This past weekend I attended SQL Saturday San Diego, AKA, #SQLSat157. This was my first time speaking at this event and I want to give lots of thanks and kudos to the organizers for putting on a fine event.
Because I arrived in town early to meet with friends from both the space and data world, I was able to visit the San Diego Air and Space Museum. It was fitting that it was the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s Rice University speech on space exploration:
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
Not only is this fitting for motivating a generation to invest in space exploration, it’s fitting for professional development work, too. We attend and speak at SQL Saturdays not because it’s easy, but because we need goals to serve to organize the best of our energies and skills. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been inspired to learn something new because I saw a fellow community member demonstrate how it could help make life for end users or co-workers better. And SQL Saturday gives me a full day of these sorts of workshops and demos…all for free. How great is that? It means giving up a Saturday and for those of us who travel to speak, 2-3 days plus expenses. And yet every time I leave one, I think "That was so worth it".
I spoke three times at this SQL Saturday: DB Design Throwdown, the Women in Technology Panel, and Career Management for Data Professionals. Between those, I was able to see just a couple more sessions. I really enjoyed Lynn Langit’s (@lynnlangit | blog) NoSQL for the SQL Server Developer. Lynn did a fabulous job explaining the differences between SQL and NoSQL technologies, as well as demoing MongoDB and cloud-based technologies. You should spend some time on her blog; she has a lot of great stuff with plenty of videos and demos.
I also had the pleasure of being on the WIT panel with Lynn. This panel, moderated by Tara Kizer, focused mostly on how we can energize the next generation of girls (and boys) to be interested in IT careers. Lynn is doing some fabulous stuff over on http://teachingkidsprogramming.org, where she and her partner, Llewellyn Falco (@llewellynfalco | blog ) are building a framework for, well, teaching kids programming.
I talked about the importance of talking with girls in your life, which is my usual homework assignment for attendees. Having someone in the IT profession share the fact that the industry isn’t just about typing and programming can make a real difference to a girl who just needs to hear that IT professionals can make a difference in the world. In fact, I have another blog post coming up soon on that topic.
Download the Database Design Throwdown: The Trailer presentation.
Download the Career Management for Data Professionals presentation.
I recently talked with my good friend Denny Cherry (@mrdenny | blog) about my experience at the NoSQL Now! conference and working with NoSQL technologies. Denny’s new podcast series is called People Talking Tech and he has other interesting topics and people coming up soon.
My comments focused on how at the NoSQL professionals understand that it means "Not Only SQL" and can’t mean "No SQL" and have much of a future. Using the right tool for the right job. Cost, benefit, risk and all.
One of the things we talked about on the closing panel is "how do you find somebody that is a good architect who can tell you which types of technologies you can use for which use cases…"
Even though many people talk about NoSQL needing no architecture, we still need people to help choose when and what NoSQL technologies to use. Seems to me that having experience working hands-on with relational and NoSQL technologies is going to be hugely valuable in the next couple of years. If you have relational experience, now is the time to start learning about non-relational ones.
By the way, we talked a bit about database security. Denny’s new edition of his book Securing SQL Server, Second Edition: Protecting Your Database from Attackers has recently been released. Check it out.
I was interviewed by Shannon Kempe of Dataversity.net about my career and my experiences being a woman in technology. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the diversity issues in technology and all STEM sectors. Unlike some, I don’t think we need to see the diversity of the general population reflected in the technology world, but it does bother me that we see so many classes of people underrepresented. I tend to focus on the gender classification, but that’s not the only group of people missing from our team.
I also talked about people who think that there is no issue, or that continuing to work to ensure that obstacles are removed is wasted effort — either because there is no problem or that working harder at your job is a better solution.
My interview is part of series about women in Data Management. Check out the interview and let me know what you think. Are we wasting our time working towards a more diverse IT workforce?
