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Category: Community and Events

Community! Events! These are two of my favorite things :) I love my #SQLFamily as much as I love teaching and sharing knowledge. And what better way to combine the two than staying involved in the community while participating in as many events as I can?

In this category, I write about upcoming events I’m SUPER EXCITED about and announce where I will be speaking next. I also link to resources like slide decks and videos from sessions I have presented, write recaps and post pictures from events I have attended, and share tips and advice for others who want to get involved by volunteering or speaking.

Speaking at Data Toboggan 2021

On Saturday, January 30th, 2021, I will be speaking at the first Data Toboggan event! This is a free event focusing on Azure Synapse Analytics. There are 14 sessions scheduled in 12 hours, covering topics such as data integration, machine learning, data warehousing, data governance, and more. Join us 🤓

I will be presenting a session called Pipelines and Data Flows: Introduction to Data Integration in Azure Synapse Analytics.

Data Toboggan logo showing a toboggan (sled) going down a hill
Data Toboggan: The slope that enables predictive analytics

Pipelines and Data Flows: Introduction to Data Integration in Azure Synapse Analytics

Do you regularly need to get data for your projects?

Yep! 🙋‍♀️

Data is at the core of every Business Intelligence, Data Science, and Machine Learning project. You need data to understand what has happened in the past, to predict what may happen in the future, to discover patterns and anomalies, and to gain the insight necessary for making faster and better decisions.

But before you can do any of those things, you need to ingest, store, transform, integrate, and prepare your data. Guess what? You can do all of those things in Azure Synapse Analytics – without having to write any code!

In this session, we will cover the fundamentals of data integration in Azure Synapse Analytics. First, we will go through what Pipelines and Data Flows are. Then, we will quickly build a solution for ingesting and transforming data. Finally, we will look at how to orchestrate and schedule our pipelines, and how to monitor our solution once it has been deployed.

Join us at Data Toboggan!

Check out the Data Toboggan schedule, because I’m guessing that there’s at least a session or two that’s interesting for you. And if this is not your thing, can you please share it with your coworkers and network who might be interested? Register today, follow @datatoboggan and #DataToboggan on Twitter, and I hope to see you there! 😊

Biml Tips and Tricks (SQLBits 2019 Session Recording)

At SQLBits 2019, I presented my Biml Tips and Tricks: Not Just for SSIS Packages! session. The session recording has been available for many months, but I only just now realized I never blogged abut it :) You can view the slide deck on my SlideShare and download my Biml Demos if you want to dig into my code examples.

Biml Tips and Tricks: Not Just for SSIS Packages! Session Recording

Watch the full video on the SQLBits website:

Biml Tips and Tricks Session Recording (SQLBits 2019)

You can increase or decrease the speed, enable closed captioning, and even download the video for offline viewing.

(If you want a laugh, I recommend watching in 2x speed with the not-quite-accurate captions. You’ll see gems like “This is Bemmel. Tips and tricks not just for exercise packages!” :D)

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Tips for Improving Your Presentation Skills (DataGrillen 2019 Session Recording)

At DataGrillen 2019, I presented a session called Uhms and Bunny Hands: Tips for Improving Your Presentation Skills. The wonderful Amanda Debler (@texmandie) was kind enough to record it, yay! :)

The session recording is now available on YouTube, and the slide deck is available on SlideShare.

Tips for Improving Your Presentation Skills – Session Recording

Watch the session recording on YouTube:

(As this was an unplanned session recording, we didn’t have any microphones. The sound quality could be better, but I decided to share this video anyway. I hope it can still be useful for others!)

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Technical Accomplishments and Happy Memories (T-SQL Tuesday #112)

Technical Accomplishments and Happy Memories (T-SQL Tuesday #112)

The March 2019 edition of T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Shane O’Neill (@SOZDBA). This month, Shane wants us to share our cookies. Wait… what? Yes! Cookies :) In this analogy, cookies are accomplishments or memories you can look back on when things get tough. Something that will give you an energy kick to keep you going when you think you’re completely done.

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on this since the topic was announced. My cookie jar definitely consists of two types of cookies: technical and non-technical. There are more of the latter, which I believe is a good thing :)

In this post, I’ll highlight some of the technical accomplishments I’m proud of, and share some of my happy memories that always make me smile. (I mean pictures. I will share lots and lots of pictures.)

