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.

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