Dear Conference Attendee:
I started out writing this as an apology. But it’s not. I’m sorry that it isn’t. Months ago, I was required to submit my slides to your conference organizers for reasons:
- there may be a review committee that reviews the content for offensive and unacceptable words, images or demos – and, yes, I’m sad that this is even needed.
- there may be a review committee that checks to see if I mentioned my own name more than once in the entire deck, even at the end of the deck where I want to tell you can reach out to ask me more if you want to. Yes, this is a real thing.
- there may be a review committee that measures font sizes and types to see if they exactly match that of the official conference template, which will be ugly, unreadable, and bullet-point driven, but required for all speakers to use. Yes, font measuring is a real thing.
- there may be a review committee that counts the number of words on a slide and deletes the “extra” words. Yes, this really happened to me.
- there may be a review committee that fixes all the trademark names.
- the organizers might have been burnt too many times by speakers who weren’t ready with a slide deck the day of the event—and yes, I am sad this is even needed.
- the organizers might need to print the handouts of the slides months in advance – so they tell me.
Some of those are great reasons, some of them awful. But they are reasons the organizers require slide decks to be submitted months in advance of the event.
But in those months between the time I submitted the deck and I show up to present, the world has changed. I say that one day in cloud time is equal to one month in boxed software time. So 2 months in cloud tech is like a 5 years delay in talking about traditional software and hardware releases.
The products, services and features I am presenting about will have changed. Their names might have changed. They may have been bought by another company. They may have had a new release. They might have new features. They might have deprecated features. They may have changed their license agreements. They might have gone bankrupt. They might have disappeared. They might have changed their architectures. Anything and everything might have happened in the months between my deck being uploaded somewhere until the time those pieces of paper are handed out to you upon registration.
I Change, Too
In the weeks between my submitting the slide deck and actually giving the presentation, I think of a great way of presenting a concept. Or I think of a new thing I want to point out. Or I experience a failure along the way that I want to share. Don’t get me started on fixing typos or other inaccuracies. Yes, I know that I shouldn’t make mistakes. But I do.
Maybe I hear about something I didn’t know about when I did the deck. Maybe I realized that something that was true when I developed the deck is no longer exactly true. The point is, I am constantly thinking abut making my presentations better.
But What About…?
I know some of you are saying “What paper handouts?” Yes, some conferences still give you printouts on dead trees, especially for half and full-day seminars. I know you are thinking “Can’t you just send them updated slide decks?” Yes, I can. Sometimes that works, most times it does not. Sometimes we speakers are penalized for doing so.
But this happens even with digital decks. I can send revised slides and sometimes someone on the other end will update the deck produced for download. Sometimes they will not. We speakers mostly have no control over that.
I’ve also heard about people who completely redo a presentation so that the slides from before aren’t even recognizable. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about a few new slides, some changed ones, maybe some replaced ones. I want to be able to do that in the 2-3 months between submission time and class time. I want to make it better for you, the attendee.
I’ve also been asked “Why don’t you just print out new handouts for the attendees?” and “Why don’t you email out the updated slides before the event”. I have done that for my formal training classes (of course). But for organized events, I may not have the authority to do that. At some events the distribution of all materials is forbidden. I also don’t have access to attendee email addresses to distribute them, either.
What I Do to Minimize the Impact of Changes
When I have enhanced my slide deck in those months, I do the following:
- Provide the whole current deck on my website for download
- Provide the whole new deck on a thumb drive for you to “download” at the event
- Provide the organizers with the updated deck
- Encourage everyone to learn how to leverage the mark up features of the apps they have on their tablet and laptops. These are a true timesaver for me.
- Describe, while presenting, why there is a new or different slide.
Yes, I know you want the paper copy for taking notes and marking up the deck. I’m not happy, either, that these decks had to be provided from a 2-3 months ago reality. I know many of you will be unhappy. You will mark down my speaker score because I included new slides to show new functionality (this happened to me two years ago at an event). I know you will leave an evaluation rating and comment that my slides should have matched the handout. I want you to do that if that’s what is important to you.
But I’m not going to apologize for the paper handouts being out of date. It’s a physics problem. My only way to fix this is to be able to bend time so that I can see the world as it will be 60-90 days in the future. Trust me: if I could do that, I would be presenting at a much different event.
So cut speakers some slack. You really do want them to enhance their slides, fix mistakes, update for new information and maybe even make them prettier in the months before the event. If you have other ideas about how I can make the impact of change easier on you, let me know.
