RMOUG 2011 has come and gone- and it was a fantastic time for me. I loved the opportunity to talk for two days on database technology, (which my husband thanks all participants for, keeps him from wanting to jab his ears with large, sharp sticks to get away from the techno-garble that leaves his wife’s lips in droves! :)) and catch up on everyone’s lives. My presentation skills still need some work, as good as I think I am in smaller groups and especially one on one, I still have some challenges up at the podium. Every time I get on the stage, it is a challenge to control what I hide very well, I’m an ADHD and a hidden-introvert and when you put me up there, it is very difficult for me to keep from losing all access to my faculties. Luckily, I’m also stubborn and quite persistent. I’m bound and determined to learn how to push my comfort zone farther and further until I can present in larger groups as well as I do in small ones.
This year, being a member of Pythian allowed me to be recognized as both a presenter as well as an exhibitor, which was really a bit overwhelming for me, but since I’m a hidden- introvert, I hid it well..:) We shared our area with the OakTable Network, which allowed me more time with my first DBA God, Tim Gorman, (always one of my favorite people technically and personally, you just can not help but like the man) Alex Gorbachev as a newer DBA God in my world, (which he earns his place day in and day out with ease) along with the constant convoy of DBA’s and Developers that came by the booth.
I was thrilled to have Don Seiler as a Pythian coworker visiting the lovely city of Denver, (even if I was guilty of almost losing him downtown the first night..:P) He’s always fun to have around and I was able meet someone who made me feel so “virtually” welcome when I first joined Pythian. He seemed to have a great time just enjoying the conference and the twitter comments between RMOUG members became quite the topic of conversation during the conference.
I loved having the chance to meet Deb Lilley- how wonderful she is! I told her she had to keep prodding my teammate, Paul Logan into speaking back in UK, as he would be quite good at it and that was all the incentive she needed to go back after him again. She is very personable and simply lovely to be around, (plus she feeds you chocolate cake, how can you go wrong with that? :)) I also had the opportunity to meet my “sister from another mother”, Robyn Sands. She and I had a couple discussions about ADHD in the technical arena. The positives, the negatives and all the coping mechanisms in between. It was fun to listen to her relay stories with Paul Vallee about previous conferences and I can see why they get along so well! I did not get to attend either of their presentations and I really wish I could have been in two places at once!
I finally met Cary Millsap- one more DBA God down, two to go! I only spoke to him for a moment, as I have Method R sessions with him soon, but it was nice to finally meet him in person, as I chickened out last year. My DBA “group” that I hung around with thought I was crazy missing his session, but I decided it would be like watching a really long trailer to a movie I was seeing the next week with the sessions coming up and didn’t want to spoil the ending! There were so many others- Graham Wood, Mark Farnham, Randy Cunningham and Dan Fink, (between his and Tim’s presentations on my favorite subject of AWR/ASH, I was so happy to see them both!) The one I didn’t get to meet and meant to this year was Kyle Hailey. I saw him a couple times and was simply not able to get away and felt terrible when I realized I had missed him!
I was thrilled to see James Koopmann back on the presentation circuit again. James was my second DBA God after Tim Gorman took first seat in the house of DBA Olympia. It took me three weeks to realize that the “James” links in my Internet Explorer to Database Journal was the same DBA as the one I was working for. When he told me how old his children were catching up at the first night’s reception, it made me realize how many years have gone by, remembering I was just starting to figure it out as I left his care and I was only a Jr. DBA when I worked with Tim- well, at least we all seem to be aging gracefully! 🙂
Speaking of my time as a Jr. DBA, (although by the time he came on board there, I had been promoted to “DBA Coordinator”- yeah, don’t ask what that meant…LOL) spent time with Joe Sweetser- fantastic DBA, but worked as a Unix Admin when we were coworkers. He is bowling with the fantastic SQL Server DBA that introduced and trained me in the “darkside” and I was thrilled to hear how they were both doing. I can see the two of them getting along famously and was not surprised to hear that they are terrible bowlers! 😛
I was surprised how many people from previous companies sent many and others that sent none to the conference. I also missed two DBA’s who I always enjoy seeing, which included the DBA that I’ve worked with at my last two companies, (He who shall remain nameless and safe from the internet police, we shall call him “T”… :)) and also didn’t get the chance to see Rhonda Leimberg, who this year, happens to be one of my replacements at my previous position and is now T’s coworker. She was always one of my favorite people to catch up with and now we have even more to talk about with more common workplaces involved- missed seeing her terribly, but I hear we are planning Thursday lunches, so all is not lost.
This leads into my section where I get to talk about my previous workplace and how good it was to see everyone from there. I always felt a great affection for my previous coworkers and remember there was a definite pang knowing I would not see them each day as I grasped onto the opportunity with Pythian with both hands. I did spend most of my time at RMOUG with them and must thank them for their wonderful support during my presentation, (which whatever that was, no matter if people liked it or not- THAT WAS so NOT the one I practiced for weeks in front of my bathroom mirror! I do remember thinking after the conference as people came up to ask a few one-on-one questions, “Oh, there is all my data from my brain… Why not have everyone come back and sit down and I’ll give the presentation you actually came to see…” :))
I-behavior folks, you ROCK! I had so much fun hanging out with Michael Landrum, Gretchen Knudsen, Rick Eckl, (a great DBA, loved working with this guy!) Rajesh Nema, (one of my favorite people/architects) Steve Justus and Nevin Hahn, (my other replacement, but that is not a fitting title, really just need to start referring to him as a “kindred soul of techie life” instead… :P) As much of my presentation was based off an article from James Koopmann that introduced me into a direction and solution for challenges we were going through at I-behavior, it was important to have them there, as they knew what we went through and what we had accomplished.
Now, next year they may need to sit up front with small, hard objects to throw at me to dislodge my brain from limbo, but we’ll talk about that as I work through my mental block…:)