Introverted Nerd Discovers Public Speaking, Enriches Self

I spoke at Twin Cities Code Camp this weekend, which is perhaps the largest software developer conference in Minnesota. I gave a talk on KnockoutJS, a JavaScript library for data-binding in HTML/JavaScript apps.

My ridiculous slides and code available for download here.

The talk went really freaking well! It was a lot of fun to give the talk: the audience was sharp and engaged, asked some tough questions, and I had good answers for most of them. The auditorium was quite full, a packed house, which makes things all the more interesting.

Afterwards, I went on Twitter to see what people had to say about my talk. I was ecstatic reading these. Seeing these praises from my peers sent me on a day-long high of endorphin release. Excuse me while I toot my own horn, but I’m just so stoked to hear all this:

Jeff is a well-known developer here in the Twin Cities, and, if I’m not mistaken, a co-founder of The Nerdery. Hearing this was particularly encouraging.

“Coding without a net” refers to writing a lot of code on the fly in front of the audience, along with some impromptu changes to the code in reaction to the questions and promptings from the audience.

The audience was really sharp. “What happens when you do this? Does X follow?” So I tried it out, right there on stage. It was a blast.

During the talk, after all these challenges from the audience, and successfully getting them working, I joked, “I’d better see some good stuff on Twitter about this!”

There were several questions from the audience that I had anticipated and built into my talk. This caused a few people to joke that I had planted ringers in the audience to ask the right questions.

Well folks, I am stoked. I am really happy I summoned the courage a year or two ago to try my hand at public speaking. As a formerly-homeschooled, introverted nerd, I was frightened to death by the idea of public speaking. Now that I’ve done these tech talks 4 or 5 times, some in front of rather large audiences, I’m patting myself on the back for getting myself out there and just f-ing doing it. I freakin’ love giving talks now. And my career advances as a side benefit.

So yeah! Go me!

Hearing praise from your peers, particularly from intelligent, successful people in the industry is all the more encouragement. Can’t wait to do it again next year.

Are you serious about your craft? Get out there. Go meet other developers, give a talk, surround yourself with other nerds. You’ll be glad you did, and a better developer for it.

Author: Judah Gabriel Himango

I'm Judah: disciple of Yeshua, technologist, builder of things that produce goodness. I blog on the intersection of Judaism and Christianity at I'm the creator of

5 thoughts on “Introverted Nerd Discovers Public Speaking, Enriches Self”

  1. Nice work! I’m glad you’ve found a new talent and a new way to progress your own technical skills. I’ve always found teaching to be such a good way to improve on all fronts.

    Great work on your presentation, and hope to see more!

  2. Your execution was great. Aside from the fact that I was wowed by how incredibly intuitive and low-barrier it is to use knockout, the atmosphere was engaging, and your talk and slides were so fluid I assumed you had done this a hundred times already. Thanks for doing it.

  3. Very nice, Judah! Public speaking (and code performance!) are skills that not everyone takes the time to develop. Just about every person is frightened of public speaking.

    I talked with you about a unique job opportunity a while back and I wondered if you might be interested in considering that again. I happen to have another opening right now on a growing team and some new projects that you might find very fascinating. Contact me if you are interested.

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