New Stuff Just Around the Bend!

Written on December 12, 2020

Hey folks, exciting news hot off the press! We’ll have a proper domain for this blog site very soon! Lets call it the start of many great things to come….

Azure Data Factory - New Blogs are a Coming!

It’s been a heck if a year to say the least, but now that we’re FINALLY coming up to the home stretch of 2020 (WOOHOO!), I’ve got some breathing space to post few more blog posts. The first few will be based around Azure Data Factory, which I’ve been working with for the last few months. Hopefully the next one will be a guide on how I put this whole thing together, which I found was surprisingly quick and relatively painless.

On the work front, it’s certainly been a case of “learning by immersion” (aka. thrown in the deep end). But I feel like I’m in my element in this type of environment, and the lessons and experience I’ve got out of this have been incredible. It took a fair bit of soul searching to make a decision to move on, but so far it’s all turned out for the best

All these roads will lead to the New Stars Of Data conference in March 2020, where I will hopefully get the opportunity to speak on this series for the very first time! Pretty exciting news, huh?

Spoiler alert: watch this space for more info ;)

Speaking in front of.... p-p-people?!?

I’ve heard it said many times, something along the lines of “I’d rather have (object / body part) (inserted / removed) from (an orifice) than talk in front of an audience”.

But can you blame them? Public speaking isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world. Sure, we don’t live in fear of tiger and bear attacks like we used to, but our body’s reactions to these threats are still there! Except nowadays, our “tigers and bears” come in the form of social issues such as, you guessed it, public speaking!

If you asked me only 2 years ago that I’d be putting my name forward for an event like this, you’d recieve a response similar to Hank Hill’s reaction to well-done steak.

However, it was around 4 years into my Business Intelligence career that I recieved one of those dreaded performance reviews, where it was noted that my communication skills could do with a bit of work.

Enraged, and downright insulted at such an accusation, I responded with a statement which encapsulated my anger and frustration…

Ok.... I suppose they had a point.

Raising a Toast!

It was around this time that I stumbled across Toastmasters International. Despite the name, they are not a club that have in-depth discussions on toast (although if I made a club like that, I’d name it “Public-Speaking Masters” just to add to the confusion!).

Toastmasters is a global organisation, full of like-minded members, who seek to improve on 2 important facets of career development… communication and leadership. Each meeting provides its members an opportunity to get up on stage, talk in front of people, and provide useful and constructive feedback in a safe and supportive environment.

Everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow, and improve, and support each other along the way. Do you think that you absolutely bombed while on the stage this morning? Who cares! The clock resets at the end of each meeting, and you get to try it again next time!

Maybe you just think you did bad, and are simply down in the dumps due to the dreaded negativity bias that we all encounter. Your evaluator will soon point out the things you did well, and provide useful recommendations that you get to try out next time.

On the subject of nerves, once you’ve joined a club you like, and have a few meetings under your belt, you will have a noticeably better handle on the nerves since you first started. These nerves never really go away (nor should they, considering they provide a very useful and important function), but by gaining exposure talking in front of an audience, week-after-week, you’ll be in prime form to take on speaking engagements going forward.

shout out my club, Boaters Toastmasters

To quote a wise prophet, that time, for me, “is now”.

Final Thoughts

You know the sayings, “the longest journey begins with a single step”, “one small step for man…” etc. This post, for me, would be the first of many steps yet to be taken. Early days yet, but I’m sure these blogs will help me solidify my goals and purpose going forward. I love solving problems, I love working in the data space, and I love helping people to achieve their goals - now I just need to find the place where I can effectively provide, deliver, and scale this service going forward. Exciting times indeed!

About Gerald Hartley

Lives in New Zealand, Laughs at Bad Jokes, Loves Data & Analytics