Getting The Most Out Of The MySQL Conference

Posted by Artem Russakovskii on March 26th, 2008 in Databases, Personal

As half of the world population already knows, the MySQL conference is coming in less than 3 weeks. Since this event only happens once a year, lasts only 4 days, and costs more than a Russian mail-order bride, I'd really like to get the most out of it. Considering that the schedule is completely packed, with 8 (!!) events going on in parallel, I imagine things can get a little frantic. Additionally, I've never been to a conference of such size before and I'm not sure what to expect.

So… I'm contemplating:

  • printing out the event schedule and drawing a zig-zagging "map" of exactly where I'll be jumping to next, once the previous presentation ends. I'm actually wondering if I'll need to figure out where all the events are located exactly in advance. How big is that place? Did Google invent in-building walking maps yet? Do people normally jump from one presentation to another parallel one or is that unheard of?
  • bringing a laptop to take notes. I find it that my brain tends to retain mostly the general ideas for a good period of time. Code details and specifics tend to flush a lot sooner. Keeping notes (and publishing them online) is the best way to retain all this tasty information. Learn it and starting doing it, don't be lazy. For my note taking application, I actually prefer Microsoft (:gasp:) OneNote. It keeps things organized and has a coupe of neat tricks up its sleeve, like built-in OCR, Win-S shortcut for a quick area-defined screenshot, integration with Outlook, audio note-taking. Aha!..
  • recording audio at every presentation, is that allowed?
  • getting plenty of sleep the night before each conference day, as the amount of information is going to be simply crushing. I guess I'm going to have to postpone my 3am sessions until Friday or so.
  • bribing an organ thief to steal Peter Zaitsev's brain and replace it with a statistical computer chip capable of running 17 billion MySQL benchmarks a second. Nobody is going to notice the difference anyway.

Do you have any tips? How do YOU handle conferences? Please share in the comments.

● ● ●
Artem Russakovskii is a San Francisco programmer and blogger. Follow Artem on Twitter (@ArtemR) or subscribe to the RSS feed.

In the meantime, if you found this article useful, feel free to buy me a cup of coffee below.