One of the thing I really enjoy doing is speaking in public. Back in the day before the internet bubble burst, I was a Field Application Engineer. The best part of my job was giving presentations, tutorials and demos. There is nothing quite like standing in front of a room with 50, 100 or 200 engineers and not only giving a presentation, but interacting with them and answering questions. It might just be nostalgia, but I miss that feeling of connectedness.

Unfortunately, embedded programming is not a public activity and there is limited opportunity to speak to an audience. Doing the conference circuit is a way to go, but competition for slots is fierce and it can become expensive. Making presentations at a user group meeting is a more viable alternative, but living in the technological sticks puts a crimp in that idea. That last fall back is doing Lunch & Learn type sessions. This works great at larger companies, but as I’m part of a 1.5 developer team, the audience is limited.

This state of affair has unfortunately resulted in me becoming rather disconnected form the happenings in the tech community at large. I get plenty of news from the internet, but there is nothing that comes close to interacting with designers at various companies. Those hallway conversations and water cooler chats give you a sense of what is really going on out there…