So one of my goals for 2014 is complete; I have now spoken at a conference! I've done lots of public speaking before (see my page) but this has been mostly non-technical and for small groups of people.
The talk was about using Celery with Django. I've been a Django developer since leaving university in 2011, and I've only used Celery since December. I was asked to solve a problem at work using Celery, and I gave a tech demo of the library to all the other developers. It went really well, and so when the Django Weekend conference call for papers came up I just went for it. I tend to be one of those people who jump first and think later. Nine times out of ten this ends badly, but I think that this is that magical 10% of good ideas.
I was incredibly nervous, and I ended up giving the talk about five minutes faster than planned! I hope that pacing will come with experience of speaking and as I grow as a developer. The hardest part is perhaps the emotion of the aftermath; impostor syndrome is perversely fed by praise and the sudden loss of the 'talk prep' part of my brain is really weird.
Even so, I would totally do it again. I'm already thinking of useful things to add to the talk and I might even be brave to do a live demo. If public speaking is something you want to try but are scared of, it's best to take off the waterwings and jump straight in. I hope that I will get better every time I do it, even if I mostly just talk about gaming.