Speaking at LRUG

This week I spoke at LRUG for the first time. My talk was pretty short... about 8 minutes or so and I have linked to the video below.

LRUG stands for 'London Ruby Users Group'. They meet once a month at Skills Matter in London. LRUG is free to attend.


I have been going to LRUG since February. The turn out is usually pretty good, I would estimate around 70 people. The event runs from 18.30pm - 20.00pm and in that time there are usually two talks, or two longer talks and one short talk. Then those who like going to the pub (and it is rare that I would say no to going to a pub...) congregate there after for a few drinks.

I must admit, there have been times when i've been watching talks at LRUG over the last few months and felt a bit out of my depth, but that is only natural when there is a mixed range of abilities in the room.

If you are fairly new to learning Ruby I would still recommend going to LRUG, even if its unlikely you'll understand absolutely everything in the talks. This is because it gives you the opportunity to go and learn from people who are really good at what they do, and care enough about something to get up and talk about it.

If something grabs your interest and you want to learn more then take some notes, go home and read more about it - the person who did the talk will more than likely be happy to explain more to you at the pub.

I was kind of nervous about speaking at LRUG. I have done a few talks now, but not really to a room consisting only of developers. Lets face it, developers can be quite opinionated, and because I was partly talking about diversity in tech, I didn't know how it would go down. Anyway, I was happy with how it went. I felt people were really welcoming/encouraging/supportive so I am glad I got up and did it. Improvements could be made in the future speaking wise... I spoke a bit fast and could have paused more... but that should get better with practice.

The subject of my talk was Codebar - an event that encourages diversity in tech by teaching programming skills for free (www.codebar.io). I am co-organising the Brighton chapter. Codebar needs its own blog post... which I really need to sit and write. For now, to learn more check out the video.

Overall I am getting more comfortable with the whole public speaking thing. I am doing a joint talk at the Brighton Ruby Conference (http://brightonruby.com/) tomorrow so that will be a great accomplishment (if it goes well!). I'm going to start focusing on putting together a technical talk.. about something... not sure what yet... to keep the speaking ball rolling.

Here is the link to the video!