Happy Monday and welcome to another edition of the newsletter. Today’s newsletter will talk a lot about KCDC including highlights from my session, my presentation tips, and the travel nightmare I had on my way there. I hope you all had a great weekend and are ready to tackle a new week.
Last week I traveled to Kansas City for the Kansas City Developer Conference. The conference was on Monday and Tuesday with the workshops concluding the conference on Wednesday. I was all booked to fly in early on Sunday because there was a speaker dinner on Sunday evening and I wanted to get my hands on some of that amazing KC BBQ.
My United flight was originally set to depart at 10:30 AM out of Cleveland heading to Chicago and my connection would leave around 12:30 for Kansas City. I woke up around 7 AM because I wanted to have coffee with my wife and spend some time with my kids before I left for a few days.
As soon as I got up a noticed that my flight had been delayed 1 hour. This wasn’t a big deal at the time but little did I know this was going to be the start of one of the longest travel days of my life. I arrived at the airport around 10:15 for an 11:30 departure which in Cleveland is enough time for me to get through security and get to my gate.
When I got to the gate and we were supposed to start boarding the captain was standing at the desk which wasn’t a good sign. He gave the announcement that there was bad weather in Chicago and that it was not looking good but he would give us another update around 12 PM. At this point I know I am probably not going to make my connection in Chicago so I asked the desk if there were any other flights from Chicago to KC today. There were 2 of them but they were all booked up 🤦♂️
At 12 they provided us with an update that we would depart around 3:30 EDT. With no flights from Chicago to KC, I decided to get my bag pulled off the plane. I immediately got on the phone with my company's travel agency but apparently, I wasn’t the only one having travel issues that day as I waited almost 90 minutes to talk to someone.
After a long wait an agent, I will call her Angel (because she saved my day and was so nice) was able to start looking for alternative flights. She kept finding options and the options kept getting booked by others in the same situation. I was really starting to worry that I wouldn’t make it there. Finally, she was able to get me booked on a flight at 6:15 into Atlanta which got me into KC at 10:40. I would miss the speaker dinner but at this point, I was just happy to have a plan.
While I am on the phone with Angel I am at the baggage carousel downstairs waiting for my bag to be pulled off the plane. After a while, I realize that this bag is not coming down here. I talk to someone at United and they confirm my suspicion, that the bag is on its way to Chicago. They assure me that it’s going to get on a plane heading for KC and should be there before I get there tonight.
When I landed in Atlanta I received a text that my connection from ATL → KC was delayed an hour 🤦♂️ At this point all I could do was laugh. Lucky for me Atlanta has a really great delta lounge so I decided to head straight there for dinner and a drink. After spending some time in the lounge I boarded my plane and was on my way to KC.
When I arrived I made my way down to baggage and asked someone in the Delta baggage area where United baggage was and of course, it was in another terminal. It’s 11:30 PM at this point and the airport is empty. I was told there were buses running but decided to just make the walk because who knows how many buses they have running at this point.
I got to the other terminal and to my disbelief my bag was actually there. Wow, something good finally happened today! Now it was time to find a ride to my hotel which was the Marriott downtown. There were no cabs anywhere to be found so I requested an Uber and nobody was picking me up. A few minutes later I got a ride but he was 20 minutes out. After waiting for him for 20 minutes and taking the 30-minute ride downtown I got checked into my hotel and got to bed at 1:15 AM.
I set my alarm for 6:30 because I wanted to get breakfast and get checked into the conference. I was excited to see some friends and learn, who needs sleep 🤷♂️
Spring Recipes: A collection of common-sense solutions
I was really excited about this talk because it was my first time speaking with my good friend Nate Schutta. The idea was simple, we would present a problem along with the solution and then discuss it further. This was going to be around anything Spring related and we wanted to have a mix of beginner and intermediate content.
I wanted to stress that there might be some problems that seem easy for some but new to others. We broke down the recipes into the following categories:
- Getting Started with Spring Boot
- Building Web Applications
- Working with Databases
- Spring Cloud
In each category, we had 4-7 problems and we took some time to discuss the solution. Half the battle is knowing which project or tool you need to reach for to solve your problem. I really hope everyone in attendance enjoyed our presentation. Below you can find the code and slides for this presentation.
Special shoutout to Andrew Rubalcaba who was at the conference and took the time to sit in on our session. It was really great finally meeting him in person!
Kansas City Developers Conference
First off I want to thank all of the organizers and speakers who helped make this conference a great one. I was really honored to be among so many great speakers and talented developers.
I stayed at the Marriott downtown which was a really great hotel right across the street from the concentration center. The food in Kansas City was amazing and everyone I came in contact with was super friendly, it’s a midwest thing.
They have already announced that KCDC will be back in 2023 on June 22 & 23 with the workshops happening prior to the conference. I hope to be back in the great city of Kansas City next year and I hope to see you all there.
I like to think that I have learned a lot over the years when it comes to presenting so I thought I would take a few minutes and share my notes:
Your Number One Job
When you get accepted as a speaker you owe it to the audience to be prepared. The number one job you have as a speaker is to speak for the time allotted to you. This means that if they ask you to speak for 1 hour you need to do what you can to hit that mark. If you come up a few minutes short that is ok but if you’re finishing 20-30 min early that is a problem. Expect that you might speak a little bit faster in person than you did in run-throughs and have some material you can use if you need it.
I am a big fan of dark mode but when it comes to in-person presentations it’s not always the most visually appealing. This is no more prevalent than when someone opens up a text editor with dark mode in a bright room. It becomes really hard to read the code and as soon as I can’t follow along with what you’re doing, you lost me. Turn to a light editor theme or at the very least talk to the AV people and try and get the lights above turned down.
Check out your room before your talk
It might be a good idea to check out the room you’re speaking in before you talk if you can. I like to watch the first presentation in that room if possible to see the lighting, find out if they are recording these sessions and how the podium setup is. If I am going to be live coding I need to find out if I am able to type on the podium and that always isn’t the case. If that happens you can talk to someone early and see if you can get a high-top table in there which is usually better for live coding.
The Speaker Room
At most conferences, they have a speaker room where speakers can work on their presentations. Take advantage of this room for a quiet place to run through your slides one last time.
I have a checklist that I use before any in-person presentation, YouTube video, live stream, etc… Make your own checklist and make sure you check it twice before giving your presentation. My list includes things like:
- Turn on Do Not Disturb
- Screen Resolution
- My phone is out of sight
- The browser windows I need are open and ready to go
- If I’m live coding that first project is open and ready to go
- Sound is off
- Clicker works
- Slides are open and presenter mode is on
Around the Web
- Episode 3: Getting Started with SpringBoot and Oracle Database
- ⚡️ Enlightning - What Are Cloud Native Buildpacks and How Do They Work?
- Simple, Secure API calls using a Vue 3 Composable
- "I Hate Agile!" | Allen Holub On Why He Thinks Agile And Scrum Are Broken
- Happy Path Programming: Rod's Gambit - Spring, Scala, TypeScript, and Chess with Rod Johnson
✍️ Quote of the week
To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time. - Leonard Bernstein
Until Next Week
Thanks for sitting down and sharing a cup of coffee with me my friend. I hope you enjoyed this installment of Coffee & Code and I will see you next Monday morning. If you have any links you would like me to include please contact me and I might add them to a future newsletter. I hope you have a great week and as always friends...