Learning to Speak

I don't mean learning to talk, I mean learning to address an audience, coherently and without dying of fright (actually I think I have clinically proven that it isn't possible to actually stop living as a result of fright). There are a couple of things that I'm involved with that may help you, if you're looking to improve your successes in this area.

DayCamp4Developers

This is a virtual conference, held a few times each year. I've spoken at some of the previous events and been really impressed by how smoothly something quite intangible can run! The next event is on Friday 22nd March and is about public speaking - but aimed specifically at developers. If you want to speak at a user group or conference, or be able to get through presentations at work without stress, then this session will give you some good pointers. The speakers are three excellent conference presenters - and me :) I love this format, what else are you doing on a Friday (especially for Europe, where this doesn't start until our afternoon)? You can register and find out more about the event here http://daycamp4developers.com/. Did I mention that tickets are $40? You can also sign up to get the recordings if the date/time doesn't work out for you.

WeAreAllAweso.me

There's been lots of fuss lately about women speakers at conferences, or the lack of them. The low percentage of women in technology and a missing tendency to put ourselves forward for things means that this isn't going to change any time soon. However if you've been thinking about speaking, then you should know about an online group WeAreAllAwesome which is a meeting point for women speakers to brainstorm ideas for topics, put abstracts together, and share experiences on how to give a good talk. Our office hours are 6-7pm UK time on Tuesdays, and I'm one of the mentors in that project, so if you might speak or just want to join in chatter with women who do, then you know where to find us :) Continue reading

PHP at FOSDEM: Call for Papers

There's an excellent open source conference that happens every year in Brussels in February, called FOSDEM. It consists of some main tracks, plus a series of sub-rooms, where various technical communities are given some space to use for whichever talks they choose; the schedules are centralised so that people can pop in and visit any talks in any room that looks interesting. This year, for the first time, this includes a "PHP and Friends" room - I'll be organising this and I'm looking for your input, please.

Basically, we need to get some great submissions, so that when we come to choose the schedule (and it is only one track, one day, there's only a few slots available), we can put together something really fitting to showcase PHP for a wider audience than a PHP conference. Selection will be done on the basis of talk topic, abstract and length in the first instance - we'll only take into account the actual speakers when we're curating the final list.

Key things you need to know:

  • link to call for papers form (google forms)
  • Event is 2nd (and 3rd, but the PHP room is on the 2nd) of February 2013, at ULB campus Solbosh in Brussels, Belgium
  • No expenses will be covered by the event
  • There's also a Call for Stands if you have a project that you would like to represent there
  • If you're not speaking, come and join us anyway!

Confident Coding Report

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at Confident Coding in San Francisco. This was a one-day event for mostly front-end developers, covering the things everyone seems to know but which seem like silly questions to ask - and it has an all-female speaker lineup.
Continue reading

Confident Coding: San Francisco

While I'm in the US in a week or so, I'll be joining a stellar lineup at Confident Coding on October 20th in San Francisco. This is a by-women, for-women event to let us get together in a safe space where there are no stupid questions, and try to cover those tricks that it seems like everyone knows, but we all had to learn sometime!

Personally I'll be speaking about git and also about SSH and things that are not FTP, and anything else I get asked about on the day. The variety of skills in the speaker lineup of this event, organised by the lovely @estellevw, is frankly imporessive and I can't wait to meet all the speakers and attendees! I'm not often in the US at all (I'm a very reluctant traveller and I'm actually there for ZendCon the week after) so this is a rare opportunity for me.

The event is open to everyone, but if you don't identify as female and you want to attend, please bring with you someone who does - and either way you can make use of my discount code! Simply buy a ticket, entering LORNA20 at the checkout for 20% off the ticket price.

Hope to see you there :)

Speaking at OSCON 2012

In July, I'm speaking at OSCON. Actually I have a few interesting speaking engagements coming up, and I haven't got around to adding upcoming dates to my blog yet but I'll be at phpDay in Verona next week with a talk on API Design and DPC in Amsterdam in June with a tutorial on Web Services and a talk on what OAuth is actually for.

OSCON is special because I have always wanted to go and never imagined it would actually happen. Every year I read the list of sessions from the year before, and decide that I absolutely must submit to the call for papers, regardless of how small I think my chances of being accepted are! I've submitted a couple of times in the past, excluding last year because I was newly freelance (OSCON does not cover any speaker expenses at all, they just give you a conference pass. That's kind of hard going for those of us self-funding halfway across the world, and last year, I just couldn't do it. This year I still can't really justify it but I'm going anyway!) Continue reading

Thoughts on Running an Open Source Project

I spoke in the unconference at PHPUK last week, on running an open source project. I thought I would collect together my thoughts into one place before I lose the scratty piece of paper I wrote them down on. I'm not sure I'm the right person to be giving advice exactly, but these are the things that, having been project lead on joind.in for a while, I think are important.
Continue reading

Conference Finance

Planning an event of any kind? Let me share with you what I have learned so far about how the numbers for these things actually work and how to understand the "what to charge" vs "how many people" balance.
Continue reading