schadenfreude. And when I get stuck cleaning up someone else’s mess, my hindsight is 20/20. I can point out all the problems they were too “ignorant” or too “lazy” to fix. And then I remember that “they” was “me”. Continue reading