This year, I have a fairly light schedule at Penguicon, affording me an opportunity to relax and visit with friends and (perhaps) attend some panels! My pesky responsibilities include:
Manager or Leader? Running a Technical Team
Saturday, 4/30 @ 10am-11am
The blurb: “Are you currently supervising a technical team? Maybe you’re considering taking the plunge? Come hear a few voices “from the trenches” talk about what it’s really like to lead a team: the good, the bad, the horrible, and the horribly funny. Topics will include: the differences between a manager and a leader, leading from the front, why your manager isn’t out to get you, managing up, ethical communication, and more.”
Dawn Kuczwara and I will discuss the finer points of being a manager, or leader, drawing from a combined 2-3 decades of leadership experience. While this is a “serious” talk, neither Dawn nor I are capable of being completely “serious” per se.
Sharing an Oral History: The Art of Verbal Storytelling
Sunday, 5/1 @ 2pm-3pm
The blurb: “We’ve all been there: this absolutely amazing thing happened to you yesterday and you want to share it with your friends and family. You take a deep breath and begin…only to helplessly watch as the story falls directly on its face. Storytelling is an art, and like any art it takes practice, study, and one of those books where you draw Sparky the turtle on the grid then mail it to Pueblo CO. This panel will basically be the turtle grid.”
This idea sort of rose out of listening to story after story after mind-numbing story that should be entertaining, but doesn’t quite make the cut. Dawn is an improv comic and I talk a lot, so, between the two of us, some good information might get thrown out there.
Penguicon Board Meeting
Saturday, 5/1 @ 1pm-3pm
The blurb: “You’ve done the convention, you’ve met the staff, and you’ve even socialized with the ConCom. But what about those *other* Penguicon people? Those shadowy figures that create the multi-year rules, have their fingers on the money, and cause a ConChair to mysteriously appear every year in a puff of penguin-scented smoke? Ever wonder what the Penguicon Board of Directors does in their secret sanctum, and where they are taking Penguicon? Come to the Board of Directors meeting and see!”
I don’t know about shadowy, but we do have money fingers! I think I read that correctly. This is basically a 2 hour long glimpse into how the sausage is made. It’s not really a panel, but if you’re interested in what decisions are made at the board level, I’ve always found this interesting to watch, even before I was on the board.
So that’s me Penguicon weekend. Aside from those items, I’m sure there are a ton of panels that I’d want to attend, but they’re really hard to find on the online program listing (the program listing not showing who is on what panel this year is really a disappointing lack; I’m bummed by how unusable the online program listing is at the moment). Things that I am sure I’ll want to attend include, however:
- How to Actually Relax
- Continuous Delivery: Fast, Painless Software Deployment
- Improving Leadership with IT
- Intro to Agile/Scrum
Beyond that, I suspect I’ll be lounging on some random public area visiting with friends. What are your must-see panels this year?