Although I appreciate the recent posts about presentation tips as we enter a new season of code camps, it is important to not lose sight of the real value of code camps. Code camps are not about presentations. Code camps are about building a healthy and active local developer community.
Code camps entice developers to come out and participate with other developers who share a similar passion. The developers come out and build new friends and relationships and eventually begin contributing to the community for which they have received so much. One of the best ways to contribute is to present at various developer groups and code camps.
This is an exciting turning point in both the developer and the community. The developer is no longer satisfied with just receiving, but wants to give back to the community by presenting at a local developer group or code camp. And even though they are probably fearful of failing and need to shell out their own money for expenses, the community means more to them. They are willing to face those fears and part with their hard earned money. I applaud them.
Personally, I want more new and maturing presenters at code camps. 80% of the battle to becoming a good presenter is to get past the fear and nervousness of presenting in front of a crowd. Sure you need to prepare for the presentation and various presentation tips that have been given are useful, but the key is confidence, and confidence is only gained by presenting and having a healthy developer community that encourages new and inexperienced speakers.
These new and inexperienced presenters at our code camps are the future rockstars and the life blood of the community. The cool thing is that we get to watch them develop their leadership, presentation, and technical skills in the community. One day the presenter is that nervous “unknown” developer, and the next day he or she is speaking at major conferences, working for Microsoft, or what have ya.
It is an amazing experience for us all.
For those of you organizing a code camp, I hope you help these future rockstars : CodeCamps – Encourage, Assist and Thank Your First-Time and Maturing Speakers