Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Stepping out of our comfort zone.

This blog post has long been over due.

At some point I wish I can transform this blog into a technical blog.  Before that I would like to get into a habit to publish something at least twice a month.

Last May I had the opportunity to do a 45 minutes presentation at a VMware User group (VMUG Los Angeles). This was my very first public presentation in my whole life. The topic was “A Beginner’s Journey to Puppet”.

I did the presentation because I want to step out of my comfort zone and push myself to do something different than my day to day work as a software developer.

In September 2013 Scott Lowe (@scott_lowe) has this idea of putting the user back in the VMware User Group (http://blog.scottlowe.org/2013/09/18/putting-the-user-back-in-vmware-user-group/).  It was a wonderful idea and Scott is willing to donate his precious time to help 5 people to speak at VMUG.

I totally agree with Scott that user should give back to VMUG.  At one time I told my VMUG leader: “I know some and you know some, let’s share what we know”.  This is the only way we can move on in our career. This also echoes my previous blog post where we should engage in some community so we can advance in our knowledge, skill and/or career.

After contemplating for a day, I contacted Scott expressing my desire to give back to the community. Picking a topic to present is not so easy for me consider that I do not work on VMware technology on a day to day basic.

After a topic was selected Scott suggested me to use a Mind Map to organize my ideas.  It turns out this is very useful for my VCAP-DCD preparation.  Using a Mind Map to organize my idea became a useful tool for me since then.

We went through a few iterations of refining the content of the Mind Map.  In this process I have learned how to approach putting a presentation topic together.  What I present will have to get the attention of the audience.  In other words, I must think from the audience point of view: Why do I need to listen to you?

From the final draft Mind Map, we translate the points into PowerPoint slides.  Scott was nice enough to spend one evening with me so I can do a “dry-run” of the presentation and gave me constructive comments and pointers.

The presentation went well and I got some positive feedback from the audience right after.

If you ask me will I do this again? 

I will answer – yes.  It is not because I like to stand in front of a group but I enjoy sharing what I know to others. 

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