This weekend I had the pleasure of presenting at Cloud Dev Day Detroit on the topic of migrating an existing application from on-premises to fully hosted on Windows Azure/SQL Azure. I presented an hour long session that had a significant amount of its content dedicated to demonstrating the process of migration. The heavy demo content was important to me as I did not want the audience to see another high level overview that day. I wanted to show real code!
This could go really bad
I decided to check out the internet connection early in the day to see how it would perform with a couple hundred of my closest geek friends checking twitter on their phones. It turns out the speed of the internet connection at the conference was exceptional. However, port 1433 was blocked. This is the port that is used to communicate with a SQL Server(including SQL Azure). A good portion of my demos were based around migrating from a local SQL Server instance to SQL Azure. You might think this was going to go very bad.
The good news
The day prior to the event when I was practicing for my demos (as every speaker should), I fired up Camtasia and recorded all of the demos I planned to give. I originally did this as a way for me to see how they played back and how the pace was for the talk. Having these recordings available for the conference saved my bacon! Not only did it save my bacon for items I was planning on doing live, but I was also able to show more than one deployment to the Windows Azure environment. With the editing tools in Camtasia, I was able to reduce 15-20 minute deployment process to just over a minute. I believe this made for a better experience for those attending this talk.
What do you think?
Does a recorded demo reduce the speaker’s street cred? Is a recorded demo better than the inevitable typos and demo demons that pop up during a presentation? How would you leverage this tool?