Tips for Addressing a Virtual Audience

As a conference speaker, I've read the books on how to be a good conference speaker, and coached quite a few people to raise their skills in this area too. However recently I've been meeting more virtual audiences, both delivering virtual training and doing virtual events such as DayCamp4Developers, and I thought I'd share my take on what works well in a setting where people can see your slides, and hear your voice ... and nothing more. Continue reading

DC4D 6: Not-Programming for Programmers

In case you haven't seen the news, the next episode of Day Camp 4 Developers is coming up on Friday 26th July. This edition is about getting beyond being awesome at the code, which we know that you are, and picking up some other skills to complete you as a profesional. Whether you work in a large international corporation, a smaller company, or alone, we've got content that will make a difference.

Day Camp 4 Developers is a virtual conference, and it's $40 (about 25 quid for UK people). If you can't make it on the day, just get the video ticket and download the recorded sessions later. What I'm trying to say in this paragraph is that there are quite literally no excuses for missing out on this :)
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Speaking at DayCamp for Developers

I am delighted to announce that I'm speaking at the upcoming DayCamp for Developers in early March. The idea behind the daycamps is to bring important but non-technical skills to developers everywhere - so the sessions are virtual and so are the speakers! This time around the topic is Business, so we have a series of speakers to give you advice from a practical, developer-centric point of view - on everything you need to know!

My own talk is "Time and Money"; both are pretty important concepts to have a handle on when you are in business, either as a freelancer or when starting or helping to start a bigger business. Even as an employee, these are really important concepts to understand; most of what I learned about business I learned working with business people in the jobs I had beforehand.

Time is important because we need to figure out how much we have and how to share it around. Money is important because we all like to get paid. I'll be sharing my own tactics for keeping both of them under control so I hope you'll join us!

Ticket Giveaway: DC4D:2

Did you know that there's a second edition of the DayCamp 4 Developers event coming up in March? The daycamps are a chance for developers to invest a day in their careers, wherever they are, focussing on the soft skills we need to grow beyond coding monkeys and into accomplished and upwardly-mobile professionals. It's a virtual conference, so you can join us from anywhere in the world!

In the new edition of DC4D, I'm giving a session entitled "Could You Telecommute?". I have worked from home for three years and if there's one thing I've learned along the way, it's that it isn't always easy! Telecommuting doesn't suit everyone so if you think you'd like to work this way one day, then I hope to give some pointers for how to tell if it will work out, or how to make it work for you. The event is on March 5th but there are also video-only tickets for those people who would rather watch their sessions back at their own pace.

I have a ticket to give away, so if you want to be my guest, leave me a comment and tell me why I should choose you! NB the tickets are only $35 so this isn't quite as impressive as it might sound, sorry!

I'll pick winners on 26th February, with a week to go to the event.

Be My Guest for DayCamp4Developers

This weekend I'm presenting at DayCamp4Developers, a virtual event comprising a full day of workshops for developers of all disciplines to improve their soft skills and move forward in their career. I get to attend since I'm speaking, but even after I've given my slot I know I'll be online to watch the other talks and I know I'll learn something myself! I believe that, however good your technical skills are, being able to communicate effectively means the different between being the bearded expert in the corner who knows everything but has been in the same job 10 years, and being the high flier that soft skills and technical skills combined could make you.

I have one guest ticket for this event, and I want to make sure that it goes to someone who will make good use of it. So, if you would like to be my guest for DayCamp4Developers, this weekend 6th November, then leave me a comment and tell me why you want to attend. In a couple of days (probably Wednesday evening, UK time) I'll close the comments and pick a winner - put your email address in the comments box (it isn't displayed) so I can reach you and let you know.

If you don't win, and want to join us anyway, then you can still buy tickets. Check with your local user group if they have an affiliate code and if not - use this link to buy your tickets, using my affiliate code ;)

Looking forward to "seeing" everyone on Saturday!

Posted in php

Three Months In: The (Ad)Venture Continues

It's three months since I gave up the day job and so many people have asked me how it's going, that I thought I'd give a quick round up!

I am a statistics nut so it will surprise nobody that I track my time religiously (using harvest, which I'll post about some day soon). From this I can tell you that I spend about 40% of my time working for other people, and the rest doing things like writing, preparing talks, accounts, meetings, or whatever. I've also taken 14 days off, which has been absolutely fabulous after a decidedly work-heavy first half of 2010. The biggest change is that I've only worked one weekend day. One.

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Day Camp For Developers

I'm very excited by a new virtual event which is coming up, and at which I have been invited to speak. This is Day Camp 4 Developers, an event aimed at developers of all disciplines and focussing on the soft skills that sometimes we miss in our pursuit of technical excellence. I'll be giving my talk "Open Source Your Career", which looks at how being involved in open source outside of work can improve our professional development. The event is on November 6th, and you can buy tickets here.

There are a number of things that really appeal to me about this event: Continue reading