I don’t like talks about your stack. I don’t care for you to describe to tens (hundreds?) of people what you put into production and why its good. I’ll tell you why.

To deploy a fully working application takes an insane amount of work. There are a million little gotchya problems that you see and solve. To deploy a fully working application that’s also interesting takes even more work. When you describe this in a 40 minute presentation aimed at the lowest common denominator, you end up spending far less time talking about the interesting parts of the application. Most the time is spent answering unasked questions about glue code or vague performance metrics.

People have different interests when it comes to these sorts of things. So any talk will probably try to cater to all of these. And thus, it will cater to none of these. Should a speaker want to target a specific subset of interests, it will be hard to convey that in the abstract. People might show up who get nothing out of the talk, instead of everybody getting a below average amount of enjoyment out of it.

See, the most interesting part of a talk, for me at least, is the ideas. I want to listen to a speaker talk about interesting ideas on how to restructure or decouple parts of an application. I want to hear things that I can take home and think about in terms of my system. We all know that X is great, and you have to use Y with it; thats not really interesting. But hearing that using thing like X can enable great opportunities for G, H, and I is more interesting.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to learn about other people’s stacks, but I prefer intimate conversations where I can ask deep questions. I’ve also seen good talks about companies’ stacks, but for the most part, I have not enjoyed them.

P.S. I also hate anyone who asks a question about benchmarks at one of these talks. Any response to a question like this is likely meaningless to all the attendees.