Last October I was accepted to speak at the 2015 Atlanta Code Camp on keeping clean code. It was a really great experience, I would definitely recommend this conference for anyone who wants to speak at tech events. I’ve been to this conference in the past, but this is the first time I’ve been a speaker. The organizers of the conference were on top of things, and they made sure I had everything I needed prior to my presentation. And knowing I was a bit nervous about giving my talk, they checked in with me afterwards.
The speakers’ dinner, the night before, was held at Shilling on Marietta Square. And actually, we shared the upstairs space with a wedding party doing their rehearsal dinner. The juxtaposition of a dressed up wedding party and casually attired programmers was pretty funny.
I loved talking to the other speakers about their talk topics and their views on different coding topics. Everyone there was supportive of one another, were generally interested in going to each other’s talks, and plenty of people offered tips on giving talks (or war stories).
The talk went really well, and people who saw my talk were generally interested and gave positive feedback about the talk. I really appreciated and enjoyed talking to the people that came up to me afterwards. What I would have done differently is start up Visual Studio (for my demo) before my talk instead of during it. Not only does Visual Studio take a long time to load, I had 3 different versions of it on my laptop and clicked on the wrong one at first.
Advice that someone gave me before my talk, that I found extremely useful, was to have a bottle of water next to you and take a drink if you need time to think. Also, I was extremely thirsty from talking so much. And also to speak to the one or two people that are actively paying attention in the audience. It definitely helps your nerves. Looking at people who are distracted or looking down at their phones will throw you off.
All in all, I would definitely give another talk again. Although, I’m probably going to hold off until I finish my Master’s in May. I had some trouble juggling work, school, and preparing for the talk. But really, I just got a new job and I’m still getting acclimated to it.
The Atlanta Code Camp conference is typically held on Kennesaw State University’s Marietta campus. The tickets are only $10 (compared to $300 for many conferences), which is really to ensure people who sign up actually attend. It’s a good starter conference, both for attending and for speaking.