Category: Professional Development

Jul 05 2016

Carpenters vs. DBAs

9530113595_907e63b28a_mLet’s get the caveat out of the way up front, I work for a tool vendor.

If you look around at the tools landscape for the Microsoft Data Platform, it’s really interesting. There are a few tools vendors, primarily clustered around monitoring tools, and then there are a bunch of point tools for helping with various aspects of operations against the Data Platform (mostly SQL Server). Some of these are free tools. Some are pay only. Some are a mix. There are variables in the quality of these tools, and I’m sure not going to comment on that. Instead, I find one thing really interesting.

Let’s step back a bit. My neighbors have both worked as carpenters (well, one carpenter, and one general contractor who also does carpentry). They both go out of their way to ensure that their basic tool set is what they consider the best (want to start a fight, ask about hammers, it’s fun). They pay for these basic tools themselves. They also might pay for some of the smaller power tools themselves. The larger tools will be supplied at the work site.

Compare this with your average DBA or Database Developer. Some of the tools available for the Data Platform are clearly “work site” tools, especially the monitoring tools. These must be supplied by the organization (gods above & below, the last thing we want is each DBA or data pro to bring in a different monitoring tool). Then there are the “hand tools” of the Data Platform pro. Interestingly enough, many of these support a floating license such that you could purchase the tool and then “carry” it with you from job site to job site, like a carpenter. Instead, most every Data Pro I know will insist that the company has to supply them with these tools, or that the tools be free (although, you then see the company that won’t let you use free, but unapproved, tools on their site). They refuse to purchase any tool with their own cash. Even though having this tool could improve their work, maybe even make them look better than their peers.

I find this mind-set fascinating. It’s especially so because the average salary for a carpenter and the average for a DBA are somewhat far apart (40k to 70k). You’d think that making nearly double the amount of money, a DBA wouldn’t hesitate to purchase a piece of software that would make them better, as an individual. By and large though, you’d be wrong.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. This is just a pitch from a tools vendor. Well, duh. Yeah, it is. However, I also have purchased my own software in the past and it has helped me be better at my job than my peers. As a wise man once said, “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t fightin'”. As much as our community is all about sharing, and I believe in sharing, there is still a competition when it comes to getting and keeping jobs. You’d think that you’d go for any advantage you can get. I sure have. That includes buying a piece of software that helps me do my job better, out of my own pocket. While I do want you to buy tools because I’m selfish and want to keep earning a pay check, I also think you should be purchasing tools so that you can become better at your job. Embrace the healing power of “And.”

Oh, why would you buy anything but a straight claw hammer?

May 02 2016

How to Convince the Boss to Send You to PASS Summit

August two years ago I originally posted, Make the PASS Summit Work for Your Employer. After conversations at several SQL Saturdays over the last couple of months, I decided to refresh and update that original content and post it again.

I keep hearing how the job market has changed. That companies just don’t want to pay for training any more. However, I don’t recall any of my employers in the past ever actively wanting, desiring, begging me, please, oh, please, can’t you go out to a little training? In fact, for the most part, I pretty much always had to beg the boss to send me out to training. I had to sell it. I don’t think that’s a new development. Let’s review the selling points to help you convince the boss.

My Knowledge Base

That’s the easy one. Tell the boss, “I’ll learn more.” Maybe this one is obvious, but you should talk to your boss about the addition of more skills to your skill set, an improvement of your overall knowledge and, by extension, your worth to the company. There is a ton of excellent learning opportunities at the Summit covering the entire length, breadth and depth of Microsoft’s Data Platform and it’s attendant products. These sessions are lead by some of the most knowledgeable and skilled people in the industry. Further, they’re practically slavering at the bit to have you ask your difficult question so that they can exercise their skills and expand their knowledge by helping you. You can learn more, faster, at the PASS Summit than almost anywhere. That’s going too help your employer because you will be a better employee.

Our Current Problem

Just about every year in the 6-8 weeks leading up to the PASS Summit, I would start collecting questions. What particular pain points are we experiencing with Microsoft Data Platform products that are so severe I should grab 10 minutes with a Microsoft engineer to talk about? Oh, didn’t I mention that fact? Yeah, the guys who built the product are frequently at the Summit. You can take your immediate problems straight to these people. Further, there’s likely to be an MVP or MCM standing near by who might be able to help out too. Or, you can try the Customer Advisory Team (CAT) who always have a number of representatives there. In short, you can get pretty close to premier support without wasting a premier support ticket. All the vendors of all the tools you’re using are also there, frequently with some, or all, their development staff. Need some help with that software you purchased, go and get it.

