Well, I’ve received the feedback from my session at DDD6 and here it is:
By the looks of it, the session was quite well received by most people. As you can see from the Histograms there are a small number of people who obviously really didn’t like it, but you can’t please everyone I suppose.
I also received some text comments to which I’d like to respond.
One person indicated that the panel re-enforced what he already thought about recruitment agents. I wonder if that Included Karl. I suppose he did spend some time apologising for the rotten apples in his industry. It is unfortunate that a few rotten apples can spoil the whole barrel. I’ve had my (un)fair share of dealings with rotten agents, but I’ve also dealt with some really good professional ones.
One person wanted more questions that were relevant to contractors. I actually did try to get a contractor on to the panel, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Also, only 2 questions directly mentioned contracting or freelance employment, which actually represents 40% of the questions (There were only 5 questions in total). I’m sure that had there been 3 questions that dealt with contractors, there would have been a comment from others that it was too one sided in the other direction. Finally, remember the audience were given an opportunity to direct the questions by submitting questions. I did my best to choose a fair representation.
One person regarded Barry Dorrans as “the bastard boss (and proud of it)”. However, as I recall, Barry did say that this was just his interview technique to ensure that the candidates could stand up to difficult clients. I know some people may not like that, but if that’s the way the business operates then it is important to know if a person is likely to fold under pressure from a client. This also reminds me of a story I heard a while ago about interviewing potential police officers. One of the questions upset of of the candidates. The question was “What would you do if someone vomited on you?” However, it is a valid question. Police Officers are regularly vomited on and so the question helps the interviewer understand how the candidate will react in that situation.
One person thought the topics were too narrowly focused. From my point of view it was a difficult call. The subject area is quite large and I wanted to cover a variety of topics. If I had been too broad with each topic I’m sure I would have received complaints too as we would have had to spend more time on each topic. As Bart Simpson so succinctly put it “You’re damned if you do! You’re damned if you don’t.”
Finally, although someone did say they thought the session was “very good” they didn’t find it interesting. I’m wondering if they submited any questions for the panelists? If they did, did we go off topic with it? (We actually asked every question that we received – although we did have some in reserve in case we ran out.) This session was highly geared to running in the direction that the audience (hopefully) wanted it to go in. So, I am obviously disappointed if someone attended and found it not to be interesting.
I also received some compliments, but I wanted to respond to some specific points that were raised.