My Experience at PrDC Regina 2012

This post is a bit overdue, but I’ve been busy lately. Gimme a break!

Prairie Dev Con Regina 2012 was the first conference I’ve attended as a presenter, and it was a lot of fun! Regina has a great tech community and PrDC attracts a lot of smart people, and I was glad I could be a part of it. There’s a few notes I have from the experience for future reference:

  • I spent a lot of time during the conference preparing my own presentations, and I missed out on a lot of other speakers. This is due in part to having planned and executed HackREGINA the day before the event, and also in part of trying to be a perfectionist. I actually did have my talks ready before the event, but I wanted to spend more time tweaking them and making them interesting. I wish I would’ve spent more time instead going to other talks.

  • I had a lot of fun co-presenting with James Chambers. We did my “8 Web Services in 80 Minutes” talk together after realizing our two separate talks would have similar content. So James proposed we co-present, and we had a great time. James added an element of crowd participation by coding, on the fly, whatever client the crowd picked for each of the web services I created in the talk. Gutsy move, but it actually worked out really well and kept the audience engaged.

  • I also had a great time co-presenting with Andrew Dyck and Dale Zak on open data. The attendance we got for this talk actually surprised me, I didn’t think so many people were interested in the topic. But we had a great dialog going for our talk between the three of us, and had a good amount of time afterwards to engage the crowd and exchange ideas with everyone.

  • My “Give Your Web Apps Some Backbone” talk went pretty well, but I think the material I covered was pretty heavy for the time slot I presented in – the 2nd last talk of the last day. I had a good number of people there, but everyone was fairly drained from the two days of conference and a few people found it hard to follow along with my mostly-code presentation. I think I’d push for an earlier / 1st day slot if I did a similar talk again.

  • The speaker dinner arranged for all the presenters was exteremely fun and a great networking event. I met a bunch of great people I would never have got the chance to meet otherwise. If you ever get the chance to go to one of these things (or any networking event for that matter) at any conference, make sure you go.

All in all, it was a great experience and I think my first swing at the “conference level” went really well. The feedback I got was all positive, and I’m excited for the next PrDC in Winnipeg in spring 2013. Props to D’Arcy Lussier and the PrDC crew for a great event!

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