Jamu Kakar's blog

Posted Wed 02 December 2009

Talking about Storm

Today I gave a talk about Storm to the fine folks that make up the local Python users group. I think the talk went alright. It wasn't awesome but I don't think it was terrible either. It's the third public talk I've given, pretty much ever, and so I have a lot to learn about the process. The group is friendly and I felt comfortable standing up in front of everyone and yammering on about Storm.

In retrospect, I should have come up with much better example code. I didn't make enough time to prepare and, due to rushing at the end, the topics I covered were rather basic. I did an experiment and wrote a psuedo-doctest to use as slides. The doctest and a script to run it are available at lp:~jkakar/+junk/storm-talk. I used a slightly hacked version of Michael Hudson-Doyle's very awesome console-presenter, which is available at lp:~jkakar/console-presenter/two-line-separator.

The format was great for getting me to focus on content, even though I didn't have enough time to do a great job preparing it, but the slides were a bit lackluster being grey text on a black background. Also, a common problem with doctests is that you need to keep track of the state of the program as you read the document. I think this problem made the format awkward for the audience. It was a good experiment, but in the future I'll use traditional slides, and try to avoid a situation that requires the audience to keep program state in their head as the talk progresses. Funny how these things seem so obvious in hindsight.

Doug Latornell gave a nice talk about his experiences using PyYAML, flickerapi and Tkinter to build an application that displays random photos on his living room TV, both from his personal collection and from his favourite groups on Flickr. I enjoyed the talk and the discussion it spurred.

All in all it was a good experience and from which I've learnt some lessons, which I can hopefully use to make the next talk better.

Tags: storm