Reflecting Back on Year 2022: My Highs and Lows

Reflecting back at 2022, it was a great year with challenges but had learned many things. This year 2022 has bought some significant changes to my life as a person. This blog post is a quick overview of my year 2022.


I started my speaking journey back in 2020 with my debut session for New Stars of Data. Since then, I continued speaking at different events, both local and international events. I continued my speaking in year 2022 as well but most of my presentations were virtual. I was honored to be selected for the PASS Summit 2022 and decided to go in person to give my presentation for the first time ever.

To be very sincere, I was scared and worried of how I would be presenting in person for the first time at that big conference but I am blessed to have wonderful attendees who patiently listened to me during my talk. The first ever presentation I gave in person was on the topic “Women in Technology: How to become an Ally” where I decided to be vulnerable in sharing my story starting from my primary school days. Special thanks to Rie Merritt for reviewing my session and for giving your valuable feedback. Never in my dream I thought my story would connect to audience so well that it would made them shed the tears throughout the session. First few minutes were nerve-wracking and could easily felt in my voice but as time pass by, I felt more and more comfortable in sharing the story. In addition to that, some of my friends, mentors and well wishers attended the session to support me during my presentation. Thanks to Chris Wood, Jeff lannucci, Alpa Buddhabhatti , Kevin Chant and Martha Osorio for attending my session and supporting me with your presence. Your presence had a positive impact on delivering my presentation successfully. Thank you so much.

Me presenting at “Women in Technology: Becoming an Ally” Session at PASS Summit 2022

I received a very good feedback from audience for this session. Later, I presented a technical session along with my dear friend Surbhi Pokharna on the topic “Performance Monitoring, Tuning and Scaling Azure SQL Workloads” which was successful as well. We received great feedback on this session too. I also participated in the panel discussion for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion along with my friend Jean Joseph. I also gave a pre-recorded lightening talk presentation on “10 minutes in to SQL Notebooks”.

For the year 2023, I am honored to be selected as one of the speakers for SQLBits 2023. I will be presenting one technical “A to Z Azure SQL Security Concepts” and a non-technical session “Can an Introvert become an International Speaker? If so, How?” with my dear friend Alpa Buddhabhatti. I am going to present both the sessions virtually.

I will continue to speak on the technical and non-technical sessions in the coming year 2023.

Microsoft MVP Award

I have been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award on October 1, 2022 by Microsoft. It is a great honor to be recognized as an MVP. This is a prestigious Award from Microsoft. If you are not familiar with the details of the award, please look here.

Redgate 100

Really honored to be recognized in this year’s Redgate 100 top online influencers in ones to watch category for creating impact in the database community. I am really honored to be listed among other famous celebrities from SQL Family.

PASS Summit 2022 Committee member

Honored to be on the Committee list for PASS Summit 2022 in improving the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Summit. It was a real great experience in working with other committee members and with Redgate as they continuously take actions and make an effort to improve the DEI at the Summit.


From the past year, it has been a huge honor in mentoring other women coming from the underrepresented countries. It helps them in being vulnerable, comfortable in sharing their story as I come from the same background as well. Sharing and moving ahead in the environments where you can succeed but also support and help other woman thrive in the same environments is the most beautiful thing I can ever imagine. Mentoring is always a two way street. I learn from my Mentees and it has been a great learning from them. I would like to continue to mentor in the coming years as well.


I have been blogging about the Query Store and on Azure fundamentals in the past year. You can find the in depth series of posts on Query Store, please find here and blogs related to Azure here. I have been participating in the T-SQL Tuesdays. Its been a while I continued with my posts on Azure. I will have to be consistent on posting them. In 2023, I hope I will be writing more of the posts related to Azure.

Women in Technology Volunteer and Co-Organizing data Platform DEI user group

I feel blessed to be able to volunteer WIT user group in maintaining the Women speaker page “Webinars by Women“. I usually gather the details of women speakers along with the events they are speaking in the near future and upload the information into the portal. This will help the audience to look at the page for attending their sessions, helps event organizers who are looking for women speakers. This page is like a central location where you can find most of the women speakers from the data platform world and the event details of where and when they are speaking. I consider this as a great opportunity to serve the WIT community which is close to my heart. I highly suggest you to follow WIT page and DEI user group page on twitter to receive new upcoming session updates. If you follow these twitter handles, it will help you in being notified with updates and also show a kind gesture of you supporting women and diverse set of groups from the data platform world.

