Using speaking opportunities as learning opportunities

Over this summer, I’ll be speaking at a handful of events. I sign myself up for these opportunities —in addition to teaching courses for Pluralsight —so that I commit time to learning new things. Nothing like a deadline to provide motivation!

Do you find yourself complaining that you have a stale skill set, or your “brand” is unknown outside your company? You can fix that. Sign up for a local user group presentation. Create a short “course” on a new technology and deliver it to colleagues at lunch. Start a blog and share your musings and tech exploration. Pitch a talk to a few big conferences. Whatever you do, don’t wait for others to carve out time for you to uplevel your skills! For me, I’m using this summer to refresh a few of my own skill areas.

In June, I’m once again speaking in London at Integrate. Application integration is arguably the most important/interesting part of Azure right now. Given Microsoft’s resurgence in this topic area, the conference matters more than ever. My particular session focuses on “cloud-native integration.” What is it all about? How do you do it? What are examples of it in action? I’ve spent a fair amount of time preparing for this, so hopefully it’s a fun talk. The conference is nearly sold out, but I know there are handful of tickets left. It’s one of my favorite events every year.

Coming up in July, I’m signed up to speak at PerfGuild. It’s a first-time, online-only conference 100% focused on performance testing. My talk is all about distributed tracing and using it to uncover (and resolve) latency issues. The talk builds on a topic I covered in my Pluralsight course on Spring Cloud, with some extra coverage for .NET and other languages. As of this moment, you can add yourself to the conference waitlist.

Finally, this August I’ll be hitting balmy Orlando, FL to speak at the Agile Alliance conference. This year’s “big Agile” conference has a track centered on foundational concepts. It introduces attendees to concepts like agile project delivery, product ownership, continuous delivery, and more. My talk, DevOps Explained, builds on things I’ve covered in recent Pluralsight courses, as well as new research.

Speaking at conferences isn’t something you do to get wealthy. In fact, it’s somewhat expensive. But in exchange for incurring that cost, I get to allocate time for learning interesting things. I then take those things, and share them with others. The result? I feel like I’m investing in myself, and I get to hang out at conferences with smart people.

If you’re just starting to get out there, use a blog or user groups to get your voice heard. Get to know people on the speaking circuit, and they can often help you get into the big shows! If we connect at any of the shows above, I’m happy to help you however I can.

Author: Richard Seroter

Richard Seroter is Director of Developer Relations and Outbound Product Management at Google Cloud. He’s also an instructor at Pluralsight, a frequent public speaker, the author of multiple books on software design and development, and a former editor plus former 12-time Microsoft MVP for cloud. As Director of Developer Relations and Outbound Product Management, Richard leads an organization of Google Cloud developer advocates, engineers, platform builders, and outbound product managers that help customers find success in their cloud journey. Richard maintains a regularly updated blog on topics of architecture and solution design and can be found on Twitter as @rseroter.

One thought

  1. Richard: Thanks for your continued efforts to present on a variety of difficult topics.

    While not as in-depth as your sessions, I have been offering a ‘crash course’ tech seminar for the past several years.

    If you encounter executives looking for a quick overview of emerging technology, would you be kind enough to have them check me out? I am happy to return the favor- and have pointed several CxO level folks to your blog.



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