Do you have something you want to share? Meetups and conferences are great places where anyone can learn new things. They are also a great opportunity for anybody to teach something they think may be valuable for others. But public speaking is not for everybody. Well, at least not for their first time to stand in front of the audience as a speaker. What else can we do? Are there any other options? What about to be in an environment you are already familiar with?
Being in front of unknown people and speak about some topic could be daunting. And what’s more, if you are kind of an introvert person you may feel it’s a terrible idea at all! But if you really want to start somehow I propose to make it happen together with your colleagues. Either in the company you work for or within the community of a co-working space you visit in case you freelance.
In my previous team, we had a quite nice habit of such a way of knowledge sharing - we called it Mini Geeky Tuesday. “Mini” because the whole thing meant to be short to fit into a regular day filled with coding and meetings, “Geeky” because that’s what we think we are - wise and funny, and “Tuesday”, because … only sometimes it fell on a different day in the week.
What was it all about? To share something valuable within the team. Something everyone could pick out of interest, like an introduction to a new tool or technology, but also speak about an interesting problem one was confronted with and its solution.
Most of our talks took up to about 10 to 15 minutes and didn’t require to have any slides prepared. Only a blackboard if that was necessary. It was voluntarily based, so it happened that once we had 4 talk streak in a month and one talk in a quarter thereafter. Either case is good!
And what to talk about, you ask? Well, you choose! Topics may vary greatly. Or not :)
Topics I’ve spoken about
- HTTP methods, responses, statuses and how do they play with RESTful APIs
- what is Game of Life (not The Sims :), also with a puzzle to solve
- how to measure code quality, how to spot code smells, what is code coverage, cyclomatic complexity and what the hell is C.R.A.P.
- relative vs. absolute CSS units -
ch- where and when, how do they work with the cascade
- what is CSS Houdini and where it stands in the current web technologies
- static web generators and JAMstack - in theory, and from practice
Beyond short talks
There are also other options, though. You can prepare puzzles or interesting math problems. Share them in the morning and let time for your team to find a solution, which you can present in the afternoon. I find it relieving, especially in the long or hard days.
To dive into the more advanced matter you can arrange a workshop. We had a couple of them. Topics we dealt with, from the top of my mind:
- advanced Git techniques
- regular expressions step by step
- introduction to push notifications
You can even have a competition - code together and have fun!
You see, there are many methods you can use to share your knowledge without the fear of the unknown. You and people around you can learn a lot together, double up new ideas or discover new possibilities.
For sure, you can think of many different forms to those aforementioned, but the result remains the same. To push forward, you, others, us. And in the end, it can lead you to whole new experiences if you step out of your comfort zone.