I am also serving as a Co-organizer for Data platform DEI virtual user group with amazing Tracy Boggiano and Jess Pomfret. I am so happy to work with both of them to organize the events and meetings for DEI user group.

Co-Organizer for Microsoft Data and AI South Florida User Group

I am happy to serve as a co-organizer for Microsoft Data and AI South Florida user group along with my dear friend Adriano.

Talking about my lows

Alright, so all the above information is related to highs. Everyone has to go through both highs and lows at certain point in their lives. I would like to share about my lows here. As you can see in one of my previous blog post, I have gone through lot of challenges and gaining back self confidence is not an easy few step processes. It is a continuous journey and if you fall in the trap of being low for long period of time, it will consume you and your time in complete. I had several times where I felt low for a good amount of time. During those times, I do not feel like learning anything, write any blogs or even engage in speaking. I am sure everyone has these periods in their lives where they get depressed or let the past struggles drive their present lives.

To gain back my power, I had to listen and watch a lot of motivational videos on YouTube. I read “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins which helped me come out of the tough times in my life. I recently started to listen to the audio version of the book again because I felt like I am falling back again. I also purchased David Goggins second book “Never Finished” and I am going to purchase the audio book as well. David Goggins straight forward approach and his sincere suggestions (though he uses cuss words, I don’t mind them at all as it helps me realize where I am in my life in a raw way with out using soft words, babying me telling its okay to be a down in life).

David Goggins is the sole reason for where I am today in my life. If not his book, I do not know if I even would have realized what I was going through. I was waiting for someone to save me and felt like a victim of abuse for many years. His book gave me strength to face my own fears. I stood up for myself after long time.

So, am good after reading the book, right? I should be in a place where I never turned back to the past and as I now gained self confidence, I should be good, right? Well, that is not the case. I need to constantly remind myself that I am capable of doing something when self doubt creeps in and tells me where I was in the past and yells at me to never forget the past. It is a tape record that plays in my mind which pulls the past back and disturb my present time. We all face these situations sometime in our lives. When we do, we need to remember that we cannot change the past but we still have a choice to make things better in the future. We need to understand that several things in life are out of our control and no matter how many times we think about it, we can change nothing. Figuring out how those exact negative circumstances can fuel us for making a better future for ourselves is important. I am still in the process of knowing myself and fighting my own fears. It is a life long process.

If you are going through rough times in your life and are looking for someone outside of yourself to save you, I am going to tell you the hard truth that no one is coming to save you. You need to save yourself by doing the work needed. I only learned this from David Goggins book. I highly suggest you read the books to gain back your power. If you think I am doing publicity of these books, Yes, I am 🙂 and I am very proud to do so as they are truly self help books which changed my life.

As we are close to end of the year, I wish you all the best and Good luck for the year 2023! Thanks for reading!

Don’t think you are ready yet? Do it anyway! Do NOT Self Reject!

This blog post is related to speaking at New Stars of Data. If you read the title, this post is for the professionals who wish to become the speaker but the self doubt is pulling them back from taking that first step.

I totally get that feeling. I was in the same situation two years ago. Self doubt was not just creeping in from time to time but it was part of who I was back then. I was going through depression due to the harassment I faced from my previous company for years in a row. I have no self esteem and lost self confidence bit by bit as each year passed through harassment. While I was in the darkest dungeon of my life, I finally decided to standup for my self. I know no one will come to rescue me and it is me who needs to walk towards the light from that darkness. I know it takes time but it is not impossible. But how? Where should I get the strength and energy to move a step forward when I have every reason to feel like a victim of abuse and harassment and be right in the same place? I was tired of blaming my fate for the situations I was in and I remembered I always can make a choice in any situation life throws at me.

I then decided there should be a challenge that I need to take that can build my self confidence back.

In the process of searching for a challenge, I opened twitter account only to follow BrentOzar and his new blog post news. I saw a tweet which said something like “If you are looking to speak at the event for the first time, New Stars of Data is the conference you can look into”. When I first read this tweet, I never thought I would submit for this conference. For the next couple of days, I couldn’t able to sleep properly as this tweet keep popping up in my head. Those thoughts screaming at me “what if this was the challenge you are looking for? Speaking can get back your self confidence, think about it! If you miss this chance, you may not get another chance”. These thoughts were consistent for couple of days. I know in my heart that I was not ready and I will never will. I just cant relax and wait for the perfect time to start doing the things that are right for me to do.

