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Talking and Feeling Alive

If you've seen me talk in front of a crowd before, you'd know I live for that kind of activity. It makes me feel really alive when I do presentations in front of people. Maybe it's because of the early exposure to public speaking engagements, but I think it's just in my nature to want to be heard and listened to. Maybe it's the same reason why I like blogging so much -- that the thought of getting myself and my point accross to a wide audience really makes me feel alive.

Earlier today I spoke about "C++ and Your Future" in front of a crowd of maybe 60 people at the University of the Philippines Los Banos in a career orientation event set up by the UPLB Computer Science Society. I came as a representative of Friendster, but I talked more about how learning C++ can be a good thing for a graduating computer science student as far as career goes. I was technically the best example to show how a career doing C++ is possible even here in the Philippines -- because honestly C++ isn't the sexiest programming language to know if you're looking to get a "mass market job" right out of college.

I focused the talk about building a career and how C++ will affect someone's future. I skirted around the philosophical debates about programming languages by saying that there is no better programming language -- there are only different programming languages. So that paved a way for getting people interested in thinking about C++ in a different way.

One very good question was asked by one of the participants in the event, and that was why I thought C++ was the language to be in the future. I could have easily said because it's the best programming language out there which allows better performance and efficiency when coming up with solutions using modern approaches, but I concentrated on the facts: C++ code compiled to native code is faster than interpreted code from other programimng languages. It wasn't really a full-on technical presentation on the merits of C++, but it was good to know that being able to leverage the changes in the computing landscape -- moving away from just single processor machines to multiple processor machines, and new ways of doing computing (parallel, distributed, and at scale) -- made a good enough explanation for learning C++.

It also pays to be un-boring. The last time I did any sort of public speaking was in the confines of the Friendster office in the Philippines where I presented a short description of a project I was working on -- more a technical summary for the benefit of everyone in the team. I didn't have to expect a lot from the participants becuase it wasn't a conference, so I kept it light and had the talk flowing from one point to another without spending too much time in any one topic. I kept thinking kids these days have short attention spans, but even after a whole hour talking and a few times I saw yawns in the crowd a witty remark and short ice breaker moments after I was getting them interested again.

So that was a good hour of me doing one of the few things I really like doing: sharing insights and talking in front of a crowd. I certainly hope there would be more opportunities like this in the future, because I certainly miss presenting. I wonder... Maybe I should go around the Philippines talking about C++ more?

Chill.

Comments

  1. This is really brilliant. I like the way you discus all the things !

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Dean! =)

    There are a lot of students here in UP Diliman who are interested in C++. One friend of mine, graduating student (BS Molecular Biology and Biotechnology), is asking me about C++ and if it is better/easier than Java.
    Anyhoo, how I wish I was there to listen to your talk.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Cai!

    Fortunately, if a number of people in UP Diliman would still be interested in a C++ show and tell, I'd be glad to free up some time for a visit! It doesn't have to be anything formal, just a little get together of people interested in seeing what C++ has to offer still.

    I'd be glad to give some time to spread the word -- my talk may not be that relevant or appropriate, but a simple get together might work as well.

    Thanks for dropping a line!

    ReplyDelete

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