I’m sitting in the Panera Bread in Grove City, OH eating lunch, reminiscing about the vacation I just wrapped up in the Hocking Hills, and getting ready for my debut as a technical speaker tomorrow at SQL Saturday #117 in Columbus. It has taken a lot of patience, perseverance, and hard work to get to this point, and I’ve had to make a few sacrifices as well (like updating this blog…sorry about that). The one thing that surprised me the most is the amount of time I’ve had to invest into getting ready for a single session. I knew that there is a lot of work that goes into making a technical presentation, but I had no idea how time consuming it would be. Building the slide deck was the quick and easy part. After that came building the VMs and getting them just right (and remembering to take snapshots at the right times), building the demo scenarios, scripting and testing the demos, and then the really time consuming part: practicing. Just like in development, it seems like I need to take my time estimates, double them, and then I might be close to almost being right. 😉
The other tough part in all of this has been juggling life, work, and prepping for my sessions. I’ve been working on two different sessions and will be presenting each of those sessions twice in a one week period (split between three different speaking engagements: SQL Saturday #117 in Columbus, the Ohio North SQL Server User Group meeting next Tuesday in Cleveland, and SQL Saturday #121 in Philadelphia, PA that is a week from tomorrow). Having so much to do in such a short amount of time has been pretty tough to juggle and make sure that nothing slips through the cracks, but somehow I’ve managed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about any of this. In fact, I feel extremely honored to have been selected to speak at these events, and it’s a huge privilege to get to give back to the PASS community that has given me so much over the last year. However, I should have taken more care in submitting my abstracts, scheduling vacations, etc to give myself a little more time to prepare. I think my sessions will go fine, but it never hurts to have a little more time to practice and prepare.
Anyway, I think it’s time to grab another cup of coffee, sit back, listen to some smooth jazz music, and relax a little before my next batch of craziness kicks in. Take care, and hopefully I’ll see you at a SQL Saturday, user group meeting, or at the PASS Summit this year. 🙂