Our Future Direction

Your company needs to make decisions about their technology future. You’ve seen the marketing hype. Now, what do the people who are working with the newest stuff every day have to say? Can you get more information by attending sessions that are not put on by Microsoft on emerging technologies? Yes, frequently. That’s not to say that a Microsoft session by the people who built the product won’t be useful too. The PASS Summit is the place to see this. Microsoft doesn’t just develop things and then toss them over the fence to see what works (mostly). Instead, they have companies and individuals working with them all the time to develop new directions for the product. Those people and organizations are frequently at the Summit, displaying new stuff on the vendor floor or giving presentations about the new directions they’re taking the technology. You can get a better understanding if your company’s plans are going to work well going into the future. Even if the plan is best summed up as “We’ll sit on SQL Server 2000 until it rots around our ears.” Others are doing it too. Find out how it’s working out for them. Or, why they finally decided to upgrade, maybe even moving to Azure.

Our Team Skill Set

Most companies are not going to want to send all of the database development team, DBA team, or development team away for a week. Instead, they’ll send one or two people from each team (maybe less). So your team loses out, right? Wrong. Two things. First, coordinate. If you have more than one person from your company at the event, make sure that you cover as many sessions as you possible can. Don’t overlap. When I was working on a team heading to the Summit we would divide up sessions to make sure things got covered that the company needed or that we needed as individuals. While I may want to see speaker X do her session on indexing again, my co-worker has yet to see it, so I’ll send them. And make sure you have a couple of sessions picked for a time period because the session you’re in could be a bad choice. If a session isn’t for you, for any reason, just walk out. Before you go, if you’re the only one going, head around to the teams and see if they have a request for a session that you can attend. This is a chance to enhance your image within the organization and make your boss look good by offering to help others. Send them links to the event schedule so that they can pick and choose. Finally, teach. You just spent a week getting data dumped into your brain. Teach it to your team. We made a pact that anyone who went off to a week of training had to present 2-3 sessions to the team from that event. You can even purchase the event DVD and show sessions to your team in meetings.

NOTE: This is not to say, steal these slide decks to become your internal training resource, unattributed to the original presenter. That is a bad thing.

My Retention

Who do you want to work for? The employer that says, “Heck no you can’t go to the PASS Summit. You’ll meet people and figure out that our company stinks and you’ll try to get a new job, or you’ll learn more and be more valuable and we’re not about to raise your pay.” Or, the employer who says, “Yeah, sure you can go this year. Let’s document what you’re going to learn and how it’ll help the company.” OK, it’s not going to be that easy. You may have to agree not to leave the company for a year or something afterwards. Be cautious about exactly what kind of strings get attached, but also be aware of the fact that the company is investing in you and would probably expect to get something for that investment. Just be sure it’s fair to both you and them.

I get it that some employers are smaller and just can’t foot the bill for this. See if they’ll meet you part way. You pay for the trip and lodging and they pay for the Summit, or vice versa. It can also be about timing. You’ve got a major software release that’s going to prevent you from going. I almost missed a Summit myself because of this. It’s just not always possible, but a good employer will find a way to make it possible, occasionally. If there is literally no support, of any kind, ever, you’re either working for a not-for-profit or, maybe, the wrong company.

I’ll Be On Call

Be on call. Carry the laptop with you. Keep your phone charged (ABC = Always Be Charging). Don’t enjoy the evening festivities too much (and yes, there are parties at the PASS Summit). Be a responsible employee. I’ve had to walk out of great sessions because of calls from the office. I missed half a day because of a failed deployment. But I was online and available, not falling off the face of the planet just because I was at the Summit. Make the commitment to be available as needed by your employer. Demonstrate that commitment by being available. However, as with all things, there has to be a happy middle, assuming a non-destructive total emergency, they should leave you alone for little stuff so that you can attend sessions and network. That’s why they sent you in the first place.

