A student’s first international public speaking experience at ESPC22
Published Jan 11 2023 01:00 AM 1,112 Views
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Hi, my name is Gabrielle and I am a High School student in Maryland, USA in my 2nd "Sophomore" year, my studies are primarily in Business and Government outside of the standard classes.  My interest in technology is as a hobbyist and enjoy helping my dad with Home Automation stuff around the house with Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Python.  Traveling with my dad for conferences is lots of fun and great cultural immersion, I learn a lot from seeing what its like in other countries.  On this trip to the European SharePoint and Azure (ESPC) Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark I co-presented with my dad on one of his session "Microsoft Graph Development with the Python SDK" which focuses on the Microsoft Graph. This was my 1st time speaking in front of an adult audience, and my 1st time speaking on such a deeply technical topic. At the end of the 50 minute session, the session attendees provided great feedback around the content and my delivery, the rapport we had as co presenters, and encouraged me to continue. My dad posted this capture on LinkedIn about our session.

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Going into this I was filled with anxiety and uncertainty. Every worse possible scenario was circulating throughout my brain: “What if I forget what to say?” “What if I forget how to run the demo?” “What if I stutter?”, things of that sort.  I found that as we started, and my dad began talking I was able to calm down and follow his lead. I genuinely like presenting, walking into this I knew very little about Microsoft Graph, Python, Anaconda, Application Permission, etc. Our session started off providing scenarios around why” someone would want to build their solutions on the Microsoft Graph using Python.

 

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Our scenarios focused on the fact that all users of Microsoft 365 whether they are using Microsoft Word, Excel, Email (Outlook), SharePoint or OneDrive the thing they all have in common is that all that data is stored in Microsoft 365 and can be accessed programmatically using the Microsoft Graph.  Users already have through their licensing agreement the ability to use “the Graph” to Create, Read, Update, and Delete that data.  With Python, which is FREE, you also have the ability to use the tremendous libraries they have to organize, visualize, and get insights from the data much faster than a human can using tools such as Pandas, Matplotlib, and TextBlob to name a few. 

 

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Thankfully before we went on stage, my dad sat me down and walked me through the demos while teaching me about the benefits of Microsoft Graph development with the Python SDK. I expected everyone in the room to know more about the topic than I did but majority of them had no idea how to incorporate Microsoft Graph into their code. For some reason, this also seemed to calm me down because earlier I felt like I needed to work to achieve everyone trust and confidence. What also calmed me down was my dad messing up while presenting. I’ve always been a perfectionist and the thought of something going wrong makes me want to crumble. However, watching him play it off made me realize that no matter what , the point of the conference was to teach others. The objective is not the faults that occur while speaking, the objective is making sure everyone in the room can walk out with more knowledge on a topic they knew little about.  In my demo I used Visual Studio Code (VSCode) with a console application to bring back all the different type of Microsoft Groups that people belong to Distribution Lists, Security Groups, Microsoft 365 Groups, etc. and provide a report of usage, membership, etc. which can be used to audit access and roles against policies the company might have to ensure that they are in compliance with their own rules and any legal obligations they may have. I also called against the Mail Microsoft Graph endpoint to bring back all of a users mail and used TextBlob to do sentiment analysis on the mail which can be used to get a sense of the morale in the company or again do an audit to check if email contains sensitive or protected information. The code for our session with these examples may be found at this Github repo. FabsESPC22/GraphWithPython at main · fabianwilliams/FabsESPC22 (github.com)

 

Going forward, I feel like my class presentations will run smoother and I will be able to prepare for them more efficiently. Speaking as a child in front of other children is less anxious than speaking as a child in front of adults. Regardless, I was able to speak in font of a group of intelligent adults and do it well. This experience taught me that age does not have to be a factor while presenting. If you feel confident in what you are talking about, the presentation should be beneficial and will run smoothly. Follow me at my Github gabriellewill (Gabrielle) (github.com)  and also on this Microsoft platform  . This experience also taught be how to get out of my head and quit worrying about how I am being perceived. Confidence is key!

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‎Jan 10 2023 06:52 AM
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