Good speakers want you to learn, have fun doing it AND have something to take home with you to remember what you learned. Help us help make that happen for you.
My friend Joey D’Antoni ( @jdanton | blog ) and I will be giving a workshop at NoSQLNow! about new database and datastore technologies like Hadoop, Neo4j, Cassandra, Vertica, Document DB, and others. This will be a fast-paced, demo-heavy, practical sessions for data professionals. We’ll talk about where a modern data architecture would best use these technologies and why it’s not an either/or question for relational solutions in a successful enterprise. And, as always, our goal is to make the time we spend fun and interactive. This session will be a great starting point for some other session on Monday that go into data modeling for NoSQL as well as for all the other in-depth, database-specific talks the rest of the week.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
We’ve been busy keeping relational data consistent, high quality, and available. But over the last few years, new database and datastore technologies have come to the enterprise with different data stories. Do we need all our data to be consistent everywhere? What does data quality mean for analytics? Will we need relational database?
Learn how traditional and new database technologies fit in a modern data architecture. We will talk about the underlying concepts and terminology such as CAP, ACID and BASE and how they form the basis of evaluating each of the categories of databases. Learn about graph, Hadoop, relational, key value, document, columnar, and column family databases and how and when they should be considered. We’ll show you demos of each.
Finally, we will wrap up with 7+ tips for working with new hybrid data architectures: tools, techniques and standards.
Use code “DATACHICK” to save:
$100 off for Tutorials Only + Seminar Only Registration and $200 off for Full Event, Conference+Tutorials, Conference +Seminar, and Conference Only Registration.
Super early registration ends 29 January, so take advantage of both discounts now (yes, they stack!).
Last year I participated in the first Data Field Day in San Jose. I’m honoured to be a delegate for the tenth Tech Field Day which follows the same format. On 3-5 February I’ll be in Austin, Texas visiting with vendors in the software, hardware and virtualization world. There will be twelve of us participating, along with our fearless host, Stephen Foskett ( @SFoskett ).
We will be visiting these vendors during TFD10:
At each vendor visit there will be livestreaming during their presentation and we will discuss their products and services, ask questions. You can follow that stream above. Delegates are known for their brutal honesty, their insight and even some fun observations.
You can also follow along on Twitter hashtag of #TFD10. You can also post your own questions for these session using that hashtag.
What I love about field days is the the mix of delegates with a wide background in business, tech, innovation, entrepreneurship and data. This breadth means that we, as a team, look at the technology and business with a variety of viewpoints. And you get to watch it all live.
BTW, the next Data Field Day is scheduled for 8-10 June. If you have products or services you’d like to present to a team of independent data experts, contact me.
I hope you can follow along. It’s a great chance to see real world tech innovation discussions.
It’s a new year and I’ve given Thomas LaRock (@@sqlrockstar | blog ) a few months to recover and ramp up his training since our last Throwdown. The trophies from all my wins are really cluttering my office and I feel back that Tom has not yet had a chance to claim victory. So we will battling again in just a few days.
I’ll be dishing out the knowledge along with a handkerchief for Tom to wipe up his tears at SQL Saturday #461 Austin, TX on 30 January 2016. This full day community-driven event features real database professionals giving free presentations on SQL Server and Data Platform topics. All you need to do is register (again, it’s free) before all the tickets are gone.
Database Design Throwdown
Duration: 60 minutes
Track: Application & Database Development
Everyone agrees that great database performance starts with a great database design. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees which design options are best. Data architects and DBAs have debated database design best practices for decades. Systems built to handle current workloads are unable to maintain performance as workloads increase.Attend this new and improved session and join the debate about the pros and cons of database design decisions. This debate includes topics such as logical design, data types, primary keys, indexes, refactoring, code-first generators, and even the cloud. Learn about the contentious issues that most affect your end users and how to avoid them.
One of the other great benefits of attending these events is that you get to network with other data professionals who are working on project just like yours…or ones you will likely work on at some point.
Join us an other data pros to talk about data, databases and projects. And make sure you give a #datahug to Tom after the Throwdown. He’s gonna need it.
…and you should join me.
On 2 February I’ll be speaking at TECHUnplugged Austin, Texas. This event, which has free registration, focuses on how technology innovation is changing business and IT.
TECHunplugged is a full day conference focused on cloud computing and IT infrastructure.
