Looking at the calendar, it’s time for that end of year review. What did my 2021 look like in the SQL Community?
Looking back, I spoke a total of 16 times this past year, including one lightning talk. I thought this was going to be a tremendous drop off but it was only a few times less than 2020, so I seem to be maintaining a consistent average of once a month with a few more thrown in for good measure. All of my presentations this year were virtual.
I managed to get 14 blog posts done this year as well, including this one. In some ways, it feels like I’m cheating because the majority of them were T-SQL Tuesdays, but a blog post is still a blog post. It’s also not as many as I did in 2020, which happened to be 20 posts. I have a bunch of ideas for additional posts so hopefully I’ll get to those soon.
I did some mentoring and some moderating at virtual events. I have to say that I really enjoyed those opportunities. I probably learned more from the sessions I moderated than the ones I normally just attend because I have to stay engaged to make sure that I can pass along comments or questions or help the speaker when needed. I love feeling engaged in the sessions and it’s just harder for me with virtual events.
So What’s Next?
I have to be honest…. I don’t know.
Right now, I am not scheduled to speak anywhere until the end of May. To be honest, some of this is my doing where I haven’t submitted to events. If I look at what is open for the Data Community, there are some opportunities but not a lot. Most things are still virtual but virtual event fatigue is real. Some in-person events are coming back. Some of them are ones that I probably would not be able to get to permission to attend and others were awfully tempting but timing and\or travel were issues. There’s still a little too much in the air and it’s a little less stressful to wait it out another year. There may be some hybrid things coming up in 2022 so hopefully we’ll be in a better state with the pandemic overall and I can get to those.
But I also don’t have any user group sessions lined up either, except the one in May. I know most user groups plan months out in advance as well so unless there is a cancellation, they’re probably set by now. I’m not someone who is great about marketing myself to User Groups by going to leaders directly and saying I’m available. (Well, I guess while I’m talking about it, I can give it a try: Hey UG Leaders, I’m available to talk!)
In some ways, I’m worried that I’m a speaker without a platform. But it does feel like opportunities are drying up. I still feel like people I know who were active speakers before the pandemic hit aren’t speaking. I confess that this is a gut feeling and I haven’t gone through the numbers, but I worry that people are getting lost. I do hope that I’m wrong. But personally for me, I acknowledge that I don’t always look for new opportunities outside our data community so I may be missing out. I know so many people who are constantly speaking so maybe I’m a little envious of their tenacity and luck at finding all of these great places.
I would also love to come up with some new sessions. Don’t get me wrong, I like the ones that I have. But it would be great to start coming up with some new ones so they can be ready when I’m ready and have events to submit for. The other problem I seem to be having is figuring out what to talk about. If you have a topic for me, let me know!
But to be the optimist that I like to be, I think having a small break in my schedule over the next couple of months could be a good things. Andy Yun and I have a major life event coming up over the next couple months (we’re getting married!!!) so I can focus more on that. I’m also switching focus with what I’m doing with data in my day to day job to a more data governance oriented role. There’s a lot of learning that I need to do and hopefully I’ll find ways to share in my adventures.
I’ve also wanted to do something more with mentoring. I haven’t figured out what or how, but I have some ideas and I know that I need help. Hopefully downtime from speaking will allow me to find some people interested and we can make something happen.
There is a part of me that’s a little bummed about how quiet I may be in the community for the beginning of 2022, but I think I will frame it as a regrouping. I’m still looking forward to what’s to come. Hope all of you stay safe and healthy in all meanings of those words.
Happy New Year, #sqlfamily!!! May 2022 be better than 2021!