Tuesday 31 December 2019

Sideways career

Right... Second attempt at this post 😀

This is a bit of a long story, but rather than keep everything cryptic, and saying it at the end I'm going to do it backwards :)

In February this year I made my way to another country, the first time I'd flown by choice since 2004, and gave my first tech talk at a conference.

Considering how much I get terrified if I have to be with a group of people I was shocked, happily shocked, at just how much I enjoyed it, and by the comments I got from people afterwards.

And... Since then I've live coded for the Microsoft Insider Tour - demonstarting what you can do with new technology and given the first talk another 5 or 6 times at conferences and meetups.

And... I rounded the year off by giving a new talk a shakedown at a meetup, ready for a conference next February.

And... I've even been a guest on two tech podcasts! Once of which has already aired, the other will at some point in the future. Though I have no idea when...

I'm still dumbfounded that talking in front of people is something I enjoy, and even more dumbfounded that people actually listen when I do 🤣

(and, because why not another "and"..., actually, if I can get my anxiety in check, I wouldn't mind trying my hand at some ameteur dramatics... But then I would need time for that!)

I was always in awe of people who gave talks at conferences, and now I have a new found respect for them. The effort that goes into preparing a talk is tremendous. I think that both of my talks have taken more than 200 hours to get to the point where I could try them out. And that is outside of work time, so basically just about every spare hour I had to make sure that I was ready in time...

In fact, after I returned from the first talk I was asked by my other half is this meant that I was going to be seen in the house - rather than coming home from work and dissapearing to the attic study to work on the talk.

But I get so much back from it, andf I can't say why. Put me in a room of people and I'll leave in tears, total anxisety attack. Even when I'm with family I need a book or my phone with me so that I have an escape route should I start to panic.

And yet... When I'm standing on a podium in front of a room full of people and whilst it is very, very scary, and the stress and nerves before I start are out of this world, once I start to talk, it's fine.

I also like that afterwards, normally, people come up and talk to me. Because whilst I can't go up to people and start a conversation, it is quite nice to have a conversation when someone comes up to me.

So, that is the highlight that I am taking from 2019. It's the year I got on a plane more than once to go and talk in front of a group of developers.

Not everything that I mentioned in my last post, but one of the most unexpected for myself 😊

And in the next post I'll go into the 'how' I got started - because that is a story that I quite enjoy!


  1. Wow, that's so impressive! Really pleased for you. Great to hear the presenting is going well. Congratulations on feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

    Note to self: keep an eye out for Stace at MS events ;-)

    All the best for the new year!

    1. Thanks Lynn! It wasn't anything that I ever saw myself doing, and now I start the year with 4 talks lined up already, and another in the works!

      I'm just so stoked, and honored, that people actually give me their time to listen to my stories :)

      I'm going to try and get a CFP accepted in the UK this year, but it's proving really hard :)



  2. Great post, Stace! Does this mean a road trip to the States is in the cards, then? You could see Muse over here in the colonies, for instance! ;c)

    Seriously, congratulations on everything you achieved this year. And of course you have a tour guide here in New England if you ever choose to come visit this side of the pond! :D

    Happy New Year!!!

    == Cass

    1. Thanks Cass!

      Stateside... I'd love to, if I can get on a plane for that long! (And get accepted at a conference in the US...)

      Should I find a conference in New England that accepts me as a speaker, I'm going to take you up on that! :)