March 13, 2017

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Jumping in feet first – My first conference talk

Jumping in feet first – My first conference talk

I have a love hate relationship with my propensity to volunteer to do things before I might be 100% (or even 50%) ready. On the one hand I love a challenge and the learning that it forces me to do. On the other hand I hate the stress and the ups and downs of impostor syndrome it induces.

However I’m writing to encourage today so don’t get me wrong! Last week I did my first ever conference talk at the first ever nz.js(con) to a near full room at the Shed 6 in Wellington. It was a perfect conference to be my first as I have always said I am a “JavaScript developer with one foot firmly in the .NET world”.

I love JavaScript and one of the main reasons is the very thing that made it possible for me to secure a speaking spot at the first premier JavaScript conference in New Zealand. Because even though its been around for 20+ years and is the probably the most ubiquitous high level programming language ever, many people disdain it and its fast moving nature… I love it because I was able to quickly become an expert among my peers and while I’m young I have the energy and passion for learning “the next hot framework” or the next slick new pattern. Wonder how long that will last though…

A post shared by Seth Reid (@sethreidnz) on

I was speaking about React Native and the current state of mobile development however the thing I enjoyed most about it was the welcoming nature of the audience. There were people I spoke to before and after that had more experience than I did using the framework. That didn’t matter though! They were still happy to hear my thoughts and experiences with React Native, as well as some jokes aimed mostly at myself but also at Apple and its restrictive development policies. I even had a comment on my instagram about how you don’t see much web dev on a Windows box these days.

All this to say, do what you do and do it with passion. People respond to this and no one knows everything. We need to make sure we encourage each other to put our ideas out there because everyone has to have a first time. One of the main themes of a few of the other talks was that of breaking out of the negativity and “Culture of Contempt” that many of us (including me) can be guilty of. Our profession is that of continuous learning and any code we write today is not a reflection of who you are but of your thought process in that moment. It’s nothing more, so let’s be kinder to each other!

To see my presentation complete with slide show malfunction right at the end watch below!

Seth Reid

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Jumping in feet first – My first conference talk