Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

14 Jul 2009, 10:15 a.m.

Obvious Tech Talk Q&A Prep

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2009 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

A certain species of tech talk goes like: "Here's a product/methodology/tool I hack on, here's what it's good for and how/why you should add it to your toolkit." It's an honorable and useful presentation topic. As you prepare your talk, think about the questions your audience will have in the back of its head. If you can address them in the talk itself, great. If not, prepare answers for use in the questions-and-answers session.

Common questions:

  • How do I get started using it?
  • Why should I use this instead of the competition?
  • Security implications?
  • Performance implications? ("Yes, but does it scale?")
  • Who's using this in real life?
  • Where's the project going next? What do you need help with?
  • What language is it written in?
  • Why did you name it that?

The most important question is the one you hope no one asks because the answer is embarrassing. What would your smartest enemy ask?

(List developed while helping Youness practice his libnice talk last week.)


14 Jul 2009, 13:08 p.m.

What license is it under?