I've been thinking lately about how many of the talks at tech conferences are bizarrely impractical_. For a counter-example, Rands has this seemingly un-radical suggestionseconds.html
This is the presentation I want to see at the next conference: in a room full of people, anyone is welcome to walk up to the mic and plug their laptop in to the projector. They'll be asked to complete three simple tasks:
- Send a mail to a friend
- Find something on the Internet
- Save a bookmark or an image.
I would be fixated.
I'd love that.
If developers are the builders, why don't we talk more about craft? Why are there so many conference presentations about lofty topics, and so few about dispensing with down-to-earth, day-to-day chores?
One of my favorite BarCamp sessions was a group "show-and-tell" — we took turns introducing the rest of the crowd to one tool in our arsenal. I talked about FireBug, someone talked about Google Spreadsheets, someone else talked about Selenium. I'd love to see more of that kind of thing.
If you're planning a conference, and can't squeeze one "practical nuggets" session into the schedule, why not?