Being a Speaker at YAPC 2010

This year Rob Kinyon and mst convinced me to do some speaking at YAPC. I ended up doing three forty minute talks. The DBIx::Class one was certainly the easiest, but also the one I was least invested in. I didn’t write DBIx::Class and it’s a big enough project that the slides nearly wrote themselves.

I also did a talk on DBIx::Class::DeploymentHandler. I am a little frustrated with how this talk went down. I am confident that DBICDH is an excellent piece of software that can do some really cool things and I kinda botched the end of the talk (very abrupt.) I wouldn’t call the talk a failure; it had a great turnout and at the very least I got to discuss features with jnapiorkowski, which was fun.

My third talk was about DBIx::Exceptions. It was hard for a couple reasons; first off DBIE isn’t actually done yet. That certainly is not conducive to talking about something. Second, what it ultimately does really isn’t that complicated. The module is almost entirely a function of doing some research. So while I think that the subject is good and interesting, I don’t think it warrants a whole 40 minute talk. I actually had a long discussion with Rob about exceptions in general and he strongly supported the point of view that exceptions in any language are fundamentally flawed. I’ll turn that into a blog post at some point.

I finished all three of the talks in less than forty minutes; I think that was a combination of me talking too fast (DBIC + DBICDH) and not actually having enough content (DBIE.) I would have done better were I less nervous, which should be less and less of a problem as a I practice technical speaking more. I actually did a lot of presentations in college and rarely had these issues, but in college I almost never spoke about software I wrote and my talks were usually from 10 to 20 minutes long. Another thing that I feel is important is that I need to try to add humor to my talks. The talks that are the most engaging are also the ones that are entertaining. I’m not sure I how I could work in jokes etc, but I need to try to do that next time.

In other news, I’m pretty worn out in general from YAPC. I just need a break. So while I will do bug fixes and whatnot for my existing modules, and I still hope to release DBIx::Exceptions very soon, I’m going to try to chill out for about a month before taking on any of the other large ideas I have in mind for the future. Or at least I won’t start them on purpose :-)

Posted Sat, Jun 26, 2010