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Just last year I had the largest information injection that I have ever experienced in my life.  Tech Ed ’06 – Las Vegas.  They say there is gold in Vegas.  That gold is knowledge and a lot of it.  I can not even begin to tell someone that was not there the enormity of it all.  Information that you need and ideas that you transform back to your company are everywhere.  But, one thing that I was able to witness was something I’ll never forget.  The creation of new thought, on stage during the Demo Jam.  The look of surprise on someone’s face with the realization of a solution in the SDN Lounge.  The look of understanding in the eyes of someone that does know English well, but speaks NetWeaver.

 

A year has passed.  I have applied what I learned 10 months ago.  Where am I now?

 

Stronger.  More confident.  Ready to accept a new challenge.  My next challenge is not only to return to Tech Ed to build on myself and my Company.  But, to contribute and attempt to help others where I have been helped.  I have stepped out of my comfort zone.  I will be at Tech Ed – ’07 not as an attendee, but as speaker.

 

I am presenting UP118  (clicky here) http://www.sapteched.com/usa/edu_sessions/session.htm?id=344

 

I still can not believe that I am doing this, for a number of reasons that I will get into later.  It started late last year after Tech Ed.  I have the pleasure of working with Rich Heilman (the God of ABAP)  At the time he got an offer to co-author a book with Thomas Jung.  At first Rich was not going to do it.  I was a pest though and kept asking him, “is it done yet?”.  Before too long, it was.  The Next Generation ABAP Development book from SAP Press can now be purchased.  And, if you track down Rich at Tech Ed, I am sure he will sign it for you.

 

As time went by, the subject of Tech Ed – ’07 started coming up.  My hopes for going to Tech Ed this year were not very good.  Money for things like this is tight this year.  Rich, just coming back from Sapphire in Atlanta was talking up Tech Ed.  He knew that he was going to be there and nothing was going to stop him.  I, on the other hand, am just another person with only a wish to go and no funding to do it.  Then he came up with the idea that I could be a speaker. 

 

Silence only came from me.  SPEAKER?  The one word that can stop me dead in my tracks.  Yes, I have given small presentations before in front of maybe ten people but, I know what he was suggesting.  BEING A SPEAKER AT TECH ED!  That’s like a hundred or more people in one room.  For me, this is not easy.  Why?  When I get nervous, I stutter.  There, I said it.  A little known secret about myself.  The more nervous I get, the worse it gets.  I have people tell me, “Oh, don’t worry.  You will be just fine.”  Really?  How many J’s V’s and M’s are there in Java Virtual Machine.  Your answer is four.  My answer could be a whole lot more than that. 

 

Being on SDN some of you may have see my philosophy of always giving back what have received.  Well, this is an opportunity to do just that.  But, this is way beyond my comfort level, and I had my doubts. 

 

I went with submitting my proposal with ASUG not even thinking they would look at it.  At the same time a wiki I published was selected by SDN and I was interviewed on my subject with Talilia Baron, Senior Editor of SDN.  This was going faster than I thought.  I ended up being accepted with ASUG and having an interview on the front page of SDN at the same time.  Now it is starting to sink in.  I am laying it all out and talking about the toughest subject of all, me, and how I did what I have done. 

 

So, I think my audience (if any) will be made up of beginners.  People just starting out with little to no experience.  Freshies.  Or even people that just need some info on how to open their portal to the outside.  For the most part my style is very laid back and informal.  If anything, it will be good comic relief.  So grab some coffee and feel free to stop by for UP 118 Tech Ed – ’07 Las Vegas.  If you all just point and laugh, that’s ok too.  I laugh at myself sometimes with what I try to say and what comes out.

 

SAP TechEd '07: I'll be there!    

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7 Comments

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  1. Kenneth Moore
    Good luck.  I’m no good at them either, but have done one ASUG local chapter presentation, amoung other mini-classes job-related.  Don’t take offense if folks walk out in the beginning, middle and/or end.  Or if your presentation isn’t the most popular.  You might get one or two praises and a good contact.  For me that was worth it.  Networking is one of the main benefits of these conferences.  Plus, good practice for the presentation skills!
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  2. Mark Yolton
    We appreciate your interview with Talila last month on the value of the virtual SDN, and with this blog, about the value of the physical SDN community experience at TechEd.  I’m glad you made the cut to give a presentation this year in Las Vegas, and wish you well.  The rest of the community will be rooting for you. 

    Mark Y.

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