This weekend, I had the honor of speaking in Oslo at the data saturday event. Hosted by Johan Ludvig Brattas, Rune and a number of other key people, they have created a very welcoming atmosphere.
The event started with the speaker dinner on friday evening. As I had flown in early, I had explored Oslo a bit, but not as much as I’d liked to. The city is huge and wherever you go, you seem to go up a hill. This makes for some amazing views. Johan reminded the speakers to visit the roof of the opera building, and that is solid advice. Go there and take in the views. Go there again at night because the lighting is wonderful.
The speaker dinner was hosted at a Mexican restaurant where we got a 5 course tasting meal. Very good food and, more importantly, excellent company. I can’t help but keep feeling out of place with all these brilliant minds and speakers, yet they accept and welcome me.
Saturday started quite early as I was volunteering as well. I planned to be at the event for the whole day, so it made sense to help out. Setting up some stuff, assisting with registration and then off to room monitoring. I was monitoring the session on Azure Data Factory and Bicep by Alpa en Ben. A session with a lot of good take-aways. And then the nerves came in for my own session. I wanted to get into the ‘zone’ by playing some music but I misplaced my headphones. Luckily the speaker room was a relatively quiet place; some people were discussing technical stuff but that’s what can be expected. Then time to go.
The room I was presenting in had an arena-feel. I could stand in the centre, but I’d be in the way of the beamer. On of the drawbacks of being tall. Then a number of people came in, some of whom I know. And respect. And hold in high regard. Coming to my session. GULP. The session went well and the feedback was good and constructive. Just like last week in Gothenburg, I got new pointers to improve.
That’s what feedback should be about. Helping speakers to improve. It’s nice to get a 5 star rating on your session, but it’s much more useful to tell the speakers what you did like and where you think improvements can be made.
After my session I got some lunch and had to monitor some other sessions. I missed one because of life happening and I can’t thank Johan and Marthe enough for covering me. At that moment, they made sure the session I had to monitor got a replacement and the speaker was covered.
My penultimate session was with John Martin on AWS. A small but very appreciative audience got an almost personal masterclass. I really liked is because I haven’t worked with AWS at all, so this introduction and excellent explanations of the concepts helped me on my way. The final session with Hylke Peek on Serverless SQl Pools was a nice, gentle way to end the day. Again a solid session with good take-aways and for me an eye-opener that there’s a gap between serverless and dedicated SQL Pools. (Go see my session on Azure SQL databases to fill that gap ;)).
The afterparty was at Brewdog and though I was a bit hesitant at first, I went there anyway. It was a nice closure of an excellent day learning, networking, speaking and meeting friends being excellent to each other.
Will I be back? If the organisers will have me, for sure. Just like Gothenburg, it’s a very familiar feeling.It’s fun, relaxed and friendly and for me, those are the key’s to a good day.
Thanks for reading!