Speaker of the Month, May 2014

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Whoa! Another month gone by already? I guess I better pick a speaker of the month then. I went to several events this month, so selection was difficult, getting to see so many great speakers. But, one stood out in my mind, partly because he’s the least experienced speaker I’ve seen in quite a while. But his inexperience didn’t show. Speaker of the Month for May 2014 is Andy Yun (t) and his presentation Every Byte Counts.

The session was about using the right data types. You’d think this is self-obvious, but from the way Andy packed the room along with the attention and questions from the attendees, it’s clearly a topic that needed attention. I really liked how he did a presentation on the problem space before showing his goals for the session slide. It worked. He did a couple of good little tricks, leading people to make a poor choice for the data type with vacation days and then explaining why. It was a great bit. He also did a fantastic job of repeating everyone’s questions. It was a small room, but it was packed, so the speaker needs to do this (and I need to get better at it). He had a great bunch of examples that worked well to illustrate his main points and I really enjoyed the whole thing.

Areas that he could work on to move this up a notch? ZoomIt. ‘Nough said. While he presented everything extremely well in clear, easily understood language, it was a little fast, so he might want to check every so often if everyone is still within him. And Andy, breathing is important. You should do a little during the presentation.

It was a great experience, especially when you consider it was his second time presenting. I know for absolute fact I didn’t do that good my second time (or 10th) and I’m frankly shocked by the number of experienced speakers who wouldn’t have done as good a job as Andy did. It was a great presentation and worth checking out if you get the opportunity.

Where is he speaking next? I don’t know. No blog. Not on Lanyrd. He’s just going to appear somewhere, so be ready.

A couple of honorable mentions this month. I got to see Tim Ford do a great experiment with a presentation on query tuning. I think it worked well, but I know he’s going to modify it, so I’ll wait for the finished product to give him the speaker of the month. If you haven’t seen Kevin Kline speak… you’re just doing it wrong. Go get it fixed.


OK, fine, but what do you think?