Posts tagged Ramblings

We are the people our parents warned us about — T-SQL Tuesday

Its TSQL Tuesday time again, and this month the topic is being hosted by Steve Jones ( Blog | @Twitter )  The topic at hand is related to interacting with business users or more Specifically, “What issues have you had in interacting with the business to get your job done”


We are the people, they couldnt figure out!

We are the people our parents warned us about — Jimmy Buffett

 

A Different Twist

What If you were the business user who had the business “issues”?  I’ve been the business user that is the subject of every technogeek stereotype.  You know, the one who doesnt really know what they want until they see it.  Yeah, I was/am that guy.  As a matter of fact, Ive been that guy recently.  You see, I have two jobs that put me in that sort of position relatively often.  In my day job I manage a team of Database Professionals (Excellent ones I’d add! )   In my “night” job, I volunteer for PASS.  In both of these roles I often see the need to have something built and anytime something gets built by IT there can be issues. 

Change

In order to succeed at completing your job/project/task its often easiest to go ahead and plan on change.  Change is in my estimation at the root of 95% of all issues when dealing with business needs.  Things change often and no matter how many times you think things are static on both sides of the project equation (requirements vs development) they will surely change again.  Ive found that no matter how thourough I have been in coming up with a decent set of requirements before asking for work to be done, in the end something always changes.  Often I will have no control over those changes but, many times something comes up that changes things and this always causes the “issues” between both sides of a project.  Change is actually a good thing, If every project Ive been involved with were implimented exactly as first envisioned (no changes) I suspect things would be considerably different, and not in a good way!!

Communicaton

After sitting at both sides of the desk, you begin to realize the easiest way to eliminate issues between the people who have needs and wants and those IT Guru’s trying to make them a reality is a very open line of communication and trust.  Once you succeed at opening that communication line, all tasks become easier.  With open communication change becomes less of an issue and dare I say it: a bit more acceptable to everyone.  This is the first line of defense in solving  issues before they even become issues!

We’re not crazy

Despite rumors to the contrary the people who need work done AKA “business users” arent totally crazy and intentionally trying to make everyones lives difficult with constant changes.  Often times we are just as frustrated that our needs (or requirements) are changing as the IT Gurus are for having to accomidate those changes.  Once the communication lines are open between all parties, things get considerably easier and the impact of those changing needs can be efficiently weighed against the timelines, costs, etc of the task/project

Developing Better SQL Speakers

I’ve been focusing on different aspects of speakers and their interactions with PASS lately.  Id like to expand on that and take a large detour.

The AHA Moment

last week while going over some ideas and upcoming changes to the PASS Program Committee with my PASS boss, Jeremiah Peschka I had what I think is a great idea, and Id like to throw it out here and see If I cant help get it off the ground.

Speaker Development

It seems like a lot of the suggestions I’ve been getting lately with regards to the program haven’t really been relevant to the problem I was trying to solve.  At first I thought I wasn’t explaining myself properly or I was writing in the same manner my brain works (all over the place) .  Then It donned on me, maybe I’m trying to solve the wrong problem.  (I know this was definitely one of my greatest moments of clarity).  In a lot of what we do in the program committee we’re really not positioned to help speakers grow perse.  But, speakers still need help, they still want to refine their craft, learn new tricks, etc.  I know I for one would love to get started speaking but, while I can tell who is a good speaker, I certainly don’t know how they got that way, surely they weren’t born with it!!!

The BIG Idea

Why cant we make a new Virtual Chapter within PASS for speaker development.  I think this would provide a great venue for speaker development,  It would be great if we could get the best speakers within the SQL community to give a monthly livemeeting about the different aspects of developing speaking skills.  The topics could range from how to prepare for a topic, how to craft a great abstract, how to create great audience interactivity, how to create great demo’s/powerpoints etc etc.  There are literally hundreds of topics that I could see being presented that would be of great use to developing speakers.  If the idea takes off, I could foresee an exchange of sorts, where hopeful speakers are matched up with experts for mentoring.  Think SQLMatch.com where you look for a mentor for your SQL related speaking!  I think with my grand total of 0 sessions experience I wouldn’t be an appropriate person to lead this VC but, I would certainly be willing to help another more qualified person with the details and help out anywhere needed. 

How can I see this through

If only I had some contacts in the SQL speaker community  who would be willing to present on these topics?  Surely there are some talented SQL Speakers that would be willing to step up to the plate and offer to help out those of us just trying to start the process of learning to present.  Getting willing speakers to talk about these topics should be the hard part, the scheduling/leading the VC should be pretty easy but its still additional work.

So…… Which SQL Community Speaker/Leader wants to help me, help the community, and make this happen?  I’m totally open to any ideas, I’d just like to see this get started!

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