My Notes

Take lots and lots and lots of notes. You can type them into OneNote or EverNote or whatever. Or you can scribble them into your tablet or onto notepads. Anything that works. But write stuff down. Write lots of stuff down. Write down what you’re thinking about the information as well as details said by the speaker that may not be visible on slides or in code. Write down what you talked about with that lady from that vendor on the back of their card. Take notes while talking to the Microsoft engineer or CAT member. Then, turn the notes over to your employer. They act as an additional knowledge base about the event. It’s one more resource that you’re bringing back to your team, showing the enhanced value that you’re providing.

Our Swag

Bring home a t-shirt or two for those people who couldn’t go. If there’s a particularly cool piece of swag, give it to the boss or have it as a raffle at the team training event for the best question. Share the stuff you get as well as the information you get. A friend of mine and I once collected 56 t-shirts and a stack of other swag (and had a heck of a time getting it all back on the plane) which we then spent almost two weeks handing out in the office to our team, development teams, managers and systems people, etc. It made us look good and cost us nothing but a little time on the vendor floor. It’s silly, but it works. If nothing else, it shows the boss that you’re thinking about your team and the company while you’re away.

My/Our Network

Network. That means not being “that person.” That person is the one who comes to the event, shows up for all the sessions, doesn’t ask questions or talk to a single person all day, then leaves and goes to their hotel room (and then usually goes home saying “Wow, that was a waste of my time”). There are large numbers of opportunities to network. Waiting in line to register, turn and talk to someone. Ask questions of the presenter during their session AND follow-up afterwards (although, let them get unplugged and out of the way of the next speaker). Go to the vendor floor where you should talk to the vendors as well as others. Attend the First-Timers event. Go to the Birds of a Feather lunch. Wear a kilt on Day 2 of the Summit (SQL Kilt Day, you’re reading the words of the founder of the event). Attend the Women in Technology Luncheon. Track down all the places where people are getting together and talking. Go to them. Get together. Talk.

I’m an introvert (people laugh when I say it, but it’s true). I recharge with alone time, not at parties. I get being an introvert. But the PASS Summit is not recharge time. If you’re not almost literally crawling out of the venue on Friday afternoon, you’re doing it wrong. The flight home should be the most relaxing plane flight you’ve ever had because you’ll pass out before take-off and wake up when the wheels touch down.

Take the time and trouble to begin to build your network. And remember, a network is not a series of authors or MCMs or MVPs that you can call. It’s a collection of people, some may be presenters/authors/etc., but the best are probably doing the same job you do but for a different organization. Talk to everyone. Build that network.

How does your network help the company? Remember that you don’t know everything. You can’t. However, you can know the people who do know things that you do not. That effectively expands your knowledge set. That makes you more valuable for your organization.

Conclusion

As you can see, going to the event could be a ton of work. In fact, if you’re focused on maximizing the returns for your organization, it will be. You’re going to be working just as hard at this event as you do in the office. It’s all about showing the organization that they will receive benefits by sending you. They will profit from the expenditure. Never lose sight of the fact that it has to be a partnership with the business. You need to benefit as much as they do from the experience. The fact is though, if you follow all my suggestions, you will benefit, and you will deliver worth to your org.

Apr 01 2016

Speaker of the Month: April 2016

THIS IS NOT AN APRIL FOOL POST!

Seriously.

My Speaker of the Month for April 2016 is Keith Tate (b|t) and his session at SQL Saturday Chicago called Profiler is Dead, Long Live Extended Events.

I actually suspected very strongly from the start of the session that it was going to be good. The reason for this, Keith was having issues with his machine, but he started the session anyway. It was an excellent beginning. Then, he started to talk about Extended Events and use his slide deck to emphasize the points he was making, and it was wonderful. For example, as he talked about the way the number of events has grown in each version of SQL Server since 2008, he used larger and larger fonts with the bigger and bigger numbers. It really hammered the point home. He continued the entire talk that way. His volume was excellent for the size of the room. He handled questions really well. He had a series of takeaways that he wanted to ensure that people understood, and as he made each point, he went back to the takeaways so that you remembered what everything was all about. I really liked a couple of his demos and I learned some stuff about how to better use the Data Explorer window with ExEvents. Wonderful.

I’ve already shared my criticisms with Keith. He needs to make sure he repeats the question, even in a small room. And yeah, that’s something every presenter gets wrong occasionally. He had a couple of slides that were very difficult to read. He spent too much time on a demo of the Profiler to show how bad it was (although, emphasizing why you need to stop using the Profiler is not a bad thing). He could have used that time to show off a little more in ExEvents.

