BlogicBlog: View from the trenches

The blog about Java and XML with focus on troubleshooting issues and tools.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

JavaOne session evaluation of my talk

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I have received the session evaluations from the talk I did at JavaONE(TS-1669) (slides are available). Differently from the evaluation of the talk two years ago, this time it is more scientific. I guess pushing the evaluation paper on every attendee has paid of.

I am quite happy with the result. The top two quartiles for overall quality were 4.03-4.29 and 4.29-4.89. My mark is 4.24. I did not make it into top 25% of the sessions, but I am somewhere in the top 30%.

I had a fairly large room (620 people capacity). It was fully booked, but I was told the number of people who really show up is between 35% and 70%. My count was 296 (Update: 432), which is still respectable, especially considering that this year there were several sessions on troubleshooting.

My other stats are fairly good as well. They are as follows (track, global averages are in brackets):

Overall: 4.24 (4.01, 4.12)
Matching of the presentation and the abstract: 4.29 (4.11, 4.17)
Speaker quality: 4.31 (4.01, 4.14)
Presentation material quality: 4.13 (3.94, 4.01)
Demos: 3.76 (3.82, 3.89)
Q&A: 3.77 (3.88, 3.91)

The last two are totally understandable as well. I did not actually have a live demo. That was for two reasons. I do not have a laptop at the moment and my tools setup is too complex for Sun's presentation machines. But also, and more importantly, I could have had a tiny demo or cover an additional theme. I chose to cover an additional theme (XML file processing). To my mind, that was a worthwhile tradeoff. I did built some demo-like slides into the presentation, but there is obviously nothing quite like seeing the speeker work the keyboard live.

With Q&A marks, people were generous. I totally run out of time for Q&A. Last time, they had to drag me off the platform, I was running so late. This year, I finished with 30 seconds to spare, so could evacuate before the dreaded bell. I stayed outside the room and chatted with anybody who was interested (I had about 10 people), but I really wish I had time for Q&A. Maybe next time, if I don't overpromise with the session topic again.

I also wish I had some better feedback on how to improve my talks. Sun may provide the copies of the hand-filled comments sections eventually, but if you were at the presentation and have a comment, please make one on the blog. Constructive negative comments are very welcome.

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