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The stress is over, time to enjoy the conference...

Posted by felipeal on May 10, 2007 at 12:26 AM PDT

We presented our technical session earlier today, so now we can finally enjoy the conference - too bad I have to work tomorrow :-(

Anyway, I'd like to talk a little bit about our presentation...

The room was quite packed (541 seats of 800 available), and the session was kind of fun, besides our problems with the demo. In fact, we took a look on the evaluations after we left, and most of them were good. We received some bad feedback though, some valid, some not, so I'd like to comment about some complaints we received...

They should have tested the laptop setup - well, we did, but it didn't work :-(. There is a 10 minute technical rehearsal in the day before the session, exactly for this purpose. We went there yesterday at 7:00 PM, and could not make it work (thanks to the wonderful video card work Dell does on its laptops), besides the effort of the JavaOne crew and even the help with another speaker (a guy who is a WTP committer). We tried hard for almost 1 hour, but had to leave before the 8:00 PM BOF. Then we tried again this morning, and apparently it worked - apparently, because we did not try to login (once I logged in during the technical session, the problem happened again :-(. What made me really angry is that I didn't install Linux on that laptop (I just got it Friday) because I didn't want to mess it around before our session...

The speaker should have practiced more, so the demo should not fail - I don't think that critic was fair, I did practice a lot. I agree I should not have had the errors with the proxy server, but when I practiced, I got other errors (like swing elements not being displayed correctly), so I opted for removing the minimum number of elements. Also, some errors I had were on purpose, as the idea was to show the right way demonstrating the wrong way first. So, in summary, the errors were:

  • not saving test plan before running a test: on purpose, so I could talk about the extension (.jmx)
  • failure due to lack of cookie manager - on purpose
  • failure because of ViewStage - on purpose
  • big mess as proxy was not stopped - my bad :-(
  • forget to add ${viewState} - my mistake again, although not a big deal

Session was supposed to be about tools, but they just talked about JMeter - that's fair. When we planned the presentation, we intended to show other tools, specially the integration of JMeter with profilers and build. Unfortunately, as we developed the presentation, we realized we would not have time to show everything we had in mind, so we opted to just explain - in a practical way - how JMeter works. So, our biggest flaw in that point was not being clear about it in the abstract - sorry about that...

Speakers had an accent hard to understand - we are sorry about that as well - we are not native English speakers, but tried our best (I, in particular, tried to speak slower than I normally do). In fact, we had a couching session before our presentation, and we told the coach the accent was one of our main concerns, so he gave us some tips. Looks like they were not enough though :-(

It was a total waste of time - I don't think it was that bad, at least it was funny - I've been to sessions that just were not a total waste of time because I could take a nap and get some rest while on it...

But we also received some very good feedback, most of them regarding the fact that we had trouble with the demo but could work around it.

So to finalize, I'd like to apologize for those who didn't like the session, and to thank those who enjoyed. In particular, I'd like to thank:

  • the JavaOne crew (the stage guys, the speaking coach, etc...)
  • the guy who suggested I should stop the proxy
  • everyone that helped me find a red request in the screen
  • Ed Burns
  • and a special thanks to Dell - had the laptop worked smoothly, the presentation wouldn't be half that funny!
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