What I learnt from speaking at the Hamburg Ruby unconference

My first speaking appearance at a tech conference! Thank you Hamburg Ruby!

In May 2019 I spoke at my first tech conference. It was an unconference where attendees are able to propose talks at the beginning of the day and then all attendees vote to decide who they want to hear.

I had prepared a talk in advance, because I was keen to try speaking after having attended Global CFP Day, which supports underrepresented groups in tech to prepare talk proposals.

All in all I had a phenomenal experience, right from talk preparation to the feedback I received afterwards and all the people I got to meet at the conference as a result.

The main learnings for me were:

Talk preparation is an amazing experience. I researched a topic dear to my heart (the late great Jim Weirich) and conducted interviews with experienced developers. I learnt so much from the weeks of preparation and that learning is going to stay with me forever.

After proposing my talk at the unconference, I received a much higher number of votes than I was expecting. This taught me that a topic that had been so close to my heart, was also of great interest to many attendees. It was so touching to realise that I could share this with others.

Later in the conference, a developer came up to me and said he had proposed a talk because of the one I had given. This was unbelievable to me. By giving my talk, I had encouraged others to do the same. I had really enjoyed his talk on code reviews and was completely blown away that this was initiated from mine.

I had such a positive experience and I am looking forward to speaking at Brighton Ruby in July.

Junior developer