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A Technical Debtor Toward continuous improvement

Well, I'm sitting on a plane, almost back to Denver, after a couple days in Charleston, SC. I didn't get a chance to see much of the town -- mostly a couple restaurants and the conference center. Nevertheless, I did manage to get some fresh seafood -- courtesy of Hank's. If you're ever in Charleston, I wholeheartedly recommend this seafood restaurant.

But, back to the reason for my visit to Charleston. I had the privilege yesterday of addressing a couple dozen people, about evenly split between developers/developer managers and project managers. So, a nice even split between hard-core technical and not really technical. (Yes, this is a simplification -- I'm well aware there's a spectrum there.) Which wouldn't have been so bad if I were presenting on, say, the finer points of making cotton candy.

However, my talk was titled "Mitigating the Impact of Technological Change" -- and I only had forty minutes to get through it. For those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that a ran a tad late. However, the next speaker managed to be up and talking less than five minutes late, even with his setup time. And, he finished early, so let's pretend that it all came out in the wash.

This talk was somewhat challenging for me. Not because I wasn't comfortable with the material. Rather, it was a case of being too comfortable with the material, and having to reign in a tendency to get more technical than appropriate for the audience. It worked out pretty well, however -- I literally had an interpreter on stage with me. Stacey Lustig, the VP of Software from CCI, co-presented with me. She did a great job of translating when I got overly technical. She also put a much more business-oriented spin on much of the material.

And, since she's been referring to me asĀ  "propeller head" for some time (all in good fun, of course), she brought me a hat with a propeller on top to wear during the talk.

Switching topics a bit, attendance at the conference was down significantly. While I'm sure the conference organizers weren't delighted by that, it did allow better interaction with the attendees -- more one-on-one time. It also appeared as if the attendees were more serious about being there. So, while this may be a tough time for big conferences, it's a good time for the attendees. I also suspect that local conferences -- Code Camps and the like -- will see an upswing in attendance. More on that in my next post.

Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 8:18 AM | Back to top


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