Last Saturday I had the chance to tick off one of the items from my wishlist - “Give a tech talk at a conference”.
(alright, back to the topic)
I don’t usually speak up much in real life. But I recently felt that I haven’t been speaking up much about what I am busy doing at work and also some new perspective on CI/CD pipelines.
At the same time, I discovered that the GitHub Satellite conference is happening soon and CFPs are open for it.
GitHub Satellite is coming to India (well, virtually)!🎉— GitHubIndia (@GitHubIndia) February 6, 2021
We want to hear your stories about open source, secure development & DevOps.
Submit a proposal to speak at GitHub Satellite India 2021 on March 26-27.https://t.co/uDsbubEIyh pic.twitter.com/N4Nxp28rHE
Then struck the thought: Maybe I should give a talk because I am kind of doing some cool DevOps stuff with GitHub Actions at work. Maybe share about it?
So I headed to #conference channel in our work slack and told that I am planning to write a CFP for the conference and got help in reviewing my CFP. Waited curiously after submitting CFP in a few days because I did it for the first time ever.
Then came the mail.
Got excited so excited at this point :)
Within some days the conference website was up - https://githubsatellite.com
Got even more excited after seeing these :D At this point, I still haven’t written down my talk yet. But passively brainstorming what to share in the talk here and there.
The conference is virtual - this helped because I am kind of shy, nervous and have definitely had stage fear :D The fact that the conference is virtual gave me a low barrier to entry. Shifted my mindset to it is going to be like being on a zoom call with a co-worker where I am explaining stuff.
I have found a useful approach to doing new stuff. It is called https://ted.com - Whenever I am trying to do something new I try to browse this website for videos dealing with the new stuff. In this case, it is “public speaking”. Guess what there is a playlist that I needed: Before public speaking
I really liked this video called Talk nerdy to me in that playlist. It helped in removing my shyness. One other idea that got from that playlist is “talks are essentially idea transferring methodology”. If we had an elegant idea about something that the world, we shouldn’t care about silly things like shyness to stop others from acquiring that idea :D
In the meantime came the speaker kit from GitHub! They comfortably stocked me with all gadgets that I need for the tech talk.
It wow-ed everyone around. Happens every time I receive free goodies :D
GitHub arranged a speaker coaching session that is optional to attend. I completely went in for it because I knew that it will definitely help me out. It was conducted in batches of speakers. We were supposed to get ready with the first few slides of our talk and go through them in front of the speaker coach. Then they give us honest feedback and ways to improve.
I completely bombed my coaching session. I think I was nowhere close to ready for it except that I felt to have nice presentation slides. The speaking coach was brutally honest and kind in what I was doing wrong and how I should go about fixing it. The problem was I had loose ends while talking which gave the idea that I wasn’t confident about what I was talking about.
From that point onward, things got real :D
Then came the technical rehearsal where we needed to set up the gadgets we received and check if lightning, audio, video, etc. are good by jumping into a zoom call with the event producers. Followed up by sending over my entire deck of slides to the event organizer and a dress rehearsal.
Finally, it was happening :)
Friends, I am presenting a lightning tech talk at #GitHubSatellite (kind of my first-ever proper tech talk 😄)— Vishnu Bharathi (@scriptnull) March 26, 2021
If you are interested in learning how we build internal dev tools at @HasuraHQ, tune in to https://t.co/dPngNVra99 tomorrow at 11:45 AM IST. pic.twitter.com/kZaDH5bBli
Here is the link to the awesome MCs introducing me and passing me the mic. Wow, that gave me the feel of attending a physical conference.
Finally, here is the recording of my first-ever conference talk.
Everything went well! I feel that I did better than what I was thinking to do (lol, kind of reliving to write it).
I would definitely like to thank team @GitHubIndia for organizing the conference! They definitely did a great job here _/_
oh! I forgot to mention, they even sent me some snacks to munch during the conference :)