This was supposed to go on the other blog I maintain but I reckon this is something that everyone would appreciate even though it isn't a technical post.
After coming back to Singapore from a week of TechEd Asia 2008 mania, I've spent a lot of time thinking over what the most important lesson I've learned at the event. While a lot of attendees may talk about the great sessions they've attended or the parties they've gone to, speakers about the sessions they did (I had two breakout sessions and one instructor-led lab) and how they've given a great (or screwed up) presentation, mine was a non-technical session done by the people from Microsoft Learning entitled "If I can be a Microsoft Certified Trainer, so can you. MCT Speaks!" I am by far a part-time MCT as I no longer do full-time training. But teaching is my passion. I'd do it for free. Almost a decade ago, Ive decided to pursue the MCT certification because I know it will be my gateway to pursuing a passion in teaching (I've got other dreams about teaching but this was one of my earlier goals). One of the statements made by the moderator reminded me why I was at TechEd Asia. He said, "being an MCT gives you the fulfillment that you have made a difference in someone else's life." On the first day, after the keynote session, a guy with a camera called me while I was on my way to the presenter's room. He said he saw the video which included me promoting Microsoft certification. I was trying to recall how he knew me when he suddenly interrupted me by saying, "I still do what you have taught me about SQL Server 2000 in my work." That hit me hard. He was my trainee some five years back in a SQL Server 2000 course I did for Accenture Philippines and now he's a SQL Server consultant. He was with a few of his colleagues from Accenture and Avanade attending the week-long TechEd Asia event. I even saw one of his colleagues who happened to be one of my students way back when I was still teaching in a university. Now that's what I call fulfillment. I never imagined that they would be who they are now a few years back while they were in my classroom. But everybody has the potential to become great. I just happened to be the avenue for these people.
It's great to know that you are making a difference in someone else's life. For me, it's simply fulfilling a purpose. It just so happen that I am an MCT while fulfilling that purpose. And that is basically the reason why I volunteer to speak at these types of events, whether TechEd Asia, PASS Community Summit, MSDN TechTalks, etc. I believe that one of the people in the crowd would become somebody great someday. That in itself would make a whole lot of difference for that person. And that would be my reward