Life and times of Avindian

I have once again been absent for some time. In particular, I’ve yet to write on the Hall of Fame election, which I plan to do in the not-too-distant future. Similarly, I have some overdue thoughts on Madden 17 to share.

I am thinking of properly starting my YouTube channel soon. I’ve gotten a little bit of experience doing some videos; once I’m a bit more comfortable, I will start posting videos. Until then, my friends!

Speaking: 2016 In Review

This has been a busy year for me as a speaker.  With my last public talk in the books, I get to take a few weeks of rest and preparation for next year.  Now, let’s see how close I got to my 2016 goals.  For reference, here’s how things looked on May 30th.

Here are my four goals:

  1. Present four new talks.
  2. Present to two brand new audiences.
  3. Speak at 12 SQL Saturdays and eight user groups.
  4. Get paid to speak at a conference.

Present Four New Talks

I had already succeeded by May 30th.  Since then, I added the following repeatable talks:

  1. Securing SQL Server
  2. R For the SQL Server Developer
  3. Getting Started with Custom Visuals in Power BI
  4. Kafka for .NET Developers

I have plans for three more talks next year.  I’ve actually gotten to the point that I’m archiving some older talks so that my active presentations page isn’t quite as large.

Present to Two Brand New Audiences

By brand new audience, I meant getting into places which almost never see relational database professionals.  I did speak at the Raleigh Future of Data group in August.  Aside from that, I spoke at the Carolina IT Pro Group in November; they’re typically sysadmins rather than developers or database administrators, and it was nice to be able to walk into a room full of people who could school me on most infrastructure items and talk to them about infrastructure (specifically, securing a SQL Server instance).  I helped them learn some, they taught me some things, and that’s how it should be.

Speak at 12 SQL Saturdays and 8 User Groups

Yep, done that.  Here’s the final breakdown for SQL Saturdays:

  1. Cleveland (2016-02-06)
  2. Tampa (2016-02-27)
  3. Chicago (2016-03-05)
  4. Richmond (2016-03-19)
  5. Madison (2016-04-09)
  6. Baltimore (2016-04-30)
  7. Jacksonville (2016-05-07)
  8. Rochester (2016-05-14)
  9. Atlanta (2016-05-21)
  10. Portland, ME (2016-06-04)
  11. Chattanooga (2016-06-25)
  12. Columbus, OH (2016-07-16)
  13. Louisville (2016-08-06)
  14. Indianapolis (2016-08-13)
  15. Spartanburg (2016-08-20)
  16. Columbus, GA (2016-08-27)
  17. Charlotte (2016-09-17)
  18. Kansas City (2016-09-24)
  19. Pittsburgh (2016-10-01)
  20. Orlando (2016-11-12)
  21. Washington, DC (2016-12-03)
  22. Providence (2016-12-10)

That was a lot of Saturdays away from home.  I have passed my user group goal as well.

All in all, I gave 53 public presentations at 45 separate events.

Get Paid to Speak at a Conference

Okay, really, that goal should be “speak at a paid conference.”  I did speak at DevTeach 2016; it was a great experience and I plan to submit again.  I also want to apply to a few more paid conferences as well, now that I have two years as a speaker under my belt.


I was able to succeed at all four goals, and I’m excited about next year.

October Presentations

After a busy summer, October is slowing down a bit on the speaking front.  As of right now, I have only three presentations lined up:

  1. SQL Saturday Pittsburgh was October 1st.  I gave my talk on integrating Hadoop with SQL Server.
  2. SQL Saturday Orlando is October 8th.  I will be giving my talk on R for SQL Server developers.
  3. The Triangle area .NET User Group (TriNUG) Data SIG is Wednesday, October 19th.  My topic is Kafka for .NET developers.  This is the first chunk of work for a larger project built around streaming data in Hadoop.

With presentations quieting down a bit, I should have some time to work more on next year’s slate of talks, but I’m saving that for another post…

Getting Started With Custom Visuals

I’m going to be presenting a new talk for the Raleigh-Durham Power BI Users Group.  The talk is entitled Getting Started with Custom Visuals and will cover a half-dozen custom visuals as well as where you can go to get more of them.

If you’re interested in seeing this in webinar form, I’m going to give a version of this talk this upcoming Tuesday at 1 PM Eastern.  Registration is free, so sign up today.

Where’s the Penguatroll?

You may be asking yourself, “Where’s that handsome gentleman who provided great content and has not at all been slacking with the content, not even a little?” I’ve undergone a rebranding in connection with my campaign to, one day, become a YouTube sensation with ALL THE VIEWERS AND SUBSCRIBERS. If you want to help me reach that goal, you can pledge some of your hard earned cash to do just that. What a bargain!*

Continue reading

August Presentations

This is going to be a big month for me, presentation-wise.  After taking a couple of weeks off from presenting, I’ve got a jam-packed month.  Here are the events, in order:

  1. On Saturday, August 6th, I will present at SQL Saturday Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky.  I’ll give my talk on integrating SQL Server with Hadoop.
  2. On Saturday, August 13th, I will present at SQL Saturday Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana.  I’m going to give my talk on integrating SQL Server with Hadoop there as well.
  3. On Tuesday, August 16th, I will give a microsession to the Triangle SQL Server Users Group.  This will be a short demonstration of using code auto-formatters to make T-SQL code more readable.
  4. On Thursday, August 18th, I am tentatively scheduled to give a talk to the Raleigh-Durham Power BI Users Group.  The talk will be on custom visualizations with Power BI, and will follow from Devin Knight’s series on the topic.
  5. On Saturday, August 20th, I will present at SQL Saturday Spartanburg in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  I will give two talks, the first on integrating SQL Server with Hadoop and the second talk on Azure ML.
  6. On Tuesday, August 23rd, I will speak at the Polyglot .NET User Group, where we’ll cover the Scala language.
  7. On Thursday, August 25th, I am tentatively scheduled to speak at the Future of Data:  Triangle user group.  My topic there will be integrating SQL Server with Hadoop.
  8. On Saturday, August 27th, I will present at SQL Saturday Columbus in Columbus, Georgia.  My topic there is the APPLY operator.

All of these events are free, and if you’re in the area, stop on by.