The dotNetDave No Apologies World Tour 2020

Since 1994, I have been speaking at user groups, conferences, and other events. About 6 years ago, I changed to having a different conference tour name every year. This year’s tour was called the “No Apologies World Tour 2020”. I have been using rock band tour names and inspiration and “No Apologies” came from an Ozzy Osbourne tour.
 
2020 No Apologies Tour
 
This year and next year’s tour name was picked by my followers! The tour for 2021 is called For Those About to Code: World Tour 2020, which comes from the AC/DC“For Those About to Rock” tour in the 1980s. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s tour was completely virtual, which has been difficult since I am an “in-person” speaker.
 
Just like rock stars at a concert, I feed off the audience to provide the best session I can.
 

Attendees

 
I want to thank ALL the attendees to the events I have spoken at this year. I do all of this to help you in your career so you can enjoy a profession you love and to provide for your family. It has been over 5 years since I have gotten paid for speaking, so this has always been a labor of love.
 
I hope that you reach out to me to let me know if these sessions have helped and if you have any suggestions for improvement along with topic ideas. I am always trying to do a better job, so I would love to hear from you. You can email me at dotnetdave@live.com
 

Tour Stops

 
Due to the pandemic, I did not get to travel to any events this year. I am sad that I did not get to speak in Portugal for the first time. Equally sad that I could not go back to countries that was I invited to and they were India and Ukraine. With that said, I did enjoy speaking at all the events, especially including the events where I never spoke before. The stops for this year were,
 
July
  • NDC {Porto} in Portugal (first time)
  • San Diego .NET User Group in San Diego, CA USA
April
  • C# Corner Public Speaking Virtual Conference in Delhi, India (first time)
August
  • Azure Virtual Conference in Delhi, India (first time)
October
  • C# Corner Global Startups Virtual Conference in Delhi, India (first time)
  • Austin .NET User Group in Austin, TX USA
  • Little Rock .NET User Group in Little Rock, AR USA (first time)
November
  • Memphis .NET User Group in Memphis, TN USA (first time)
I want to say a very special thank you to Mahesh Chand and the awesome team at C# Corner for inviting me to so many of their events this year. To all the other event organizers, I hope that you invite me back again in person or virtually if that works out for your event better. My goal before my speaking career is over is to speak in all 50 states in the United States. I added two more states this year but have many to go.
 
2020 No Apologies Tour
States I Have NotSpoken at Are in Blue
 
To request me to speak at your event in 2021, please go to this link.
 

What “No Apologies” Means to Me

 
While I did not name this tour for a specific reason, the pandemic left me with a lot of free time to reflect on what it means, to me.
 

Code & App Quality

 
If you follow me, then you know that code quality is very important for all that I do. ALL my code conference sessions are wrapped around this idea, along with my books and writing on this site. I have been doing this for a while, but most of the code I see when I start a new contract is far from using good quality coding practices and architecture.
 
Always coding for quality will pay off later in the life of the project. This is usually not important to management, so it is the responsibility of software engineers to make sure this happens.
 
I will never apologize for demanding code quality where I work, for the articles I write, for the books I write, and for the apps I use.I am always demanding it for myself and you should too!
 
2020 No Apologies Tour
 

Bringing Real World Stories and Examples to Attendees

 
During the many years that I have been speaking and teaching, one comment I get a lot from attendees or students is that they like the real-world stories I share along with real-world code examples, most all currently in production. One thing I do not like when I attend a conference session, especially by PMs, is that the code they are showing does not apply to the real-world, especially in the business world. For example, showing us how easy it is to build a calculator app does not help anyone, unless they want to build a calculator… for some reason. This is the reason I usually do not attend sessions anymore since I do not learn much that I can use when I get back to work.
 
