My university is hosting a series of seminars for computer science alumni. I’ve never really gone to seminars or speaking engagements. I had the privilege of hearing Robert Spector speak at a company-wide seminar on customer service, so employees were pretty much supposed to be there.
Today was the first seminar in the series titled Agile Methods for Effective Software Delivery. I originally wasn’t going to sign up for it, but then I thought, “I don’t really have many opportunities to meet developers. Why miss out?”
I’m glad I did sign up for it. The actual presentation wasn’t terribly new and informative, but then I think it was geared towards an audience of alumni from the 80s and 90s, people who may have been out of the touch with the latest development methodologies. Now, I don’t have much practice with networking, but I also understand that it is usually the most valuable part of such events. So I introduced myself, made some conversation. People exchanged business cards, and I of course didn’t have one (next time, Gadget … next time). I got some advice from a few people regarding how to become more valuable in an employer’s eyes and focus on a set of skills. I heard some anecdotes about experiences in jobs and with customers and management. Definitely informative. And right before I left someone came up to me to talk about my job situation and experience, giving me some tips.
I’m definitely going to sign up for the seminar next month, Emerging Trends in Business Information Visualization. I don’t have a direct interest in the topic, but an emerging field is always good to learn about, especially if it means getting in on the ground floor. Other topics, including Open Source Software and Personal Knowledge Management, sound good and I’ll definitely attend those. And of course meeting with other alumni would be the best part, including new people and those that I met today. Now I only need to make some business cards…