I decided to take the first step in the faith and submitted my abstract for the New Stars of Data 1. I then prayed to God from bottom of my heart that my session should not be selected. I was that scared and had that big self doubt. God went against my will and selected my session 🙂 It was a blessing in disguise. I know I put myself in a uncomfortable situation only to test myself if I can face the challenge. If I can, I know it is only for my self growth.

At the time of my abstract submission, I didn’t know that I will be supported by a Mentor by New Stars of Data conference organizing team (NSOD). Ben Weissman and William Durkin are the Organizers for NSOD conference. I was blessed to have Deborah Melkin as my Mentor. Her smile almost always calmed my tensed nerves. Deborah and I had weekly meetings to prepare my presentation. Deborah was very patient with me during the process. She helped me build my presentation and Andy Yun also helped me in giving a proper flow to the presentation. Both Deborah and Andy helped me build the presentation, reviewed it and had dry run before the NSOD presentation. That rehearsal session actually helped in fine tuning the presentation.

During my big day of NSOD, Deborah was moderating my session. Thanks to Ben and William for thinking above and beyond about the comfort of the new speakers without us even asking for it. As Deborah was a familiar person to me and as she was my mentor, I was super comfortable in delivering my presentation for the first time. My presentation went well, at least not terrible I believe, lol. After I completed my presentation, attendees were asked to provide the feedback. Please look at the feedback provided by the attendees below. It was such a great honor to be able to present at NSOD and to receive such encouraging feedback.

This feedback has helped me to take another step and present this session and another sessions at different events and conferences within United states and at different international conferences across the globe.

Since then, I have spoken at different user groups, SQL Saturdays, local and international conferences. I have presented more and more to get my self confidence back. I believe it is a continuous process and I am still in the process. Healing from the trauma takes time. I have presented at more than 200 events till date. I did it like I was obsessed with speaking because the more I present, the more I gained inner peace. The more peace I had in my heart, the more confident I felt. I had mention this at many events but would like to mention it here again.

“At the darkest moments in my life, I have chosen Speaking as a way out. Speaking has become a therapy to me. It will be a therapy to me for the rest of my life!” -Deepthi Goguri

To all the professionals who are reading this and are interested in becoming a speaker for the first time, I would highly suggest you to submit your sessions to New Stars of Data 5. NSOD has changed my life and I am sure it will change your life for good as well.

Though you think you are not ready yet, believe you will never be ready until you take the step and put the things into action. Remember, experience will never come if you wish and dream of a better future. Experience will only come with action. Go ahead and take the first step in faith. Do NOT self reject.

After reading this blog post, I am confident that you will be motivated enough to submit the sessions. With the same confidence, I would like to wish you all the best and Good luck on your submissions!

Thanks so much for reading!

Take that First step in Faith, rest will pave its path to your Speaking Journey!

Konstantin Yuganov/Adobe Stock

Do you have a Dream to become a Great Speaker? Do you have that one Dream you wish to see your words changing people lives in a positive way?

You may absolutely have that strong will in your heart to succeed but something inside you might be stopping you, the self doubt.

I struggled with self doubt for a long time and I still have it within me. Trust me, I exactly know how it feels. I have that negative chattering in my mind all the time telling me its not worth it, not to try in the fear of failure.

While I was vigorously searching for a solution to this self doubt, I came across some motivation which completely changed the way I look at life.

“If you are not uncomfortable, then there will be no change in your life! Stop judging yourself and take that First step in Faith. Get ready to get uncomfortable because it takes a lot of work. As you move beyond your Comfort zone and accomplish something, that’s when you realize there is next version of yourself. That’s when you will be able to see and feel the other side of the world you thought never existed.”

This motivation really changed the way I think about life. I learned that all the limitations that exist are the ones we impose on ourselves but in actual reality, there are no limits.

Once I understood that, I seriously started searching for an opportunity that can show me the next version of myself as a Speaker. One lucky day, I saw a twitter post from Ben Weissman:

” Call for Speakers open for New Stars of Data. New Stars of Data is an event to help find and promote new speakers in the Microsoft Data Platform arena. Speakers submit their presentation ideas and are assigned to a seasoned speaker, who will mentor the newcomer in all aspects around delivering a presentation.”

New Stars of Data is organized by Ben Weissman and William Durkin, sponsored by Redgate, SOLISYON and DATAmasterminds to help promote new speakers and pave a path to their speaking Journey. Organizers, Sponsors and Mentors spend their valid time and put so much effort in organizing the event just to see other professionals grow in their career as speakers. I was so lucky to know about the New Stars of Data event at the right moment in my career. I am very thankful to Ben Weissman and William Durkin for introducing this wonderful event helping many Data professionals to kick start their career as speakers.

