Did I mention great speakers? There were so many sessions that I wanted to catch, but there just wasn't enough time or enough of me to go around. I ended up bouncing from session to session, leaving some of them early to catch the ending of another. I hope nobody thought I was being rude, I was simply trying to soak it all in. Lots of great speakers...
And then there was me. Yes, I spoke at this event as well, my first public presentation. Ever. Three weeks of preparation. Good demos, fun slides, and surprisingly few jitters. At least until about an hour before showtime. I sat down in the speakers' lounge to do a quick run-through of the presentation, and COULD NOT CONNECT TO MY VM!!! Instant panic attack. Brain froze, and for a moment I had no idea what to do. SQL? What's SQL? Eventually, I settled down, and realized that the problem was that the LAN adapter in my VM was setup as a bridged adapter instead of a host adapter. A quick config change and I was up and running. WHEW!
4:15pm - time for my big debut. There I stood, in front of 30 total strangers, not terribly nervous, but having what I would almost describe as an "out of body" experience. I could hear myself talking, but my brain didn't seem to be in control. "What was I trying to show with this demo? C'mon, think!". I need better comments in my demo scripts. After an awkward few minutes, I began to find my rhythm and the flow improved. Audience participation was great, there was a lot of productive back-and-forth (we all learned a few things), and I was actually able to answer most of the questions that were asked. My only regret is that I needed about 10 more minutes to full finish the presentation - we had to rush through the last few slides, skipping a couple of demos.
In spite of the bumpy start, the audience apparently liked what they saw. From the 29 eval forms that were turned in, my average score was 4.1 (out of 5). Not too shabby for a first-timer! Lots of constructive comments as well, and then there was "Title of talk should be more specific". This one has me stumped. The session title was 10 Ways To Abuse T-SQL, and I showed 10 ways that new developers commonly abuse the language. I'm not entirely sure what was unspecific, but I'm definitely curious how to fix this one.
Alright, where's the next event?