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#SQLPalooza Part Deux – Speaker interview with Spencer

We sent Spencer a few questions to learn a little bit about him.


Outside of work and being a devoted family man what is your favorite escape/pleasure?

Funny you say family man, while spending time w/ the wife and kids is both an escape and pleasure from work when I really want to escape I like to play video games. I’m an avid PC gamer, currently playing Fallout 4

What are your favorite affordable ways to learn new technologies (websites, events, groups etc.)?

I used to be real big about buying a book to learn something new, but now that’s transitioned more to what’s available on the web. If it’s a new programming language or new framework it’s relying on what documentation is available. When I was starting out in SQL Server though, going to SQL Saturday and then the SQL User group meetings help a ton and they were free. The biggest thing for me though when trying to learn a new technology is actually getting to play with it and try it out.

What made you decide to share your knowledge and start presenting to the community?

After a few years I felt like I could talk on a few things but was still hesitant to put my self out there. I was asked to talk at a small conference for Tennessee Tech (my alma mater) to which I agreed, and after doing that it was easy to do that same talk at a few SQL Saturdays. So after submitting to a few events I’ve suddenly found myself speaking and traveling around the southeast. I think getting that first session out there and presented is the hardest. There are so many things to talk about and honing in on just one thing can be difficult, not to mention the nerves that come with giving a presentation. I’ve found the nerves tend to go away after a little practice.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice or encouragement what would that be?

I would go back to my high school self and tell him to start investing. This has nothing to do with my career and I had already decided what I wanted to do. It just would have been nice to have gotten a head start.

Best tip for work life balance.

Establish some boundaries, disconnect from work while at home or with the family.