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.

Richard Munn

Richard Munn - Cassandra - Bristol Feb 18
  • Location: Wiltshire, UK (UTC)
  • Expertise: SQL Server, Windows, some Linux, some BigData, some fun…
  • Contact: Twitter | LinkedIn

Hi.

Thanks for picking me. Or, if you haven’t picked me and I just turned up randomly, “hi” as well. How has your day been ?

I guess you want to know a little bit about me, and why I’m more than happy to give up my time for you. See, I’ve always thought that people don’t talk enough. Sure, we communicate, but that’s too easy and not really helping anyone to grow. So, that’s why I’m talking to you now…

I started being a geek a long time ago (it was a Dragon32, if you must know). After a brief failure to study for a Batchelor’s Degree, I worked as a Legal Executive, a production-line operative, and a burglar alarm salesman. Getting tired of that, I fibbed a bit and said I could work Excel (hey, I’d used Lotus 123 at home – how hard could it be ? That ‘Windows 3.1’ wouldn’t take off, though).

After a while, I moved into data, and that’s pretty much where I’ve been since 1998.

I’ve always enjoyed showing-off… errm… sorry, ‘Presenting’ but as a confirmed geek, it took a while for me to be able to put that social awks aside, find my voice, and get out into the world. I took sandwiches, you know, I case I got lost…

My first real ‘public’ session was at a Lightning Talk at SQLBits Nottingham in 2013, about how SQL 6.5 was the future.

I’ve done several user groups since then, a SQLSaturday, and several SQL Relay days. My latest one (at time of writing) was at SQLBits 2018 (Mostly Microsoft Data Platform stuff), and was about a NoSQL datastore running on Linux. I was *really* surprised they even let me in the building !

Anyway, enough about me. We’re here for you, and that’s why you’re here. How can I help you be your future ?

Thanks for reading. Talk soon, yes ?

 

Randolph West

Randolph says stuff
  • Location: Canada (UTC -0700)
  • Expertise: SQL Server performance tuning. Windows network administration. C# development. Linux administration. Acting. Directing. Writing.
  • Contact: Twitter | LinkedIn | Blog

While I’ve been interested in technology most of my life, I only took it seriously in 1997. I did a diploma in software support and networking, and then had a choice between SAP certification and a Windows NT 4.0 MCSE. The Microsoft certification was cheaper, and it has been downhill from there.

Towards the end of 2004, I became a junior lecturer in Java at a community college in South Africa. The teaching bug bit me hard, and I went full time into teaching high school computer classes in 2005. There was an adjacent three-year period of Saturday School, where I volunteered to teach underprivileged children aged 11 to 14 every weekend in exchange for five bucks (to cover gas) and a hot dog.

Although I live in Canada now, I have been sharing my knowledge through various means since then, most recently as a speaker at conferences (the Calgary PASS user group, roadshows, SQLSaturdays, the first Compañero Conference, and the upcoming SQLBits 2018). Microsoft awarded me a Data Platform MVP in 2016. I co-authored Microsoft SQL Server 2017 Administration Inside Out, and I will be mentoring a speaker for the 2018 TEDx event in Calgary.

Having passion about your interest is a good starting point in becoming a speaker, but that alone doesn’t magically make you good. In 2012 I attended SQLskills training for three weeks, and had the opportunity to present in front of Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp, two of the best public speakers in our industry. I learned a lot from that experience! In just one evening I learned to slow my pace, build a story, and not use filler words.

My speaking experience also extends to the stage and screen. I have acted in, produced and directed many plays, and performed in and produced several independent films and TV / web series. I am a member of ACTRA, the professional acting union here in Canada. There are many parallels between public speaking and acting.

My first official talk as a data professional was at the Vancouver SQLSaturday two years ago. I spent many hours preparing, and although the room had only a few attendees, two of them were Mike Fal and Argenis Fernandez. I ended on time, my demos worked, and there were good questions. Since then I have spoken at many events.

Something I’ve learned from performing on stage is that every audience member matters. The size of the room is not important, and neither is the size of the audience. Your performance (or session) at a small venue with three people at a SQLSaturday should be to the same level you would perform in a room of 5,000 paid attendees.

Mark Wilkinson

  • Location: Raleigh, NC
  • Expertise: SQL Server performance tuning/monitoring, using Git without breaking things, Linux, and drinking coffee
  • Contact: Twitter | Email

I am a father of 4, and live in Raleigh North Carolina (read more about my family life @ Two Plus Four Makes Us). I love fixing problems, teaching others how to fix problems, and learning new things. In my spare time I like to play with my kids, watch movies with my wife, and nerd out on whatever technology I am currently interested in (I am nerding out pretty hard studying for a Red Hat certification at the moment).

I fell into database work when I became the accidental DBA after our only DBA left the company. I fell in love with performance monitoring and tuning out of necessity and haven’t looked back since. I have been working with SQL Server for a little over 10 years, and it was the SQL community that got me interested in speaking.

After going to a few SQL Server user group meetings on 2014 I learned about something called SQL Saturday.  The user group leader was also the organizer of the local SQL Saturday and he convinced me to submit a session. I did and it was accepted. Speaking at that first SQL Saturday changed my life. I met a lot of great people and found out that I really enjoy teaching people about things I am passionate about. Since then I have spoken at several SQL Saturday events and user group meetings on the east coast, and I try to convince others to speak anytime I can.

You can reach me via Twitter or Email.