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.

4 Comments

  1. Posted March 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Put your Celine Dion T-shirt to defuse the situation while on stage 😉 Anyway, fingers crossed for the talk!

  2. Posted March 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Sometimes once you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and have up with enhancing other innovations.
    If your career you’ve chosen has some unexpected inconvenience, console yourself by reflecting that no career is without.

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