Miha Rekar bio photo

Miha Rekar

👨‍💻 Software Developer
🎙️ Podcaster
☕️ Home Barista
🏃 Runner
📷 Photographer
📖 Aspiring Stoic
🦄 Incurably Curious

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About 2 months ago I was invited to speak at the Pivorak Conference in Lviv. I haven’t been speaking in a while so I told them I don’t have any talks prepared. They said anything goes as long as it’s me giving it and it’s at least a bit technical.

I went on a run without headphones and thought about what I could give a talk on. I haven’t been doing anything out of the ordinary like flamegraphs or graph databases in a while. But I did tackle something interesting recently - I started podcasting1.

I haven’t written a blog post about it, but if you follow me on any social network, you saw that I’m promoting it heavily. It’s called Parallel Passion and the gist is: interview show with software developers about their hobbies.

I used to go to conferences a lot and always preferred the hallway track over the actual talks. You get to meet people personally that way. I love that. Because I don’t care what JS framework is popular this week or how Ruby 7 is going to be 70-times faster. I care about people. I care about things they do when they’re not programming.

I never liked the stereotype of a programmer: an overweight, pimply neck-bearded nerd living in a basement somewhere with at least four computer monitors2. Because I am not that guy. And to be honest I don’t know people like that. Maybe it’s selection bias but software engineers I hang out with are real people. They have lives outside computers. They have awesome hobbies like car racing, sky diving, boxing, curling, surfing, illustrating children books3, making car reviews,…

So I wanted to showcase that. In one small part to burst the stereotype bubble, but even more so because I want one hour of uninterrupted time with interesting people. One on one. I love talking with people who are passionate about their hobbies. Because I know how passionate I get when someone is interested in mine. I get a spark in my eyes and I can talk for hours. About running, about coffee, about stoicism,… and then it hit me.

Why don’t I do a talk on that? Everything I love talking about - a string of lightning talks if you will. Ben Orenstein did something like that on RailConf 2013 and it remains one of the best talks I’ve ever seen. So I wrote down a list of topics I love talking about4. Then I started thinking about transitions from one topic to the next and eliminating those that didn’t make sense. You can’t go from coffee to stoicism for example. Then I started a Keynote5 document with every topic as a main slide with a couple of bullet points. Then those bullet points became separate sub-slides. And then it was Friday. Time to fly. When will I rehearse this? Fuck. I guess we’ll test it in production 😬

You can’t hear it well in the recording but when I said “thank you” there was a roar of applause that hit me. This has never happened to me before. It felt amazing. And after the talk I could barely get a drink - everyone wanted to talk to me. Everyone found at least one thing in my talk they connected with. So while it was definitely the weirdest talk I ever gave it was also the most fun to give and by far the most well received. Even now, after it was posted on YouTube, I’m still getting a ton of positive feedback and follow-up questions.

This proves my point - us, software developers, are people too. And it’s time the world knows it!

So go listen and subscribe to Parallel Passion and tell your friends to do so as well!

  1. I know, I know, everyone has a podcast now. But the medium is great, so why not? 

  2. According to Quora 

  3. Yes, Linda Liukas herself was my guest. Why? No idea, but I’m super honored and humble

  4. Original unedited list: git, ruby, podcasting, coffee, remote work, managing teams remotely, stoicism, negotiation tactics, photography tricks 

  5. By far my favorite Apple software product