my gripes : pee-dee-cee


I’m loving PDC. Its a phenomenal way to learn about not just about what we’ve been working on at Microsoft, but also to connect with industry partners of ours, and other customers.


While the MS events team does just a freakin’ awesome job of putting this show together, here are some of my gripes about the presentations I’ve attended (I’ve attended several breakout sessions and all the keynotes, and as far as I know, this information has not been shared with us at any of the presentations I’ve attended so far) :




    1. what version of the software they are demoing or they are running on their machine,
    2. what their OS environment is,
    3. what the release timeframe is for the software they’re demoing, and,
    4. whether or not we can get our hands on the software they are demoing (even if its beta software)

I’d like for the presenters to give us this information upfront before they demo any of the software. I’m going to sharing my feedback with some of the event organizers and presenters. What did you think?


“AI”

Comments (4)

  1. Chris Slatt says:

    Agreed! Seems like it could easily be a standard slide near the beginning of each deck.

  2. Robert Banghart says:

    As I prepare to attend a MSDN Briefing on Tuesday the 20th, I want to say that while I agree with your four listed item, I think all MSDN events would be greatly improved if:

    1.The slide decks were available online before the presentation so the attendees wouldn’t have to:

    a. Guess what is going to be covered by the always short and often generic descriptions found on the registration page;

    b. Have to come up to speed within the timeframe of the presentation that the presenter (or someone else) has spent a considerable amount of time preparing and which often covers complicated emerging topics.

    2. The slide decks at least include a canned set of notes (allowing that the actual presenter may only have read the slides the day before and therefore not had time to prepare his own) rather than leaving such charming statements as, “KEY MESSAGE: Introduce yourself in this slide.” – taken from slide 1 of “Microsoft® ASP.NET 2.0 Overview” posted online fromr last years September MSDN Briefing.

    3. That the presenter be versed enough in the material to be covered that he or she isn’t frequently corrected by attendees and that he or she present the material in such a way that the attendees can internalize the attempted brain dump. (I will have to say that this happens more often at TS2 events than at MSDN events.)

    4. That the list of prerequisites be expanded to include links to relevant webcasts, etc. on MSDN so attendees can choose to be prepared.

    It is my position that while presenters get paid to be at MSDN events, many self-employed attendees forego current income to attend. We want the biggest bang for our hours of attention we can get. We want to be able to ask intelligent questions about things we don’t understand – to engage in a conversation with Microsoft employees when we are together and the opportunity is best. Just handing out the disks at the end of the event is too late. The conversations, by and large, are over until the next briefing and a great opportunity for a transfer of knowledge has been wasted.

  3. aniyer says:

    Hi Robert,

    This is great feedback!

    1. I personally, do not like sharing my slide decks before my presentations. Some other presenters may differ in their opinions about this. As far as information on the registration page goes, I believe we’ve been working on providing a fairly detailed agenda of what we intend on covering. Have a go at http://www.msdnevents.com/EventDetails/default.aspx. I just read through this outline again, and it seems very accurate and detailed.

    2. Interesting observation. Certain famous and common topics are often canned presentations that Microsoft employees share so that

    a. we are delivering a consistent message and

    b. we are not reinventing.

    I too have noticed certain slide decks have notes in them. But to your point :

    > rather than leaving such charming statements

    > as, “KEY MESSAGE: Introduce yourself in this

    > slide.” – taken from slide 1 of “Microsoft®

    > ASP.NET 2.0 Overview”

    What kind of notes are you expecting in the first introduction slide of a slide deck which probably has nothing but the title in it?

    3. Agreed. We are always training and learning to keep up-to-date with the technology we’re presenting in.

    4. This is a really good suggestion. I’ll share this with my team.

    > We want the biggest bang for our hours of

    > attention we can get.

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Our goal is to deliver awesome content and to be really effective in those 4 hours. Thats why the evaluations/surveys we hand out at the seminar are so important to us. And I’m glad you’ve posted your concerns about our events to my blog as well. Unless you voice your concerns, we wont know better. So I’m glad you’re doing this… Also chatting in person with your presenter during a break is also a great way to ensure your feedback is immediately incorporated in to the seminar.

    > We want to be able to ask intelligent

    > questions about things we don’t understand –

    > to engage in a conversation with Microsoft

    > employees when we are together and the

    > opportunity is best.

    Absolutely. I doubt any of us on this team prevent anyone from asking any sort of questions. In fact, I encourage asking questions at my events. And quite frankly, I got a serious amount of push back from attendees at my most recent event because there we too many questions being asked.

    > Just handing out the disks at the end of the

    > event is too late. The conversations, by and

    > large, are over until the next briefing and

    > a great opportunity for a transfer of

    > knowledge has been wasted.

    I mostly agree. I’ve noticed that several attendees occasionally stay back after the regulatory end time to chat with me. Some email me, and I occasionally follow up with some on the phone or in person in my office.

    In any case, I agree with you – from your perspective this is YOUR opportunity to interact with a Microsoftee. In the coming weeks, I plan to schedule nerd dinners after my events so that some of us who are interested can sit and chat in an informal environment. Some of my other colleagues are already doing this.

    Thanks,

    "AI"