Overall though, wonderful presentation, packed with information, presented in an interesting and engaging manner. I was impressed. I also just loved the topic.

And no, no jokes. It’s not an April Fools post. I’m really being serious about this. I post these things on the first Friday of the month, this one just fell on an unfortunate date.

Mar 29 2016

Do You Teach Azure Data Platform?

azureI offer instruction on the Azure Data Platform, and have for about six years, since shortly after it came out. I started using Azure SQL Database (although it had a different name then) Day 1.

I know a few other people who don’t work for Microsoft, but have been actively pursuing Azure SQL Database, SQL Server on Azure VMs, and pretty much all the Microsoft Data Platform. I’m not counting the BI people who have dived into PowerBI and related tech. The BI people, who are generally pretty smart, jumped on Azure with both feet. I’m talking about the data platform aspect of Azure. The people that I know who regularly teach classes are (in no particular order, sheesh, you people):

Karen Lopez(b|t)
Denny Cherry(b|t)
Jes Borland (b|t)
Thomas LaRock (b|t)
Joe D’Antoni (b|t)
Ron Dameron (b|t)
Aaron Bertrand (b|t)
Tim Radney (b|t)

I’m sure I overlooked someone who is active in this space. Please help me out. Let’s create a good list of active educators on the Azure Data Platform. I believe this is needed so that people know where to go, besides the excellent Microsoft resources (and they are excellent), to get more information. Please, no Microsoft employees. Yeah, many of them are great educators and I’m sure going to go and sit in their classes, as you should. I’m just trying to get the fundamental list of non-Microsoft speakers together and share it out.

Azure interest is growing, fast. Independent voices are valued and needed. Let’s get this list together, published, and maintained. Send me your input through the comments or my email (grant – at – scarydba -dot- com). I’ll get things published ASAP.

Oh, and if I missed you from the initial list and you were an obvious inclusion, my apologies. I’m old.

And, thinking about it, let’s get the BI people in Azure listed too. I was being lazy, not exclusive. Lazy & old. The intent is still good.

If you, or someone you know, is actively teaching Azure Data Platform, I want to know about it so I can add them to the list that I’ll maintain.

Mar 14 2016

Leadership Lessons

Not for you, for me.

I’m sure you’ve heard the statement: Praise in public. Criticize in private.

I agree with this approach. However, I find it extremely difficult to do. It’s one of the fundamental proofs that all leadership, all life for that matter, is about constant practice and discipline. It’s not enough to know something. It’s not enough to practice something occasionally. To get good at this stuff, you need to practice a lot.

Let me tell you about a recent failure on my part. My 17 year old daughter had friends for a sleepover (yeah, they still do that). She makes her own breakfast and starts eating. I remind her to ask her friends what they want. She does so in this really irritated manner. Of course, the friends don’t want anything because she’s so clearly put out. I proceed to lecture her on the mistake and how she should have done it. She’s embarrassed and I realize I screwed up.

Now, you can say that’s just parenting, and you wouldn’t be completely wrong. However, the same lessons apply in the business world. It’s so easy to see people doing stuff that is wrong and openly correct them. The hard way, the right way, is to get the correction in, but do so without being critical, in public. You can, you should, be critical of people. You just need to be cautious about how, when, and most importantly, where.

I’m typing this up because, in addition to my screw up as a parent, I’ve been a little too openly critical of others of late and I need to remind myself of the right way to get things done. There. I’ve been warned. I hope you enjoyed this little chat.

Mar 04 2016

Speaker of the Month: March 2016

I’m finally getting back out to community events so I should be able to avoid giving this gigantic honor to professional speakers for a month or two. My Speaker of the Month for February 2016 is Ron Dameron (b|t)

I saw Ron’s presentation Monitoring & Alerting for Azure SQL Database at SQL Saturday Tampa. It was a good presentation (or it wouldn’t be here would it). I especially like the topic. As more people move on to the Azure platform, this is the sort of information they’ll need. Ron spent a lot of time setting up slides to avoid overusing bullets. Nicely done. His delivery was clear and solid. He used Zoomit quickly and smoothly, it looked like it was just part of the presentation. His demos worked (unlike a couple of mine at this event).

