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A Better Conference Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, July 5, 2013 8:55 AM
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reference material first:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconference

http://www.unconference.net/unconferencing-how-to-prepare-to-attend-an-unconference/

http://www.unconference.net/

I have attended a number of unconferences over the last 5 years, and find them a richly rewarding alternative to the classic conference the original poster described.

The concerns raised about 'Improv' conferencing are quite valid, but this is not an either-or situation: I have attended and hosted off-the-cuff roundtables that were 'Improv' by almost any measure, then later in the day given a 90 minute presentation with a 17 page handout, two demonstrations and a physical model. The real difference for both was an audience that wanted to be there ("Vote with your feet" is a standard rule of unconference) and my willingness to do the prep work for the second conf 'on spec'.
Post #1470778
Posted Friday, July 5, 2013 9:24 AM
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Good day everyone,

One Microsoft conference I went to was very good. Two speakers with a mock real life scenario where one speaker was the IT Pro and the other was the Developer. They had a scenario to go through about giving access to the Developer the developer giving code to put on the server etc... It was very animated and captivating. It made me understand the point of view of the IT Pro and why he needs to be so tight with permissions.


Maybe this could be adapted to DBAs where the first speaker could be the boss breathing in the neck of the second speaker (the DBA) while he is recovering from a total crash and trying to figure where the problem.

Thank you Steve for making us think outside the box. Very appreciated.

Benoit
Post #1470792
Posted Friday, July 5, 2013 10:31 AM


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bpoirier (7/5/2013)
Good day everyone,

One Microsoft conference I went to was very good. Two speakers with a mock real life scenario where one speaker was the IT Pro and the other was the Developer. They had a scenario to go through about giving access to the Developer the developer giving code to put on the server etc... It was very animated and captivating. It made me understand the point of view of the IT Pro and why he needs to be so tight with permissions.


Maybe this could be adapted to DBAs where the first speaker could be the boss breathing in the neck of the second speaker (the DBA) while he is recovering from a total crash and trying to figure where the problem.

Thank you Steve for making us think outside the box. Very appreciated.

Benoit


Matt Masson (of the SSIS team) and some other guy have a presentation like that about Data Quality Services. Matt is the developer, and the other guy is the business type who knows all about the data and the business. Very interesting and entertaining session.




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Post #1470812
Posted Friday, July 5, 2013 11:12 AM


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Very interesting topic. I'm all for more audience involvement. Last year's Summit (2012) had a session with Thomas LaRock where the presenters led the attendees on a trouble-shooting and database performance-enhancing scenario, with suggestions from attendees incorporated into the presentation in real-time. The more of this type of presentation we can have, the better.

Not trying to make this a plug for my endeavors to this end, but I too have been working on an idea to increase audience involvement at such events. The idea is a SQL game, where participants from the audience form teams and play a game of SQL-off against other teams. Trying to get some traction to hold it at PASS events. I am hoping there is enough interest in this to try it out.


Hakim Ali
www.sqlzen.com
Post #1470823
Posted Friday, July 5, 2013 1:06 PM
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Perhaps there could be an open "trouble-shooting and question-asking" session with several experienced "presenters" where the expectation is that the attendees would bring their issues and a database to work against to resolve them. Then let everyone - presenters and attendees - try different options to resolve the problem.

While I realize some problems are complex enough that this might be difficult in some cases, I think it would provide great interaction, plus it would help build presentation skills in those bringing the issues into the session.

Sort of a "grow your own" concept.



Here there be dragons...,

Steph Brown
Post #1470848
Posted Saturday, July 6, 2013 7:31 AM


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I just want to be albe to attend more events.


Rod
Post #1470919
Posted Monday, July 8, 2013 12:15 AM


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Doctor Who 2 (7/6/2013)
I just want to be albe to attend more events.


So do I. Unfortunately employers can be too short sighted to see the benefit gained, far outweigh the time lost in the office (and due to the great sponsors, the minimal expenditure). I believe I learn far more at these events than I do by attending formal MS training courses.

Post #1471048
Posted Tuesday, July 9, 2013 1:16 AM
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I really like the idea of linking sessions.

The conferences I have attended generally have a themed tracks (BI, DEV, DBA) however the sessions have no relevance to each other and often have overlapping content. If they were in some way connected you could spend the whole day in 1 track obtaining a more complete/rounded learning experience, but still allowing others to chop and change should they wish.

I would love to see this implemented, although can appreciate that it would be incredibly difficult and would involve the participation and sharing of sessions and content ahead of the event. The speakers/organisers already give up so much of their time for the SQL community, I’m not sure you could ask more of them - Thanks guys!
Post #1471453
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