Lightning Talk

Prepare a lightning talk on a coding-related topic. Sign up for a slot and present it to the class.

Choosing a Topic

The topic can be anything that is at least tangentially related to your journey as a software developer. It doesn't even need to be "technical"! The day is meant to give the entire class a brief experience with a wider range of topics than we can fit into the main curriculum.

You do not need to be an expert on a topic to give a lightning talk. In fact, it's best if you're not! By doing the research you will discover ways of describing the problem in ways that make sense to fellow novices. And by preparing the talk you will become an expert, or at least expert enough to give your fellow students a valuable experience.

Here are some topics (some delivered by past cohorts) to inspire you:

  • Using map-reduce to streamline your loops
  • What is Impostor Syndrome and how can you avoid it?
  • when to use vector vs raster images
  • Going serverless with Amazon S3
  • Ergonomics
  • Emmit Snippets in VS Code
  • Pair Programming Pitfalls
  • So You've Been Breached: how to react to being hacked

Optional: present it to the Burlington JavaScript meetup during one of their Lightning Talk sessions.

Lightning Talk Rules

  • Talk: 5 min max
  • Q&A: 5 min max
  • Slop (setup time between speakers): 2 min max

Lightning Talk Tips


  • Don’t worry about the small details
  • Get to the point. Soon.
  • Practice. Then practice again.

Ignite Rules

Some lightning talks use strict rules: there are a fixed number of slides, and the slides autoadvance.

From the official Ignite web site: "Presenters get 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fast and fun presentation which lasts just 5 minutes."

This is technically hard and possibly too stressful for the first round of talks, but perhaps we'll do an Ignite-syle session later on.