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Really, We're All Experts Here

June 21, 2016

Since joining IBM last year I've been spending more time speaking to user groups. This got me thinking about a post I wrote back in December 2012 on the professional benefits of public speaking. While I'd love for you to read the whole thing, I'll sum it up in four words: You can do this.

During a recent user group presentation, I was approached by an attendee who said he'd joined Toastmasters because of my years-old post. While that was nice to hear, I was disappointed when he added that he hadn't put his training to use by giving DB2 presentations himself. He said he wasn't an expert, and after listening to people like me he thought it would be far too complicated.

Here's the thing, though: The user groups are looking for people like you. People tell me I’m an expert, but my response to that is I know what I know. DB2 is a vast subject, and even though I've been in this field for more than 20 years now, I can guarantee you that there are many parts of DB2 that other systems programmers, DBAs and developers understand better than I. We all have different experiences. Others will benefit if you share yours.

For instance, I recently wrote about trusted context, but I'll be the first to tell you I'm not an expert on this topic. If you've used plan management to implement it in your shop, that's the basis of a presentation I would enjoy hearing. Or maybe you’re a DB2 systems programmer and can share how you implemented memory management. Maybe you were involved with a DB2 migration and have some tips on handling that process. Maybe you’re a developer and have implemented some features of native SQL procedures, or you have some experience writing recursive SQL. Lots of us would appreciate an opportunity to learn more about these things.

You don't need a world of experience to be a speaker. Really, you just need one experience. The first time I spoke to a group, I'd only been working with DB2 for about four years. So I encourage you, for the benefit of all of us, to reach out to your local DB2 group and tell them you'd like to speak on a topic. And yes, it's daunting the first time you get up in front of even a small room of people, but there are resources that can help you prepare. has a section on regional user groups, and SHARE is always looking for new speakers.

And then there's me. Please let me know if there's anything I can do to get you started. I'll be glad to help in any I can. Again, you can do this.

Posted June 21, 2016| Permalink

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