SQLSaturday #164 is in the books and the months of work and planning that went into putting this event together really paid off. This was my first foray into the planning aspect of such an event and it was quite a learning experience. Putting together a SQLSaturday is hard work! There were some definite hurdles to overcome. It was postponed from its original date due to location availability (or lack thereof). There were challenges with the final location: locking doors, restroom keys, room sizes. Not to mention some concern over the speaker shirt sizes. But the speakers kept a sense of humor, the volunteers did a terrific job of ensuring that everything ran as smoothly as possible, and everyone had a good time.
This was my first of 2 sessions. I had done this presentation once before at our user group. That version was slide-heavy, with a short demo at the very end. Since then, I’d done a complete overhaul of the session, adding knowledge I’d gained and making it much more demo-centric. What I ended up with was a completely new session, really. And one that I really enjoyed doing. Due to all the demos and the short session time (1 hour), I had to skip past the SQL Trace stuff, but the attendees didn’t seem to mind. I had a pretty full room and got great reviews. I would LOVE another opportunity to present this session at another event. (hint, hint, SQLSaturday coordinators!)
For those folks who attended (THANK YOU!!!), the slide deck and demos have been uploaded to the SQLSaturday web site.
My second session of the day was my “So I started this blog… now what?” presentation. This was my third time doing this session and each time I’ve made it a little different. For the most part, I got great reviews again. There was, however, one attendee who was obviously less than thrilled: “Did not meet expectations” and 1 out of 5. Ouch. Honestly, I have no problem with those scores. To me, negative feedback is just as important as positive feedback. The only complaint I have about this review is that there were no comments. So I’m left to wonder:
- What did you expect? What would you like to have seen covered that wasn’t? Was the session abstract/description misleading or inaccurate?
- That 1 out of 5, what did that reflect? The content? My presentation style or skills? All of the above?
I’m not trying to be confrontational here, I would truly love a chance to pick the reviewer’s brain. I’m open to any and all constructive criticism and suggestions as to how I can make this session more valuable to attendees. If my reviewer is a reader, feel free to email me. And come to think of it, that goes for anyone who attended either of my sessions.
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
Awesome! I got to meet and chat with quite a few folks from the SQL community. I attended great sessions by Andy Warren, Joey D’Antoni, and a very interesting panel discussion on career management. I also learned that Jeff Moden is a seriously. funny. man. From the speaker dinner to the after party, I had a blast. Y’know, I may be biased, but I’d say that Cleveland throws a heck of a SQLSaturday.
I attended your ‘Blogging’ session and can tell you that I have fallen victim to every single one of the “Roadblocks” that you talked about. As evidence, I had to google my own blog because I forgotten where I had even started it. Turns out I launched it just more than 1 year ago. Take a guess at how many posts I have made.
I found your presentation inspiring and practical. Thank you for all the hard work that you put unto #sqlsat164.
Thanks, Chris. It’s good to hear you found it useful. I’m still thinking about more tweaks, if only to keep it fresh for me.
I attended your DDL auditing session and I was very happy with the content. I’ve been working through some issues around that topic and you gave me some things to think through.
The biggest thing I struggled with was focusing my topic to a small enough subject that I could adequately cover it in one hour. I spent some time in the beginning setting expectations for what we would and would not cover. That seemed to help, but it was still difficult. You did a great job in your talk to boil down a large topic into something that could be understood in a short amount of time. I felt like you set my expectations properly and then exceeded those expectations.
Thanks for all of your hard work in making SQL Saturday #164 possible. It was a great event.
Thanks Tim. I agree, it was tough deciding what to cut out. Do I go broad and shallow, or narrow down my focus and dive deeper? I’m happy with the mix I ended up with in that session. Let me know if you have any problem with the demos.
Colleen, you did a great job presenting “Blogging”! And the entire day, for me, was phenomenal! I even followed your writing tips and wrote about it http://shellyhinegardner.blogspot.com
Thank you for investing your time and energy in me!
Thanks Shelly. And great post!
Great job on Saturday, Colleen.
As a programmer handed the reigns to our databases, your DDL session was informative and gave me lots of places to dig into and ‘get my learn on’…thanks for your time volunteering.
Tim – good session, too.
See you guys in Seattle!