I am deeply honored to present a session in the Professional Development track at the PASS Summit 2009. "Why Andy?" Because in this session I get to inspire folks!
Little known fact: I was once a part-time instructor at ECPI. In fact, I was teaching a course there when I frist met Christy. The absolute coolest part of being a teacher, trainer, mentor, blogger, manager, developer community leader, or MVP is the opportunity to inspire people.
I think part of the inspiration comes from (what others have told me is) my accent. Now I don't think I have one, but others do.
If you've never heard me, it's a southern accent.
Because of stereotypes in the US, some people think a southern accent reflects poorly on one's intelligence. "What's inspiring about that, Andy?" I'm glad you asked. I believe people hear me speak and think "If that dumb-sounding hick can learn SQL Server, I know I can!"
I do believe anyone can learn SQL Server technology. And I am blessed to work in a field, surrounded by a community, that I love.
I can't wait to share with you how I see our field and community co-mingling.
Here's my abstract for the session:
A Tale of Careers and User Groups
There is value for your career in the User Group community - for novices and experts alike - especially in this economy. Andy Leonard discusses the value of networking through your local user group. Andy also discusses integrating your user group into the local business community using a proven sponsorship model.
I first witnessed a User-Group-Business-Community ecosystem in Jacksonville. Brian Knight and a lot of others in the area had a hand in it, but it was Brian who introduced it to me.
When I returned to Virginia in 2005, I found a business plan that claimed some businesses had a legitimate interest in the User Group community. I thought about it for a long time, and decided it made sense, so we adopted it in Richmond. That plan was written by Darrell Norton, ASP.Net MVP. Darrell's also an MBA. If you know any MVPs that are also MBAs, they can be handy!
In the session I plan to share the business plan, how we implemented it, and how it has changed our developer community.
I hope to see you there!