Skip to main content

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

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Appreciating Rizal...

Nope, this is not an academic post. More of a reflective and wrote-because-i-was-enlightened type post. Anyway, I just passed a paper on Rizal's notion of a nation according to Quibuyen (a local writer who devoted a book -- A Nation Aborted -- on his treatise on Rizal). Chapter 6 was an interesting read, and a definite eye opener. Rizal all of a sudden became interesting, especially to someone like me who could care less. It seems that most of what Rizal aims for and wrote about is still evident in today's Philippines as I see it. I wonder why I didn't get to appreciate Rizal and his work when I was still in high school -- might be the fault of the high school and the curriculum, or might be because I was still considerably immature then. I wasn't able to understand most of Rizal's writings though even if I got to reading them basically because they translated from Spanish to Filipino/Tagalog. I don't have problems with Tagalog, until you put it in writing. I

From FOMO to JOMO

Until very recently I believed that I needed to be on top of the latest news and happenings not only in my field (computer science and software engineering) but also in as many things as I can be on top of. This meant subscribing to all sorts of magazines, newsletters, YouTube channels, Twitch streamers, watching TV and live sport events, etc. — I was on top of a lot of the latest happenings, trends, news, interesting developments. I was having fun and I felt busy. What I did not feel was particularly effective nor productive. I felt like I was consuming so much information with the thought that it might be useful someday. When I was younger this wouldn’t have been an issue but I realised that ever since I’ve started taking stock of what I’ve been spending my time on, that a lot of it I’ve been spending just staying on top of things that I really didn’t need to be on top of. This article is about some of the realisations I’ve made in the course of exploring this issue of “FOMO” or

Futures and Options I: My Introduction to Computing

I've recently been thinking about how my decisions early in life have done me good to put me where I'm at right now. I've certainly lived a very fortunate life -- been blessed with so many good things and been down-right lucky being at the right place at the right time. My 30 year journey to where I am now has been very interesting. I can pretty much say that the experiences I've had up to this point have very much contributed to making me who I am -- and that I regret nothing. Still though I keep thinking about what my life would be like if I hadn't made certain choices I did make throughout the years. There are a few choices I've made that I've stuck to and I keep thinking about wondering "what if I made a different choice instead" -- and the more I think about it, the more I'm happy about the decisions I've made. Note: This is Part 1 of a series about my early choices in life which have gotten me to where I am today. If you're in