Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX.

He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

Why you should speak at the Business of Software conference

1 min read

Last year, I was lucky enough to be part of the speaking contest at the Business of Software conference, and you can see the painful results here.

This year’s Business of Software Conference in Boston is going to be the biggest and best yet and you really should be attending. Better still, you should be thinking of entering the speaking contest which is now called the ‘Lightning contest’.

There are quite a few advantages to doing this.

First of all, you get a free ticket to the conference. And if you win, there is usually a cool technical prize (last year it was a Kindle, the previous year it was aMacBook Air and my guess this year is that it will probably be an IPad).

Secondly, if you win they may well invite you to the Speakers dinner – you get to wine and dine with all those amazing speakers discussing their latest ideas and business ideas. Just try to ignore that little voice inside your head asking “what am I doing here?” – you are there because you should be.

Thirdly, its a real challenge to do. Trying to put a simple message across in a set of quick slides in a memorable and interesting way is very, very hard. You can tell just how hard it is by watching the talk Alexis Ohanian did in 2008. When other people make something look easy you know it is going to be really difficult… But that skill is something that is very useful when focussed back onto your work.

But the biggest reason for doing the talk is the just to be seen. The Business of Software conference is the highest quality assembly of people working in the software industry. A gathering of 400 or so of the smartest, best connected and most active people in the Industry. Networking and meeting these people is one of the most valuable aspects of the whole Conference, but it can be a little hit and miss. So here, you get the chance to get the full attention of everyone and to stand up infront of all of them, introduce yourself and tell them what you do and show them you are worth talking to. Afterwards, people at the Conference will come up and talk to you…

So this really is a huge opportunity to get out and meet other people in the Software Industry. You will never have a better sales, marketing, networking opportunity (and certainly not for free).

To get you started, I published a blog article on my experiences of doing the talk in 2009.  Once you have your idea, contact the show organizer ,Neil Davidson, with your idea for a talk. He is looking for 6 new people to talk at this year’s conference. Choose something which you can be passionate about and is interesting for the audience. And give it a snappy title!

I hope to see you in Boston, where this year,  I will be one of the many people coming up to talk to you…

Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX.

He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

Photos from Day One at Business of Software

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