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.