Because of my feeling about this, I go out of my way to make sure I show you something useful that you can use in your projects. Not that you would know this, but I spend many hours scouring in-production code for examples, usually examples of how “dotNetDave” feels it could have been coded a lot better and then show it. I think it is important to show how “most” developers write code and contrast that with someone who has more experience and care about their craft.
 
Therefore, I estimate I spend well over 40 hours to produce a single one-hour session. I will never stop doing it way and will not apologize for it. I hope that this will inspire you to take more thought and care for your presentations. If you need more tips or help with your presentations, please reach out to me. I am always willing to help. Also please reach out if there is a topic you would want me to present in the future.
 

My Requirements for Speaking

 
I have been speaking for over 27 years now. During all those years, I have been striving to make my presentations better and better. A big part of this is making sure that I and therefore the attendees have the best experience in my session since I know what works best for me. Earlier this year I wrote an article titled “Speaking - What I Expect When Speaking At A Conference - Part One” (I’m still working on part 2). In this article, I write about what I expect when speaking that includes,
  • Submitting papers, paper acceptance, and rejections.
  • Preconference that includes speaker emails, scheduling emails.
Part 2 will focus on,
  • At the conference that includes the speaker room, refreshments, author table, and swag.
  • Post-conference.
I hope to get the second article out at the beginning of next year. I wrote the article for event organizers to let them know what I like to see when I speak at their event. If you or they read these articles, you might say I am demanding and my answer is “Yes I am!”. I do not do it because I feel I am better than any other speaker, but I have learned what works for me over the years especially since it lowers my stress levels. The very, very different way that I present than most other speakers requires a lot more work.

Some of the event organizers do a great job at providing the things I ask for, especially when I speak overseas. Foreign conferences are the best, but US conferences are far from it, to the point where most flat out refuse to meet any of my requests. It is too bad since I have stopped applying to those conferences. This push back really confuses me since without speakers, they would not even have a conference. On top of that, attendees are usually well better taken care of than the speakers. Heck, VERY FEW conferences even thank me for speaking! Go figure! I am still waiting for the swag that the NDC Porto conference promised me this year.
 
I will never stop apologizing for asking for things that I know will make a better experience at my sessions for the attendees. If your event would like me to speak at your event for 2021, please go to this page, pick any of the sessions listed and then request me to speak.
 
Helping Others
 
For as long back as I can remember in my career, I have always told people that I work to pay bills, the rest of my time I spend helping others, a lot of time. These days, I get more satisfaction from helping others and it makes me feel good I can help an engineer in their career so they can support themselves and their family. Also, I want to help them have an enjoyable career. I ran a non-profit user group for 20 years and even taught at the University of California of San Diego for 18 years so I could help others.
 
These days I try to help by writing, speaking, and being the host of my weekly live show on C# Corner. One thing the pandemic has done is that since we are all stuck at home, I have spoken in front of many more people!
 
At my current contract, I have been mentoring one of my teammates who is a beginner. I have to say that I enjoy mentoring people that love to learn, and she is one of those and I see a lot of promise in her career. My gut feeling about her is so strong that for the first time, I helped someone get into a Master’s program for Computer Science. She even has me mentor her for that and I am happy to help. I am happy to say that she received a grade of “A” for the Software Architecture and Design class she just completed at the Georgia Institute of Technology! This is the only programming course that I ever attended that I still use today… in every one of my projects!
 
One thing you can count on is that as long as I can sit at a computer and type, I will be working hard to help every one of you!
 

Summary

 
This article turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it would and I could keep going, so I will summarize.
  • Thanks so much to all my followers and readers! You rock!
  • Even though this year’s tour was virtual, I got to speak at new locations and many more attendees!

    • Thanks to all the event organizers who invited me to speak this year. I hope you invite me back!

  • I won’t apologize for,

    • Demanding code and app quality!
    • Bringing real-world stories to my sessions and writing!
    • My requirements for speaking!
    • Spending most of my time helping others!
This is my final article for 2020, here is hoping that 2021 will be a better year for all my followers and readers.