Today was the fourth and final show of the first round of the DB2’s Got Talent Competition. If you didn’t participate live, I strongly encourage you to watch the replay. We had 7 contestants as well as an extra special presentation from judge Klaas Brant. The caliber of the presentations today blew me away. We judges had a very hard time selecting 3 to move on and were hoping we could save a few more. But alas, 3 was our max. Here’s how it played out.
Contestant 1 – Brian
Brian used a physical health analogy for his presentation and it worked out really well. Good thing I was on mute as I was laughing pretty hard at some of the graphics. In reality, indexes can get very out of shape, but there are ways to recognize this, monitor their health, speed them up, and ultimately make them into top physical form. The judges found the presentation to be very professional, interesting and easy to follow. If you’re into twitter, you can follow Brian at fairchild_db2. Also, he blogs at http://bit.ly/yGpae2 . Check it out if you’re interested.
Contestant 2 – Ember
Testing Your Recovery Strategy
As Ember said at the beginning of her presentation, this isn’t a very sexy topic. But as Scott said at the end, the way she presented it made the topic kind of sexy! OK, past the crazy talk, Ember chose to present the very valuable topic of being prepared. If you don’t fully test your recovery strategy, you may find yourself in hot water when you actually need to use it. Her tips were very insightful. Her presentation was interesting, very well laid out, and professional. One of the reasons Ember was so high on our list is because she chose a topic that cannot be found in the manuals. She came up with these tips from personal experience and a lot of hard work. Ember also tweets ember_crooks & blogs http://db2commerce.com/.
Contestant 3 – Mark
DB2 LUW Workload Management – Using Role-based Workload Management to Meet your Company’s Performance Goals
Mark chose a very tough topic and made it understandable. He started with showing how to identify the roles all the way to adding the UserIDs to the workload. One of the judges commented that this was a very adventurous topic and it was so well liked because we don’t often have tips related to this area.
Contestant 4 – Rajib
Debug High CPU Situations with DB2
Rajib works in the support area, so this is a topic that he knows very well, from experience with many customers. Rajib gave several decision trees to help you make the correct choice when you discover your CPU spiking. Rajib mentioned that he had more details in a follow on presentation that maybe we’ll hear one day. The one thing that Rajib could have done better right from the beginning is to put his presentation into Play mode. He had it in Edit mode so we could see less of the presentation than we wanted to see. The decision trees would have been much easier to read had it been in Play mode. Also, Rajib mentioned a perl script that he uses but we didn’t see the details. Rajib will find a home for his perl script so that we can all benefit.
Contestant 5 – Jean
DebReal 24x7 Enhancement: No downtime, no slowdowns, no planned outages, no suspending traffic, simplifies & expedites blackout, any time – day or night
Jean worked with her colleague Chuck to create this presentation, but she presented on her own. I found it to be a rather complex topic but with her examples, it helped make it understandable. Jean did a wonderful job of presenting, even though she said she was nervous. Jean, it didn’t show!
Contestant 6 – Sameer
Sameer’s been here before and I can tell you that his presentations are improving. Not a single typo this time around and the slides were well organized with a problem, questions a person would ask about the problem and ways to resolve the problems. Sameer’s slides said the presentation was based on personal experience, but during a discussion with the judges, he admitted that he made it up. It was a good choice for a topic as this isn’t discussed or documented in many places. Sameer tweets https://twitter.com/#!/sameerkasi200x and blogs: http://db2performance.blogspot.com/ .
Contestant 7 – Jonathan
DB2 LUW Load from Cursor
There are many load options and Jonathan wisely chose one to discuss so that he could finish his presentation on time. Another good presentation that was well laid out and easy to follow. The best slide was the last one where Jonathan gave a summary of the Load / Import options and under which conditions they should be used. One of the judges commented that many of his customers were using this option.
Extra Special Presentation – Klaas
DB2 LUW Prefect IO Configuration
This was a real presentation and a good one, at that. Klaas gave this primarily to show the contestants a well organized presentation, that is interesting and informative. If you are moving on, or if you simply want to improve your presentation skills, take a look at what Klaas did to get some ideas. The first thing I noticed and mentioned on the show is how appealing graphics are. I’m not sure if I would have said that before, but after today’s amazing 8 presentations I can say that the ones that captured my attention to the fullest were the ones that had graphics. And not complex graphics, rather simple ones that are make a connection to the technical material being discussed. Here’s a summary of the tips we gave over the past month:
- Get rid of all typos.
- Use simple graphics.
- Finish on time.
- Run in Presentation mode.
- NEVER ever try to present without slides.
- Choose an interesting topic that is not routine or found in the manuals.
- Speak loud and clear.
- Don’t send too much time on I am and thank you for being here.
- Even if the presentation is small, give a small agenda (I’m going to talk about x and the solution for it).
- Define the environment where the “problem” occurs.
- Clearly explain the problem and why this is a problem.
- Explain the solution (watch your time…).
- Any “extra” advice.
- Where to obtain more info (references, email me, read my blog etc.).
That’s a lot for 4 minutes! Even Klaas went over time. Remember to practice, practice….
The judges, Martin Hubel, Klaas Brant, and myself chose Ember, Brian and Jean to move onto the next round based on the relevance / uniqueness of their topic and the quality of their presentations. These three will join Richard, Douglas, Yonghang, Rodolpho, Kingo, Kholi, and Elder.
Congratulations to you all. We’re looking forward to more quality presentations from each of you.
Do you agree with our choices? So far, the survey selections have matched the judge’s selections. If you watch the replay, you’ll be able to fill in a survey to let us know if there is someone else who should also move on. Listen for the great tips and for advice on improving your presentation skills.
That’s it for the contestant presentations. March is reserved for the finals where those who have moved on will present a second time and the listeners can choose the winner rather than the judges. There are only 3 shows in March: 2, 16, and 30. If you get reminders for March 9 and 23, please ignore these reminders.
Thanks to host Scott Hayes for this opportunity for me as a judge and for the contestants for helping them build technical presentation skills that are so valuable.
For details on the prizes for this competition… and a summary of last year’s event… see my blog entry: http://ibm.co/AnZxb4
PS… If you are in the NY area, make sure you look into attending the DB2 Symposium that is taking place March 28-30 in this area. See DB2 Symposium for details. Today a special discount was announced: If you book by March 1, use the promo code DBI12A1 to get a 20% discount.
PSS…. If any other contestants tweet or blog, let me know and I’ll publicize you as well!