8-Aug-2008: Added details on my abbreviations (per comment)

7-Aug-2008: Updated to fit the table into the width of the column for web readers...

...And I'm back. I've been conspicuously absent for a while because I was furiously preparing for TechReady 7 (an internal conference for the Microsoft field), and during the middle of that conference I decided to break my arm. I've been reviewing my scores publicly for a while to elicit external feedback, so I figured I'd continue that trend here.

The sessions I delivered were:

Shims1: CLI315 - Mitigating Application Issues Using Shims Part 1

Shims2: CLI403 - Mitigating Application Issues Using Shims Part 2

Debugging: CLI400 - Debugging Application Compatibility Issues

PjM1: CLICT300-R1 - Application Compatibility Project Best Practices

PjM2: CLICT300-R2 - Application Compatibility Project Best Practices (Repeat)

Once again, let's take a look at my ratings relative to my peers. Last time I was looking specifically within the Windows Client track but this time around let's compare scores to the conference as a whole:

TR7 Shims1 Shims2 Debugging PjM1 PjM2
Knowledgeable 2 1 6 11 73
Presentation Skills 7 1 5 54 93
Content 5 2 12 99 92
Demos 5 5 6 76 39
Builds Skills 8 2 15 66 111
Relevant 22 4 33 57 90
Worth My Time 13 2 9 61 111
Will Recommend 5 1 11 84 116
Overall 6 1 11 68 112
Average 6 2 10 62 97

And some of the comments:

"This was the best and what i had expected out of every technical session at TR. thanks for skipping the marketing decks!"

"GREAT presentation without PPT. Other presenter have to do the same. We are here to see how it's working, not print screen."

"I appreciated the demo-centered approach to presenting. Chris has a wealth of knowledge and he is a very good teacher."

"This was the only true 400 level content of all the classes that I did attend. This was beyond my skill level, but the presentation skills of the presentor kept me awake and interested"

"I loved it, hardcore to the bone!"

"I lack most of the pre-req skills to really take advantage of the insight & info presented in this session. 20 years ago when I joined MS I was very good at Dissasembing Apps. I've not used it since. So I'm skilled enough to see he did a great talk & also to realise that I'd need a lot more coaching before I could replicate what he showed me. Great Talk."

My learning:

Dispensing with the PowerPoints is goodness. That's right. PPT, be gone with you from my technical sessions! They're still there for you to take home, but I don't need to read to you. I took my shim sessions, which have traditionally done fairly well, and rocketed them up to the top of the entire conference by just doing away with PPT. #2 session in the conference, #1 on 4 attributes (including overall). Pure goodness.

You can go too hard-core. Debugging Application Compatibility Issues was a top session in the conference, but I didn't leave enough breadcrumbs for folks. You should walk away from every talk knowing something more than you did when you came in. If you walk away feeling like you can't do any of that, then it's just a show, and not educational. Fun, but almost as helpful as a box of hair. Take it from deep to deeper to deepest - don't just start way in the depths with a screen full of assembly language.

I'm not so good at chalk talks. Now, to be fair, I did deliver one with an untreated broken arm, but I think the scores speak for themselves even for my able bodied session. I tried to make it interactive because I wanted feedback on project management, but clearly I should bring in talent better suited for that goal.

I need to make sure to keep it relevant. The scores aren't horrible here, but they're the weakest link. Perhaps I should start polling the audience more. And, for anyone attending an upcoming conference, feel free to tell me what matters to you. I'm trying to base what people are interested in by the questions that get funneled my way, but I'll communicate with you any way that I can.

Thanks again to anybody who attended - I hope you enjoyed the demos and the absence of PPT! See some of you at TechEd EMEA! (And perhaps at PDC - that's not locked in yet.)

I've got a pile of topics to cover that have backed up in the queue, so now back to your regularly scheduled geekiness...