DevEast Aftermatch

Yesterday was the first DevEast conference. Kudos to Derek for putting together an interesting panel of speakers in such a short order of time, as well as bringing in at least 40 attendees. There really were some interesting talks. In particular, I enjoyed Mike Mullens talk about Next Generation Web Apps.

As for my own talk, well,  it could have been better. I tried to go for the live “wow” factor of doing some live code. I mean, if I could create a rails app from scratch in a short amount of time, that would be pretty awesome right? Of course, if I made a mistake somewhere, which, of course, is what happened.My fellow speakers later gave me a few tips:

  • Live code is a trade off between something you can depend on (pre-done code) and something more interactive and impressive to the attendees.
  • If you are going to do live code, you have to fill in the time you are coding with speech, otherwise you stop engaging the audience for a period of time, and risk losing them a bit.
  • Practice beforehand. The more comfortable you are, the less likely you are to screw something up.
  • If your live demo goes wrong, use the above practice code to get back on track. Kinda like those cooking shows where they make the batter, and then put it away and pull pre-made cookies out of the oven.

After the conference, a few of the speakers headed down to Rogue’s for some beer and food. We talked some shop, various stories were told, and Derek tried to get some sound bites for his podcast (I wonder how that turned out). I thought those guys were hilarious and was glad to have had the opportunity to meet them all.

All in all, it was a pretty fantastic time. Maybe I will ask to give a talk at next year’s DevEast and have things run a little smoother.

Finally Giving In

Over the last few years I have been asked to present something at various local conferences (mostly just CEOS). This has always ended up with me saying, “sorry, I don’t have the time”. Recently, I have come to the realization that I am likely going to always be “busy” with various other things. So I made a decision.

More recently, I have been asked to give a talk at DevEast. Rather than my traditional “sorry I don’t have time”, I decided to give in and accept. I am now going to be giving a talk about Ruby on Rails that will encompass a lot of the basics, as well as sharing some of my own experiences with it over the last year.

Win, lose, or draw, at least in a few days I will be able to say I’ve tried.

Moving On

So, I recently left my job at v1Labs. There are a number or reasons for my decision to move on, but in the end it boiled down to a feeling. I just didn’t feel that I was where I wanted/was supposed to be at this point in time. While the money WAS good, I am currently debt free and so decided to take a risk and go elsewhere. ’Elsewhere’, in this circumstance, ended up being Sampling Technologies, Inc., a position I was referred to by my old boss at Satlantic. They are a local startup that does marketing and data presentation for pharmaceutical companies. I think the work they are doing is fairly interesting, and the people here feel… passionate is how I would put it. People are here because they believe in what the company was doing, rather than just putting in the 9-5 and picking up their paycheck.

Right now, I am doing more general IT and the automation of backend tasks, along with some DB work (biggest DB I have worked with by far). The plan is for me to eventually move into more actual development (Java) as more and more background tasks become automated. Sure, I might be starting out at the bottom, but I am fairly confident that I will be able to work my way up.

A month and a half in, and I am not regretting it (though I do miss some of my coworkers from v1 at times). There is a lot of stuff to learn and do, and more importantly, a lot of DIFFERENT things to learn and do. I interact with more than just developers on a regular basis. I actually get to interact with customers. I love interacting with both of them, and at the end of the day I feel like I have solved problems for real people.