Putting Yourself Out There

I just demoed for the third time at a DemoCamp Hamilton on Tuesday night. I showed off Next Bus for the first time and received a lot of great feedback. Both previous demos I gave provided me with great feedback as well as well as a sense of accomplishment and pride in my work. My experiences presenting my work to the software community in this city has resulted in an abundance of personal and professional growth. I want to discuss a couple of these areas in this post.

Acceptance. The first demo I did at a DemoCamp was back in my first year in university with a friend of mine, Zaahir, together we had a built an web service that allowed restaurants to easily launch a mobile presence of their own. We had never presented our website to anyone and hadn’t even fully finished building it but in hindsight it was good we didn’t let those problems stop us from demoing. While nothing came of the project I think we both had a great time presenting and we saw that the software community in this city took us seriously and respected our efforts despite our less than impressive credentials. That experience made me realize that the community here respects you for what you do regardless of age.

Confidence. The first presentation at DemoCamp got me quite nervous and I certainly did not feel very comfortable presenting but as I continued to present those nerves wore off and now I’m excited to get up on stage and show the community the software I’ve built. Getting criticism for the first time on an application you’ve been working hard on is tough, you have to learn not to take it personally. I felt more confident and able to address criticism this past week than my previous 2 demos. I feel more at home in front of a crowd and relish the opportunity to present applications I’ve built!

Perfection. When I think back to my first demo I cringe at how unpolished and raw it was. Each presentation resulted in a more complete and thought out application than the demo before it. In my opinion Next Bus is by far the best app I’ve built, I put a lot of work into making sure that I took care of all the loose ends and launched something I was more than happy to attach my name to. When you are reminded that you will have to stand in front of an audience to present your hard work you make sure that you can be really proud of what your showing people. My experiences both at DemoCamp and my summer internship at Inkling have forced me to put more attention on details and the finer areas of an application to produce a product that pushes the limits of my abilities.

I’ve learned so much from DemoCamp and met many really amazing people in the software community in Hamilton! And of course a big thanks to Kevin Browne for getting the ball rolling in Hamilton!