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


DDD5 – quick report

Well, DDD5 was earlier today. It was a great day with lots of really interesting talks. So far this has been by far my favourite DDD. The first session was my own. I did a presentation on an Introduction to Unit Testing with Mock Objects.

By far the best speaker of the sessions that I attended was Gary Short who talked about Agile in ISV Vs Enterprise. It was informative, funny and entertaining. In short (no pun intended) Gary brought humour to an otherwise dry subject. This was especially needed as his audience would otherwise have been dozing off after their lunch. I am definitely going to try and get him to repeat that talk in Glasgow sometime.

Afterwards was the Geek Dinner. This was held in a restaurant at the side of the River Thames. The location was wonderful, the company brilliant. The weather wasn’t either – it was bucketting down. Also disappointing was the food, or lack thereof. What I got was in no way worth £16 per head, both myself and John had to go to McDonald’s afterwards to “top up”. It was fantastic to try a different venue after going to Pizza Express the last few times, but this one didn’t work out in my opinion.

Over all a great day made better by a fantastic community

DDD4 and Grok Talk

Well, I’m back from DDD4 (Developer Day 4) in Reading. It was a fabulous day with some very intersting speakers. I particularly enjoyed Daniel Fisher’s presentation on Data Access Layers and Ben Lamb’s session on “How to write crap C# code”. Joanna Carter also gave a very interesting presentation on reflection performance – her solution was curious and I’ll have to follow it up although I would probably put it into the unorthodox category as I would never have thought of using lightweight code generation to generate some IL then execute it in order to compensate for some speed problems with creating an object through reflection.

I also did a 10 minute Grok Talk on the subject of Mock Objects. I’m in the process of putting this up on my website and it will be available at some point in the next few hours.

I’m also in the process of putting together some photos of the event. You can see them here. More photos will get added shortly.

NOTE: This post was rescued from the Google Cache. The original date was Monday, 4th December, 2006.

Additional note: The Grok Talk presentation on Mock Objects is available.


Developer Day 5 Sold Out in 4 Days

Actually I don’t know how quickly Developer Day 5 sold out in. It was announced on May 30th and I noticed on June 2nd the registration page had a notice on it that any further registrations would be going directly onto the wait list. 350 (approx) developers signed up and packed out the venue in less than 4 days. That is simply amazing.

What is more interesting is that this event is taking place on a Saturday (out side office hours basically), so everyone attending is doing so in their own time. Developers are recognising that they need to keep their skills current.

I also know that there are quite a few people travelling, at their own expense, from Scotland. I’m sure there will be people traveling from the north of England also. So people are willing to put their hands in their pockets for somewhere in the region of £200+ expenses to go to this.

What gets me is that for the most part individual people are paying for this themselves. And for the most part it is their employer that is going to benefit. I wonder how many employers are actually helping their employees pay for this?


NOTE: This blog entry was rescued from the Google Cache. It was originally dated Sunday 3rd June, 2007.