April 21, 2015



Things I learned today:

What Would Peggy Olson Do?

My friend Jody is an Agile Coach at Vodafone, and recently she asked if I'd come over and give my "Presenting Your Hack: Channeling Your Inner Peggy Olson" talk for the tech team there. I originally wrote it for a Girl Geek Dinner last year (ahead of the first ever SheHacks), and then I presented it at Mi9 before our last internal hackathon. Vodafone are about to have their own internal Hack Day, so Jody thought it would be of benefit for the team there.

It was an interesting challenge to revisit a talk I've given twice before. I made a few revisions to make it specific to their hackathon, and I added in some additional slides around the SHARP principles (stories, humour, analogies, references, and pictures). I also added in some useful links for those who get inspired to learn more about presenting. I think there were maybe 20-25 people in attendance, and I probably talked for about 25 minutes. It was really fun! And it sure seemed like some of them were inspired about the event afterwards. Thanks Jody for the invitation - I really enjoyed it.

If you're interested in the reference links, here they are along with some others I've bookmarked lately:

  • speaking.io - absolutely brilliant reference for anyone considering submitting a proposal for a conference talk
  • Toastmasters - international organisation for improving your public speaking. There are chapters all over Sydney, including one hosted by ACS.
  • Technically Speaking - newsletter for women (or men) who are interested in giving technical talks. It has links to articles, blog posts, conferences with Calls for Proposal, etc. Highly recommended.
  • What Your Conference Proposal is Missing - I leaned on this pretty heavily when sending out my first round of proposals last month.
  • Guy Kawasaki's Blog - he's got some great blog posts about presenting, including The Art of the Keynote, 10 Easy Ways to Make Your Pitch Rock!, and How to be a Demo God. The guy worked with Steve Jobs so he's learned his presenting skills from one of the masters!
  • Web Directions Code - upcoming Javascript and Front End conference in Melbourne. The CFP is geared towards new speakers, and they're going to provide speaker training for everyone who submits a proposal that meets the guidelines. Great opportunity if you're just starting out.
April 20, 2015

YOW! West 2015

Some great news! I just found out that my second ever conference proposal has been accepted. If all goes well, I'll be delivering a talk at YOW! West in Perth next month. I've never been to Perth. That'll be fun! Just need to clear it at work...

April 19, 2015

Basket Weaving in Outer Space

So for more than a year now, I've been talking about doing a basket weaving class at Sew Make Create. (Hey, when the Zombie Apocalypse comes, my useful basket weaving skills will ensure I am a valued member of society, right?) I even registered to attend at one point, but the class got cancelled due to lack of interest. Obviously I was just ahead of the trend though, because this year it's been selling out! Today was the day I finally got to go, joined by my lovely friend Jane. The teacher Cecilia showed us a bunch of sample baskets and photos to start, and I had a sudden flash of inspiration. I would make my basket look like the Eye of Jupiter from Battlestar Galactica. I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING, PEOPLE.

Eye of Jupiter Basket

I was the last one done, and all up it took me just over four hours. It was super fun and relaxing though, and I can definitely see some more of this in my future. You could make some nifty placemats pretty easily, or even do a giant one as a floor rug. Plus it's a great way to use up all bits of leftover wool you have from projects.

Fun class! Definitely recommended. Cecilia was a great teacher and everyone left with at least one finished basket.