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Performance Analysis as Performance Art: my experience speaking at PyCon 2015

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Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure of addressing my largest audience ever on a topic very dear to my heart. With each talk I attended, my anxiety increased: it was once again a fantastic conference filled with tons of exceptional talks. I fretted with my slides almost daily, making very few substantive changes but staring at them the whole time. When 2:30 finally arrived, I was more than ready.

Sometimes, having the big picture perspective is not helpful, and I think this was one of them. Focusing on the words and ideas that I was trying to deliver, and not so much on the forum into which I was delivering it, made the nerves essentially disappear. I had some jokes, sure, and some of them I was even proud of, but more importantly, I had a message I believed in strongly. I wanted to communicate this message clearly and effectively.

I think I did. You be the judge:

The talk went really well. I have received a great deal of positive feedback, and it has served to open a few conversations that I find interesting and worth exploring in more depth.

I hope the talk continues to generate these kind of opportunities. I think performance is an under-served topic in software engineering, a last bastion of esoteric knowledge. Performance has a reputation as something that only the select few should concern themselves with or care about, and that is simply not true.