Saturday, May 04, 2013

Speak at PyOhio

Have you responded yet to PyOhio's Call For Proposals (due date: June 1)? You should. Here's why.

Why you should speak at PyOhio

  • We need you. We have a great group of people who contribute talks, but we don't ever want that group to become a stagnant pool - we want to always be drawing in new contributors with a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and interests. Unless your clone sibling just submitted a talk, we need your contribution!
  • Meet people. You'll always meet people at PyOhio, of course, but speaking makes you a beacon to the other people who share your interests.
  • Practice. We all know public speaking is an important skill, but it's hard to muster the courage to get real-life practice in it. PyOhio is perfect because of the friendliness of the Python community - everybody there wants you to succeed. Hone your skills with us, among friends... you can go speak at snotty places later!
  • Push yourself. That skill you've been wanting to learn, or that package you know you need to polish up for release? Committing to speak on it is a surefire way to break the curse of "haven't quite gotten around to it"! Sometimes we call this "embarrassment-driven development".
  • But I'm not an expert

    Perfect. Because the great curse of expert teachers is that they can forget what it was like to be a beginner. So dive into something you want to learn, take careful notes as you go about what confused you and how you resolved it, and you'll blaze a trail that you can guide other beginners along. Your non-expert perspective will make you a great teacher!

    Team up

    You can draw on that friendly community to help you present, too! Share a presentation with somebody more or less experienced to make an expert-beginner duet, or have a friend cover an aspect of your topic that they know better. Get a friend to review your talk as you develop it. Shop your ideas around your local Python usergroup and see what suggestions they have.

    Many ways to contribute

    PyOhio is not all about talks, of course (for me, the talks are kind of the excuse we use to get together and do the other stuff.) Also consider proposing something like

    • a tutorial
    • an Open Space
    • a Sprint
    • a Lightning Talk (actually, you propose these on-the-spot, but you can get it ready in advance)

    Thank you, and spread the word!

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