If you know me, you know I love anything technical. Whether it is computers, programming, home automation, cars, if it can be tweaked I will customize it to make it for me. I have been fortunate to have learned a lot about these different areas and share what I have learned. But this past November, I was able to share with the biggest group at one shot. My session about dbatools was picked for PASS Summit in Seattle. If you had asked me even a few years ago, I would have never thought this would happen. Once I was selected, I had to actually turn my idea into something that I could present. That was when I felt like I was out of my element. I knew what I wanted to show, but how was the best way to do it. It’s easy to talk to someone about a technical concept, even show them if it is a small group. Presenting to a large group (especially when some are remote) is a whole different ball game. I fortunately had a good support group to give me some pointers (Thanks Lisa). Thankfully it went really well (had someone tell me it was their session of the day which was kick a$$), but now I want to do more. While I love dbatools, I don’t want to be known as a one trick pony. What’s the best way to learn something that will help others in the community? How often should I blog to help be a more valuable asset to the community. One of the things that presenting has given me is a desire to give back for all the things that I learned over the years. It felt awesome to read the feedback that I helped someone be able to make their lives easier. But I want to do that more. How do I give back to a lot of different folks without waiting for a big conference? How do I travel to user groups? Are there some pointers on how to work with my boss to maybe get work to pay for travelling? Should I start doing side work to help pay for travelling? Are there resources to help make this happen (Will Idera startup Idera Ace again?).
Giving back is great, but I also would love to find out if I am actually doing the right thing for my life when it comes to my career. Should I stay in management, or should I go back to being more developer focused. I started my career in 1998 as level 1 help desk for a banking software company. Then moved to level 3 where I got to tackle the more advanced issues, like troubleshooting modem issue for our software (ATDT anyone?). Then I moved to desktop support, and I love the interactions with the users in person instead of over the phone. Then I moved in a more data focused position and there was no looking back. My parents had gotten me into databases back in the dBase IV days. Before I started my professional career, I also built an Access database (take a moment to recover from the involuntary twitch) to help run a friend’s courier service. As my career progressed, I learned more about not only SQL, but web development too (ASP anyone?). Then in the early 2000’s, the tech market got a little tight, so with a layoff, it was time to try my hand at running my own business. While I loved working for my clients, the paperwork portion (invoicing, taxes, etc.) wasn’t my cup of tea. Going back to working for someone else, while not as much fun, was much steadier. I continued down my data and web development path. To this data, even though I am almost 100% focused on data (being a Manager of Data Services and all), I still get a chance to dabble in development, or at least help. But while management is great for my love of helping to grow others, are there ways to keep my developer itch scratched?
I hope this explains why I want to Level Up. And if not, feel free to ask me more questions 🙂