The feedback I’d have for Ron would be to intersperse the demos through the presentation, rather than gathering them at the end. There were so many questions during the session (a great thing, the audience was engaged) that it bit into demo time a little. I liked the use of screen captures for the slides, but I’d make them the whole width of the slide so that they’re more visible. That’s it. Like I said, a good presentation.

Thanks Ron

Feb 12 2016

Speaker of the Month: February 2016

I’ve been a little remiss on this. I just haven’t been getting out to see people speak for a while (no travel is nice). However, I’m back in the airplane seats again, so these blog posts are off and running again.

Speaker of the Month for February 2016 is Jason Hall (b|t) for his talks on SQL Cruise. Jason covered two topics, TempDB and SQL Sentry Plan Explorer. I missed the talk on TempDB, but I heard it was great. I was there for his presentation on Plan Explorer. Excellent stuff. I had never seen Jason present before. In fact, I didn’t know he did presentations. He does. He spoke really well to the crowd. He knew the material down (not surprising since he’s been responsible for developing the tool) and handled questions extremely well. He kept great eye contact with the audience and his slides were clear and easy to follow. The demos were interesting and illustrated each point well. It was a great and informative session.

Feedback… Jason knows this topic. He demonstrated that knowledge extremely well. However, he came off as less than confident in that knowledge. I think by presenting just tons and tons of knowledge he blew away the room, but if he’d had less time to overwhelm us, he might not have succeeded. If you know the topic, stand behind it. If you’re unsure if you know the topic, pretend you know the topic. Fake it til you make it actually does work. Now, you have to be able to back that up, as Jason did, ably, but still, come at the session with confidence. Your confidence will communicate to the audience.

I’m sorry I missed the TempDB session. I can’t wait to see what else Jason presents on in the future.

 

Feb 04 2016

Positivity

I’m sitting in the classroom of SQL Cruise listening to Tim Ford (b|t) explain mechanisms for monitoring indexes. It’s a great class. Earlier in the week I got to hear Jes Borland (b|t) talk about extended events and do a session on wait statistics. I was also lucky enough to listen to David Klee (b|t) talking about systems monitoring, especially around VMs. Argenis Fernandez (b|t) and Jason Hall (b|t) are coming up today. In short, I’ve received some excellent learning while on a boat in the Caribbean. Now, one could argue (and you’d be right) that I’m thinking about positivity because of the nature of the position in which I find myself. Hang on though, I have some additional points.

One of the biggest strengths of the SQL Cruise is the intimacy of the event. You’re not just sitting through a one hour session with David or Jes, Tim or Jason or Argenis (the sessions are two hours anyway) like at a regular event. You’re sitting across from them at breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’re going out for drinks. You’re hanging out on the beach. You’re zip lining through the canopy. You’re exploring 17th century fortifications. In short, you get to have nice, long, thoughtful conversations with these people and your fellow cruisers. Positive now? Please bear with me. I don’t mean for this to be an advertisement for SQL Cruise (although…)

For all of the above, I  love SQL Cruise. However, there’s more to it than that.

No, the principal thing I love about SQL Cruise is the extremely high degree of positivity of the people that seem to be drawn to it. Maybe it’s Tim. Maybe he’s just good at pulling together a bunch of people who are incredibly positive. They care about what they do. They care about how they do it. They are unremittingly positive. I think of them as a bunch of happy warriors. They’re fighting with some of the hardest data problems yet don’t come down against their jobs, their lives, or the technology they use. Instead, they tighten their belts, crack their knuckles, get a smile on their face, and tear into the problems with glee. How do I know this? Because I watch them interacting with all the other people on the cruise. They listen with focus and once the problem is defined, you see that smile appear.

It’s so easy to be negative. The world is full of reasons to be unhappy, dissatisfied and disgruntled. Tearing things (and people) down is quite simple and maybe even satisfying in a way. However, negativity is draining. Negativity breeds additional discontent and more negativity. Sooner or later, enough negativity leads to a simple statement, “Eh, what does it matter.” Down that path lies the end of your career.

No.

