Tech Talks Prep

I have been very fortunate to have two tech talks accepted for the beginning of this year: Snow*Mobile 2014 and CocoaConf Chicago.

Snow*Mobile was the first programming conference I ever attended. I was able to attend by being a student volunteer. My job was to hand out the name badges to the attendees. Having that job made a huge difference to me because I got to meet everyone who came and since I was working with the conference I had some built-in recognition from the conference goers.

The talk I am doing for Snow*Mobile is about sound design and user experience in mobile applications. The talk I am doing for CocoaConf is on AV Foundation audio.

If someone told me that I would be speaking at the next Snow*Mobile after I attended the first one I would have laughed at them. I didn’t think it was possible that I would be able to be a conference speaker at this point in my career.

I know that I am being given this opportunity by the Remsiks and the Kleins. At CocoaConf especially they tend to only invite experts and people who have written books.

I am putting a great deal of pressure on myself to not let down people who are giving me opportunities.

Snow*Mobile is a month from now and CocoaConf is two weeks after that.

I am juggling a lot of things right now. I have been at my job for a month and I love my job. However, due to the nature of the beast, I do not have a lot of free time or mental energy to take on new tasks.

I decided to dedicate this whole weekend to getting some portion of these talks done. I do not intent to leave them until the last minute. I want to give myself some time where I can change course if something I am doing is not working.

So far this weekend I have completely rethought both of my talks. I realized that the UX talk was misguided because I was thinking of it from the perspective of film. I realized all of my examples were from things that are vastly different than what I as a user am looking for in an app.

I feel better about this talk now that I have a better grasp on what I would like to say that would be useful to people attending the conference.

I had a similar revelation with my CocoaConf talk. I started getting overwhelmed by the amount of information I felt I needed to present. While I was doing research I found a focal point for my talk. I know that I can speak reasonably about the amount of information I am going to present and I will be able to give a solid, yet entertaining talk on my topic.

I am also lucky in that I have access to people who know more than I do who are willing to help me and answer my questions.

I think at this point I have maxed out the number of things I can effectively manage without dropping anything. I am gambling somewhat because I am counting on nothing disastrous happening to me in the next month and a half. This is one reason I am trying to knock these things out now on the off chance that something unforeseen happens.