The dust has settled and the first West Michigan .Net University is now history. You can view photos of it here.
I was fortunate that my talk (Intro to SQL Server Data Models and T-SQL) was in the morning because I had tickets to the Final Four in the evening on the other side of the state.
Shane and I put together a talk aimed at people with very little database experience. We agreed that I would cover the basic introductory material first; then he would explain some more intermediate topics. I rehearsed a story about the history of databases that included people keeping records on stone tablets and storing these tablets in a file cabinet; I wrote a lot of sample queries demonstrating the syntax of a T-SQL statements; and I wrote a series of articles on T-SQL
I turned out that I didn't use any of this material.
We had a small group in our session so we let them set the agenda. Everyone already had at least a year of database experience so I scrapped the introductory stuff. I spent far more time than I expected showing off the features of the SQL Management Studio. We answered questions about the strategies for normalization, backing up data, and primary keys.
In fact, I showed almost none of the slides we prepared.
The good news is that the audience seemed happy with the session. The got their questions answered without wasting time on things they already knew. In the end, I think they were glad we were so flexible and so was I.
The feedback I heard on the other sessions was also positive. Congratulations to Chris Woodruff for organizing a successful event.
Overall it was a very good day. Oh... and the Final Four? Well, my Spartans won of course. It was a great day!