At DDD East Midlands we want to support our speakers. We are achieving this not only by offering a brilliant speakers workshop presented by Dylan Beattie to all our successful speakers, but also by offering mentorship.
Gosia and Matt have all kindly offered their time and experience as international speakers to those who want it. Gosia and Matt are both two fantastic examples of the brilliance the East Midlands has to offer.
To introduce them further, we have asked them to answer a few questions around why they love the East Midlands tech scene and about their experiences. This post starts with Matt.
Matt “Brunty” Brunt
Hey! We hear you’ve been selected as one of the DDD East Midlands Mentors. Congratulations on being a marvellous person! Mind giving us a quick introduction on who you are?
Hey! I’m Matt. Most know me as Brunty as that’s been my nickname/username for as long as I can remember. I’m a speaker, mentor, former organiser of PHP East Midlands, and I currently work for Helical Levity, building cool software and web apps in the Cyber Security space.
I’m into painting miniatures, playing tabletop games, Dungeons & Dragons, PC gaming, flying my drone and photography. Stereotypical nerd stuff!
I also have a handsome crested gecko called Mr Hubble and 2 adorable dwarf hamsters called Pancake and Syrup.
What do you think makes The East Midlands stand out in terms of the tech scene?
The number of meetups is a big part of why the East Midlands (and especially Nottingham) is such a buzzing tech scene. Many other areas seem more popular, or have had a buzz in the past, but the number of companies that not only work in tech, but also care about their staff and the community in the East Midlands is growing, and that’s fantastic to see!
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you as a speaker and how did you recover from it?
So far I’ve not had anything drastically embarrassing, thankfully! I’ve had a couple of talks where I’ve gone to drink from my bottle and not taken the lid off as silly little things.
The most embarrassing thing happened in May of 2019 though. By this point, I’ve been speaking for 4 years and given more than 50 talks. I was setting up for a talk I’ve delivered a lot before, I set up my laptop on the lectern and grabbed my bag to move it to the side of the stage out of sight. My bag got caught on my laptop power cable, pulled the lectern sideways and knocked bottles of water over (thankfully they had their lids on!)
CLANG! Loud noises! I then opened my laptop and… it didn’t respond. I had to force it to reboot and go from there. It left me flustered and then meant that I needed to get everything open and running for the talk and demo again. I managed to work my way through the talk well enough, but it certainly didn’t give me the smooth start I’d have liked!
Can you tell us about one of your top highlights from your life in tech?
Meeting Sir Tim Berners-Lee has to be the top! Being able to shake his hand and thank him for all he’s done was the highlight of my time in tech and speaking so far.
Say someone is looking to get more involved in the community, or even speak, and you were allowed to give one piece of advice. What would that advice be?
Reach out! (Easier said than done, I know) having more people involved in the community and events is always wanted — there’s always more things to do and not enough people to do them!
Be that to someone else you’ve seen in the community speaking, someone who’s involved in organising a group, or someone who’s just been attending events. It’s all about the people and having those connections, making those friends is crucial to the community thriving.
Thanks Matt! Hope you enjoy the conference!
If you see him at DDD East Midlands give him a high five for being awesome!