I’ll be doing two sessions at SQL Saturday San Diego this weekend:
The first is with co-presenter, Tom LaRock (@sqlrockstar | blog), where we debate, whine (Tom) and win (me) several database design approaches and methods in front of a live audience (you!). This is a warm up for our PASS Summit spotlight presentation.
Database Design Throw Down
Karen and Tom debate about the options and best practices of common and advanced design issues, such as: * Natural vs. Surrogate keys * NULL vs NOT NULL * Datatypes * Agile Database Design * Database Refactoring * Identity Crisis ? …and others. Bring your votes, your debates, and your opinions. Help us figure out who’s right and who wrong…or less right.
Session Level: Intermediate
My second presentation is on career management.
Career Management for Data Professionals
Career Success in Data Management during Turbulent Times: A workshop on issues and ideas that today’s data professionals can do to build their careers and networking skills with other data management professionals. Workshop topics will include: • Demonstrating your expertise • Building a portfolio of your success stories • Getting others to sell your skills and business value • Building & extending your data management skill set • 10 Steps to highlighting you and your work Bring your thoughts, ideas, and experiences.
Session Level: Beginner
There are many great speakers at this event and it’s FREE for a full day of learning. Registration is still open, but it is common for these events to sell out before the event. Register now!
I’ll be returning to the DAMA Puget Sound (Seattle) group to give an advanced data modeling presentation on how to add more value and be more valued while you data model. This is a great group and I hope you can join us.
Advanced Data Modeling: Be Happier, Be More Valued and Add More Value
In this presentation, Karen will discuss the current state of data modeling and data architecture efforts and where we need to be in the current development and database environment to continue to provide value. Topics will include:
· If the modeler isn’t happy, the data isn’t happy
· Data Modeling in an Agile / SCRUM / modern development projects
· Big Data and other euphemisms
· NoSQL, not-only SQL non-relational, post-relational or whatever you want to call them
· Tools: Where are we, where do we need to be
· Being physical doesn’t mean you have to get dirty
· 10 Steps to happiness, being valuable and providing value
This presentation will be highly interactive, highly relevant and mostly irreverent. As usual.
Sr. Project Manager & Architect, InfoAdvisors
Karen Lopez is a Senior Project Manager and Architect for InfoAdvisors. A frequent speaker at conferences and local user groups, she has 20+ years of experience in project and data management on large, multi-project programs. Karen is a chronic volunteer, a SQL Server MVP, and an active advocate for WIT and Data Quality.
Karen’s presentations are known for their lively and interactive approach to learning. Her motto: I want you to Love Your Data!
This is an evening event and there is a fee to register. See the DAMA PS website for more information on registering.
Do you work with a fabulous Data Steward? You should nominate him or her for a Dataflux Stewie Award as part of International Data Steward Day, 11 October 2012. I’ll be part of a team of elite ninja judges evaluating data stewards for their awesomeness at caring and nurturing good data practices. Fellow judges Jill Dyché, David Loshin, Jim Harris, Phil Simon, Joyce Norris-Montanari and last year’s winner, Barbara Deemer will be looking to see how well you Love Your Data. Also, you need to visit that page just to see their yearbook photos, too.
Data Stewards Class of 2012!
It’s that time of year again, when we honor the best and brightest – the experts who not only manage your company’s data, but keep your business running behind the scenes. In other words, your data steward.
From now until September 24, we’re taking nominations for the 2nd Annual Data Steward of the Year Award, also known as the Stewie. It’s an honor reserved for folks who’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done – the true honor students of the data management world.
A special sneak peek of the winner will be revealed at IDEAS 2012 in Las Vegas on October 10. After that, we’ll publicly announce this year’s Stewie Award winner on Data Stewards Day: October 11, 2012. That means the clock is ticking and you have limited time to submit your nomination. Ready?
With each nomination you’ll get some rocking buttons – you may have seen me sporting some on my backpack recently. They have some snark, so they are perfect for experienced data professionals.
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