Developer and creator of many things OSS, he has been programming in one way, shape or form since the age of 12. Author of various publications and courses, Hadi has been speaking at industry events for nearly two decades. Host to Talking Kotlin, he works at JetBrains leading the Developer Advocacy team, and spends as much time as he can writing code.
Connect with Hadi
You are an authority in the world when it comes to public speaking and you have blogged extensively about it. What moved you to begin sharing your experiences and ideas through public speaking, as opposed to just publishing them online?
I have to admit that part of my motivation to give a talk was that I really wanted to attend a conference and I couldn’t afford to; but after giving the talk, I realized I enjoyed it very much and wanted to repeat it again, despite being very nervous and feeling as though I had failed badly. The more I gave talks, the more I enjoyed sharing my thoughts and experiences. What really made it for me, though, was seeing how what I was sharing impacted people. To think that I could contribute positively to other people’s lives—albeit in a very minor way—brings me a great sense of fulfillment.
What advice or tips would you give to a developer who is interested in getting started in public speaking?
Don’t believe that you have nothing to share. We all do. User groups and meetups are a very good way to start. You don’t have to give your first talk at a conference.
In addition to public speaking, through Twitter, you’ve raised awareness of certain social issues, including inclusivity in the tech industry, which is notorious for its gender imbalance and lack of opportunities for minorities and women. What steps should we be taking as an industry as a whole to address these issues?
Twitter is good way to connect with your peers and use as a professional platform. Regarding social advocacy, I’m still trying to learn how I can help more. What I would say though is to listen carefully to those who have more knowledge and be a platform for underrepresented groups. Help them share their message by amplifying their voice, not replacing it. As an individual, be conscious. Be aware that these issues exist and don’t ignore the problems. Don’t fall into the trap that “because it hasn’t happened to me or anyone I know, it doesn’t exist.”