Last August, at the first technical conference in my rebirthed career as a developer, I spent the entirety of the first day rushing about from session to session, taking notes about interesting ideas and spending most of the elaborate luncheon thinking about which talks I would listen to later that day. But while the tidbits of insight I gained were no doubt highly entertaining at the time, the only thing I can clearly recall 7 months later was a discussion of how Hollywood adapted its view of Computer Security over time.
Since that talk and my listing of films got me watching Tron and Space Camp for the first time I can’t entirely complain, but something was missing.
I spent that first night curled up with Google, trying to identify how better to engage in the later days of the conference. The clear answer shining through: people matter more than technical talks, so go talk to them! I did my best and connected with a well know personality who lived in the same city as me.
But believe it or not, walking up to strangers, introducing myself, and engaging in conversation is not a strength of mine. A shocking admission from a lifelong nerd, I know. I resolved to be better.