Why Speak & Share

Note: This was the script for the talk we gave to start React Knowledgeable.

Sharing

Today’s main topic. I want to share about

sharing itself

Throwback to Our Old Sharing

Our team has gone through changes of various forms. But there is one thing that has constantly been there. And that is the sharing. Every single FE team I know has a weekly sharing. Among all those different forms of sharings, the one that impressed me the most was the one we had when I just joined the team two years ago.

By then there were only 6 of us. Every week, we had one team meeting, same hour as right now. We squeezed in a small meeting room and we each connected our laptop to talk about what we learned this week:

What is an interesting problem that you encountered this week, and how you managed to solve it?

It didn’t have to be long at all. But it better be fun. While I personally had a hard time coming up what to share each week, it was indeed the moment when everybody else was like shining. I totally admired how people around me could have gone so far deep into even a simple problem. Until recently I realized that is perhaps the spirit of our profession.

Sharing as a Common Pattern

Despite how much I loved that sharing, it did not scale. It slowly transformed to what we have right now. We also have other sharings in our company. The current labs college, the original garena tech speak (tech @sea now). And if we look beyond the scope of our company, the pattern persists. Nearly all cities have a JavaScript meetup plus most likely a meetup for every single popular frameworks. The ReactJS meetup used to happen right across the street to our galaxis building. And we used to go together quite a few times.

And then if we look even further we see that there are conferences nearly all over the world, all year round. Every now and then we got people get together listening to some of us say something. And so have you guys ever wondered,

Why?

Why is that? Why is it that we are constantly sharing?

I mean, think about it, it’s non-trivial. It doesn’t happen everywhere. It doesn’t happen in all professions.

So if you observe our profession, or some similar fields, you notice that people are constantly and passionately sharing their knowledge, and in all formats. Why is that?

Is it because we talk to little during our day to day work?

Is it because we don’t have enough work and are bored to hell?

That’s not true. And if you notice it correctly, the more tasks you have on hand, the more material you might find you want to share with others. Why?

I observe two roots that are most relevant:

We Are Heavily Reliant on Community Knowledge

We are heavily reliant on community knowledge That’s where all those open source projects are about. And the thought leaders in our industry are also most often leading contributors in the open source community. If we don’t share all of us would be forced to re-invent the wheels all the time.

But today I want to talk more about my the second root I find: we love sharing because

🤞 楽しいです

In our profession things are so remarkably interesting that we cannot help but share it with others. And what’s more, the harder or the more peculiar a problem is, the more we want to dig into it, and the more we might want to share with others.

It’s like you built a lego. Does anyone here spend your weekend afternoons build a lego and then hide it under your bed? Please raise your hand if you do that and I’ll try to fix you after this.

"Sharing-Driven Development???"

But most of the us might still feel pretty pressured when the time comes to share. And in my experience it is mostly not because we bad public speakers or whatsoever, it is likely because we did not build our own lego.

cuz we’re also working a profession where workarounds are easy (and not so much more fun than copy and pasting) And if we stack on that we lose our opportunities to discover those interesting problems and we miss out on those shining moments.

So this week, I urge everyone of us here, to try to think about this question: If given 30 minutes for you to talk, what is the most truly amazing problem that you have worked on, that you absolutely have to share, so amazing that your girlfriends listen to it and would even want to become a front end? And some of you may be able to recall something, and we’re here to hear from you in October.

Once you’ve found your shiny problems to share we are here to talk about the talk itself.

Dry Runs

We make hasty preparations and we regret on results. The dry runs are there to help you get more prepared, get as much prepared as possible.

In my first sharing I brought the RR shirt but I forgot to wear. In my second sharing the windows were so messy that I felt quite embarrassed. But I get no chance to redo everything. Just like no one gets a second chance to leave a first impression. Of course it would be so cool if we all can give an awesome talk like in no time, on the spot, and under pressure. Does spontaneity excite you or does it get your nerve?

But we don’t have to worry about that just yet. Let’s get ourselves to be able to give good talks with ample preparation first. If you are like me, at current stage only hoping to give a good talk with as much preparation as I can get, the dry run is there for us. I am no expert in public speaking, but i’m really happy to sit down with you and we discover how to do this thing well together.

I am reserving the hour akin to our sharing for dry runs. So yea do book your dry run with me for the week before your talk.