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Ready for Microsoft Ignite 2018!

My Microsoft Ignite week is just about to start, and I’m SO excited! I’ve been looking forward to this week since last year, and it’s finally here, yay :) 

Microsoft Ignite: See you in Orlando!

Since this is such a huge, special event, I try to make the most of it. And funnily enough, that means… Attending fewer sessions! Yep, that’s right. It sounds a little strange for a conference, I know. But to me, the biggest value comes from meeting other people, and maybe even help someone else. So while I have a few sessions on my must-see list, my schedule is packed with other fun things:

Sessions

Cathrine Wilhelmsen Speaking At Microsoft Ignite 2018

I’m presenting two sessions this year, so they are obviously on my list of things to do ;) You can read about my sessions in my previous blog post Speaking (Twice!)

Live Streams and Recordings

Microsoft Ignite: Stream it Live from September 24-28

If you can’t make it to Microsoft Ignite this year, don’t worry! You can live stream all the sessions from September 24-28th, or watch the recordings on-demand from September 25th.

Group Idea Swaps and Mentoring

In addition to presenting two technical sessions, I will be leading two Group Idea Swaps and Mentoring sessions. Each group consists of only 8-10 attendees, so it will be much more like a conversation than a presentation. I’m really looking forward to this! I love how Microsoft has added this to focus more on interaction and personal connections this year :)

My two Group Idea Swaps are:

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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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Speaking and Volunteering at SQLBits 2018

Cathrine Wilhelmsen Speaking at SQLBits 2018

It’s that time of year again… The largest, coolest, geekiest, most awesome party of the year is just around the corner! Oh, and there’s this conference attached to the party as well. SQLBits 2018: Magic Edition. You may have heard of it? :D

SQLBits is the largest SQL Server and Microsoft Data Platform conference in Europe. It has 4 days of training and over 170 sessions by both the Microsoft Product Group and community speakers. It’s a professional conference in all ways, and it’s organized entirely by a group of dedicated volunteers. That’s right, it’s a pure community event, and it’s fantastic.

I was a speaker and volunteer at SQLBits 2015 (Superhero Edition), a precon speaker at SQLBits 2016 (Space Edition), a PASS representative at SQLBits 2017 (Disco Edition), and I’m very happy to go back to where I started as a speaker and volunteer at SQLBits 2018 (Magic Edition). I was actually really bummed when I wasn’t a volunteer, it’s so much fun helping out to make it a smooth conference for attendees and getting to know all the other wonderful volunteers. This year, I’m back! Yay :)

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Volunteering and Speaking at SQLBits XIV

SQLBits XIV Superhero Edition was my first SQLBits experience, and it was a truly amazing week!

I want to start with a massive thank you to the organizers: Darren Green, Simon Sabin, James Rowland-Jones, Chris Testa-o’neill, Allan Mitchell, Jonathan Allen and Annette Allen. You guys did one heck of a job to make this the best conference in the universe! :) I also want to say thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers and speakers who made this a great event. And to all the attendees, I hope you had a blast and that I’ll see you again next year!

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Thankful

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Norway, but I wanted to participate in “What Are You Thankful For?” hosted by Bob (@SQLBob) this year. Instead of posting on a day we don’t celebrate in my country, I decided to wait until the first Sunday in Advent. It marks the start of the time of year where I spend the most time with my family and feel truly thankful for so many things in my life.

I’m thankful for my closest family. My parents, my older sister, my niece, and my dad’s best friend who has been my uncle for as long as I can remember. We have and always will be there for each other, no matter what. At the age of 27 I still look forward to going home and spending time with my family, and I’m lucky to have them in my life.

I’m thankful for wonderful friends, coworkers and #SQLFamily, more than I will ever be able to explain. I had no network and have been fighting a depression and all its nasty companions for many years. Getting to know these people and having them in my life to share smiles, laughs, experiences and memories with, who challenge me to become a better person, who welcomed me from day one… They changed my life and keep me going every day. Thank you.

I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to help others. I discovered Kiva years ago and instantly fell in love with the idea of microloans and helping people create better lives for themselves. I believe it’s important for everyone to achieve something, and I hope that the borrowers are left with a feeling of “I did this! I did this!” when they’ve paid back their loan. $25 is so little to me, but it can change someone’s life. In Norway I support The Church City Mission in Oslo because they work hard for a better society for everyone.

I’m thankful I’m healthy, I have a secure job, I live in a safe country where I will get help if I need it, I get to travel and see new places, I get to experience four seasons with dark winters and the overwhelming joy when it gets lighter and warmer. I’m thankful I have so many things to be thankful for :)