How Speaking at Events Can Make You a Better Developer

Last week I had the chance to speak at React Conference in Dhaka arranged by Facebook Developer Circle in Bangladesh.

This is the first React and JavaScript related event I am attending. So I did not wanted to miss the chance.

The problem was,

I am in Habiganj (Sylhet) and the event is happening in Dhaka. The distance was 166 km and takes roughly 8 hours (including the traffic in Dhaka city).

This was one event I didn’t wanted to miss. But if I am going to attend it, I need to make it worthwhile. I thought of applying as a speaker.

I got to learn about this event just 4 days before.

So I got in touch with the organizer and asked them, if it is too late to submit for a speaker?

I got the green light and got to create a talk. I managed to come up with something within half a day and submitted my talk.

Know Your Audience

Before preparing for my talk, I had to know whom I am going to speak to. I asked to the organizer Mr. Arif Nezami and he told me it’s going to be mostly beginners.

So I prepared a talk targeted to the beginners. I shared my journey of how to understand react and how I overcome the learning curve.

This is really important.

You should know the level of your audience beforehand. If you give a technical talk to a room full of beginners, they won’t understand it.

On the other hand, if you talk about the basics to seasoned pros, it will bore them.

Have a Great Time!

When I went to the event, I was a bit early. I had time. There were dozens of youngsters out in the hall who were chatting about stuff. They didn’t know me.

I took this opportunity and introduced myself. I shared my story and many of them were excited to hear about my work. I prepared a few pointers about JavaScript and life in general to talk and entertain others.

I made sure I talked to almost everyone in the room. Before even the session started, everyone knew me. Many of them had taken my contact info and sent me friend requests on Facebook.

I had one goal to have fun and make the most of my time, which I did.

Speak with Confidence

By the time I had the mic to speak about React, I was already super comfortable with the place, the people, other speakers and the event organizers.

The only tough part was to speak out the things I prepared. I started off slowly and then it took off. I connected with my audience and I could felt they were hooked.

I prepared a talk about understanding react, since most of the people were beginners in React, they seem to enjoy it.

Help People with Tips

After my session when I sat down, many developers came to me and asked various React and Node related questions. I answered them as much as I could. I helped them with tips and sharing my experience, which they appreciated.

When attending an event, it’s a good thing to answer and share your knowledge. I also got the chance to ask many questions and learn a lot from other speakers:

Jamal talked about React app structure
Abrar Galib talked about the new React Hooks
All the speakers got this cool honorary certificate

After Event and Online Connections

After the event was over, some of us went out to a nearby tea-stall and continued the conversation. We talked a lot about technology, startups, and had fun.

Because of speaking at the event, I was seen as an authority figure in JavaScript. Many devs connected with me on Facebook afterwards. Many startup owners took my contact info.

If you speak at your local community, you too can get better at your craft and network with lots of awesome and talented people.

If you like to read more about my talk: “Understanding React”, I wrote a detailed post which you can read on my blog.