EDIT Video added to post and Presentations page.
October 9 and October 10 2019 was GroupBy days. New this time was the two-day schedule, with five European sessions, running in European office hours, and six North American sessions, running in Pacific office hours.
I did my presentation on partitioning “Eight hours of work in 20 minutes – partitioning rocks“. I’ve done that a few times before, but I slightly adjusted it to fit the online format a little better, and I did more prepping than usual, in terms of pre-executing setup scripts. When doing a in-your-face classroom presentation, it’s easier to “wing it” when a script takes twice as long as usual (it always does on demo day). In an online presentation, it’s harder to go around the room and ask questions or take questions while a script is finishing.
I went to Daniel Hutmacher’s (http://www.sqlsunday.com) office to do the presentation, mainly because Daniel was moderating the session but also because I needed a space where I knew I wouldn’t be disturbed. So thank you Daniel for lending some office space to me. Most things worked as planned. The final version of the ETL I was demoing took twice the usual time to run (again, it’s demo day) but it was ok – that was just another 30 seconds of anxiously waiting for it to finish. But again, overall it felt OK. Not too many were online for it, but those that were posted relevant and interesting questions.
Overall, it was a great experience and I’d be happy to do more presentations this way. Physically travelling to a conference adds value with more human interaction and most of all the Speakers’ dinner. But travelling costs time and money, plus travelling usually means getting into a fossile fule-driven airplane which doesn’t feel great every time. I’m thinking about getting more involved in PASS Virtual chapters, if family- and work schedule allows for it.
After GroupBy, I created a “Presentations” page on this blog, which I will use to keep track of my public speaking and to upload presentation material. I know all the cool kids use GitHub for such, but I’m not one of the cool kids. Heck, I don’t even own a skateboard anymore.
Finally: Thank you Brent Ozar for all the work (and money I’d assume) you put into GroupBy. And thank you everyone that volunteered to take over when Brent stopped doing GroupBy. I love the format. My five cents to next time: Please don’t do back-to-back timings. Leave half an hour between sessions to allow for more questions and general silly talk between the sessions. That is not time wasted between sessions, it’s value added.