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How to become the most important IT person in the room


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You have learned many new techniques and best practices that you can take back to the office and use in your work to gain immediate improvements. But if you’re only interested in applying a handful of specific, tactical advantages, then you’ll miss out on the most exciting trend in the IT industry – our data-driven future. Share insights and inspirations in this talk with Kevin Kline, a founder and president emeritus of the Professional Association for SQL Server, to discover the broader trends that are pushing data professionals into greater prominence and strategies you can use to become the most respected, influential, and credible member of your organization’s technical staff.

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How to become the most important IT person in the room

  1. 1. THE MOST IMPORTANT IT PERSON IN THE ROOM: WHY DATA EXPERTS OWN THE FUTURE #ITDEVCON Kevin Kline, SQL Sentry Director of Engineering Services, Microsoft SQL Server MVP since 2003 Email, Twitter , Facebook, LinkedIn @ KEKline
  2. 2. Tuning blog: Normally $10. Get them free at
  3. 3. AGENDA • What’s the context? • Others in IT • Power in the Narrative • An Epiphany in the Haystack • Secret Ingredients in the Sauce
  4. 4. CONTEXT Top 10 professions according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. • #5 best IT jobs • #12 best overall jobs Businesses are now better understanding the value of data. • FaceBook and LinkedIn • Google 15% growth year-over-year, meaning demand. 40% attrition expected in the next 10 years, according to Unisphere Research, meaning supply. • Older workers retiring • Middle-aged workers moving up and out How are enterprises responding? • More consultants • More outsourcing • More H1B visas • More unskilled/accidental DBAs • Sometimes more pay
  5. 5. OTHERS IN IT Is it all IT people or is it just me?
  6. 6. Database Admins? BI/BA? Data Scientists? Yes, always, every time. Developers? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. Email Admins? An email is an email. Network Admins? It’s all TCP/IP packets to me. System Admins? It’s just hardware.
  7. 7. POWER IN THE NARRATIVE Data tells a story. And that empowers us.
  9. 9. DATA + STORY
  10. 10. = Intellectual Connection Emotional Connection
  11. 11. What’s the story? Why are we making this decision?
  12. 12. AN EPIPHANY IN THE HAYSTACK Three stories: the Ghost Map, the Turing Test, & the FiveThirtyEight
  13. 13. THE GHOST MAP
  14. 14. #ITDEVCON
  15. 15. #ITDEVCON
  18. 18. Gartner / The Economist 1. Data is the “oil” of the 21st century. 2. Proprietary algorithms are the “refined” fuel. 3. Together, they are a means of acting on data to solve specific problems via direct action.
  19. 19. SECRET INGREDIENTS IN THE RECIPE Four things MIPs do frequently
  20. 20. BECOME THE MIP Deep domain knowledge. Data as story. Story within a narrative. Memorable, Impactful, Personal. Tech skills + team values.
  21. 21. THE ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE QUESTION • If we can choose from a vast number of data platforms, which should we use?
  22. 22. RECAP