Deconstruct and Donuts 🍩

Friday, April 20, 2018 :: Tagged under: personal engineering works. ⏰ 3 minutes.

The song for this post is Ironic, by Alanis Morissette.

My proposal for a talk got selected, so I'll be speaking at Deconstruct this May! While I have some experience speaking to smaller audiences (and as an actor about a decade ago), this is my first time speaking at a conference. The title of my talk is "A Fresh Look At Failure."

Who's that handsome devil? Click for full size.

The most "professional" photo I have; photo credit: the amazing Tanya Malan.

Beyond announcing the talk, there are a few other narratives here that the blog is a perfect place to explore. This was a big, personal-feeling win.

Donuts 🍩

Lara Hogan is an engineering leader who's published a lot of great work (I included her onsite engineering template to my Eng Interview resources links); one that I particularly love is her Donut Manifesto: celebrate your career achievements! When she gets a win, she celebrates with a donut; having my talk accepted motivated me to start a donut page of my own, since I'll accept any reason to put more donuts in me πŸ˜‹

I hope to add a few retroactive donuts, but more than that, I'd like to earn some future ones!

Deconstruct, as a conf

Deconstruct has these properties that I'm comfortable calling Objectively Good:

Properties of Deconstruct that make it a great conference, per Pablo preferences:

As in everything, there are tradeoffs to every choice, but I'm delighted to be part of a conference that makes these choices.

A professional in computing

FILLME. Click for full size.

Photo credit to Benjamin Cheung

While being fully cognizant that "speaking at conferences" is a pretty common way engineers showboat and gatekeep each other, I do sincerily embrace the joy and accomplishment I'm feeling about the idea that people may enjoy hearing me talk about computers. It's been a long journey from when I was crying in front of a SunLab computer feeling like an incapable failure, and it wasn't obvious that the path would take me here. I almost quit the industry in 2013. I've had to do a lot of work on myself to keep going, and there are still plenty of challenges.

It's lovely to feel like I'm doing something that more resembles thriving than merely surviving. My proposal was about a set of topics I've been thinking about with private enthusiasm for years, and getting the chance to share it with folks who may appreciate it the way I do is pretty thrilling.


I still have to deliver this talk, so I don't mean to shortchange the effort, or celebrate something I haven't completed yet. But! Few things really give me this kind or level of joy, so I want to allow it in too ☺️

Thanks for the read! Disagreed? Violent agreement!? Feel free to drop me a line at , or leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you πŸ˜„