Why I Like Giving Talks

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I’ve had great news last week: the proposal Ellie McHugh and I made was accepted for Rubyconf ! This means I have 3 confirmed speaking engagements this fall, all around the same topic: concurrency. Once in Amsterdam at RubyAndRails, once in Ghent, at arrrrcamp, and then at Rubyconf.

Why speak at all ? It means tons of extra work, the preparation, the slides … and there’s no immediate return on investment – it actually costs you money, traveling doesn’t come cheap. I’m also a fairly shy person, so there’s some nerves involved. I’ll tell you my reasons:

  • I usually pick a topic that interests me, and take it as an opportunity to dig into it until I know all I possibly ever wanted to know about it. Take concurrency: I’m reading about threads, CPUs, architectures, writing examples in different languages, academic papers, blog posts, mailing topics … Nothing to sharpen the mind and create an incentive like the prospect of having to talk about it in front of a group of experts.
  • the talk grows organically, as does your knowledge of the subject, every time you give it. You get questions, feedback, new tracks to research.
  • you get to meet lots of people. The other speakers, who are often the programmers whose projects we use every day. But also other devs, who come up to you to discuss things after you talked.
  • well, I won’t lie, you also get your name about, of course. As long as your talk is decent, that is.

Anyway, I’d really recommend it. If you have something to say, and you feel like those reasons would apply to you too, why not give it a try ?