David Hayden makes a very important point about how we need to remember one of the most important parts of Code Camps…that one of the purposes of a code camp is as a place for new and/or maturing speakers to try out and polish their speaking skills:
Some attendees have perhaps forgotten that many of the presenters, although technically sharp, are first-time or maturing speakers. If this is indeed the case, this means they have probably spent hours-and-hours to create powerpoint slides, create code samples, and present the material at their home while their spouses, children, and pets looked on as if watching stand-up comedy. They did this in addition to the normal day-to-day responsibilities and activities that already populate most of their lives. And, in the case of first-time speakers coming from out of town, they have also spent their own time and money to get to the codecamp. Of course, this is true for all codecamp speakers, but imagine doing this for the first time 🙂
So, if you are attending a codecamp and listening to a session by a first-time or maturing presenter, I encourage you to make this speaker feel comfortable, rejoice in the fact that he or she has done a lot to be there, and thank him/her for presenting. If the speaker is a bit nervous and stumbles a bit, which can happen when speaking in front of a crowd :), be understanding, attentive and offer some interaction so that he or she can catch a breath and not feel so “alone.” As an attendee, if you play an active role in the success of the presentation, it will be much more fun and a better learning experience all-around.