Thursday, December 15, 2011

PASS Summit 2011 Session Evaluations

Session evaluations from the 2011 PASS Summit have been entered, calculated, and officially released to speakers. While I didn't make it into the "best of" sessions (hey, room for improvement right?) I did improve over last year's scores.

Following a similar format from previous years, each question is rated on a scale of 1-5 (1 = Very Poor, 2 = Poor, 3 = Average, 4 = Good, 5 = Excellent) with room for additional comments should the person completing the form feel compelled to add more information about why they gave a particular score. There were also two comment-only (i.e. unrated) questions. Here's how I fared:

Working With XML In SQL Server

Level: 300
Attendance: 47
Responses: 25
Average Rating: 4.56
Overall Rank: 64 (out of 190 sessions)

1. How would you rate the Speaker’s presentation skills? 4.6
Comments:

  • Kendall started off the last session of PASS with a corny SQL joke. Excellent. :) Kudos  for pointing out the insecure way of connecting to SQL and mentioning that it should never be done

2. How would you rate the Speaker’s knowledge of the subject? 4.68
Comments:

  • a few questions he couldn't answer on indexes/stats

3. How would you rate the accuracy of the session title, description and experience level to the actual session? 4.64
Comments:

  • too basic 100 or 200
  • very good overview

4. How would you rate the quality of the presentation materials? 4.56
Comments:

  • time was limited

5. Did you learn what you expected to learn? 4.32
Comments

  • Exactly what I wanted! Thx!
  • neutral since I'm still new to xml

6. What will you take away from this session? (comment-only question)

  • Possible methods to improve currently poor XML use.
  • great tips on working w/XML
  • a better overview of xml-dml queries
  • i want to query my execution plan DMV's using Kendal's query
  • resources to obtain queries

7. What would you change to improve the overall quality of this session? (comment-only question)

  • correct the level
  • would like to see a few more of the "cool" examples that were at the end (eg querying for showplans)
  • Put this session before the 500-level session on performance tuning XML usuage
  • Not a thing
  • 90 minute

 

Paging DR Availability, You're Wanted In The Recovery Room
Level: 200
Attendance: 61
Responses: 42
Average Rating: 4.36
Overall Rank: 124 (out of 190 sessions)

1. How would you rate the Speaker’s presentation skills? 4.4
Comments:

  • Flowed well and handled questions gracefully.
  • Good, but more dynamic.
  • Thorough explanations.
  • Speaks a little too fast for me.
  • Very easy to understand and open to answering questions.
  • Applause at the end is a good sign. Humor, self-deprecating - clear, funny and smart. (Note from me: Thanks!)

2. How would you rate the Speaker’s knowledge of the subject? 4.6
Comments:

  • Knows his stuff :)
  • Very good knowledge of the topic - was able to answer most questions.
  • Very good.

3. How would you rate the accuracy of the session title, description and experience level to the actual session? 4.29
Comments:

  • Hoped for more concreate guide for DR vs. HA.
  • Should describe this as a high level overview.
  • This was more of a HA class than DR while still very good, title was a little misleading.
  • Might have been 100 level.

4. How would you rate the quality of the presentation materials? 4.31
Comments:

  • More examples.

5. Did you learn what you expected to learn? 4.19
Comments:

  • Well presented @ SQL DBA!
  • Not what was expected.
  • Doing this stuff, but needed "this is what to do!" :)
  • Speaker broke down technologies.
  • Learned about replication.
  • Was hoping for more in depth info but speaker warned us at beginning it was an overview.

6. What will you take away from this session? (comment-only question)

  • There is no single solution Even though there are many options avaiable
  • Ideas about different types of disaster recovery.
  • Better understanding of HQ and HR concepts.
  • A good idea of the various strategies I can use in my shop.
  • HA vs. DR. Good score card.
  • Given me a better understanding of how I can back-up and keep our data current.
  • More knowledge and points to take back and improve.
  • Good info on which strategy to use when and why.
  • Understanding difference between HA/DR.
  • Different DR technologies - will implement database mirroring with in the next month.
  • Very good overview of a topic a lot of people mess up: HA vs. DR.
  • Excellent score card!!!
  • Good overview of techniques and strategies.
  • The info on transactional replication was really helpful.
  • A better sense of what's available out there.

7. What would you change to improve the overall quality of this session? (comment-only question)

  • Nothing.  Good job.
  • A couple demos (mirroring, t-log shipping) would have been nice.
  • Less time spent on the "basics" that are well known. Hoped for more info on using combinations of the technologies - clustering with mirroring.
  • Class focused on clustering over DR.
  • None, other than to check slides before presentation. (Me: Yep, I had a typo in one of my slides. My fault!)
  • Add multi site clustering info.
  • More time.
  • Demo some types of recovery mirror, etc.
  • It's skimming the surface.  Learned stuff, but was surprised at how much of it i know.

 

Conclusion

One thing I've learned after presenting at three Summits is that I'm not going to over-analyze the results. I'll leave it at this: I didn't bomb my presentations and I improved over last year's scores so I'm happy. There are a few things I'll tweak to both sessions to make them better, and some of the comments confirm that I could easily turn the HA\DR presentation into a day-long precon (something I've been kicking around for a while now).

I'd like to thank everyone who attended my sessions and took the time to provide honest feedback. I'm happy to have been given the opportunity to present at the Summit and am looking forward to next year!

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