On July 23rd I will be speaking at SQLSaturday Sacramento 2016! This will be my first time visiting California, so I’ve planned a day of sightseeing in San Francisco before heading up to Sacramento. There’s a big chance I’ll melt in the Californian summer heat and never come back, haha! But hopefully I’ll be able to finish my sessions first :D
This will be the first time I present two sessions at one SQLSaturday. My first session is Level Up Your Biml: Best Practices and Coding Techniques. Depending on your previous experience with Biml and C#, this is an intermediate or advanced session. I’ll cover things like code management, LINQ and how to create your own C# classes and methods.
My second session is Tools and Tips: From Accidental to Efficient Data Warehouse Developer. This is a fun, fast-paced session with a whole bunch of tips and tricks. I don’t really go into details on anything, but I hope that new developers can pick up a thing or two. And here’s a little secret for you: I will be giving away a free software license to one lucky attendee in this session! And maybe a book or two. And definitely some Norwegian chocolate if you want to try it.
The first time I submitted to PASS Summit was in 2015. My Lightning Talk was accepted, and I was so excited about getting the opportunity to speak at the largest SQL Server conference in the world! I had a fantastic time, so I decided to try again and submit for PASS Summit 2016 as well.
While on vacation in Spain with my family, I woke up to an e-mail from PASS HQ. The Call for Speakers Results! I was reading the e-mail on my phone, so it felt like I was scrolling and reading and scrolling and reading and scrolling and reading until I finally got to the actual results.
I didn’t just get one of my sessions accepted. I got 2 general sessions and 1 lightning talk accepted. I nearly fainted! I had to read it several times before it sunk in. I’m going to speak at PASS Summit 2016. Not once. Not twice. But three times in one week.
I have mixed feelings. I’m super excited, super happy, and extremely honored to be selected! But I also know several amazing speakers who definitely should speak at the PASS Summit who weren’t selected this year. In one way it feels like I stole a session from someone who deserves it more than me. At the same time, I literally jumped around of joy when I read my e-mail. It’s difficult. I’m happy that I was selected, I’m happy for the other speakers who were selected, I’m especially happy for my friends who are speaking at the PASS Summit for the first time, but I’m also sad to hear about all my friends who weren’t selected. But next year! I’ll cross my fingers that it’s their turn next year :)
My sessions at PASS Summit 2016
I will present three sessions at PASS Summit 2016:
The Biml for Beginners session is one of my favorites, and I’m so happy I get to present it at PASS Summit! :D I’m happy I have 15 minutes extra compared to the usual 60-minute sessions at SQLSaturdays. It allows me to go a little more into detail on some of my demos, or spend more time on audience questions. This is going to be fun!
I’m also really excited about presenting a Professional Development session and a Lightning Talk version of it. Volunteering has truly changed my life. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for getting involved in the PASS and SQL Server community. I hope that I can pay it forward and inspire someone else to get involved – maybe an upcoming SQLSaturday organizer or speaker? :)
Every PASS Summit I’ve been to has been a new and unique experience. I can’t wait to see what PASS Summit 2016 is going to be like! I’m sure I will be freaking out about my sessions :D But I also know I will have lots of fun, and I can’t wait to see lots of friends from all over the world again. YAY!
Several speakers have shared their abstract feedback after the results were made public. Brent Ozar has added a list of these speakers to his own feedback post. I appreciate the transparency, I learn a lot from reading other people’s feedback, and I hope that it will help the community as a whole and improve the selection process next year – so I’m jumping on the bandwagon :)
The recording of SQLHangout #37 is now available! In this SQLHangout, Monica Rathbun (@SQLEspresso) shares her advice on how to survive as the lone DBA. How do you survive and keep your sanity when you’re the only database person in your company? How do you find help and avoid getting overwhelmed? The keyword is networking :)
SQLHangout #37 – Being the Lone DBA with Monica Rathbun
Do you want to participate in a SQLHangout some day? Let me know! :) If you don’t want to participate in a SQLHangout yourself, but you have an idea for a topic or speaker, use this form or tweet and use the #SQLHangout hashtag.