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Why I’m a Business Intelligence Consultant (T-SQL Tuesday #111)

T-SQL Tuesday #111: Why I'm a Business Intelligence Consultant

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Andy Leonard (@AndyLeonard). Andy wants to know what is our “why”, or why we do what we do. Before I can answer the why, I will briefly explain the what :) I work as a Business Intelligence consultant, focusing on Data Warehousing, Data Integration, and Data Visualization.

The short answer to “why?” is because the work is both challenging and rewarding. As a Business Intelligence consultant, I get to use all my skills from programming to design. I get to satisfy my instinctive need to group, organize, and sort things when working with data. Then I get to make things shiny and pretty. Finally, I get to work with other people, learn about their industries, and help them do their jobs better.

The long answer is… longer :) I absolutely love my job now, but I ended up in the world of data completely accidentally. I’ve gone from Web Development to Graphic Design to Interactive Design to Java Programming to SharePoint Development to Data Warehouse Architecture to Community Evangelizing… And now I’m here :) (Phew!) So why am I a Business Intelligence consultant?

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TENK Tech Camp 2018 – Experiences Volunteering

TENK Tech Camp 2018 was a 2-day event for teenage girls who are interested in technology and science. On August 9-10th, 2018, over 200 girls gathered at Teknisk Museum (Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology) in Oslo, Norway to attend workshops about coding, hacking, artificial intelligence, chatbots, design thinking, app development, web development – and rocket engineering!

TENK Tech Camp 2018 Attendees

I was honored to participate as a mentor alongside more than 50 other talented women working in STEM. It was an absolutely fantastic experience, and I’m already looking forward to being part of this event again in 2019!

In the videos below, you can see some of my memories from TENK Tech Camp 2018, and the official recap of the event :)

Cathrine’s memories from TENK Tech Camp 2018
Official video from TENK Tech Camp 2018
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Collecting Geeky Norwegian Humor (T-SQL Tuesday #99)

T-SQL Tuesday #99: Collecting Absurd Norwegian Humor

T-SQL Tuesday #99 is hosted by Aaron Bertrand (@AaronBertrand) and the topic is Dealer’s Choice. What does that mean? Aaron wanted us to choose between two topics: write about something we are passionate about outside the SQL Server community, or write about T-SQL bad habits and best practices. I’m too afraid to argue with Aaron, so I chose the first option ;)

But what did I want to write about? Truth be told, I’m pretty boring. I don’t have any real hobbies outside of tech, just a few interests. I first considered writing about hiking. I need to disconnect completely once in a while, and my favorite way of doing that is to get sweaty while walking for hours up a mountain or waterfall. My Instagram (@cathrinesqueee) is my highlight reel, full of pictures and happy memories from my trips.

Some of my favorite hiking memories are: descending into Thrihnukagigur Volcano, eating lunch on top of the Rocky Mountains, relaxing at the Alluvial Fan, exploring the Garden of the Gods, climbing Seven Falls, overlooking the Norwegian fjords, driving across the never-ending Jotunheimen mountains, watching the fog roll in over Trollstigen, hiking Dinosaur Ridge, crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge, taking a break on Mount Falcon, visiting the Loveland Pass, and gazing at presidents at Mount Rushmore.

Mads Eriksen M

However, instead of embedding all the pictures that are already on Instagram, I decided to write about something completely different. Something obscure. Something fun and geeky from way before I got involved in the SQL Server community. Something from my good old teenage fangirling days…

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I’m a Microsoft Ignite Community Reporter!

For this year’s Microsoft Ignite, 10 MVPs have been invited by Microsoft to cover the event live throughout the week. I’m very excited and honored to announce that I’m one of this year’s Community Reporters! :) As a Community Reporter, I will share news and updates by blogging, tweeting, reporting live, interviewing speakers and attendees, and posting pictures and videos of what’s happening on the ground in Orlando.

Get to know the Community Reporters

Click on the links below to read each Community Reporter’s introduction blog post, learn more about them, and see where you can follow them on social media. If you’re on Twitter, you can find everyone in the msignitelive list.

