The way to get me to show up at your conference is to invite me. The folks who run the Reflections|Projections 2009 conference figured that out. I will be there on Friday the 16th for the job fair in the Siebel Atrium, and my talk How Microsoft is Different from School is scheduled for Saturday morning at 11:15. Attendance is free, but that's not much consolation seeing as you first have to get there.

It's always a weird situation I find myself in when I'm invited to give a talk at a conference, because if I give a talk on the stuff I usually write about, you'll get something like a one-hour discussion of the finer points of programming scrollbars. (A talk not even I would attend.) As a result, conference talks always take me a bit "out of my element", forcing me to pick some topic I don't usually talk about which still fits in with the overall tone of the other talks.

Reflections|Projections is particularly scary for me, because, I mean, look at the other speakers: The co-founder of reddit. Principal Architect for webOS. Author of the Robot Vision Toolkit. And the topics: Cloud computing, Google Chrome, the myth of the genius programmer. These people do big things, and these topics are big topics.

On the other hand, I do small things.

It took me a while to find a topic, and then once I found it, I had to do a bunch of research because, well, it's been a long time since I was in school. I interviewed a bunch of colleagues who came to Microsoft directly out of school within the past two years to steal^H^H^H^H^Hdraw upon their experiences and then put the stories together into a talk. If you think about it, for this subject matter, I'm going to be a total poser!

We'll see how that goes.

(Actually, it's not total poser-tude, since I do have personal knowledge of how things are done at Microsoft. The provocative title is just a hook.)