AZ Community Roundtable Ep.01 - Lessons Learnt

What went well, the bumps I hit and improving for the next show

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The first AZ Community Roundtable show I hosted is over. I had guest speakers Chris Reddington and Martin Therkelsen introduce themselves, I discussed Microsoft Build news on App Services adopting Cloud Native approach using Kubernetes so it can be used on other platforms. Martin talks about how Infrastructure as Code is being adopted and its place currently in organisations, and Chris brings up what individuals are looking for in a DevOps tools, the features we enjoy and a quick talk on the Azure DevOps vs GitHub hot topic on social media.

We have made the recording available on YouTube:

And we have made it available on multiple podcast platforms using Anchor:

What went well?

The content from the speakers worked really well. Allowing speakers to bring a topic to the show, allow them time to explain their topic and opening it up to other speakers to comment and build onto the topic made it extremely engaging. How this format works, Twitter Spaces seems to be a suitable place for this type of casual talk show.

Distributing the recordings after the show was extremely easy using YouTube and Anchor. I will touch on the recording of the show in a bit but being able to use one video recording (used OBS) and extract the audio to then upload to an audio distributor like Anchor allowed me to get the recording out to a wider audience who cannot join live.

There was no overlap in talking, each speaker can see who un-mutes themselves to talk so they can allow one another to talk. This made the audio clear and easily receivable to the audience.

The bumps

It was the first show I did and a lot involved technically to get this recorded, so there are improvements personally and technically. I have bullet point them below:

  • The first three minutes of the audio recording was missing. I noticed during the live show that OBS was a few minutes behind how long we were actually talking. This was very distracting as I was kicking myself while talking live. Once the show was over, I reviewed the audio to confirm what content was missing. I found my introduction and some Chris's introduction was gone, as such I was able to re-record my introduction but had to leave a small part of the introduction by Chris out (sorry 😔).

  • As mentioned I was using OBS rather than recording the audio using another software like Audacity. This was so I could record the Twitter Spaces icons where it would indicate who is speaking, allowing me to then publish on YouTube with some visuals. This over complicated managing this as I found when individuals joined and leave, the window would move and I would have to reposition it on OBS.

  • Another technical issue with OBS, I set the mic and audio levels for the show so they are balanced. Somehow this didn't store the settings so when reviewing the recording, noticed I was quiet and the other speakers are much louder. I therefore had to use Audacity to adjust the audio levels and import the edited audio into the video for YouTube.

  • 'Um' returned to my vocabulary when I was thinking or distracted. This is something I worked on years ago and hasn't been a problem until this show. It seems the above technical issues and making sure I was also engaged and hosting put 'Um' back in my mouth

Moving forward and improving

The technical issues have been identified, in advance I will be reviewing all settings and making sure the recording starts many minutes before we start the show. There could be justification not to worry about the Twitter Spaces icon activity so there aren't any distraction (this may be excluded in the upcoming show).

With some of these technical worries gone, the 'Um' coming out of my mouth should reduce but what I will be working on in the coming weeks is listening to myself by recording some audio memos. This should get me out of the bad habit of filling gaps when thinking.

Special Thanks

Thanks again to Chris and Martin for joining the first show. It was a pleasure and invite both to return on future shows if I decide to proceed with them after the initial four.

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