Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanks to the Southwest Fox Attendees

I want to give a huge thanks to all the people who attended Southwest Fox 2008, and especially those who attended my sessions. The conference organizers have tallied up the evaluations and forwarded all the scores and comments to the speakers. We really do read them and we really do appreciate them. The comments help us know what we're doing right and what we need to improve.

I'm extremely giddy to share the news that you made me the #1 speaker of SWFox this year. My "Customizing Your Vertical Market Application" session ranked #1 amongst 34 session topics. My "Introduction to the VFP 9.0 Report Writer" precon ranked #2 for the morning session and #4 for the afternoon session. I can't believe it .. I had the #1, #2, and #4 sessions of the entire conference. Wow .. did I mention how giddy I am? :-)

The written comments were great. I thank all of you for taking the time to write them. I can't list them all, but here's a sampling of some.

From the Report Writer Precon:

"Cathy did a great job of keeping me engaged and interested."

"Her presentation was easy to follow/understand and had entergy/liveliness so it was interesting."

"Couldn't have been better."

"I finally learned how to use Report Listeners."

"Practical, real world tips and tricks."

"Great white paper content."

From the Customizing a Vertical Market App Session:

"Outstanding idea and implementation that I can apply to my applications."

"The speaker portrayed the concept in a very straightforward and organized way."

"I loved this session. Great ideas! Great presentation. Love the pictures!"

"The session was both fun and informative. I liked how Cathy demonstrated the approach to extending a vertical market app by making fun of the organizers. Even more fun when at least one of them was in the room at the time."

"Made a complex topic, and discussed it in a simplified manner, that allowed a beginner, such as myself, to absorb the key concepts."

"Lively, useful, good examples, entertaining."

"The go-kart thing was very funny."

"Best value session."

"This stuff races." (with a picture of a go-kart next to it)

"Wanted to see if Cathy would change her session after hearing last night that she lost to Doug and Rick. Amazed she did. Does she get extra credit for doing so? In my book, yes!"

"Best session of the entire conference. Absolutely loved the report factory - this will pay for the entire conference."

Again, I want to thank all of you for attending my sessions and taking the time to fill out the evaluations. We've all been to one or more sessions over the years that are full of content, but boring and hard to follow. Sometimes you leave thinking the speaker is really knowledgeable, but you're scratching your head because you didn't understand it and aren't sure how to go back to the office and apply what you just saw. My goal when giving sessions is to share my knowledge in a manner that's fun and easy to absorb. I'm also hopeful that my passion for software development shines through and rubs off on others. Based on the feedback, it looks like I'm right on track (pun intended).

Now that I'm done thanking the attendees .. I have to turn my attention to the conference organizers. Word has it from Tamar that Rick and Doug tried as hard as they could to come up with an angle to skew the rankings so I didn't come out on top. They relished their go-kart win over me and have been having a lot of fun rubbing it in. They knew ... I mean they REALLY knew .. that I would turn around and rub this in their faces. And they're right ... nah nah nah nah!! ;-)

Seriously though .. the ribbing is all in fun. I have a lot of respect for all the speakers at Southwest Fox, even Rick and Doug.


Rick Schummer said...

There is no question in my mind you did a great job delivering your sessions at Southwest Fox. I know how many times you rehearsed your session at user groups and in my mind it only proves how worthwhile this time is for a speaker.

Thanks for delivering high value to the people who came to Mesa.

Luis Luna said...

I don't attend Southwest Fox, but i know your work, it's very good, when you came to latin america ?


Cathy Pountney said...

Rick .. I agree that practicing in front of user groups really helps improve our sessions. I had the chance to practice my "Customizing" session in front of DAFUG, GRAFUG, MMFUDG, and the Philly group. I'm certain that the feedback from four practices helped polish that session!

Cathy Pountney said...

Luis .. thanks for your praise. I appreciate it. I don't have any international travel plans at the moment and really don't forsee that changing anytime soon.