Speaking at GeekUp Leeds

On 18th February, I’ll be making an appearance at Geekup Leeds, to give a talk entitled “Linux-Fu for PHP Developers”. Basically this is a tour of some of my most-favourite command line tools available in Linux, and its a pre-cursor to the talk I’ll give later this year at php|tek in Chicago. What’s different about the Leeds version is:

  1. I have no idea yet if I can type and talk at the same time
  2. Its in a pub
  3. I will be using the Geekup-standard 20/20 format – 20 seconds per slide, 20 slides

I’m not panicking exactly, but I am thinking I need to get some practise in and decide which commands need to be included in this initial short talk version. Suggestions welcome, add to the comments please!

8 thoughts on “Speaking at GeekUp Leeds

  1. “VIM”? But seriously, it’s an interesting topic you’ve come up with. I’d say search (and possibly also) replace are important, especially for those that Refactor their code without a full IDE.

    Second would be how to install php extensions, perhaps also PEAR packages and stuff like that.

    Another useful command I tend to use a lot is “ln -s”, to easily switch between versions of the website, because the documentroot points to a symbolic link.

    That’s all I can come up with for now. If I think off something else, I’ll let you know.

    • Ah, I forgot a command I use a lot: svn status. That would mean however, that you’d also have to spend a little time explaining version control systems, so that could take up too much time.

  2. berry__: I’m not going to have time to touch on either vim or svn, especially in this 6-minute format. It’s more cat, tail, ls and switches to those type of utils.

  3. Hi Lorna, sounds good. Here are some suggestions:

    * tail -f
    * file
    * locate
    * which, type
    * pushd, popd, dirs
    * wget, and its -S option for seeing the HTTP headers
    * convert (and ImageMagick in general)
    * poster
    * dict, look
    * killall, xkill
    * dc (or bc if you insist)
    * units
    * diff -u

  4. bq. I have no idea yet if I can type and talk at the same time

    Assume that you can’t — I’ve never seen a presenter who can.

    If even you can do it in general, at some point there’ll be some kind of glitch (typo, or you’re in the wrong directory, or a sample file has already been processed because you did a run-through and forgot to rest them, or …) which will require your attention to sort out. At which point you stop being able to talk to your audience, and end up stammering intermittent updates while everybody watches your demo go wrong.

    Whereas persuading a friend to be ‘keyboard monkey’ and do your typing for you makes things much easier. Because the person typing only has that to concentrate on, they can probably get it right (also, they can follow a written script, something which gets in the way if you’re the speaker). But more importantly, if something unexpected happens you can keep the audience engaged and continue speaking while that gets sorted out; you don’t even try to help, just concentrate on the audience.

    Alternatively, I’ve also seen recorded demos used to good effect: you make a video screen-capture thingy of doing the demo in advance, then play that out and talk over it. What appears on the screen is exactly what the audience would see with a live demo, but you know it’ll definitely work!

    Any way, good luck with it.

  5. Symlers: Hey, that’s a great list of suggestions, thanks! I can’t get them all into 20/20 format but I will be back to look at this list when I go to give a bigger version of the talk.

    I think the fallback for not typing while talking is probably going to be just screenshots of the output, there aren’t many times its useful to have vides for command-line. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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