Today is the big day of my presentation, and it is Thursday 3am and I have slept since 10pm, having managed to achieve a few extra hours of prep on my session the night before until jetlag smashed me across my head. My session is the last one of the day which means I have just under 14hours to go before completing what I actually came here to do.
I work fairly diligently up to 8am and having completed my slide deck to my full satisfaction, I run through the demo a couple of times and am happy that I can leave for day 2 on the blogger table to listen to Dr. DeWitt’s highly anticipated Keynote speech. I grab a bite to eat on the way and my favorite Salted Caramel Mocha and take my seat next to my buddy Niko. Dr. DeWitt’s speech did not disappoint and he covered and compared Data Warehousing in the Cloud across different supplier platforms. The conclusion we arrived at was perhaps unsurprisingly that Microsoft’s SQL Data Warehouse was the best offering, but I also felt his analysis was an unbiased critique (as much as that is possible given his background). Either way, it was a fascinating and inspiring talk.
After my live tweeting, I headed back to my hotel for the next 6 hours or so to complete work on my session and polish some of my notes and make ALL my materials publically available to my attendees. My point will be to say that even if my delivery or session sucks, they have EVERYTHING they need to play with (and implement) In-Memory OLTP.
As the time draws nearer, my only disappointment is that I would have liked another couple of weeks to develop this session to my satisfaction, but I have given it everything possible up to now, and more time and personal compromises have been made than I care to admit to. I steady my brief and fleeting flutter of nerves as I walk across to the Convention Center and promptly head into the speaker room to prepare my final pieces of the jigsaw, making sure that materials, connectivity and other things that could go wrong are addressed. I am happy and ready.
As I walk towards my session room (one of the biggest at the Summit), Niko is finishing off his Columnstore next door. He has done a great job by the looks of things, and he has had a good audience. My room (6B) already has around 40 people scattered around and more people gathering to come in from elsewhere as I start setup on the stage. After a few minor video reconfigurations and 15 minutes later, the recording team is ready and happy -and so am I. By 4.45pm I am really happy that in such a big room I have got a good sized audience at such a late hour, and am ready to begin. The loudest cheer of the day came not long afterward when I announced in my opening that it is late, I expect to have a beer in my hand by 6pm, so would forgo the opening slide’s 10 minutes of waffle. A brief but enthusiastic round of applause rippled around the room -which lifted me a little.
Overall, my session and delivery went as well as I could have hoped for (all things considered). I had no technical problems, no demo fail, no major timing problems and a gaggle of people sticking around for a long chat about their environments and the use of In-Memory OLTP. This is always a good sign (especially given the time), and I do not get out of my session room until at least 6.30pm! I drop my laptop off at my hotel and as I set out to meet up with a few friends, I bumped into one of my session attendees who enthusiastically called my over and kindly told me I had given a great session. I was even happier to hear this when he told me that he had already been to a couple of other In-Memory OLTP sessions during the Summit, so having his feedback (with that in mind) was nice. Hopefully, my general audience feedback will be kind, but time will tell!
After meeting my friends, we all headed over for some dinner before finally wandering up towards the Redgate Party and hung out for a few hours until closing. Next up was the traditional trip to Bush Garden for SQL Karaoke with a small group of people, but upon entering it was clear the venue was jam-packed with non-PASS people. We grabbed one quick drink and moved onto another Karaoke joint called Hula Hula (where we could swing a cat), and here we spent an enjoyable few hours before closing and frantically headed back into Seattle for a swift half (or two) at a nearby bar to Pike Place Market.
An enjoyable but tiring night was over and by 2 to 3am I was back in my bed!