Misc

Feedback from DDD5

I’ve now received the feedback from the talk I did at DDD5. For the most part I thought the scores I received were fair. There were a couple of really scathing comments, but most pointed out things that I should work on to improve my presentation style.

The averages (out of 5) for each of the 4 things I was marked on were:

  • Overall: 3.68
  • Knowledge: 3.94
  • Presentation: 3.24
  • Content: 3.5

Most people did give me a lower mark for presentation – which I know I have to work on. I’m not the best at turning an already dry subject into something really exciting. A number of people commented on my initial nervousness, which is also true. I think that is something most presenters have, I’ve just not managed to hide it as well as some other people, and other than to a group of 4 developers at work this was the first outing for this presentation so I wasn’t sure how it was going to be received.

One interesting comment was to use yellow highlight. I though I did, but it turns out that my laptop is set to cyan. I will take that on board as I was looking at the screen in front of me rather than the projected image the audience saw.

The same person also suggested I use something called Zoomit. That comment seemed to concur with another that the fonts were too small. However, other than a brief moment when I first fired up Visual Studio, the fonts were set to 16pt which, when I asked the audience if it was big enough, I was told was perfectly readable. However, Zoomit may be useful so I’ll get that installed.

It also seems that I paused when moving between the code and the presentation. I agree that is something I have to work on. I am not good at multitasking, which is probably why didn’t say anything, however someone else suggested that to ease those moments it was best to just verbalise my internal thought processes just to let the audience know that I was still doing something. So, that is something I’ll try to do from now on.

One commenter said that I “introduced terms and abbreviations without explaining them”. I’m usually quite careful about that, but I’ll watch out for it in the future. It would have been nice to know what the terms were, that way I will be more conscious of them in the future.

One person was highly disappointed that I didn’t know much about TypeMock. Since my aim was to talk about the concept in general rather than about individual frameworks I didn’t think it was important to the presentation. A second person would have liked me to have delved deeper into the workings of RhinoMocks, the framework I was using for demonstration purposes. So, it would seem that people are interested in specific technologies. However, in a one hour session it would have been impossible to have explained the concept then shown off every aspect of each of the various frameworks, or even a specific one. It was, after all, only an introduction to the subject.

If all this seems a bit negative, it is because I’ve concentrated on the aspects that I need to improve or felt I had to address. I did get some very encouraging comments, including:

  • “The content was great and highly relevant”
  • “I came to DDD specifically to attend this presentation. I was not disappointed. I’ve already put what I learned into action.”
  • “Good Session”
  • “It was a good introduction to mocking”

Also, if I take out the the two scathing comments (outliers it’s called in statistics) out of the 35 people that filled in feedback my score increases a little bit. I don’t know how valid you think doing that is (but it makes me feel better):

  • Overall: 3.78
  • Knowledge: 4.06
  • Presentation: 3.34
  • Content: 3.63

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