Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Get involved with MySQL Conference and Expo 2008

Enhancing your career through conferences and user groups

If you are an IT professional, one of the best things you can do for your career is to get involved in a conference, business or technical users group. Especially as a supporter of open source: collaboration, exchange of ideas, networking with peers, industry recognition are great reasons for attending a users conference. Some of the benefits of attending a conference or joining a users group includes:
  • Networking and meeting peers and establishing new friendships.
  • Improving your technical and business skills.
  • Learning how the market you work in is changing.
  • Meeting new people and building mutually beneficial business relationships.
  • Having recognized experts share their knowledge.
  • Access to additional sources of information.
  • Sharing of ideas and exchanging of information.
  • Getting expert advice.
  • Improving your interpersonal and communication skills.
Every poll I've ever seen shows attendees of conferences and user groups are more successful in their careers and have higher salaries than those who do not. Constantly improving your skills, knowledge and networking are very important to your career and your wallet.

Oracle, DB2 and SQL Server DBAs at MySQL Users Conference and Expo:
Most companies are running multiple database products. If you are a DBA of another vendor adding an additional database you can support makes you more marketable to companies. A lot of people think MySQL is trivial because it is a database popular in SMB and open source environments. MySQL can be very easy to work with it but it can also get very detailed when running in high profile environments. As a professional DBA it is good to have additional databases you can support.

Incredible value in attending a conference:
It often boggles my brain that MySQL DBAs have to often fight to be able to attend a MySQL conference. An attendee will be listening to the top industry experts for a week. Attending one presentation can often pay for the conference ten times over. Attending a conference and being able to attend presentations by leading experts is the best return on training dollars you can get. There is great value in attending presentations on topics related to MySQL such as PHP, Java, Linux, Windows, JBoss, Apache, LAMP, etc. You can get ideas, techniques and successful methods for supporting MySQL environments.

Catch the Enthusiasm of MySQL

MySQL AB is an organization fully dedicated to open source. Every DBA religion (SQL Server, DB2, Oracle, etc.) has its zeolots. I have also carried the banner for years and enjoyed it. At MySQL the open source environment has an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm for sharing from the open source community and working with the open source community to keep making MySQL and other open source solutions better and better. In the open source world, it becomes natural to communicate with other open source enthusiasts in Russia, Australia, China, etc. We all feel "the force" of open source. Attending the MySQL User Conference and Expo in 2008 will allow you to share a lot of the energy and enthusiasm of the MySQL and open source community.

To get the most out of attending a conference:
Volunteer! This is the best way to meet new people and feel a part of the conference. Join a group or a conference/volunteer committee at a conference and get involved in key technology areas. Introduce yourself to key leaders of the Users Group and ask them to help you maximize your attending the conference.

Enjoying and staying a part of a users conference or users group is like going to high school. If you are a new student, the easiest way to meet people is to join the band, sports team or the debate team. A conference and users group works the same way. A conference is always looking for new volunteers to bring new energy, ideas and enthusiasm to an organization. A conference cannot succeed without great volunteers. Conferences and user groups are always looking for someone like yourself to get involved. If you attend a technical conference, find out how you can volunteer. It is one of the easiest ways to feel more a part of the organization and get to meet new people. I would also recommend seeking out leaders and ask them how you can get more involved. Some of the top people in conferences and users groups have said they never imagined themselves being a leader but someone encouraged them and the more they got involved the more they enjoyed it. The more effort you put into joining an organization the more you will get out of it.

The benefits and enjoyment of joining any organization is directly correlated to how much you get involved. Individuals are often shy, nervous or do not feel comfortable networking at a group they are new to. Volunteering with different organizations is one of the easiest ways to meet new people and feel a part of an organization. Getting involved within a users group and attending a conference offers a lot of benefits.

Remember, VOLUNTEER and make a difference to an organization you want to be a part of and reap the benefits of all the networking and fun you will have. I hope to see you at the conference! If you attend any of my presentations I will try to make you laugh with at least one joke.

2 comments:

Nicklas Westerlund said...

Oh I'll certainly be there and try to attend as much stuff as I can. The UC is really one of the best events of the year.

Hope to meet up!

George Trujillo said...

It's great meeting all the great people out in the Internet. Sharing ideas and networking is how we all grow (and have fun). I will look forward to meeting you also.