Honestly, I like to speak to a wider audience about cool things we (my team(s)) do. I don't think it's a typical show-off, even if it helps me, my collegues & my employer to strengthen personal or enterprise brand. What I love most is diving into details of solutions where we went for something really innovative and / or ambitious (that wasn't even tried by anyone else we know). Typicaly it makes a story about how we've:
- identified the need
- proposed a solution
- validated some kind of PoC
- matched costs, risks & expected outcomes
- ... and in the end executed what was to be executed
Some of these stories are about low-level tech stuff & some are about adopting "soft" software craftsmanship or agile/lean project conducting practices that made a difference. Obviously not everything can be shared - IP rights & clients' willingness to reveal project information to the public has to be thoroughly considered. But when there are no objections of that kind, I'm very happy to go into deep details of why we did it, how we did it & what was the outcome. That's why several people have already approached me with the following question:
Don't you think that revealing all of that is unwise? If your audience is your competition or even a prospective client, they could just note it all down & replicate on their own to achieve similar results. You'd get nothing out of it.
Wouldn't it be more commercially-focused, if you revealed only the results & benefits while giving a clear message that you can re-create it or sell know-how to anyone willing to pay?
I could give you my own answer, but few days ago I've read here an excerption that makes a far better one. One I can't even think about competing with. Mr. Kiichiro Toyoda when asked whether he's afraid of the consequences when someone has stolen design plans of automated loom prototypes:
"Certainly the thieves may be able to follow the design plans and produce the loom. But we are modifying and improving our looms every day. So by the time the thieves have produced a loom from our plans they stole, we will have already advanced well beyond that point. And because they do not have the expertise gained from the failures it took to produce the original, they will waste a great deal more time then us as they move to improve their loom. We need not to be concerned about what happened. We need only continue as always, making our improvements."
"Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness, and Superior Results" M. Rother
It's not just that we're smart, daring & we love learning that makes us successful & our contribution valuable. It's the streak of our failures we've went through - this is the only way to get the actual EXPERIENCE. We are DOERs & we're not afraid of experimenting, because it's the final effect that matters. Our path may be hard & painful, but this the only way to deliver challenging endeavors. The rest is just a bunch of openly available languages, libraries & frameworks glued altogether. And being open & transparent is the best way to help us build our credibility.