Dear Women in Tech, You Can Present at EightKB, Too

Last year, I submitted and was accepted to present at the EightKB conference. At first, I thought my current presentation wasn’t advanced enough, but Tracy Boggiano convinced me otherwise. Why did I think my presentation wasn’t advanced enough? I don’t really know. I assumed it wasn’t a good fit because it wasn’t a deep dive into internals.

My topic was complicated, though, because there are many steps to migrate from an on-prem SQL Server to an Azure SQL Managed Instance. My session, Migrate SQL Server to Azure MI Without Getting a Migraine, was accepted. In the end, presenting at this conference was no more challenging than any other conference I’ve presented at.

Why You’ve Got This

We are trying to get more women involved again this year. It might seem a bit daunting, but trust me, you’ve got what it takes. Here’s why:

1. Bring Your Own Flavor

You’ve got a unique perspective that the tech world needs to hear. By speaking up, you’re adding some spice to the conversation and making things more interesting.

2. Show Off Your Skills

You’ve been working hard, so why not get some recognition for it? These conferences are your chance to shine and let everyone know what you can do.

3. Meet Cool People and Learn Stuff

Tech conferences aren’t just about talking shop. They’re also a great opportunity to meet new people and learn something along the way.

4. Kick Impostor Syndrome to the Curb

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? You’re not alone. By putting yourself out there, you’re proving that you’ve got what it takes to hang with the best of them.

5. Inspire Others

Remember when you were starting out? By sharing your story, you show others they can do it, too. It’s like paying it forward but with tech knowledge.

Reach out to me if you want feedback or guidance

If you are worried you will risk looking like a fool or don’t know what you are doing, trust me, it won’t happen. I messed up my demo at another large conference, and the organizer said it was the best demo he had seen that day because it was real. Just do your best, whatever your best is that day; your intention and how you handle issues with calm ease will come through more than anything else. You can even ask the attendees to help you sort out the issue. I’ve done it, and they love helping! By the way, I didn’t even have a demo for EightKB last year; it was only a slide deck – so don’t even worry that you need a demo at all.

Of course, practice makes perfect—or close enough to it. I always practice my presentation, especially before giving it for the very first time, but even then, it’s okay if you make some mistakes. Life is never perfect.

I’m happy to help you get comfortable or ready for this – you can do this! The conference isn’t until August 8th; you can submit a session until May 31st. Go ahead and submit something today!

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