something else we learned while presenting. When you think of presenting, you would think the entire process is all about things you already know. I mean, if you didn’t know it, why would you be presenting in the first place. I say that because it is why it took me so long to do my first presentation. There are a lot of things I learned for that first presentation, but what follows is the something I would have never expected.
My first presentation was put together with my good friend Dan White (@crashdan). I was just in my first job as a DBA after being a developer most of my career. We did a presentation on real world use cases for DBA Tools. For those that don’t know what DBA Tools is, it is a community created toolset for SQL written in PowerShell. I have said before, and will continue to say, that it is the way I became a successfully transition to being a DBA. The whole community supports it, and it helps soften the learning curve for most things SQL. While working on the presentation, there were things I learned about standards across the toolset, such as common parameter names, common command names and being able to leverage the output from the commands.
But what I will always remember about the first time we gave the presentation at SQL Saturday is not only a piece of knowledge, but also how I learned it. We were fortunate to have a few friendly faces in the audience, most in the front row (still not sure how I feel about that). What I found out after was that there were multiple published MS MVP’s in the audience. After the presentation, one of those MVP’s, Sarah Dutkiewicz (@sadukie), came up to provide some pointers on the presentation, but also to help teach me a couple things about PowerShell that I did not know. As part of the presentation, one of the things I call out to help make things easier is leveraging profiles within PowerShell. This gives you the ability to write functions that you use often. Things like getting an array of all of the SQL servers in your environment, or your own custom logic functionality. What I did not know is that was only one of a multitude of profiles you can work with. While notepad $Profile will open your current user profile (Current User; Current Host), there are 3 other profile files. You also have Current User; All Hosts, All Users; Current Host and finally, All Users; All Hosts. These different profiles allow for easy distribution of functions across your entire team. As we all know, being able to leverage this kind of standardization is huge. You can read about profiles here, https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/microsoft.powershell.core/about/about_profiles.
There are a couple things that this learning experience helped me with. It reinforced how powerful the #sqlfamily is and dedicated the members of the “family” are to helping everyone continue to grow and increase our skills. It also helped get over the stage freight and “imposter” syndrome that I had. Having someone who is an MVP on the core of the topic you are presenting on tell you that you did a good job, and here are some things to help is HUGE. Sarah treated me like an equal, even though her knowledge was way more than I had on the topic. What I learned while preparing and giving the presentation is not only do you have the opportunity to share your unique viewpoint on your topic, but you also have the chance to learn even more, and not just about your topic.