Microsoft Ignite Community Reporters

Top row from left to right:
Alistair Pugin (Office Servers & Services MVP)
Cathrine Wilhelmsen (Data Platform MVP) <- Hey mom, look, it's me! :)
Christian Buckley (Office Servers & Services MVP)
Darrell Webster (Office Servers & Services MVP)
Dux Raymond Sy (Office Servers & Services MVP)

Bottom row from left to right:
Harjit Dhaliwal (Windows and Devices for IT MVP)
Laura Rogers (Office Servers & Services MVP)
Magnus MÃ¥rtensson (Microsoft Azure MVP)
Sue Hanley (Office Servers & Services MVP)
Tom Arbuthnot (Office Servers & Services MVP)

What will you do as a Community Reporter?

My focus will be on the Microsoft Data Platform, SQL Server, Analytics, Machine Learning and AI, as well Women in Business & Technology. As the only Data Platform MVP, I won’t be able to cover everything, but I will do my best to share news and updates about a wide variety of topics. Do you have any ideas, suggestions, or even questions for any of the speakers? Let me know in a comment!

I will cross-post content to this blog throughout the week, but most of my activity will be on Twitter, so make sure you follow me there: @cathrinew.

If you want to know which sessions I’m attending, take a look at my Microsoft Ignite Schedule. Keep in mind that I have a lot of other things planned that aren’t listed in the schedule (some of them may or may not involve a camera crew!) and that my schedule might change at any time.

Finally, make sure you follow the Microsoft Ignite Blog for all the latest news and updates.

See you in Orlando?

Are you attending Microsoft Ignite? Let me know by leaving a comment. And if you see me around, make sure to say hi! If my nose is stuck to my phone screen, it only means I’m sharing something cool, I’m not trying to ignore you ;)

Cathrine Wilhelmsen is a Microsoft Ignite Community Reporter

See you in Orlando from September 25-29!

3 Mistakes I Made While Presenting Remotely

3 Mistakes I Made While Presenting RemotelyTwo years ago I wrote about my experiences presenting a webinar for the first time. I learned a lot that day, and it helped me prepare for presenting remotely. But, a webinar is not the same as a remote presentation. And as much as you prepare and rehearse, you just won’t be prepared for every little thing that might happen until you’ve experienced them. So in addition to the advice I shared in my other blog post, here are 3 of my mistakes you don’t want to make if you’re planning to start presenting remotely :)

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Biml in Belgium at SQL Server Days 2015

SQL Server Days 2015 - Cathrine WilhelmsenLast week I visited Belgium for the first time to attend and speak at my first SQL Server Days 2015. It was a truly great event, and I would like to say a huge thank you to the organizers and volunteers for making it a wonderful couple of days for speakers and attendees!

The venue was spectacular, but unfortunately none of my pictures do it justice. Take a look at the great pictures on the SQL Server Days Facebook page instead. I loved the huge open area in the middle where everyone could meet during breaks, and I was so happy there was unlimited coffee and chocolate! :) The rooms were all unique and fun to present in. One room looked like a library, another like a bar, and I presented in the room that was decorated like a train station – with trains in it!

I presented my Don’t Repeat Yourself – Agile SSIS Development with Biml and BimlScript session. It is based on my Biml introduction session, but included some of the more advanced features like C# classes / methods and Transformers in Mist. My attendees were a mix of people who were completely new to Biml, people who had tried basic Biml and people who had already created advanced Biml frameworks. It was a bit tricky to cover everything for everyone in just one hour, and I know I went too fast through a couple of demos, but I hope it wasn’t a waste of time for those of you who attended :)

The slide deck is available on SlideShare, and I have uploaded all the demo files on my Biml Resources and Reference page for you to go through at your own pace. Some instructions are included in the README.txt file, and feel free to contact me with any questions. I will continue to update the demo files with new and improved examples. You can always find the latest version on my Biml Resources and References page.

SQL Server Days 2015 - Speakers
Speakers! What a great bunch of people :)

SQL Server Days 2015 SQL Server Days 2015 - Room 4
First picture: Attendees eating lunch. Second picture: The room I presented in, wow!

Thank you so much for having me, and I hope I can come back in 2016! :)