What the heck are you people talking about?

The call for speakers is closed and the selection committees are about to begin reviewing the abstracts. Before they get started, here are a few little pieces of trivia about the sessions.

Keep in mind that I have done minimal cleansing on this data so it’s going to be a bit messy and unreliable for anything apart from entertainment purposes.

Raw Numbers

There were 574 sessions submitted this year by 209 speakers working for a total of 163 separate companies.

Out of a total of 127 job titles, the most common one was “Consultant”. Or, it would be until you take into account the different variations of DBA, Database Administrator, etc. Taking that into account, 20 of you are some kind of DBA.

If you want to get a bit fuzzier about the numbers:

  • 17 of you are an engineer and are probably measuring something with calipers right now
  • 12 of you identify as a manager
  • 12 of you think you’re a developer
  • 27 of you claim to be a consultant
  • 11 of you work in B.I.
  • 32 of you claim to be architects. You draw squares and arrows to represent work.

All of you work for a total of 163 different companies. Unless some of you can’t spell your company’s name right. Then you may work for fewer, I’m not sure. The data, as I said, is dirty.

The Submissions

The average length of a session abstract was 617.7 characters or 99.19 words with a standard deviation of 243 characters and 39 words. Out of all the presentations, 187 have never been presented before. They may very well be 100% fresh in November when you arrive.

Here’s the distribution between the different levels:

  • 100 Level (Novice) – 109 sessions
  • 200 Level (Intermediate) – 239 sessions
  • 300 Level (Advanced) – 178 sessions
  • 400 Level (Expert) – 44 sessions
  • 500 Level (Advanced Expert) – 2 sessions

Pre/Post Conference

42 total pre/post conference sessions were submitted. That’s a lot of competition for a few slots.

  • 14 were B.I. (9 for architecture and 5 for reporting/delivery)
  • 13 relate to DBA work
  • 12 relate to application development
  • 3 relate to professional development

The only conclusion I can draw is that very few of us are prepared to talk about our careers for a single work day. Are you playing Legend of Zelda at work all day? What’s up with that, guys? People making a living talking about this kind of stuff.

Spotlight Sessions

There were 58 spotlight sessions submitted and I’m afraid to say that your day jobs faired even worse in this section.

  • 20 were DBA related topics
  • 15 were development topics (this better not be all IronPerl … I mean PowerShell)
  • 13 were somehow related to B.I. architectural whatnot
  • 5 were related to B.I. reporting and delivery. Apparently these guys are too busy making money to talk at the PASS Summit for 8 hours.
  • 5 of you thought that you could talk about your job for 90 minutes. Good for you. That’s long enough to get to the good parts in Krull or watch any number of amazing kung fu movies.

The distribution is starting to skew a bit here. If we combined the BI tracks it would look a lot more like the pre/post conference situation.

Community Sessions

Here is where you guys clearly shine. You submitted a whopping 472 sessions. That’s an average of 2.25 per person. While not bad, you could have submitted 4. I’m just saying that maybe next year you should pick it up a little bit.

  • 137 application development topics. We’re number 1, we’re number 1
  • 135 DBA topics put this in at a close second.
  • 113 BI architecture topics
  • 48 Professional development (you can talk for 75 minutes about your job, but not 90?)
  • 39 B.I. reporting topics. I think these people really must have jobs to do, because that’s not a lot.

Comments

2 Comments so far. Comments are closed.
  1. Noel,

    Interesting information, thanks Jeremiah. Regarding the low number of professional development submissions, a couple of things that immediately popped into my mind (1) Is this perceived as a “soft” topic, and (2) how well attended are professional development sessions?

    • Good questions. Thankfully, I have ways of actually answering them.

      Glancing at the numbers from last year, they are less attended, but they aren’t that far off from the average. Typically, they’re also in smaller rooms which might contribute to the smaller attendance numbers.

      They might be perceived as a “soft” topic, but I don’t know if that’s stopped anyone from submitting soft topics outside of professional development. In 2009, Kevin Kline’s “The Ultimate Free SQL Server Toolkit” is a soft topic that was well attended while “PHP Enterprise Ready Solutions Built on SQL Server” is a very technical topic from the App Dev track that was not as well attended (I suspect the PHP scared people off).

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