Last week I had the opportunity to give a half-day workshop at MinneWebCon. I had initially submitted the session as a 50 minute talk but the committee thought it would be better as a workshop.
The workshop outline and code is available on GitHub. I thought I'd write up a brief retrospective since it was my first workshop!
What went well
- Everyone was able to deploy a live bot and finished the workshop (huzzah!)
- I was able to help answer some questions I hadn't anticipated
- People paired up if they didn't have everything they needed on their computers
- Azure Bot Service works pretty well and even when a couple people accidentally chose the wrong code template, they were able to redo the bot in a few minutes
- People said they liked it, which always feels good!
What could change
- If it was a longer workshop, I'd rather build a custom sample bot rather than building off the pre-built Notes domain
- I walked through some of the LUIS grammar via whiteboard but it would have been better to visualize the relationships better in slide form I think
- At the end some folks wanted to see what a "real" bot looks like hooked up to real data. I showed what I did for KTOMG but ideally in a full workshop we'd use a live data source as you would in the real world.
- The Azure Bot Service "web chat" blade was super finicky--it usually required people to sign out fully and sign back in to boot up the interface
What I learned
- I learned I enjoy giving workshops. Helping people accomplish something in a hands-on way is pretty cool.
- Different people are on different levels and want different things out of the workshop. It was good I had some stretch goals.
- Professionals want a way to see how what they learned will apply to their day-to-day work. I'd flesh this out more if I gave the workshop again. Showing how I wrote my bot in C# for KTOMG was helpful I think.