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Devin Knight

Devin is a BI consultant at Pragmatic Works Consulting. Previously, he has tech edited the book Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services and was an author in the book Knight's 24-Hour Trainer: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services. Devin has spoken at past conferences like PASS and at several SQL Saturday events. He is a contributing member to the Business Intelligence Special Interest Group (SIG) for PASS as a leader in the SSIS Focus Group. Making his home in Jacksonville, FL, Devin is a participating member of the local users’ group (JSSUG).

The Wise Old Man Part 4

In my previous posts The Wise Old Man Part 1, The Wise Old Man Part 2 and The Wise Old Man Part 3 I wrote about a great session I attended during SQL Saturday #8 in Orlando by Steven Jones.  This session was all about building your brand and making yourself stand out among other IT professionals.  The session influenced me enough to continue writing a series of blogs about it.

If you read the last post I was wrote about becoming a leader.  This time I’ll wrap up this series of blogs talking about volunteering.  Steve used the example of people who volunteer at events like SQL Saturday and do everything from getting people registered to making runs for food.

This is another one that I struggle with coming up with great ideas on how to incorporate into my life.  I believe a good way to start is locally.  User Groups are a great way to get involved and become known in the SQL Server community. 

When I think of volunteering my mind always falls back on to speaking, but I know there has to many others ways to contribute to our community. Maybe someone can help me on this one.  In what ways other than speaking can people volunteer?  This might also be great for those that are interested in finding out ways in which they can volunteer. 

Here’s the list again.  Like I said in the first part of this blog I think Steve might have had more steps to take but this is what I could remember!  However, even these steps I did remember would be a great way of increasing your Google footprint and building your brand.

    Steps Progress
    1.  Writing Building blog pipeline, thinking of article topic, and start answering forum questions
    2.  Speaking Past Speaking Events: SQL Saturday Jax, SQL Saturday Orlando, and JAX User Group Meeting
    Future Speaking Events: PASS Nov. 19th
    3.  Leading Find ways to be a thought leader (come up with great ideas)
    4.  Volunteering Find ways to not only volunteer to be a speaker but volunteer in setting up events.  The backbone of events seem to be volunteers working behind the scenes doing things like getting food for 250 people.

Comments

Posted by Brad M. McGehee on 5 November 2008

For more information on this topic, see these articles I've written.

Characteristics of the Exceptional DBA

www.simple-talk.com/.../70282.aspx

Become a More Successful IT Professional by Managing Your Own Personal Brand Within Your Organization

www.simple-talk.com/.../70036.aspx

Posted by Andy Warren on 6 November 2008

I agree lots more to volunteering than speaking. Cynically, speaking tends to equal marketing. It's a fair trade, you get exposure and attendees get information, but it's not quite the same as bagging up the trash:-) Ideas for volunteering; offer to take over finding speakers for the user group for the next year, ask to take ownership of a big part of the next SQLSat in Jax (check in for example), or consider starting a micro group (how about one for those that want to be IT pro's?).

I've posted some about branding as well, but it's important to pay your dues, that cuts across volunteering and skills and all the rest, no substitute for doing.

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