Greg Levenhagen

Greg Levenhagen Speaking
  • Location: Midwest US (UTC -6)
  • Expertise: Software Development, Community Building, Public Speaking, Strategy & Innovation, Career Development, Entrepreneurship
  • Contact: Twitter | LinkedIn

Greg Levenhagen is a Microsoft Regional Director, Microsoft MVP in Windows Development and Principal Software Engineer Consultant with Skyline Technologies. He has a great passion for giving back to the community and teaching. A true enthusiast of computer science, with passions and interests including mobile, UX, architecture, parallel, testing, agile, 3D/games, cloud, languages and much more. Greg speaks at conferences like ThatConference, CodeMash, Code PaLOUsa, TechBash, VSLive, KCDC and DevLink.

He is also a Volunteer Teacher for CS through TEALS, Microsoft Certified Trainer, board member of ThatConference, president of the Northeast WI Developers User Group / Northeast WI Code Camp / Milwaukee Code Camp, cofounder of the Northeast WI Agile User’s Group, INETA speaker, IEEE and ACM member and a PhD student.

Along with being a life-long geek, Greg enjoys golfing, football, woodworking, philosophy and stimulating conversation.

Chris O’Dell

  • Location: London, UK (UTC)
  • Expertise: CI/CD, AWS, DevOps, .Net
  • Contact: Twitter | Email

I knew I wanted to be a programmer since I was a child – computers were magical and I could make them do things simply by typing instructions into it.  I remember the first time we got the internet at home and I discovered HTML.  I decided I’d take computer classes at school despite being the only girl.  I then got a degree in Computer Science before embarking out into the world.

It was in my third job and first job in London that I gave my first presentation. I had great encouragement from colleagues and I told a familiar story – our CI/CD development practices.  It was 20 mins long and at a small meetup.

To my surprise, I was asked to give the talk again at other meetups and even a full 60 minute version at a big London conference.  Suddenly I’m a speaker!

I’ve continued to speak at events and, despite mistakes, I’m enjoying sharing knowledge and I’d like to share these skills with others.

Jessica DeVita

Hi I’m Jessica. I’ve spoken at many conferences and have coached almost 60 people through workshops and individual coaching. I’m @ubergeekgirl on twitter

Jessica DeVita

Jan Mulkens

Jan Mulkens Speaking Mentor
  • Location: Belgium (UTC +1)
  • Expertise: Applied Machine Learning with SQL Server and Azure ML Services, Power BI, Database DevOps (SQL Server), Data Integration with SSIS, Data Warehousing, Storytelling.
  • Contact: Twitter | LinkedIn

Short version:

  • Active in IT since 2010 having covered a lot of the current Microsoft Data/BI/AI Stack
  • From nervous newbie speaker in 2014 to experienced international speaker in 2017
  • Grew from attendee to blogger to speaker to User Group founder
  • Willing to provide help on all topics but most comfortable in SQL Server, Power BI, Applied Machine Learning (Azure ML & SQL Server ML Services).
  • When not able to help you, I’ll find someone for you who can help you.
  • Contact me at any time with any question

Long version:

Back in July of 2010, I was working in a call center as a sales advisor. I didn’t have a college degree due to personal circumstances at the time, but i did have a healthy dose of curiousity. In response to an internal opening, I started working with the existing reports in excel that company had. Over the course of a couple of months, I slowly started automating them while learning and experimenting with the back-end, SQL Server 2005. Finally in April of 2011, I was asked to join the IT team full time. And when I say IT team, i mean the IT Manager and me.

Fast forward to July 2014, where I joined one of the largest consultancy firms in Belgium as a Microsoft Business Intelligence Consultant. Since then, I’ve learned a lot, from working with customers to teaching and coaching new starters. But also technical skills like optimising queries for performance, setting up a data warehouse end to end, working with relevant Azure offerings and automating everything possible.

What was perhaps the largest change for me, came when I started diving into Data Science and the related offerings by Microsoft,  which at the time was only Azure Machine Learning Studio. I quickly learned the basics through online courses, including Microsoft’s Professional Program for Data Science, and was able to apply these principles when SQL Server 2016 came out with R Services. Throughout this all I had unknowingly positioned myself in such a way that in january of 2017 I was asked to pick up the secondary role of Competence Center Lead for Microsoft Advanced Analytics. Basically meaning I need to ensure everyone in our business unit has access to the necessary knowledge to serve current and future customers for offerings in this space.

Throughout this crazy personal journey I’ve been giving presentations since the end of 2014. Sharing what i’ve learned at user groups and conferences, has so far been an absolute joy. The feeling you get when someone comes up to you afterwards and talks about the new insights they got through your talk is almost addictive. It also enabled me to get new insights myself by talking with a very diverse audience, each with different use cases. And it helped me to learn more about the international community around SQL Server and what other people are doing at their employers and customers. Being quickly integrated into the speaker community where you can learn even more and help even more people is one of the surprising side effects of speaking.

