User Group and Conference Talk Topics for 2022

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During CodeMash 2022, I caught a session about the trouble in retaining women in tech, especially in the 35 and older crowd. That is my age group – I look forward to embracing the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything this year. After CodeMash, I caught lunch with some tech event organizer friends, and we noted how there aren’t a lot of women presenting on technical topics. So my goal for 2022 is to be focusing on technical topics. These are some of the topics I want to present throughout this year.

Working with Graph Databases

I first caught wind of graph databases seeing Jeffrey A. Miller’s presentation on Neo4j at a past CodeMash (2018?). Seeing the nodes and vertices had me think of the many mind graphs and relationship diagrams I’ve drawn over the years. If you are exploring things and relationships, graph databases should be explored. With two common forms of data modeling – RDF and LPG, there are ways to draw out relationships and explore the problems they assist in. Azure Cosmos DB Gremlin API and Neo4j with Cypher are two graph platforms I am comfortable demoing. I talked with Guy Royse after his talk, and I poked at RedisGraph recently as well.

Azure Databricks

Over the past couple years, I have been working with Azure Databricks in an educational setting. Prior to teaching it, I had heard a lot of hype about Databricks and was nervous I was missing on an unfamiliar technology that could be nice to know. If you are familiar with data processing at scale, Databricks is another tool for your toolbelt. The interface reminds me of what I have seen with Jupyter Notebooks and Azure Data Studio on small scale projects. Databricks is meant for larger scale – Big Data – projects. Whether you are doing ELT or ETL, Databricks is good for extracting data, transforming it, and getting it loaded into another environment. Databricks is Apache Spark-based and also supports Python, R, and SQL. In my demo, I look forward to showcasing these features of Azure Databricks.

A Lap Around DefaultAzureCredential

While working with Azure resources, I’ve been looking into ways of coding things securely. Long gone are the days of storing credentials in plain text configuration files. Or at least… they should be. But inevitably, someone checks in their credentials into source code and now it’s time to rotate keys and reset access. DefaultAzureCredential is something I came across on a recent project and something that I don’t hear a lot about. Storing credentials in environment variables, working with managed identities, working with shared access tokens, and more, there’s so much more than storing keys, and I want to show how this can be beneficial to know about.

Infrastructure as Code

There is a part of me that likes the infrastructure side and networking side of things, even though most of my career has been in environments where those skills are pushed aside for me to focus on “developer things”. I’m more DevOps that dev on many of my projects nowadays, which means I get to use things like Azure Resource Manager templates, YAML, and Bicep. I’m hoping to put together a couple talks on infrastructure as code and getting into showcasing it from a DevOps perspective.

Conclusion

I am claiming 2022 as my year to present technical and getting more comfortable teaching in the 300/400 level courses. While I love welcoming new folks into tech and teaching at the 100/200 level, I know it’s time to bring my teaching skills to the 300/400 level audience as well. It’s time to tackle the technical and be part of the representation of older women in tech.

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