Its innovative formula combines three essential parts of the industry for an exceptional exchange of information, insights and education:
The ultimate goal of TECHUnplugged Conference is to bring quality information to IT decision makers by bringing them together with independent influencers and industry vendors, to engage, debate and be informed through open discussions on topics such as IT infrastructure, virtualization, cloud computing and storage.
I’m going to be talking about how data has changed over the years and how data quality issues can become obstacles to business innovation.
If you are in IT and would like to attend, use the registration form below. If you use my special code, you’ll be entered to win a special prize of an Amazon Echo (I SO LOVE MINE!) at the event.
My promotional code is:
Yes, all lowercase.
I hope to see you in Austin. Maybe we can have tacos.
This week I’m part of an exciting tour of northern California tech companies who focus on data technologies. During these visits, you can watch via a live stream right here. Watch for the stream to start later today at 1:30PM PDT.
For more information about the event, you can check out http://techfieldday.com/event/dfd1/
There will be 8 other delegates joining me in these meetings. We’ll hear non-sales pitch presentations from the technical staff of these companies and get to ask questions.
Of course we have a hashtag #DFD1, so you can follow there. Even ask some questions.
I recently wrote a whitepaper, sponsored by Neo4j, on how your master data (think cross-application data like CUSTOMER, PRODUCT, ORGANIZATION, etc.) is much more valuable to your organization if you can leverage the relationships between the data. You might think that relational databases are all about relationships, but they aren’t. The relational in relational database comes from the fact that data is a relation (a table-like structure of columns and rows).
The best thing we have for describing relationships in a relational database is a foreign key (FK). An FK is a constraint between two tables. In a relational database, FKs enforce integrity between exactly two tables. But in the real world, relationships are more than constraints. They are implied, inferred and, maybe even just plausible. That’s not a constraint; that’s a relationship. And these relationships often exist because they span multiple tables. Think about CUSTOMERs that are related because they live at ADDRESSes near each other, they have TRANSACTIONs at the same RETAIL STORE and they buy the same PRODUCTs and SERVICEs. That’s a specific relationship, one that has nothing to do with foreign keys.
You can download my whitepaper at http://neo4j.com/resources/wp-master-data-graph/
Note that while Neo Technology sponsored this paper, they had no editorial control over its content.
This week I’m also doing a webinar about some of the content of the paper. Kamile Nixon of Neo Technology will join me in this discussion. You can register at http://info.neo4j.com/0430-register.html
I think this one will be a lot of fun. Kamile and I have worked together on many things over the years. She and I share the same sort of sense of humour. You have been warned.
Webinar: Your Master Data is a Graph: Are You Ready?
Thursday, April 30 at 09:00 PDT | 18:00 CEST
As you tackle your ongoing Master Data Management challenges, it’s important to keep a few things in mind: Hierarchies don’t really exist Relational isn’t about relationships Foreign keys aren’t relationships, but constraints It’s crazy, isn’t it?
Join Master Data Management expert Karen Lopez and Neo Technology’s Kami Nixon as they discuss today’s MDM requirements and explore the companies that are getting MDM right.
In this webinar, you will learn:
- Why hierarchies aren’t real
- How to choose the right technology for the stories your data wants to tell, so your business can use data in ways it couldn’t do before
- Why relationships are just as important as the things they relate
- What foreign keys really do to your architecture
- How companies like Cisco and Polyvore use graphs to get real business value from Master Data
Karen Lopez, Data Evangelist, InfoAdvisors
Karen Lopez has more than 20 years of data architecture and database design experience. She specializes in the practical application of design approaches, balancing development time frames with the need to deliver solutions that will support business agility and data quality needs. Known for her practical and sometimes snarky views on the data world, Karen works to find the right tools for the job, even if it means learning something new. She wants you to love your data.
Kami Nixon, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Neo Technology
A recipient of the 2012 “Graphie”, Kamille was a fan of Neo4j for several years before she happily joined the team. Kamille has helped several successful database companies (DataStax, Comindware and Embarcadero Technologies) to identify and execute on market trends so they could pull ahead of the pack. Her efforts have led to doubled vertical bookings, increases by 30% to 100% in year-over-year revenue, and several awards. In addition to the Graphie, Kamille has received several other commendations, including co-authoring with Karen Lopez story #5 in Information Management’s Top 10 for 2011, and Best Investigative Journalism in a national competition.
Subscribe via E-mail
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- September 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- February 2009