From working in the Java London market for so long now, I have had the benefit of seeing people progress through their careers from junior to senior in many different ways. The great thing about the software industry is that there are an amazing amount of opportunities to improve your career…. giving a lightning talk is one of them. It is far easier than being a speaker at a user group event as you only have to be up for 2-5 minutes. A lightning talk is very much a first step, we have been running lightning talks for the last 2 years and have seen many of those that gave their first lightning talks at an LJC event go on to earn a place on the international conference circuit, become recognised specialists and evangelists. Now it’s your chance. We organise 2-3 events a month in which you can come forward and give a lightning talk, so just reach out to Anji Conroy firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll book you in.
London Java Community Organiser and 10Gen Evangelist Trisha Gee is one of those and recently about giving a talk:
“Having spoken to a lot of other user groups lately, I’ve realised that we had something special at the LJC when it comes to encouraging new speakers. Hell, a year ago at Devoxx I had my first scheduled appearance presenting at a conference, and now I feel like I don’t do anything else! This all started in the LJC, with Barry and Martijn practically dragging me up on stage to give my very first lightning talk.
Lightning talks are awesome because:
- They give new speakers a way to practice speaking in public with a low barrier to entry. The talks are short and could, in theory, be on any subject. I can’t remember if we have rules on what LJC lightning talks should look like, but they’ve always been more varied than the Java-focussed main talks, and I personally think we should allow anything to be presented.
- They give all speakers a way to try out new ideas. If you want to try a new format for your slides, or explore a new topic to talk about, you can get good feedback early before investing in a big talk for an international conference
- They really showcase the variety of people and topics in the LJC.
- They’re a great thing to add to your CV”
You don’t have to have written a book or be a concurrency expert… we once had a lightning talk on someones bug of the week. LIterally anything can work as a lightning talk, it makes our events more interesting and gives a much more ‘community’ feel to the evening, so please keep coming forward.
At RecWorks we’re happy to do all the organisation around the scheduling etc, so you don’t have to worry about anything other than the talk itself. So if you’re happy to say something… about anything… then let us know and we’ll make it happen for you.
So in Trisha’s words:
“So…. sign up for a lightning talk. It’s good for you :)”
Barry is the Managing Director of RecWorks, a unique consultancy focussed around Recruitment and social netWorks, with a core focus on the Java market. Their business model is different from typical recruitment companies in that they generate 100% of their revenue from Recruitment, but spend 50% of their time on tech community focussed work. Hence they do good things in the industry around building communities and organising events and spend time networking, building long term trusted relationships and proactively seeking referrals and recommendations. As a result of their model they have connections with many of the best employers, and developers in London.
Barry is also the founder of a number of technical communities in London including the London Java Community in 2007. A community growing by over 100 Java developers each month.