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CWJ: Day -6

Dear Reader,

CodeWorks 09 Vital Stats

CodeWorks 09 day #: -6
Days till I see the Lovely and Talented Kathy:13
Cities left: 7
Miles Traveled: 0
Cups of Coffee: 0
Current Current City: London

Random Statistic of the Day

Fake panic attacks over doing 4 sessions a day: 5

Prep Work

I have decided that 18pt New Courier Bold is the smallest font I will put on my slides when displaying code. This is one of the reasons Design Patterns has so many slides in it. I’m not quite finished adding them in but I’ve broken most of my examples up into multiple slides that are more easily readable. I am fairly sure that my friend John Tan would have a heart attack if he saw my slides. If you are attending sessions based on slide aesthetics, please skip mine and go see Chris Shiflett’s. His will be interesting and have nicer slides.

Random Thought:This stuff is hard

Putting together conference sessions is hard. These two sessions that I will be presenting represent about 40 hours worth of research, slide prep (I hate Power Point) and rehearsal.

My issue is that I feel the need to cram as much info into 1 hour as I can. I want to give attendees more than they can grasp in the single hour. I want them to be thinking about it on the ride to work the next week. I want them to be coding a month later and see something and go “Ah! That’s what Cal was talking about!” Attending a conference shouldn’t end when you walk out the door. What you learn should stick with you.

As a PHP conference organizer myself, I feel that presenting helps to remind me the amount of work a speaker put into making my conference great. I like my friend Paul Reinheimer’s attitude towards conferences. Not only does he put a lot of work into his sessions, he presents them in a suit. (Don’t look for me in a suit, I’m lucky if I’m in a T-shirt without holes) Paul is a class act and if you are lucky enough to attend a conference he is speaking at make time for his session. Unless, of course, he’s in my time slot, in that case, I expect to see you in my session.

Whichever conferences you get to attend, make sure if the presenter does a good job that you tell them. If it was a particularly good session, drop a note to the conference organizer. (I’m not fishing for compliments for myself here, I’m talking about all PHP conferences and speakers.)

Stop by and say hi!

I am looking forward to the “between times” in CodeWorks. Those times when I’m sitting in the hall just talking to people. If you see me sitting in the hall, come up to me and say hi! (be prepared to accept one of my business cards and hear a 10 second spiel about Box Lunch Training) Talk to me about PHP, your job, you own personal PHB story or just technology in general. I’ll give you this warning though. If your topic is interesting or your story compelling, I’ll probably snap a picture and you’ll end up in my blog. :)

Until next time,
Ek hou van jou liefste Kathy

2 thoughts on “CWJ: Day -6

  1. Cal,

    I’ve started to give presentations on PHP and other web development topics, and I’ve found it is a LOT more work than I excepted. I’ve found that the best presentations have a lot of work that goes into preparing them.

    One thing I’ve found to help cut down on the “smash everything into one hour” feeling it to create a blog post that accompanies the presentation. That way you can focus on the parts that really benefit from a human presenter and Q & A. The other parts you can mention, but don’t need to go into serious depth, saying “to check out more info on this, check the blog post.” Its nice because you can have a list of resources you used, links to other tutorials & such.

    I haven’t had the chance to hear you present, but hopefully I’ll be able to hear you one day. Good luck!

  2. @Justin,

    Excellent advice. I give the same advice to my Ibuildings friends who ask me. The last time I did that was for Open Teams, I ended up with an 18 page document. :) (not exactly blog post material)

    Yes, I need to blog both of these sessions so I can gather my thoughts.

    Thanks for the comment!


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