Rob Farley

Rob Rob Farley has been consulting in IT since completing a Computer Science degree with first class honours in 1997. Before moving to Adelaide, he worked in consultancies in Melbourne and London. He runs the development department in one of Australia's leading IT firms, as well as doing database application consultancy and training. He heads up the Adelaide SQL Server User Group, and holds several Microsoft certifications.

Rob has been involved with Microsoft technologies for most of his career, but has also done significant work with Oracle and Unix systems. His preferred database is SQL Server and his preferred language is C#. Recently he has been involved with Microsoft Learning in the US, creating and reviewing new content for the next generation of Microsoft exams.

Over the years, Rob's clients have included BP Oil, OneLink Transit, Accenture, Avanade, Australian Electorial Commission, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the Royal Borough of Kingston, Help The Aged, Unisys, Department of Treasury and Finance (Vic), National Mutual, the Bible Society and others.

Did you mean to come here? My blog is now at

11 September 2006

Developing presenters

So I'm talking to Dave Lemphers (of "Time spent here you will never get back" fame) on IM, and one of the things we occasionally talk about is how to develop presenters, and I (bizarrely) suggested having "presentation awards". The idea would be to have our own version of the Perrier awards as a way of encouraging and developing presenters (at user-groups, in podcasts, etc).

Of course, it raises the question of why to present? I guess it's similar to the question of why to blog?

On a personal level, there are a few obvious ones.

  • Shows other people that you know your stuff
  • Develops your status in the community
  • Deals with that fear of public-speaking
  • Increases your consulting price
  • Stops you from having to apply for work, because Readify might approach you
Naturally, your employer will be keen for all of the above (especially if they're Readify), and therefore will encourage you to present as well. But for some reason, the number of people who actually present is quite small.

So that's where some annual awards come in.

TechEd in Europe have Speaker Idol this year. This is a great idea, and perhaps we'll have something like that in Australia next year. But what about the user-groups? How can we get more people speaking?

As someone who runs a smaller-city user-group, I'd like to have a fund to bring people across from interstate more often, or to send the people in my group to other states. But what else can I do? Please post ideas...