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Windows 8: When will you try it?

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Hey all,

So I’m finally done with recruitment, though my toes are still a little wet (post about this to follow soon). The important thing is that I’m working rather than grafting for a living so I can finally structure my time and really get on with programming and software development activities. So to kick things off, I’ve got this poll which I’d really appreciate your contribution to.

 

Ta muchly!

Zak

 

Update - I’ve had quite a few messages already asking why I didn’t put this up as a Facebook poll. Essentially, though I value everyone’s opinion and I know that I’d get more responses; LinkedIn users will tend to be more my target audience with the kind of software solutions I have in mind.

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OMW with life and an expression of gratitude

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So the past few weeks since Tweetcamp 2011 (yes I have gotten over the use of the hashtag) have been busy, exciting, scary and a little sad (weepy, not depraved). I’ve fully wound down resourcing activities and surprisingly enough, managed to sell on my client list (I didn’t think it had any real financial value).

Last week consisted of a lot of goodbyes, well wishing, advice, presents. And darn it… more doughnuts and cake than I could get on a stick!  I should give special thanks to my clients who in a very clandestine way, got together (some of them are serious competitors) and bought me Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate (amongst other tools which I’ll apparently need but don’t yet understand) to help me on my way into software development.

Now that I’m properly on my way and will no longer be expecting client meetings at 3 in the morning I can get on with sorting my life out into something more manageable and productive. I’m totally enjoying hitting the maths and programming books and really looking forward to spending more structured time working at it. One thing I’m really grateful for and have to mention is the amount of support and guidance I’m receiving from software development industry professionals.

Over the next few weeks I hope to get lots of my personal admin out of the way and move on to completing a bunch of half written blog posts. Now that the Mango update has finally made it to my phone (Samsung Omnia 7 owners on T-Mobile had to wait a little longer than most)  and I’ve had some time to play with it, that’ll be the first post to work on.

I’ve been getting loads of really cool emails over the past few weeks and though I’ve replied to you all (114 of you!), I’d like to thank you on here for your interest, support and advice. I’m not quitting on the site. In fact I’m currently working on my own theme which should be up once I’ve gotten a few more important things out of the way.

tweetcamp

My takings from #tweetcamp

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So it’s been a couple of days since #tweetcamp (I’m in the habit of referring to it using the hash tag :S) and I’ve had a little time to reflect on the experience. Before I go on I should thank the organisers for a wholly awesome day. Sponsors aside, these guys really went out of their way to ensure that everyone enjoyed themselves as well as keeping us well fed and watered.

I’d planned on writing this post the day after #tweetcamp but elements of the day had a profound effect on me. For my friends and family the resulting discussions have been really good and positive. But my clients have indicated their sadness/displeasure as I’m now more aggressively winding down my recruitment/resourcing activities. In any case it’s my hope to direct people to this post so they can understand a little better my actions and how #tweetcamp has helped me arrive at the decisions or increased my motivation.

I was really anxious about #tweetcamp as the last time I’d been to anything remotely similar (a recruiters mixer thing) it was full of self absorbed, narcissistic and thoroughly unexciting people who really made it difficult to stay awake. Thankfully this was not the case for #tweetcamp where I was listening, learning and enjoying myself even though I was sleep deprived for most of the week!

#tweetcamp was full of a variety of interesting people who (in most cases) provoked many an interesting thought. From the initial table swapping activities where we discussed responses to set questions (Why do you use Twitter? What don’t you say on Twitter? How has Twitter affected relationships?), to the topical sessions in the break off rooms, I learned a lot. Rather than go over the sessions, for now I’ll say what I learned or am changing about my activities or myself.

Google+, Facebook and Flash Games – Simply, I’m cutting that rubbish out! I have an Xbox and Steam on my PC. Gaming on these platforms is so much more fulfilling than playing for example, Dragon Age Legends or City Ville; regardless of how many friends are playing it as well. They’re time sinks, which aren’t nearly as fulfilling or immersive as a proper PC or video game.

Empire Avenue – I’m not cancelling/closing my account, but I’m not spending any more serious time trading shares. I worked out that I was spending almost an hour a day on it and though it’s resulted in a couple of cool clients and a book, which I’m thoroughly enjoying (review coming soon); it’s not worth thirty hours a month (yeah that nonsense adds up!). I’m assuming that focusing my activities is still going to keep my value at a reasonable level.

Klout – I’m not going to pay any attention to it because it makes no sense. I’m not an influencer of ducks. If I was going to be an influencer of any animal it could be cows because I’m from Devon and I love milk and cheese. Kred from @PeopleBrowsr seems cool however so maybe I’ll give that a whirl.

Twitter – As part of my re-organisation of my current lists, I’m going to be culling some of the people/entities that I follow. Having a large amount of followers or even a positive follow to followed by ratio is actually quite irrelevant to me. Much of the noise in my current twitter feed is drowning out the really cool information/news that I get from some really decent accounts.

Social Media/Networks – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ etc are just tools to enable us to find and communicate with each other. The ones we currently use may fade away (remember hi5 or MySpace?) and be replaced by other more effective and relevant ones. I think that I’d lost sight of that and for the past few months thought that they were the be all and end all of communication. Seeing so many clever and motivated people at #tweetcamp reminded me that we’re nowhere near the peaks of human achievement. Hell I nearly trusted part of the vetting of my candidates over to a computer. As one of my old bosses told me “it’s all about the people”.

Blog – I am going to try to get into the routine of regularly making posts. The feedback from the dozen or so people at #tweetcamp who mentioned that they’d visited and had subscribed to this site was really comforting (whilst also a little scary – not a fan of responsibility). But I am going to stick to making posts when I have something to say. I guess I have to soak up more information and come up with more views or ideas :$ I will also try to include more pictures in my posts :D

Career – I haven’t been moving away from recruitment quickly enough because financially it’s incredibly painful and I sincerely love ALL of my clients (not just your money!). They’ve made things so cool since I left Probe and have taught me so much. But this really isn’t an industry that fulfils me as a person and I really want to bring my programming knowledge up to relevancy. I’m still not 100% on what I want to be. But #tweetcamp has re-instilled within me the faith and drive to go after it proactively and know that it’ll work out. Though I guess that could also be said for the Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Address 2005.

Me as a human bean – I think the most important thing that I took from #tweetcamp is that it is so important to listen and then engage properly. Hearing people out first is often so much more important than airing your own views. Throughout all of the industries I’ve operated in it’s been a constant, that listening is going to help you produce better products or provide superior services. It’s also a great way to conduct and manage relationships in general!

 

I’m going to list the people (well their twitter handles anyway) who had a positive effect on me and really made #tweetcamp awesome for me:

Thoughtful and knowledgeable marketing chap @arunnr

Awesome Australian Analyst guy who I didn’t get the name or handle of but he runs a really interesting blog *checks blog for contact details* ahh yes, he is @peter_oneill

@Spode a Tech Journalist turned (or reverted) tech guy who I’d first read about … a very long time ago

@toodlepip who spoke about activities for social media week 2012

A guy from Mozilla who was packing a laptop, a tablet and other manner of trickery (later found to be known as @cyberdees)

@NexusGlobalnet wifi tech man who brought up some interesting points at a session and gave us wifi!

@Roshizzle_ who brought up some interesting points at the initial table swapping, question answering activity

@farhan a sincere, energetic Social Media type dude who helped make #tweetcamp happen and also answered some of my really sleepy questions

@TheSourceress if I didn’t follow this lady then I’d not have known about #tweetcamp in the first place

… and everyone who wasn’t afraid to speak up and put forward their views/ideas!

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