I was just getting started with helping out the Visual FoxPro community, by translating articles from English to Portuguese, and answering questions at the online forums. When VFP 7 was going to be released, Paulo Cesar, a member of the community, asked the local Microsoft office whether they’d have any official launch event in Brazil. MS had absolutely nobody down there who knew anything about VFP, so Paulo Cesar suggested I should be the one doing the presentation. I said, “ok, I guess if nobody will can do it, I can try it.”
After getting a copy of VFP 7 Release Candidate from MS, I started to prepare for the presentation. It was going to be a 1-day event, so I needed material to talk for about 8 hours. Since so much preparation went into it, I’ve ended up recording some videos out of it to sell it later, with the help of Vidigal (an outstanding person who has helped that community a LOT).
Given the good number of signups, MS asked me to do the presentation twice, because they had maxed out the capacity of their local office, about 120 people showed up at each date. That was a great number, considering VFP wasn’t as popular as VB or Delphi. People came from really far away to attend to those events.
I’ve received such good feedback from people (including from those that had traveled for several hours to be there) that I’ve decided I should do more presentations. And that’s how it has been for the last 10 years.
Now I feel like it’s time to take a break from that.
Don’t get me wrong: I *really* enjoy giving presentations. While some people do it for the fame, I guess, I do it because to me it’s very rewarding to hear somebody say “hey man, that thing I learned at one of your presentations has helped me a lot”. Like an old buddy of mine once told me, “if I help 500 people, and on my time of need, one of those people help me out, I’ll be happy”. But I just feel like I need to take some rest from traveling, preparing for talks, and most importantly, and most importantly, figure out what things I’d like to learn next.
My plans for 2011 is to continue on with the Virtual Brown Bag every week, and I may end up doing a few presentations at local user groups in Houston, or another areas that won’t require a long trip, but other than that, I want to take the time to focus on learning. I want to learn other languages, frameworks, and platforms that I haven’t been too involved with.
Wish me luck.