I admit it, I was late to the smart phone party. In 2012 I still had a Sony Ericsson G502, and I was perfectly happy with it. I could call and send text messages, and it had the familiar T9 keyboard that I knew how to use without looking at the phone. I searched for smart phones for years without finding one that I really wanted.
The happy Windows Phone years
Then I found the Nokia Lumia 800 and immediately fell in love. The Windows Phone operating system really appealed to me with its minimalist design. And it was pink! I bought one in February 2012 and loved how simple, fast and responsive it was. I loved it.
In 2014, I broke it :( The screen cracked. I may have cried a little.
After a short period using a borrowed HTC One Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 930 was finally released in Norway. No pink version this time, so I bought the bright acid green one instead. Because colors :) I was once again really happy with my phone. The phone itself is wonderful, I love the look and feel of it, and the upgrade from Windows Phone 7.5 to Windows Phone 8 came with a bunch of great improvements.
The “only 1% of our users use Windows Phone, so we don’t have an app for you” stage
I was patient. I waited. I defended the Windows Phone – and I still like the look and feel of it. Windows 10 would make everything so much better! I don’t need all those apps I can’t get anyway! Things will be better Soon™
But two years later, I changed my mind. It was a difficult decision, being a Microsoft girl. I really wanted the Windows Phone to be awesome. But it wasn’t. It was slowly dying. Sorry, Microsoft! I tried, I really, really tried.
It wasn’t fun to feel left out because I couldn’t see all the pictures and videos of my niece and family on SnapChat. It wasn’t very productive having to click Select → Move → Trash to delete my Gmail e-mails because the Delete button actually only archived the e-mail and labelled it “Deleted Item”. (Oh, that wonderful day when I discovered that and had to sort through several thousand e-mails that I thought I had deleted. SO FUN!) It was sad only having beta version of apps for several years, apps I needed, apps that crashed frequently, apps that were never fixed or updated. Sure, there were workarounds to many issues. But too many workarounds are cumbersome.
The “OMG Android!?” future
In 2016, I finally made up my mind and bought a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Android phone.
IT’S A WHOLE NEW WORLD!
(A new fantastic point of view! ♫)
I was worried that it would take me a long time to get used to Android, that it would feel chunky and cluttered, that there were ten thousand things I had to dig through to find what I wanted. All based on my brief experience with Android phones back in 2012. And I’m happy to say that I was very wrong.
The phone is extremely easy to understand and use, and it’s very fast and responsive. I did spend some time customizing and tweaking things, but I did that on my Windows Phone as well. (I could never decide how to move those tiles around!) In less than a day, it felt like my phone.
It’s a beautiful phone. I adore the vibrant colors and the crisp and clean look and feel. The fingerprint sensor is such a relief to have after typing the wrong pin code approximately 2147483647 times. Both cameras take fantastic pictures. The edge panels gives me even easier access to the things I use the most. The speech-to-text and “OK Google” features actually work really great. It’s such a great user experience that I’m fine with Google knowing more about me and my life and my habits than me :)
More importantly – it makes me productive. (Or… well… at least when I’m trying to be productive and not just playing with all the new, shiny apps and features!) It has all the apps I need, everything is integrated seamlessly, and it all feels smooth and responsive.
On June 18th I will be speaking at SQLSaturday Iceland! This is my first time visiting Iceland (and not just the airport in Reykjavik), and I’m really looking forward to spending a couple of days there. I get to celebrate Iceland’s national day on June 17th, and it’s also right before the summer solstice so the days will be looooong and bright :)
I will present my Biml for Beginners: Speed up your SSIS development session. This is one of my favorite sessions to present, and I will also be around the rest of the day if you want to chat, have any questions, or if you just want me to go through some of the content from my advanced Biml sessions.
If you want more hands-on Biml experience, check out Rasmus Reinholdt’s pre-conference workshop Building tomorrows ETL architecture with BIML and MDS today. You’ll get a full day of training for a very reasonable price. Just note that the SQLSaturday Iceland pre-conference workshops are on Thursday, June 16th, because Friday is Iceland’s national day.
Also, last week I started working for Advania, an Icelandic company. I hope to meet some of my new coworkers there! :D
Make sure you register now so you don’t end up on a wait list, and join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #SQLSatIceland. Hope to see you in a couple of weeks! Come and say hi when you see me :)