Today was much different than yesterday when I attended the “hurts your head” sessions. Today the sessions were, for the most part, a bit higher level (with one notable exception).
First up, I went to see Glenn Alan Berry’s (http://twitter.com/#!/glennalanberry) session on hardware. Good session, nice level for the average person (like me!), at least when he was out of the processor version weeds :)
After lunch, a few of us hit a book signing, and that is (as always) pretty much death. The only way that sort of thing works is either giving the books away as they are signed, or like last year’s MVP Book signing, we are doing a lot of them and it is an event.
After that, I sat in on Karen Lopez’ session (http://twitter.com/#!/datachick) and learned a bit about standardized models. Good session, probably could have used a bit more examples, but apparently most of the models you can get are proprietary. In either case I learned of their existence and that is a good thing.
Andy Leonard (http://twitter.com/#!/andyleonard) did his Database Design for Developers session, and it is a good session. Completely different from my session on design, more implementation oriented. I definitely liked it, and what is funny, he made one of the same mistakes I did. Finished way too early, more on that in a sec.
Then I spoke. Last session is painful in so many ways, limited attendance for one (none of the sessions I frequented today was really packed), but nerves got the best of me. I won’t blame the audience, but we just didn’t click today and I got into a nervous loop and just didn’t feel comfortable. I looked at the evals, and one person really noticed it (self conscious, painful to watch). I averaged a good with a few bad and more than a couple of excellents in the bunch. One thing was that my room was too large. With about 70 attendees at any given point (a few less near the end), the room could have seated 400 or so. I do this presentation for SQL Saturday crowds from 20-60 (Birmingham was awesome!) and it is just a more relaxed atmosphere. @Datachick did it right and didn’t use the podium, and I won’t again for a smaller crowd.
Honestly, I have said it before, it is a hard topic to cover in and hour (even when you have an hour and a half :). I think people learned some stuff, got their ideas affirmed, or whatever, so I am happy enough with the result. The fact is I am contemplating picking some other topics I have in mind and putting together new presentations and only doing the design one by demand or as a pre-con/post-con thing. I had the most wonderful time in Orlando doing that pre-con, because the crowd was with me, they enjoyed themselves, and we had time to stop and discuss each point. 8 hours is barely enough, but 1 hour is way not enough. I plan to submit and hopefully debut something new for the Louisville SQL Saturday in January, but who knows. I also am about to start the next version of the design book, and this topic is big for me. The more examples and questions I get, the more ideas I have.
Can’t believe that PASS is over, but hey, it ends every year. For all of you in Post-Cons this year, enjoy. Everyone else, see you next year, and probably sooner.