However, as an employee for a consultancy firm and not being my own boss, this doesn’t come easy or cheaply. I’ve been paying for my own travel expenses to speak at 15 events in 2017 and as of february 2018 I’m already accepted at 10 events for 2018 with 11 more currently pending a decision.

So one of my goals, apart from helping you out, is ensuring that you’re in a position to someday offer others help with writing an abstract or creating a presentation. Or perhaps you might one day help a user group or even start your own user group!

Wouter de Kort

  • Location: Netherlands (UTC +1)
  • Expertise: Software development on the Microsoft stack, DevOps, Azure.
  • Contact: Twitter | LinkedIn

We’ve got our first computer when I was 6 years old. After discovering Solitaire I started playing with Quick Basic when I was 7. I’ve been programming ever since. Currently, I work as a lead architect and consultant where I try to help organizations stay on the cutting edge of software development.

My main focus is around Microsoft and DevOps.  I wrote a couple of books on C#, Azure and DevOps and of course I like to speak! I try to present as often as possible at local user groups and national and international conferences. I’ve given talks to small groups to rooms filled with hundreds of people.  Something that really helped me with all this is my experience as a part time minister. In that capacity I gave a lot of talks, received all kinds of speaking training and coached people of all levels to present their ideas.

Because of all this Microsoft awarded me the Microsoft MVP Visual Studio and Development Technologies award. I’m also a part of the Microsoft ALM Rangers.

I like helping others so feel free to reach out. We can work on anything you want ranging from choosing a topic, finding a conference to speak at to reviewing your slides and practicing your presentation.

John Morehouse

  • Location: Kentucky (UTC -5)
  • Expertise: SQL Server and DevOps (well, I like to think so).
  • Contact: Twitter | LinkedIn

I’m a SQL Server DBA living in Kentucky.  I started off as an accidental DBA as most of us do.  Started working with SQL Server full time in 2007.  Anywho, several years ago I recognized that to grow career wise within the field, speaking would really help.

So I signed up to co-present with a lead developer on 10 Things Your DBA Wished You Knew at the Heartland Developers Conference (HDC) in Omaha, Nebraska.

Fast forward a couple of months and it was time.  My first ever public speaking session was give to 130 people.  To 130 really smart people.  To 130 Developer oriented people who probably didn’t like their DBA to begin with.  Yikes!!  Talk about nerve wrecking.

But I got through it.   I didn’t die.  I didn’t faint.

Actually, I loved it.   I had people asking me questions for over an hour after the presentation.  I was hooked and never looked back.

Public speaking is hard no question about it.   However, even with how hard it may seem, YOU have a story to tell so let’s tell it.  Like me, you’ll make it through just fine.

You can reach me via LinkedIn or Twitter

Gavin Campbell

  • Location: UK (UTC+0)
  • Expertise: Data, Databases, Continuous Delivery, Azure, AWS
  • Contact: website

I’m a freelance database developer interested in applying the lessons of Continuous Delivery and Agile to database and PaaS application development.

I’ve been speaking at meetups and conferences off and on for about five years, mostly in short bursts of manic activity with long gaps in between.  Some years ago, I did benefit from some semi-formal training in public speaking through the ASC.

I’ve also been an organiser and volunteer at a number of conferences and meetups, meaning that I have a good understanding of the logistical side of public speaking.

Alex Yates

  • Location: UK (UTC +0)
  • Expertise: DevOps with relational databases (primarily SQL Server). The GDPR. Telling stories.
  • Contact: Twitter | LinkedIn

10 years ago I graduated with a drama degree in the middle of the financial crisis. After a few years pouring pints, looking after kids and being a ski bum I fluked a sales job at a software company.

In 2014 I started a blog and delivered my first technical talk at a user group. I was nervous about the talk because why would any dev or DBA want to listen to a sales guy like me? Also, demoing to a live audience terrified me. My fingers were shaking over the keyboard and the mouse and I had a lump in my throat.

It went pretty badly. The demo was ok but I mumbled a lot, spoke far too quickly and still overran by half an hour. However, over the following months I got some great advice about how to improve from some wonderful, generous people. I will forever be grateful to those folks who helped me without asking for anything in return.

Fast-forward a few years: In 2017 I delivered 43 sessions at 34 events in 10 countries about Database DevOps and the GDPR and was awarded a Microsoft MVP award.

I am now the director of DLM Consultants and a co-organiser of SQL Relay. I’ve grown to be passionate about the value of the tech community and I aspire to help other people the way I was was helped. I’m happy to spend time with any new speaker to help them to make a positive contribution to to the community.

You can reach me on LinkedIn and Twitter and I’m excited to hear what you have to say. 🙂