Another great Virtual Brown Bag last week.
Conferences, Speaking, etc.
Right at the start Alan brought up the fact that PDC 2010 was going on, with live streaming and all of that, but several of us decided to join the VBB instead. The idea of learning something useful, which you can start using immediately, over watching marketing conferences, seems to appeal to some of us.
That conversation reminded me as to one of the reasons why I decided to take a break from speaking: I have no interest in speaking at big conferences anymore. In the past, I’ve been asked to speak at some conferences where I was given the topic, content, the script, etc., and in both cases, I didn’t care about the things I was talking about. Several people have told me that they enjoy my talks because I’m very passionate. Well, it’s kind of hard to be passionate about something I don’t necessarily care about.
Also, several conferences are only interested in topics about whatever “the latest tools or technologies” are, regardless as to whether those things have been tried out in the real world or not. They favor those topics over things that people actually need on a daily basis.
I’ve submitted session proposals to some conferences and heard back things like “we don’t want talks on object-oriented programming, patterns, or that kind of stuff; we want talks on whatever thing that has just come out as a beta…“. Sometimes those things don’t see the light of the day, or are phased out after one or two releases.
The interesting thing is that my most popular talks are usually the ones that big conferences don’t care about. There’s a *huge* number of people out there who needs help with OOP, patterns, writing clean code, refactoring, etc. That’s why I’ll probably just focus on speaking at some selected user groups, CodeCamps, etc., where I know the organizers, they know me, and we both agree on what topics are of interest to the attendees, as opposed to this or that vendor.
Speaking of user groups, the Houston C# User Group is currently looking for speakers. I’ve presented there before, and it looks like I’ll be there again early on next year.
There were some other topics we covered at the meeting, but I’ll save details for another post. For instance, I shared something around Liskov Substitution Principle, Interface Segregation Principle, etc., but I plan on blogging about it in the next couple of days.
JB also share some stuff around Cucumber that looked cool. I’ll have to investigate more into that.