Reflections on Tampa CodeCamp

Jul 17, 07

In retrospect, I probably should have posted a ‘reflection’ on my JaxDUG talk as well. That was my first talk and I believe my first PowerPoint deck ever created. The deck is pretty much the same except I had only a minor amount of notes in the first and a few items weren’t there. The DDLDML slide is the only one I recall that I added.

In any case, I want to thank all of the people that came to my talk. I hope it was informative. I received some feedback on it. All of it was pretty positive. I again received multiple requests for more code samples. I definitely agree that since it was “CODE CAMP” I probably should have included more actual code. 😛 I think this was the last time I will be offering this version of this talk. Any future version will most likely contain some aggregated topics and some code samples. I don’t view the lack of these items as a weakness on the part of the presentation however. I presented this particular content in a specific style for a specific purpose. The purpose lay within the presentation methodology itself.

Dennis has been bugging me to give a talk for quite some time now, so I wanted to do the first presentation in the presentation style that I liked. This style worked quite well for JaxDUG. I did receive the same request for more code samples then as well. I ignored it. 😀 While I have nothing against code samples, the actual talk was meant to be given more as a lecture on specific topics. Hindsight is 20/20 and if I could go back, I believe I would alter the content of the talk to more suit the crowd at the Tampa CodeCamp who probably came expecting some more illustrative content (e.g. more code samples) than I provided. In fact, one young lady in the front row piped right up in the beginning asking if there would be a lot of code samples. Perhaps she asked about “many” or even “any” code samples. I don’t quite recall. So, I hear that this is a desired item and I’ll add it to the future talk.

If anyone has any negative feedback, I’d really appreciate it. 😀 The people that love your presentation are always eager to come forward and tell you about it. It’s often the people that think you suck that don’t really want to talk to you. One of the topics I cover is peer review. In that portion I advocate locating your worst enemy to do your code review. So, if there are any enemies of the presentation, please let me know.

Some areas I felt I got knocked in personally? David Hayden sat in the front row and gave me an especially hard time about ‘set nocount on’ as a tip. I will blog about that topic shortly. I also got crucified a bit on sp_executesql. That was really just my shortcoming on controlling the topic and not having some ready answers for some predictable questions. I’m going to chalk it up to my doing no prep at all really and my lack of ability to control the topics and keep them on track. Well, perhaps ‘lack of control’ is a bit strong, but I generally pride myself on my ability to control a room and keep things on track. I let the topics wander a bit during some of the conversational portions of the talk. I also feel like I could have had some much more concrete examples of why specifically temp tables and cursors are often bad for more novice developers. There are, of course, times and places for all things. My inability to offer concrete examples could have been confusing to some. The entire point of the talk originally was to bring to light the topics contained within the presentation, not necessarily to cover each one in depth. Had I stuck to that, I would have provided the clear direction that I wanted to provide which was ‘hey go and do some research on this topic.’ While I think I did get that across, I feel like I could have done it in a better way. I’m going to chalk that stuff up to just being a novice speaker. I think about 50 or 60 people showed up for the talk which is the largest audience I’ve ever spoken in front of so maybe I was nervous or something? I didn’t feel nervous, but maybe… inexperience. Perhaps that’s a better word.

In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed my time speaking and plan to speak again at the Jacksonville CodeCamp and I am hoping to submit several other session topics as well.

As for the rest of the Tampa CodeCamp, I believe I sat in on the top 10 sql performance tips early in the AM which was pretty cool. Great reminders on some tips from Andy Warren. I also later attended Shawn Weisfeld’s super sweet robot presentation. The rest of the time I spent bouncing around between sessions and “networking”. I also, sadly, took a nap in the afternoon before heading to the after-party. What can I say, forgive me, the CodeCamp was actually on my 30th birthday, so I’m officially old enough to require naps in the afternoon now. Right? I just count myself lucky that I didn’t have one of those stereotypical 30s birthday parties (yuck). 😀 I rather enjoyed letting it just roll by un-noticed. 😁