Tech Conference Speaker Checklist

I’ve seen a lot of posts over the years that talk about becoming a better presenter. As someone who spends a lot of time speaking at conferences, meetups and giving presentations of all kinds I gravitate towards these resources because I’m always looking to improve my own skills. I figured keeping a running list of them on my blog will help me keep track of them – and hopefully help others looking for good content.

I don’t know that I have much “advice” of my own to offer that hasn’t already been said in the resources above, but I do want to write down my own checklist so that I don’t forget anything when I go to speak at my future events.

Unit Testing: More than Just Code

A few months ago I spoke at Chicago Code Camp 2013, and I presented End to End Unit Testing for Web Developers to a packed audience.

The main idea behind my session was that the hardest part of building unit tests in web applications is actually defining what you should be testing. It’s a deceptively hard thing to do – especially considering that web developers deal with more surface area (i.e. environmental factors susceptible to problems) than traditional server-side programmers.

While I’d like to think my session was a success, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s simply a gigantic topic – one which can just barely be scratched in an hour-long lecture. I wanted to pull one of the examples from my presentation and dive more deeply into the art of choosing what to test.

Achievement Unlocked: Urbanathlon

Back in January, I posted my 2013 list of New Year’s resolutions. At that time I said I wanted to make my health a higher priority because I had just turned 30… and I managed to almost hit my resolution!

After training most of the summer I ran the Men’s Health Urbanathlon on October 19, a 10.8 mile obstacle course. It’s not quite the marathon I had hoped to conquer this year… but it’s a damn good accomplishment for me.