Presenting And Loving It!

This month T-SQL Tuesday #41 is hosted by Bob Pusateri (b | @SQLBob). T-SQL Tuesday is an event where where SQL Family join in writing and reading a new topic given each month. The topic for this month is Presenting and Loving It! So, I would like refer to my personal story, my journey to presenting. 


Being Taught and Taught

In my late teens, I started tutoring Mathematics to a few primary school and high school students back in Australia as my second part time job. I quite enjoyed teaching one-on-one; because I got to know the students and tailored the way of teaching. I took the step further and applied to become a lab/class tutor for 1st year students when I was in my 3rd year at Australian National University. I did not like presenting much when I was younger, but I loved sharing knowledge with friends, teaching them how things worked. So I thought tutoring at University was not the same as presenting. I was wrong. It was very similar. The difference is that the agenda for tutoring at University for each week has been decided (which was nice!). So in this case tutoring was easier. But everything else was fairly similar. This was how my attachment to presenting started…

Career in Data

I stopped presenting (teaching) in front of a group when I started my full time job. Eventually in 2011, Victor Isakov suggested that I should go to PASS Summit; and that I should get into presenting. I said to Victor that I had past experience in terms of tutoring, but my skill in SQL Server was not good and should be improved. Victor suggested that presenting is one of the ways for us in becoming better as a professional. I listened to him.

I started presenting with him at Sydney SQL User Group. I was very nervous, but Victor was a natural! I really enjoyed delivering a presentation with him and thought that he was right all along about becoming better at it because I really had to research the subject matter. I also met lots of new people from there and the audience were supportive. I thought, “Hey, I know I have a long way to go to become natural at presenting, but I could work on it, right?!”. So since then, I have decided to submit more presentations. I do not know everything about SQL Server, but I do know a lot more than I did 1.5 years ago; and I plan to learn more through presenting. What I love the most about presenting is the discussions; we all learn from each other.

Presenting and Travelling!

Through presenting, I have managed to visit a number of cities outside Australia and make friends from different parts of the world. Besides in Australia, I have presented in USA (Seattle, Dallas, Silicon Valley) and Canada (Vancouver). Australia, USA and Canada so far have proven to be similar but with subtle differences; from culture, audience participation, to how they serve their bacon!

My next trip is to Chicago for PASS BA Conference tomorrow (Apr 10, 2013), where I will be presenting with my friend, Joshua Fennessy (b | @JoshuaFennessy). I will also be presenting at SQL Saturday 211 on the Saturday (Apr 13, 2013) immediately after PASS BA Conference. The week after that, I will be presenting at SQL Saturday 201 Orange County (Apr 20, 2013). Hope to see you at these events and future ones too!


  SQL Saturday 211 Chicago  


Wrap Up

Thank you, thank you, thank you and a thousand times thank you! Thank you to the event organizers who have given me a chance to speak. Thank you to the audience for attending/tuning into my presentations. Thank you to my #sqlfamily for giving me encouragement to be a better speaker; directly and indirectly. Thank you to all other speakers out there for putting the time and effort into sharing your knowledge with the community.

Thank you Bob Pusateri for hosting this month’s T-SQL Tuesday!


Standing Firm – Story of a WIT

This is my first blog for T-SQL Tuesday. The theme for this month is Standing-Firm, which could be a story relating to one of these words: resolve, resolution, or resolute. I picked resolute.

My story is in relation to Women In IT/Engineering. Looking back, the first woman in Engineering, I have known, is my mum. Growing up, I was aware about this but never really gave it the proper recognition it deserved. Today I would like to do that.

I was born and grew up in the tropical country of Indonesia, where, as a child I learned so much about the limitations and boundaries that females could face. I became interested in data, specifically business data, in my early teens as my parents owned a business supplying standard and custom nuts and bolts. While their business was small it did well enough to keep all four children fed and educated.

One of my role models and inspirations is my mum. For 45 years, she has managed the day-to-day goings on within the workshop, negotiating deals, organising stocks and giving advise to engineers. Her understanding did not come from school (as she only finished year 8), but from practical experience that she learned from my dad and peers. There were no associations in Indonesia designed to help women in Engineering or IT. She came from a poor family, with little education, but she did it all. She raised four children and embedded these principles when we were growing up: passion, determination and helping others.

My mum has lived a very interesting and admirable life. For just over 14 years while I was still living under the same roof as my parents, my mum always said that “Our gender should never inhibit us from pursuing our dreams”. I held on to that, moved out of home and left Indonesia to live in Australia so I could pursue studying IT in high school and university. While studying IT, it was not uncommon that I would be the only girl, or the only one from a non-English speaking background. This didn’t quiver my passion for or my determination to excel in IT. Even with entering IT at a professional level, it is still not uncommon to be the only female in my area. I have become so used to this situation that I don’t see gender difference as an issue.

Map of places I have lived in

In 2012, I was determined that I wanted to learn more and to help others, by blogging and speaking at community events. I was nervous, not because I was a female, because I considered myself inexperienced compared to some others. Even so, if my blog posts or presentations could help even one person, I would be happy. My determination to help others has helped me to overcome my nervousness and learnt more about SQL Server. PASS and #SQLFamily have also been very supportive in this.

This year, I want to become a more confident speaker and a more knowledgeable SQL professional who helps and learns from #SQLFamily. I also want to be involved more with Women in IT activities via PASS and on personal level. My Women in IT/Engineering inspiration started with my mum at a young age, and I would like to help other females to pursue their professional dreams. We should be able to show our abilities within the workplace and still embrace our female nature (for me this would include my inability to open jars, but that’s why jar opener was invented, right?). We are all unique, female or male.


This post is dedicated to my mum.

“Our gender should never inhibit us from pursuing our dreams” – Paulin Koesmarno

Wrap Up

Thank you to Jason Brimhall (b | t) for hosting TSQL Tuesday – Standing Firm this month. The original invitation is available here.  The rules for participation are in the invite. You can also read others’ submissions for the theme this month.

If you are a PASS Member and interested in Women in IT events and activities, please check our website here.