Way back on Monday (at the MySQL Conference and Expo), I gave a full day tutorial on MySQL Cluster. I awoke early in the morning to a “oh ha ha” URL in an IM; but no, it wasn’t jetlag playing tricks with me. Luckily, this didn’t take much (if anything) away from the purpose of the day: teaching people about NDB.
Distracting-and-this-time-really-annoying-thing-of-the-day-2: It seems that O’Reilly had cut back on power this year, and there were no power boards in the room. A full day interactive tutorial, and nowhere to plug in laptops. Hrrm.. Luckily, having over the many years I’ve been speaking at this event, I’ve gotten to know the AV guys okay, and asked them. They totally deserve a medal. Tutorial started at 8:30, I noticed at 7:30, and it was all fixed by 7:45. The front half of the room (enough for everyone coming) had enough power for everyone. It was quite okay to bunch everybody up – means I have to run around less.
This years tutorial was modified from last year (and that does take time, even though I’ve given it many times before). I wanted to remove out of date things, trim bits down (to better fit into the time we have, based on more experience on how long it takes to get interactive parts done) and add a bit.
When we got to the end of the day (yes, I ran over… and everybody stayed, so either I’m really scary or the material is really interesting) I pleaded for feedback. It’s amazingly scary doing an interactive tutorial. You’re placing the success of the session not so much on you, but on everyone who’s come to it.
Sometimes I’ve gotten not much feedback at all; this time was different. I spoke to a number of people afterwards (and some via email) and got some really good suggestions for small changes that would have greatly enhanced the day for them. I was pleased that they also really enjoyed the tutorial and liked the interactivity. I (and it seems a great many others) do not much like tutorials that are just long talks.
People walked out of my tutorial with a good overview of what MySQL Cluster was, how to set one up, use one, do a bit of admin and some of how it works.
I even dragged Jonas up to explain in great detail the 2 phase commit protocol for transactions. Of course, this is detail you don’t ever need to know to deploy – but people are intersted in internals.
So far the session has received an average of 4 stars in evaluations (four five star, two four star and one two star). I’d be really interested in feedback from the person who gave two stars, as this may mean I missed getting something done for them (e.g. providing information, help etc). Even though it is hard to spread yourself around a room of 60-ish-plus people, I do like to do it well. There is the other possibility of people not coming prepared, which will mean they may be bored for a lot of the day if they don’t jump in with another group and help learn that way.
So, I’m rather happy with how my first session went.