MADPASS February 2012 Roundup

This week I was very fortunate to speak at the February 2012 MADPASS user group meeting. I've seen lots of positive tweets about the group over the course of the past year and had been hoping to attend a meeting of theirs, so when I got the email a few months ago asking if I would present I jumped at the chance.

I left Chicago around noon figuring I would give myself plenty of time to drive there, find my way if I got lost, and/or sit in traffic. I didn't end up getting lost or hitting any traffic, so I ended up with a few hours to kill. Fortunately the building MADPASS meets in has this awesome room called "The Pub" which very much looks the part. I think my building needs one of these! I spent a few hours in there, got some work done via wi-fi and made sure my slide deck was in order.

The Pub
The Pub

MADPASS meetings aren't held in the pub, though I understand the first one was because the pool table wasn't there yet. Once the pool table was installed the meetings moved next door to a meeting room featuring cushy chairs and a fireplace. This is much different from any other presentation space I've seen since it doesn't have a lectern or hard-wired projector, however the folks at MADPASS have a cart full of electronics with all the equipment necessary to present, webcast and record the meeting.

After the welcome and introductions, Jes Borland started off with a 30 minute version of her "Making Your Voice Heard" presentation on the benefits of raising your profile in the SQL Server community through twitter, forums, and blogs, and some tips and tricks to help accomplish that goal.

After Jes came food and networking. Dinner consisted of pizza, soft drinks, beer (we need this at the Chicago meetings!!) and birthday cake. February marks MADPASS' first birthday, and of course no birthday would be fun without some cake. Jes has a photo of it in her blog post about the meeting.

I left dinner a little early to make sure all my equipment was setup to present, and it's a good thing I did that because I ended up needing every second of that time and then some. Apparently I'm the first person they've had that's given their presentation from a Mac and LiveMeeting didn't want to play very nicely. I ended up getting started about 20 minutes later than planned and with screenshots recorded via a session. I ended up running a bit long and rushing through the last few slides because I started late, but managed to get everything in. I hope everyone enjoyed it and learned a trick or two. I also got some really great questions afterwards. If you're looking for the demo scripts I used, you can find the latest version of them along with other resource material here.

I'd like to thank the MADPASS board: Tim Benninghoff (blog), Jes Borland (blog | @grrl_geek), Matt Cherwin (@control_group), Steve Novoselac (blog | @scaleovenstove), and Tony Sebion (@tonysebion) for the opportunity to speak, and also Confio for sponsoring the meeting and providing swag and raffle prizes.