Prior to the UK lockdown in March I was pretty active attending various tech meetups in the north west, we were even in the final stages or preparing for hosting the first Liverpool Tech Talks scheduled for the end of March. Obviously that was cancelled as the pandemic was taking hold in the UK and all face-to-face meetups have been cancelled ever since.
I knew quite a few of them went online to become virtual meetup events but for me a large part of attending the meetups is for the social side, the pre and post discussions with the speakers and other attendees. I attended a few as a spectator and found them good but not as good as the real thing but something that I was interested in was being a panelist so that I could be part of the discussion.
Luckily for me The Very Group are active in the 'early talent' area, and have great ties with the University of Liverpool. Our early talent partner reached out to ask if my awesome colleague Ben Kadel and myself would be interested in hosting a session in November as part of the university's ConnEXPO 2020. We decided to do a joint 30-minute session on “Importance of Personal Brand”. Unfortunately it wasn't recorded so I can't link to it here.
Shortly after I was asked by Maxwell Bond to be part of a 3-person panel on their Trusted Tech Talks event/podcast on “Remote Collaboration & Pair Programming”. Having worked remotely for over a decade for a previous company and then helping Very to go remote in March it was right up my street.
Then to finish off the year I was contacted by Lewis Adams-Dunstan host of Preparing the Unprepared podcast to discuss “The Responsibilities of a Technical Hiring Manager”. As an engineering manager I consider hiring one of my most important tasks and Lewis also shares this view. We had an excellent hour-long conversation about hiring and onboarding and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
These webinars round out what has been the very strange year of 2020 but I'm already lined up to be part of a couple more webinar discussions early 2021, and hopefully can soon be speaking to people face-to-face in real life!