There is a saying “You can only see what you are looking for!” I absolutely felt amazed and happy to see this post as I was looking for a good opportunity to start my speaking career. I still had self doubt but then I remembered, I cannot move ahead in life if I don’t make a change. I had many thoughts running in my mind continuously but I decided to take that first step anyway. I went ahead and submitted a session. I waited for the speaker selection results. Luckily, I was selected. I was very happy to be part of the event.

I was assigned to a Mentor, Deborah Melkin. I am very lucky to have a wonderful person as my Mentor, Deborah. She was very patient with me during the process. She spend hours of time in helping me during my preparation process. She build confidence in me and changed my life in a very positive way. Her valuable suggestions brought life to my presentation. Without Deborah as my Mentor, this would not have been possible.

There is so much support throughout the process. Both organizers and mentors were always ready to help anytime we need them. The constant support and encouragement built immense amount of confidence in me. I was more than ready to give my first presentation on August 14th. Andy Yun moderated my session. Andy made sure I was comfortable during my entire presentation time. I am very thankful to Andy. Deborah and Ben were also with me online to support me during my presentation. With the help of all these wonderful people, I was able to successfully complete my first presentation. All credits goes to Ben, William, Deborah, Andy and all sponsors.

I never thought I would be able to speak at conferences until I had my first presentation for New Stars of Data.

Received valuable feedback from Ben, William, Deborah, Andy and Jeff Iannucci after the presentation. Attendees were very supportive as well and provided valuable feedback. Feedback from all these amazing people gave me enough confidence and boost to present at different events and conferences.

Since then, I spoke for twenty eight events in total till date which includes three SQL Saturdays across United States and other countries, Dataweekender, DBCC International, GroupBy conference, Drupaljam International Conference, Google Dev Fest Conference and several PASS User Groups across United States and other countries like Canada. I am going to speak for Women In Technology Summit 2021, SQL Saturday Bangladesh and SQL Saturday Vienna 2021, Festive Tech Calendar 2020 in near future.

All this is possible only because of New Stars of Data event. My speaking Journey all started with this wonderful event. As New Stars of Data event paved a path for me, I was able to move in the path, improve, learn, share and continue to grow as a speaker.

Ben and William helped many professionals during the New Stars of Data event. As they continue to help many others, they came up with the second New Stars of Data event.

If you have self-doubt in you, please try to put your self doubt aside for a while and take your first step in faith. Once you take your first step, you will have a chance to see the other side of the world which you never knew existed. You will be able to introduce yourself to a new version of yourself. If you have a Dream to become a public speaker, I really suggest you to apply for New Stars of Data event. It’s not just an event, its a very strong supportive system you build and the friendships you build through the process which is more valuable than anything. These friendships are for life 🙂

Trust me on this one. Go ahead and apply for New Stars of Data, you will thank me later 🙂

Call for speakers is open until December 20, 2020. Event is on March 12, 2021. Here is the sessionize link for your session submissions for New Stars of Data. You will be assigned a Mentor who will support you in every step of the process and make your first speaking session successful.

I wish you all the best and see you at the event on March 12, 2021!

A single valuable advice can change a Life!

There are few things in Life which money cannot buy!

You may have heard this sentence many times in your life. A real true advice can change a person perspective of viewing the life differently. Sometimes, a sincere advice which you do not want to hear can take you places you never knew exist. When you have an open mind to see the life as it is, you are already accepting the opportunities life gifting you. In today’s world, a sincere true advice is very hard to find. If you find one, you are really lucky because now you can take that advice and think mindfully of where that advice can take you.

I was not with this mindset few years ago. As life throws at me the challenges, I struggled first, was angry next thinking, why me? I couldn’t bear my mind chattering with all these negative thoughts taking me no where. Instead, these negative thoughts pulled me down, caused self doubt and I lost confidence in myself. While I am still at this stage of life, something magical happened. Something triggered me to think very deeply about life and that completely changed my perspective of Life.

A single valuable advice changed my life forever.

Here is the advice I received:

“The only limits in our life are those we impose on ourselves. We, in our mind believe we are not worthy enough, limit ourselves in not dreaming big and think we are not worth of achieving big things in life. If you can remove that limit which you put on yourselves, no one can stop you except you! If you have the will power and intensity of putting your dreams in to actions, no one can ever stop you. Take each challenge life throws at you and instead of dwelling on why this happened to me, take the same challenge, put it in a positive way and prove yourself by facing the challenge and see where this takes you in your life”

This is the most valuable advice I received from Tom Bilyeu and Bob proctor. I summarized this in my own words.

