Yesterday was my fourth week speaking consecutively for a month straight. These past weeks have been the most grueling while trying to balance my daily work efforts as a consultant, creating new presentation slides and demos while also trying to balance my family life. There have been many nights of staying up late, learning new things and figuring out ways to effectively present on them. Here is a rundown of the past four weeks and where I have been presenting.
Annually I do a lot of Florida code camp presentations but for the end of April into May, I wanted to focus strictly on user groups and special interest groups (SIG). I really did not plan to have all of my presentations run consecutively, however it just seemed to happen that way. I actually had to cancel speaking at the Jax SQL Saturday since I was doing a ton of travelling with work and could not balance the two. April 24, 2008 I had the opportunity to speak in Tallahassee, Fl., at an Architect SIG that had just started up. I did my presentation on gathering and modeling requirements. I was the second speaker after the previous month of Jeff Barnes (MS) priming them up for me. Now I run the Arch SIG in Jax and when I saw around 30+ attendees in Tally I was shocked. I started soul searching trying to figure out what I could do to draw that many to our arch SIG meetings. I mean, these guys were hungry!
The next week, May 1, 2008, I headed back to Tallahassee, Fl. to speak again, except this time it was at the Capital City .Net User Group. I wound up doing a two hour session on Migrating WF. I had originally planned for an hour session, but these guys were even hungrier. Again, I think we had around 30 or so which really fired me up.
The third week, May 7, 2008, I spoke at JaxDUG, right here in my home town of Jacksonville, Fl. This was a special time for me because it was in my own backyard, even though there were not many I knew personally that attended, there is just something special about speaking within your local community. This time I spoke on integrating WF with WCF, however a bit more watered down with different demos that I had planned for my next week's presentation at VSLive. I think we had around 25 which also was exciting.
Now for the best part! VSLive has been and will always be one of my favorite conferences. Being in Orlando, Fl. It makes things even more worth wild, because you can enjoy so many things while you are down there. Yesterday, I did my presentation on Integrating WF with WCF and probably had around 50-75 attendees. One of the main reasons why I think the attendees enjoyed it, was because my demos expressed real world scenarios and none of them blew up! More importantly, there were very few people I saw leave during my presentation. Not that it means people do not enjoy what a presenter is presenting on, but I think it means that the presenter has kept it interesting enough, that attendees are connected with what you are presenting on.
Other than presenting, VSLive was just as fun as if I had just been an attendee. It was a huge rush presenting at it this year and I hope to be back. Everything was top notch and extremely professional. One interesting thing was Crazy Wednesday, a wild event that was hosted by Billy Hollis. Towards the end they needed a panel of speakers to answer questions from the hundreds of developers attending the conference. Billy Hollis was hosting, Rocky Lhotka, Richard Shaw Hale, Walt Ritscher and me made up the panel. It was quite interesting about some of the questions that the attendees came up with however we all had a blast!