Tag Archives: personal

Nepal

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Some people have asked that I drop up some occasional posts about places I go. I will only post them here not to code better.

Last week we went to Nepal for a quick vacation. It is gorgeous, I highly recommend visiting. We went Kathmandu->Chitwan->bhaktapur. We are definitely going back.

Nepal is definitely a third world country. I would recommend being a very experienced traveller if you intend to go “on the cheap” the way that we did (staying at guest houses, no real plans etc) but its quite worth it if you can get handle the not so good parts like no hot water, electricity being out for better parts of most days, seeing abject poverty.

So now, on with pictures! The first is Boudhanath in Kathmandu. This is an amazing landmark and worth visiting. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site as well.

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In Chitwan you can take a safari on the back of an elephant.

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You can also take a bath with the elephant after your safari

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Cows are a pretty common site in Nepal.

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Lots of breathtaking scenery (this is just off the road between Kathmandu and Chitwan).

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Beautiful sunsets

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Amazing architecture (this is the main square in Bhaktapur)

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You might even find a bit of interesting vegetation on the side of the road.

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Again the infrastructure is not the best.

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But this place is so worth going to.

QCon London (and QCon background)

Tomorrow I will be one of the keynote speakers at QCon London. I am really looking forward to the conference.

I go quite a ways back with infoq and qcon. The first time I spoke about CQRS at a reasonably sized conference was at QCon San Francisco in I believe 2007. I was petrified. I was to talk about building systems that were considered non-applicable to Domain Driven Design by using Messaging.

My front row included Martin Fowler, Eric Evans, and Gregor Hohpe. I had never even really talked with any of them before, scary people. Their eyes can penetrate you :) I had also not given very many talks at this point.

I must have had 7 cups of coffee before my talk. I met up with Aino (from TriFork, a regular at all the QCon/TriFork events) as she was my track host. She even commented that I was bouncing off the walls.

I will skip over the talk. Suffice to say that Eric (who is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, really its hard to tease a disagreement out of :)) came to me afterwards with some pros (and cons) about the talk. I have always liked that we say pros and cons never the other way around, it makes it feel like its an overall positive experience.

It wasn’t. The harshest words I believe were “I think I might have understood 20-30% of what you said which means everyone else was likely below that”. Ouch.

However this became a chance to try to improve. I spent the next year doing user group talks, refining how I explained things, took some workshops on speaking etc etc. When I did the talk a second time people thought it was quite a good presentation.

It goes to show you that even what you may think is a bad talk may still have really valuable information that is just not being packaged or explained properly. This is an important realization both as a presenter and as an audience member. Often times asking the right questions at the end can help to crystallize concepts.

Fast-forward to 2012 and I will keynote QCon London. Invited by Aino who I am sure I made sift through a pile of red cards only five years ago. I will try to avoid having seven cups of coffee before this talk.

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