One of the new things we’re going to be doing at DevCon this year is lightning talks. We’ve got one lightning talk session scheduled for each day of the main conference in both Berlin and San Jose. What is a lightning talk? I’m so glad you asked.
Lightning talks come in many different forms, but to put it simply: It’s a collection of extremely short talks in which speakers have 5 minutes to share whatever they want with the attendees. In our case, we’ve chosen to go with the “ignite-style” lightning talks which means that not only is the time limit strictly enforced, but the time allocated per slide is also enforced, and the slides advance when that time is up, whether the speaker is ready or not!
This format has several advantages for attendees who choose to come to one or both of the lightning talk sessions:
- You get to see a wide variety of topics. If someone is speaking on something you aren’t interested in, be patient. The most time you have to invest in any one speaker is 5 minutes.
- Speakers are forced to get to the meat of the topic and do so quickly.
- All slides for all speakers are pre-loaded, so there isn’t any laptop/projector fumbling between speakers.
Because the Lightning Talks are currently scheduled to happen just before the afternoon break on both days and in both cities, if you do hear something that piques your interest, you’ll have an excuse to network during the break.
So if you have a great idea to share with the rest of us, I hope you’ll consider signing up for and delivering a lightning talk. If you’re an attendee, I hope you’ll give at least one of the two lightning talk sessions a try and then give us feedback on whether or not we should do more going forward.
If you want to see an example of what an ignite-style lightning talk looks like, check this out: