David Alcock

I’ve been working with data and SQL Server for a long time. I’ve been a developer, I’ve worked in BI and spent a rather long time as a DBA doing all kinds of weird and wonderful things, nowadays though I just refer to myself as a data person.

Although I have worked with SQL Server for many years it wasn’t until a few years ago that I became more active in the community. It took a visit to the SQL Bits conference in Liverpool to really open my eyes and after that I took up blogging, I started visiting user groups and other conferences too but mainly, I started connecting with people.

In 2019 I decided to have a go at presenting a session. It was way before that point that I wanted to do it, it just took a long time and a certain amount of persuasion from others to actually do it. I presented at two user groups then to my surprise (and if I am honest utter horror) was selected as a new speaker at the Data Scotland conference in Glasgow.

Being a new speaker meant I was very lucky to be assigned a mentor. I remember having an initial conversation about my session and actually made me think about delivery and the audience and those things that truthfully I had not fully considered. Mainly though, I felt supported and there is a heck of lot of confidence that comes with that.

Which is why I am here now. Through the support I had from my mentor, there were classes put on by the conference and also lots of words of wisdom from seasoned speakers I had what I consider to be one of the greatest experiences ever! I may be a year into my speaker journey but already it’s something that I would love to share my experiences with to help other people make that journey.

So let’s do it!

Rob Farley

Location: Australia (UTC+9.5)
Expertise: SQL, BI, tuning, consulting
Contact: Twitter, LinkedIn, Blog

I’m a SQL guy based in Australia, and have found over the years that it’s good to be different. Maybe that’s because I’m a twin, although we’re not even alike (fraternal, not identical).

One of the things I’ve discovered is that there are a lot of people in the IT industry. Many of them sit at a desk from 9-5 each business day and then go home. Others invest in their careers by taking the time to attend community meetings such as PASS groups, SQLSaturdays, DDD events, and various others. Those people already benefit massively by simply mixing with other people who do similar to what they do. Iron sharpens iron.

But there are those who invest even more heavily in their careers by not simply attending meetings, but getting up the front and presenting. They demonstrate their expertise, their ability to simply complex technology, and their ability to communicate. They become regarded as being special, and top of their field. Experts. And the secret is…

…they’re still just regular people.

Just regular people who took a step of courage to start presenting.

I love seeing people take that step. Even though it’s scary, the courage gets turned into strength. It opens doors. It serves others. It even helps make friends. I’m not the average presenter – I try to find creative ways to explain things. But even that has helped me massively, and today I have friends all around the world through technical communities. Let me help you in your journey towards speaking. I suspect you really just need encouragement to take the first step, but I also help people develop a narrative in their speaking, giving their presentations a path and framework that allows them create a style which is entirely their own.

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


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 ?


Bjoern Peters

Mentoring - Bjoern Peters - SQLPASS_DE - Speaker - SQL Server and Azure
  • Location: Germany | DE (UTC +1)
  • Expertise: Relational databases (primarily SQL Server), Azure SQL Database, Azure Data platform
  • Contact: Twitter | LinkedInBlog


My name is Bjoern Peters and I love SQL Server and Azure SQL Databases and to speak about it 😉

I’m in MSSQL databases since version 6.5 (which was in 2000), since 2011 I’m a member of SQL PASS and held my first talk about SQL Server in 2015. Here in Germany, I’m active as volunteer and speaker at several data platform events like SQL Saturday or SQLGrillen.

Since October 2016 I’m also the organizer of the Azure Meetup Hamburg, where we talk about all topics of Azure on a monthly base.

Before my first public session, I was really afraid but right after it… I’ll never stop it anymore it is so much fun to share knowledge with the audience! And now I want to help others to step ahead and make their own experience.

Looking forward to helping you prepare your presentation and speak for a session at any event you would like to.

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.

Tracy Boggiano

Tracy Boggiano
  • Location: Raleigh, NC (UTC – 5) (EST)
  • Expertise: All DBA topics
  • Contact: Twitter | LinkedIn | Email

22 years ago I got myfirst job in IT right out of high school as a computer operator and started attending college to become a computer programmer.  I hated my database class mainly because I finished the work in 10 minutes and had to sit there bored for the 50 minutes. My instructor didn’t understand I was already using these concepts at work.

I started barely blogging in 2012,  something that wasn’t really encouraged by my current job.  Four years ago I took an awesome job that believed that be involved in the community was a good thing.

Then in 2015, I signed up for my first SQL Saturday. The presentation had a total of five attendees (one being a coworker). I managed to cover 30 slides of HADR material in 30 minutes but wait the presentation was supposed to last an hour. Oops.

Now I’ve done so many presentations it’s hard to keep count. Presented at 18 SQL Saturdays last year, PASS Summit, and a few online presentations. I’m a complete SQL Saturday addict and enjoy going to each and every one of them and don’t mind if there are only five people, it was probably for the best on that first presentation.

You can reach me either on Twitter,  LinkedIn, or Email.