Notes from the June 2010 oPASS Meeting

We had adjusted our meeting date to work around previous commitments for both Jack Corbett and I, and that may have been a factor in the low turnout of 13 attendees, along with the hard rain shower around 4 pm.

Started just a couple minutes late, ran through the standard PASS chapter deck and talked about upcoming events in the Florida area and our own SQLSaturday #49 in October. Struggled with LiveMeeting before/during that, audio didn’t want to work correctly. Not supposed to be this hard, usually it all works well.

We tried a new networking exercise, talking about the technique of a good handshake and then putting it into practice, everyone walking down the line of attendees doing a handshake and introduction. Mostly it went well, because everyone was conscious of trying to do it well, though most admitted that the focus on the hand shake hurt their ability to remember names. It’s a lot like the childhood game of rubbing your stomach and patting your head, takes time to build the skill to put all the pieces together.

We stopped for pizza then. Another pizza adventure story here – I placed the order with Dominos about 5:30 (adios Pizza Hut, we seemed to be a challenge for them), they called back about 15 minutes later to say that they had run of out roasted red pepper for a couple of the pizzas. Interesting dilemma for them, what else can they do but call? So we shift to green peppers and move on. Still, is it good enough to call to change the item, or would good customer service do more?

Then on to the presentation by Kendal Van Dyke on HA and DR. I did the introduction, which I think is always nicer than having to do your own introduction, and then he launched into a PowerPoint only presentation of the options and considerations. Overall it went well, but it’s a lot to do in an hour and tricky too – trying to stay really high level on concepts, yet it demand diving into some details, especially on limitations of various techniques. Thought it went well for a v1 presentation. Scored well on the post presentation evals.

Wrapped up on time with a quick raffle (still got a few Quest balls to raffle!), and then moved in to our after meeting social time. Lots of small conversations this time, including an interesting one about the bang for the buck of attending any training when it’s not directly related to a task or project that will be done directly after the training. Pure professional development training is, to me, both an investment and a leap of a faith, in both cases you do it because you think the odds are at least slightly tilted towards it being worthwhile, but knowing it’s not always a direct payoff. We’ve got to work on providing better ways to capture ROI on free and paid training to help the ones that are undecided, or that have a boss that doesn’t see the benefit.