I wrote a post in November about an Oracle Midlands group Mike McKay-Dirden was setting up, modelled on the free meetups he’s experienced with the SQL Server community. Last night was the first event, with myself and Pete Finnigan speaking.
Being a Midlands-based event, and me having worked mostly in the Midlands, I’d say about 50% of the people in the audience were people I had either worked with directly, or people who work with people I had worked with directly. That included one guy who I worked with in my first job, who started there on the same day as me. 🙂 It was really cool to meet up with everyone. I hope to see them all at future events.
I felt quite nervous on the lead up to this event. I think part of that was because I’ve been writing tips about public speaking and felt almost like I’ve been setting myself up for a fall, imagining people comparing what I say to what I do. 🙂 One of my former colleagues commented on how nervous I seemed at the start. 🙂 Once I got going things seemed to snap into place, so I think it went fine. 🙂 I spent the break between chatting and answering questions.
Next up was Pete. I’ve seen Pete present a half-day session in the past, so I knew the sort of thing to expect. I think I’m pretty good at security compared to most people, but I know I’m a rank amateur compared to Pete. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think it should be mandatory for people to sit in one of Pete’s sessions on a regular basis, just to keep reminding them how little they know and how complicated doing security properly really is. I really enjoyed his session and feel like I learned some more stuff. I’m also very scared now… 🙂
Big thanks to Mike for setting up the event and inviting me to speak. Big thanks go out to Red Gate Software sponsoring the event, allowing this to be a free event. Thanks also to computermanuals.co.uk for providing a raffle prize. Of course, thanks to everyone who came to the event, especially Nikolay Manchev and Salih Oztop, who travelled up from London to come to the event. 🙂 Without support of the attendees, this sort of thing can’t happen. If you want it to keep happening, you need to keep coming. 🙂
The next event should be around late February. I won’t be speaking at that event, but I plan to be there. I’ll post again when the dates and agenda are fixed.