Speaking Tips: How to Write Good Proposals

For many years, I’ve quietly mentored a few speakers in the industry. Nothing big, nothing formal, just periodically I’d find somebody that wanted to get in front of audiences and speak, and either they’d ask me some questions or I’d get the feeling that they were open to some suggestions, and things would sort of go from there. Now, as I start to wind down my speaking career (some), I thought I’d post some ideas and suggestions I’ve had over the years.

The Myth of the Unearthly CEO

I’ve been reading a few articles that cross my LinkedIn feed, and this one, on Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and her presentation today on the future of the company and who-knows-what-else, struck me as a huge wrong to the industry, startups, and just about everything that the business community is supposed to stand for.

On Finding Learning

tl;dr In a recent blog post, a commenter asked some questions that I felt were a bit more easily answered in the main blog format than in comments. Specifically, he asked two of the more common “How do I…” questions—finding motivation, and finding time.

Intellectual Honesty

tl;dr At last night’s Seattle Languages meeting, I was reminded of what intellectually-honest debate does and does not look like; then, as part of the discussions and argument around the tragic deaths of several black men at the hands of police, I was presented with a link to a page entitled “Ten Signs of Intellectual Honesty”. This is good material.

Abstract Factory

tl;dr Patterns, 20 Years Later: The Abstract Factory pattern is often “combined”, conceptually, together with Factory Method into a sort of uber-“Factory pattern”. The two are distinctly separate in the Gang-of-Four literature, however, and for some pretty good reason, as the intentions are different. Subtly so, in some ways, but still different.

It is too possible

tl;dr Once again I find myself in the position of needing to call BS on a blog post and deconstruct it: Yes, it is possible to be a good .NET developer, and here’s why.

Tired of Travel

Pardon me for a moment, but I’m about to whine a little.

As I write this, I am sitting in the Vienna Airport, 1,600 kilometers from where I’m supposed to be at this moment (in Talinn, Estonia, for GeekOutEE), with another three hours to go before I board the flight to there. I’ve been up since 3:30am London time, I’m 400USD poorer that I won’t be able to get back, and most of all, I’m over 5,000 miles away from home with a week yet to go on this particular trip before I can lay down in my own bed and enjoy spending time with my family. I won’t see my hotel room in Talinn until after midnight, and that assumes that the rain here in Vienna doesn’t disrupt my outgoing flight.

And quite frankly, I’m really starting to wonder why I’m doing all this.

The Value of Failure

tl;dr Celebrating success is always a welcome thing. But in a lot of ways, the people we should be celebrating are the ones who failed, and then learned from it. As a matter of fact, there’s a reasonable correlation to be drawn here—that those who are truly successful are the ones who failed first.

Microsoft meets Open Source

tl;dr Hadi Hariri has made a few observations regarding the churn we’re seeing in the Microsoft open-source space (around .NET Core and ASP.NET Core, among other things). But I don’t think this is a permanent state of affairs; what I think is going on is that Microsoft is finding that managing an open-source project is more than just owning the GitHub repo and just reviewing pull requests.

RIP, WindowsPhone

tl;dr It would seem, based on some reports, that WindowsPhone is officially dying if not dead. While I hate to see competitors dropping out of an already too-few-players market, it was high time Microsoft simply acknowledged that it had lost this fight, and focus its efforts elsewhere.