I was so desperate to find a solution to my problem and I tried to figure out myself by checking on the motivational videos on youtube to remove the negative mind chattering. I came across “Impact theory” by Tom Bilyeu and “Proctor Gallagher Institute” by bob proctor where I received this valuable advice. In my view, these two motivational speakers are my mentors. The communication might not be in person but the way they made an impact on my life is incredible. Nothing can buy a valuable advice from a true mentor who want to change your life in a better way.

From the day I received this advice, I started viewing life differently. It’s not someone who stopped me from achieving something, its me who limited myself. There is no change in life throwing challenges at me, they remain the same but what changed is me taking each challenge as an opportunity for my growth. Instead of worrying about my troubles, I started thinking how can I grow from my difficulties in life and see them positively. As I see life positively, Positive things started happening to me.

I thought of getting better at my skills as a SQL Server DBA. I had a thought, how about I learn and share my knowledge with others so others can benefit along with me. That thought triggered me to start this blog. I started writing blog posts of challenges I face in my daily work and how I fix them. I started reading Brentozar blog posts. I wanted to open twitter account just to see what Brentozar post about his blog posts so I can be updated on his content. I was so much impressed on how much knowledge he have on subject and the way he share his knowledge with other people. I then see on twitter, many professionals talking about SQL Server where I figured out there is something with hashtag #sqlfamily, which I found and felt is a completely different world. I see so much positively here and I liked how much people are sharing and caring for each other. I started seeing people posting about presentations, blogs and what not! I am already loving these positive vibes #sqlfamily spreading around. One day, I saw the post on Introducing “New Stars of Data” conference especially for new speakers. This event was hosted by Ben Weissman and William Durkin. I have the opportunity but I have fear of speaking in public. I thought, I can only grow if I face my fears. I immediately submitted abstract. Luckily, I was selected. I was given a mentor, Deborah Melkin. In the beginning, my self confidence was so low until I met my mentor Deborah. I always had a thought that people will judge me for who I am, but no! that’s my thinking. Not True. Deborah is my second mentor in changing the way I look at life and myself. She build a confidence in me with out me actually realizing it until I gave my final presentation. This blew my mind as I realized I am actually capable of speaking which I did not think even possible. Is that not a true mentoring meaning? Deborah changed the way I looked at myself and life. There are many people out there who change other people lives in a positive way without them actually realizing it.

I always have many questions in my mind. I have interest in learning more and share with others as I learn. As I gave my first presentation, I started submitting abstracts to other conferences but something I know I am missing. I do not know what it is. As I am fairy new in speaking at conferences, I have lot to learn. I faced my fear of speaking and I do not want to stop here. I truly feel this is the first step to my next steps. I want to learn and involve in community more. The more I get involved in the community events, the less I worry about the things that do not matter. A month ago, I was talking to my family member and I said, how wonderful it would be if someone from the SQL community can give me a career advice and mentor me on how I can grow as a DBA.

There is a saying, “You will always find what you are looking for!” As I was searching and keeping my eyes wide open for any opportunity that will help me, I see a post from Paul Randal “Mentoring 2020 – want some help from me?” I am like, now this is what I am looking for! I started reading the post and thought no matter if I get selected or not, I am going to apply for sure. If I am selected, I will have a very good opportunity to get valuable advice that can change my career in a better way. If I am lucky to get the opportunity to have a very well known and experienced person in the Industry as my mentor, that will really help me in solving some of my questions I always had.

I have many questions running in my mind that I need to get some clarity on. Some of them, I cannot even describe here. I need to get started by explaining one by one to get the flow.

If I am lucky enough to be chosen, I need help on some of these below non-technical subjects:

  • Presentation skills and improve public speaking.
  • Community exposure. I am interested in involving more in the community.
  • Work and life balance
  • Getting better at Blogging
  • Goal setting
  • Improving my value as a DBA.
  • How can I develop myself so I can mentor others.
  • Improving self confidence
  • Communication skills
  • Dealing with stress.

A single valuable advice from this mentor can have a real positive impact on my life. I am ready to make any number of changes in my life to become a better person. I am really looking forward to this.

Closing this post by saying this again, as I truely believe it-

There are few things in Life which money cannot buy!