Printed 2014/04/17 06:48AM

PASS SQL Rally 2011 Evaluations

By Grant Fritchey, 2011/07/05


In keeping with the all my other major speaking engagements, I’m posting the results of my pre-con and session evals at the first-ever SQL Rally. I’m posting this really late and I apologize.

The good news, I did a fill-in when someone cancelled and I was placed in the Grab Bag category where I had the highest rated session although it was a far cry from the actual highest rated sessions from the whole Rally.

There is no bad news.

Query Performance Tuning: Start to Finish

I was pretty happy with this considering it’s my first, public, all day training class. I’m even happier with the feedback. I received some excellent constructive criticism that I will attempt to take into account when I present in the future (including at the PASS Summit pre-con with Gail Shaw (blog|twitter)). Here are the results of the 80 (out of 98) evals:

To say the least, I have nothing to complain about. These are solid ratings. The one that concerns me is the rating on my demonstrations. It’s low. Lower than the other ratings by a considerable amount and it’s reflected in the comments. It’s not that the demonstrations were too difficult, but evidently I ran through them too quickly. That’s something I’ll try to watch for going forward.

A few of the comments and my responses, if any, in parentheses:

went a little too fast through a couple of the demos (several comments like this and the ratings reflect it as well)

wanted more on identifying bad queries

have alternate improvements, and measure all alternatives during the query optimisation section. (nice idea, hard to do and cover what I covered, maybe a different all day session on this)

very well made presentation. Got my money’s worth and some

would have liked to see a start to finish example. a large complex query and how to apply the techniques to improve it. Examples seemed too isolated (similar to above)

Not enough deep dive (it wasn’t meant to be. if something is rated as 200, you’re not going to get a deep dive. why would you expect one?)

Raise the screen up higher i couldn’t see the bottom of the screen (a few of these. I changed how I did my presentation so that instead of results on the same tab, my results go to a new tab, which means execution plans can be at the top of the screen. I did what I could, but it’s these rooms that make this difficult, people running these conferences, take note)

If the speaker allows audience to do some testing simultaneously with ongoing session will make the session more interactive and fun (excellent idea and I wish I had done this)

While 7 hours was plenty of time, a faster pace would have allowed for more demos (and here you get the reversal from the people complaining about the fast pace, of which there were several)

Thank you everyone for the feedback. It was extremely useful and thoughtful and I really appreciate you taking the time to fill it out. I hope to apply all this to my pre-con in the fall (please attend, especially the person who asked for a deep dive on execution plans, you’ll love it)

Reading Execution Plans: The Deep Dive

This was a fill-in session. I hadn’t rehearsed it at all and it was supposed to be 90 minutes, not the 60 I had to present it in. It was a new style of presentation that I was experimenting with for the SQL Cruise. Getting the chance to run through it at the SQL Rally was a great opportunity. I think the weaknesses of the presentation are reflected in the evals, but overall, I was really happy with how it came out, despite the fact that I was speaking really fast to get 90 minutes of material into 60. Here are the results of 40 evals out of about 60 people in the room:

Nothing much to say about these. It was an unrehearsed presentation. The fact that it’s not all 1’s is wonderful. Demos & explanations low ratings I’m putting down to excessive speed because I really did talk quite quickly.

Here are a few comments:


WOULD LOVE TO TAKE A 5-7 DAY CLASS ON THIS WITH LABS. (how about a 1 day class?)


WOULD LIKE VALUES. GOOD, BAD (absolutely something to consider, but this was meant as a “what/how to read” session, not so much a “what to do about it” session, maybe I should stop trying to separate those)

OPENED MY EYES TO THINGS IN THE EXEC PLAN THAT I NORMALLY OVERLOOK. (100% absolute WIN! This is exactly what I was going for with this session. Bringing out the details that people don’t know about to show them how to understand the plans. When I saw this comment I jumped up & down, for real)

TOO MUCH INFO FOR 1 HR TIME SLOT (Tell me about it)

Again, wonderful stuff. People at SQL Rally seemed to take on the task of providing feedback much more seriously than I usually see at conferences. Thank you!

Thanks to all the organizers of SQL Rally. You guys did a great job. Thanks for letting me present twice. It was an honor. I had a blast. I’m looking forward to more SQL Rally events in the future (although I don’t think I can present since I have a pre-con & spotlight at the Summit).

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