When I attend sessions at events, I try to mix it up. I’ll go to a session that, really, I probably will never use the information, just to expand my knowledge level a little. I also go to sessions by the masters so that I can try to expand my skill set. I go to sessions on topics that I feel like I know well just to reinforce my own learning and understanding. That’s where I got the Speaker of the Month for May 2015, Denis McDowell (t).
I went to his session titled DevOps for the DBA at SQL Saturday #380 in New York City. I present pretty regularly on this topic and I’ve helped build multi-day training courses on it. Seriously, I feel like I probably know it. However, as stated, I like to question my own knowledge of a topic and the best way to do that is by seeing what others are saying about it. Denis delivered. I really liked how he started out by defining exactly what he means by DevOps, since the term can be used poorly. He carefully examined the resistance that he sees occurring, fear and uncertainty being one of the leading causes. I also loved one of his phrases that he used, automate what you know. His delivery of the information was good. I really liked how he had a wealth of stories to emphasize the points he was making. It was a very good presentation with great information.
Denis and I talked about improving the presentation. The one thing I suggested was that he interact with the audience more. Get questions out like “How many people are using PowerShell now?” or “Who has automated a deployment process before?” or other stuff related to the presentation. I’ve found that the more you interact with the audience right from the start, the more they’ll interact with you, asking questions, etc. He could also pause a little more when he does ask questions to give the people a chance to respond.
I got good insight out of this presentation and I enjoyed watching Denis give it. I strongly recommend you track him down next time he’s in your area.