Speaking to a Crowd of Engineering Experts

Dan Talnariu shares his experience of being a speaker at Programmers’ Week 2020

2020 was a crazy year. Nearly everyone had to readjust the way they work, the way they interact with each other, and the way they run day to day routines at and outside of work. One thing that stood out during this period and it was exciting to see, was how people actively came up with ideas around keeping the individuals engagement, sharing tips and tricks in order to improve the work quality from home, making them connect in certain ways and continuing to bring in a productive vibe in all forms of communication.

Programmers’ Week 2020 seemed to bring in a breath of fresh air into everything.

The event took place in mid September, and required a huge amount of effort from everyone involved in pulling it off. It all had to be run online, a first — for both organizers and speakers. But in the end, it was a success, with dozens of great presentations, across multiple Cognizant Softvision studios, and folks really did their best bringing their A-game to the event.

My experience as a speaker during Programmers’ Week 2020

Even though I’ve been actively involved as a participant in almost all past Programmers’ Week events, it was my first time as a speaker. My colleague, Alex Colta, and I decided to run a Live Podcast event, around Manual vs Automation: The DNA of QA”.

The quick story behind these Podcast events is that it all started when the pandemic started and we were all forced to work from home. We had the idea to come up with something that would bring together our QA Community inside Cognizant Softvision and podcasts were the first thing that came to our minds. We could run it exclusively online, we could touch on various topics and the idea was to keep the event informal, open to everyone inside the community that wanted to participate and take part in the open debates, encouraging engagement.

From that point it was started. We kicked it off, and within several months we debated around a bunch of stuff, some technical related things and some not. Starting from “Motivation” or “Getting outside the comfort zone”; going into the “Live Streaming” filed and also insights for “The journey of starting your own youtube channel” which was a lot of fun; and finishing with how the “Artificial Intelligence gets applied in space of Quality Assurance”.

Since then, we’ve discussed many topics, had many participants (more than 200 colleagues in total), and of course, hosted special guests that we brought alongside us, sharing their involvement in their respective areas of expertise.

We then decided to bring the podcast event to Programmers’ Week, deciding on a topic and working around ideas, eventually bringing the podcast to life.

It was a great experience and I enjoyed every second of it. Of course I was nervous, the event was an external one, happening Live on Youtube and Facebook. We had more than 80 attendees with us at one point, colleagues and people outside the organization interested in our topic and curious to know more.

I was glad that we managed to keep it informal and encourage attendees to actively be part of the discussions and ideas we presented. We could barely keep up with the questions that the audience had and decided to prioritize that instead of going deeper into the topics, because it was a win-win for everyone. It was interactive, and I enjoyed hearing experiences from different people and was interested in finding out new tips and tricks from the other people in the QA manual or automation fields; or even personal suggestions around how to step into this career as a person that sees no limits on what he/she wants to achieve. Proactivity is the key to success!

Would I like to be a speaker again in 2021?

Totally! And I really hope that in 2021 we’ll be able to have it physically. Even though everything went smoothly online and it was a great event overall, you cannot replace those pre-presentations coffee talks, live debates or sharing an Uber with your colleagues after the tech-talk and getting back to work, chatting around how the talk went. And the free cookies and snacks aren’t a bad perk either. :D.

I would love to be part of it again, it felt great and I’m looking forward to the opportunity. I love the vibe around it and how everyone does their best in order to keep it a top company event.

Don’t miss the Dan Talnariu and Alex Colts podcast!

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