Paul Andrew

  • Location: UK (UTC +0)
  • Expertise: Azure Data Platform, Business Intelligence, Advanced Analytics, Big Data, Lambda Architectures
  • Contact: Twitter, LinkedIn, Blog

OMrPaulAndrewnce upon a time there was a junior developer. This developer was passionate about what he did and wanted to share all his knowledge with anyone willing to listen. Ambition was a key motivator, combined with a small amount of competitiveness and a burning desire to know everything he had big plans to become a subject matter expert in his field.

Through our incredible data platform community these goals can be achieved. The community can facilitate your growth and open doors to every corner of this vast IT industry. But be warned, this takes commitment, bucket loads of effort and (let’s be realistic) a reasonable amount of personal time sacrificed. However, you will get out what you put in.

If these things ring true with you and you wish to grow yourself through our community please reach out, I’d be happy to help.

I was that junior developer about 20 years ago and what was true then is still true now. But maybe slightly more refined. The community has supported my career growth in ways I never expected, through blogging, helping, speaking and organising events.

I’m now a Senior Data Analytics Consultant at Adatis (a London based business intelligence consultancy) and Microsoft Data Platform MVP. I currently specialise in architecting big data solutions with Microsoft Azure services and delivering intelligent insights for my customers business.

I look forward to hearing from you and starting your data journey in our community.

 

 

 

 

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!

Angela Henry

  • Location:  High Point, NC (UTC +5)
  • Expertise:  SQL Server BI Stack (SSIS, SSRS, SSAS), DBA topics
  • Contact:  Twitter | LinkedIn

I am a DBA/BI Developer, living in High Point, NC and love what I do. I’ve been working with SQL Server for 20+ years.  During that time I’ve worn all the hats that come with dealing with SQL Server: developer, administrator, data architect and BI developer.  I have my MSCE: Business Intelligence and was awarded Microsoft’s MVP – Data Platform in 2018 for my community contributions.   I have been a PASS Local Group leader since 2012.

When I first went to college, I wanted to be a teacher, until I realized I had a horrible fear of public speaking.  I quickly switched careers paths, but never lost my desire to teach.  Back in 2013, I was asked to give a talk at a local user group on SSIS by a very good friend because her speaker had cancelled at the last minute.  I couldn’t leave her hanging, so I threw something together really quickly and presented for the very first time.  Because I didn’t hyperventilate, I considered it to be a success.

Since then I have spoken at several Local Group meetings, a local tech conference, and numerous SQL Saturdays.  I have even given a virtual presentation.

I know how hard it is to speak in public.  I still get nervous, but I have developed ways to deal with that nervousness and would love to help others achieve their goal of public speaking.  If I can do it, so can you!

Andy Leonard

Andy presenting
  • Location: US (UTC -5)
  • Expertise: Data Integration, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), Business Intelligence Markup Language (Biml), Leadership, Management
  • Contact: Twitter | LinkedIn

Andy avatar

I started working (well, playing) with computers in 1975 at age 11. I learned Motorola machine language and then BASIC. I was trained in electronics (and missile guidance systems maintenance) by the US Army and have an Associate’s Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology.

I first delivered training for the Army National Guard Professional Education Center in 1986. During the 1990’s, I was an instructor at ECPI – a technical college in Richmond Virginia (US) where I taught mostly electronics.

Although I had been programming (as a hobby) with BASIC and Visual Basic for a couple decades, I did not begin working with databases until the mid-1990’s. I started with Microsoft Access and quickly moved to Microsoft SQL Server.

Facilitating

In the mid-2000’s I began delivering presentations and writing professionally. I’ve delivered presentations to public and private audiences, both free and paid engagements.

Learning is a passion. I enjoy learning immensely and compare the thrill of learning to the euphoria experienced during my (brief) running days (I trained for and completed a half-marathon at age 50). I love sharing what I learn. I want others to share the euphoric experience. Hence, I’ve written books, blog regularly, and present whenever I can.

I founded Enterprise Data & Analytics and serve as Chief Data Engineer. I built and maintain the Data Integration Lifecycle Management Suite (DILM Suite) – a collection of tools that facilitate DevOps with SSIS. I am honored to be a Friend of Redgate. I was a Microsoft MVP 2007-2012.

I do not know how many presentations I’ve delivered – my best guess is “hundreds.” Like Alex, I share a passion for our community. I am not self-taught, I am community-taught. Although I am still learning to present, I am happy to share what I’ve learned with anyone wishing to listen.

It is always an honor to present.

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