Should I speak at a conference?

Posted on Apr 16, 2017

Craig Federighi at Apple

Next, you will read my thoughts about public talks as an engineer. Many of us like to visit conferences. The luckiest ones were at WWDC, F8, or Google I/O. It’s great to learn something new: about apps, architecture, motivation, and so on.

But why somebody well-known has presentations every week/month/big conference and someone is not? You’re too busy at the current job.

  • You’ve nothing to say to a community, it won’t be interesting.
  • You’re a bad speaker, scare an audience.
  • There are no conferences in my town.
  • My company doesn’t pay for such kind of events.

I’m pretty sure you hear every day that someone too busy with job, family, sport… The main point you must priorities activities. If you say I have no time for something that means you have more important things.

Every engineer should be on the wave of new technologies. If you’re not, you’ll feel yourself as a dinosaur soon. I like the point that “the best way to learn something — to tell somebody about it”.

Don’t think every engineer in the world is smart as guys from Google of Apple. There is no magic: hard work makes you smart. Train your brain. To be a good speaker you should start from something. I guarantee every junior developer can tell me something new about technologies. So, just do it, prepare your talk, and share it!

The best way to learn something — to tell somebody about it.

If your current company doesn’t care about such events, I understand. It’s a very common situation. Consider that YOU need this experience. If you want to grow in a company, you’ll be a senior engineer, than a team lead or an architect. So you must be ready to present information to your colleagues. Also if you are a popular speaker, many opportunities become available.

The most difficult part is the beginning.

Nowadays you can use the internet to register as a speaker, there are lots of conferences in the world. Many engineers move forward technologies, so you can be one of them.