SPARK Talks are, by definition, Short, Provocative, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Knowledgeable talks that are loosely timed, on a specific topic (more or less), and allow many presentations to be given at an event. I had never heard of them prior to this month's NEPA Tech meet up organized by John George.
SPARK Talks remind me of Lightning Talks or Ignite. I have been to a few Ignite events - some where very early like this one 10 years ago. The thing I appreciate most about this style of presentation is that many in attendance can be part of the program. In fact, at this particular meet up nearly every single attendee was able to take a few minutes and describe themselves, something they're currently working on, or a topic of their choice.
In all there were 15 presenters. I quickly jotted them down as they happened. I didn't get full names or all of their web sites, but at least I captured something. Here are the presenters and their topics:
- John - spoke about becoming an independent developer
- Jared - discussed his ambitions of working in real estate
- George - described use IoT in industrial industries
- Ryan - talked of learning more about computers, the web, to better do his job
- Kevin - discussed some of the WhatNow! journey
- Beth - spoke of her passion for the environment
- Colin (me) - spoke about not getting hung up on decision making, just start
- Jason - discussed some of the projects Sho Technology Solutions is working on
- Ted - talked about the advantages of Rust
- Anthony - educated us on the xAPI
- Chris - discussed some of the challenges and next-steps for NEPA Fiber
- Danny - showed us a video demo of Kraken Board Sports latest product
- Mark - rallied the attendees to contribute to NEPA Tech
- Den - discussed his self-taught history of becoming a front-end developer
- Gary - discussed eating odd things for his YouTube channel
As you can see the topics were all over the map which helped to keep the evening interesting and the shortness of the presentations moved the event along nicely. I believe NEPA Tech will do events like this again in the future. If so, be sure to contribute. Most of these were fairly unscripted talks so don't be hesitant.
Thanks to John George for organizing this month's event. Onto 2018.