Be positive. Be energized. Get that smile on your face and rip into that problem. Further, get people around you as much as you can who also will put that smile on their face, will also rip into that problem. Positivity breeds positivity and you’re so much more likely to have fun while getting your work done. Seek out the kind of people who want to help. Talk to people who are going to nod their heads and say “Yes, you can do that” and then will help you figure out how. I mean this not just for technology, but for your career and personal development. Find positive people and positive experiences (like SQL Cruise), that are going to lift you up and in turn enable you to lift your career.

Jan 27 2016

The Importance of a Full Backup in SQL Server

This is the first of 12 posts this year in support of Tim Ford’s #iwanttohelp initiative. These will be completely 100 level, introductory blog posts meant to help people that are just getting started as data professionals. I’ll try to cover several different topics over the year, but felt I should start with what I think is the most important, backups.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of getting a good backup of your SQL Server databases. A backup is the most fundamental of protections for the information on which your business is dependent. Since SQL Server is a service, it manages it’s own files. Because of this, you can’t just copy the *.mdb file where your data is stored. Instead, you must run a process, usually through the BACKUP command within SQL Server. That link goes to the MSDN documentation at Microsoft (which is always your first source for information about SQL Server). The first command outlined there is BACKUP DATABASE… This will create a complete, page-by-page (everything is stored within the database file in a construct called a page), copy of your database, including every single object within the database and all the data.

Well, you think, I’ve got that bit. I’ll take one of those full backup thingies and I’m all set. Ooh, look there are all kinds of other backups too. Log, Differential, File, Filegroup and options, COPY_ONLY, MIRROR… Not only does this get complicated, quickly, but it’s very easy to lose sight of the most fundamental aspect of all this. That is, that backups are not the main thing you’re going for here. The main thing you’re going for here is the ability to RESTORE your database. That link goes to the MSDN entry on RESTORE.

As you explore all the aspects of backups, you must always remember that the most important thing is that you can restore those backups. The most important aspect of the RESTORE operation, whether you’re restoring a full backup, a differential backup, a file backup a filegroup backup or a log backup is that every single one of them starts with a restore of the full backup. If you lose your full backup, that complete, BACKUP DATABASE command, you can’t run the first restore needed. Yes, taking log backups means that you can restore to a point in time. That starts with a restore of the database from a full backup. Yes, taking differential backups can be faster because they’re copying fewer pages to create a backup. Restoring a differential is only possible when you have the full backup that was taken before that differential was taken. The same goes for the rest of the backups (with some exceptions that are WAY beyond entry level). You must have that full backup before you can do the rest. This simple fact is why the full backup is so important.

So please, if you’re just getting started working with SQL Server, then get your backups in order, but make darned sure that you know exactly where your backups are stored and that you can get to them when the time comes to restore a database. Without that full backup, you’re in serious trouble.

I have a video of exactly how to take a full backup of your database using T-SQL to help you get started. Just remember, don’t lose that backup.

Dec 18 2015

Speaker of the Month: December 2015

The hardest presentations I’ve ever given in my life were not to large audiences or in big rooms. They weren’t even when I had to present in front of people that I respect and admire (although presenting in front of Paul Randal (b|t) & Kim Tripp (b|t) gives me pause every single time, not sure why). I don’t mind presenting all day sessions. In fact, I love the all day format. Nope, the hardest presentations for me are five minute lightning talks. They’re brutal. They’re unforgiving. You have to stop. You only get five minutes to tell people whatever it is you’re going to tell them. Then its over. I’ve done three lightning talks. One of them, a rant on backup testing, I’ve given four or five times. The others all died ugly.

I’m telling you all this because the Speaker of the Month for December 2015 is everyone who took part in Speaker Idol at the PASS Summit this year. This is the second year for Speaker Idol. Basically it’s a contest, organized and run by Denny Cherry (b|t). The winner gets a speaking slot at Summit. You’re required to present a five minute, tightly timed, presentation on a topic of your choice. You’ll have a set of experienced speakers acting as judges who will score your presentation based on the topic, the delivery, slides, theatre, everything I ever talk about in these blog posts.

The winner this year was David Maxwell (b|t) who writes about the experience here. Unfortunately, I was busy with Board Stuff(tm, or it should be), so I missed his presentation. However, I saw several of the others and if David beat them…. WOW! These were some of the most polished, professional, rock solid, presentations I’ve seen. These were master classes on presentations. If you are trying to polish your presentation skills, get your hands on the recordings and learn.