DevLink 2012 (Chattanooga, TN)

The DevLink organizers did another fantastic job of pulling off another awesome event. Well done! Wow, the tribe in Tennessee is alive and well, tons of passion around the community.  I ran into a lot of community-based guidance from other user group leaders and coders about many topics and ideas to take home and put in motion.

I came up looking for a few things this year, more guidance on Win8 Contracts, and Win8 in general. I got a few different views from different speakers each focusing on different contract aspects.  Something else was to see if any new patterns emerged in how folks used or consumed xDD, OSS, and some of the non-OSS.  Lots to choose from here, and again the speakers delivered.

Vendors were pitching some of the same stuff, and a few new wares I’d not heard of yet like PubNub (think cloud-based RabbitMQ).  I missed their product talk but I’m sure I’ll see more of this in the future – Twilio was two seats down from PubNub, both tables were busy with folks digging in to these messaging technologies in between sessions.

Open Jams – I missed all of them!  I have to work on this. One talk that was given was about leadership presented by Alan Stevenson (Nerd Hive Industries).  “Pretty pretentious talk” was how Alan described it.  It drew out many stories, comments, and reactions from the audience and it was standing room only, and very well received.  One of the underlying premises that he later called out during the talk was there’s always a way around conflict.  He’s right.  He’s admitted he’d done it the hard/wrong way in the past and shared how he manages his employers, peers, and support folks starting the same day he arrives at the gig.  Setting expectations is important, managing them more important, valuing everyone is most important.  It was comforting to hear pieces of this same message two weeks ago at Agile 2012.

I could go on and on and build a giant post, but I’ll stop with an invitation to you to come (back) to this event next year.  You won’t leave empty-handed or empty-headed.  Great stuff – thanks #devlink

Making Art

Recently I’ve been reading LinchPin by Seth Godin. Its a great book and I’m really enjoying it from the perspective of what he recommends to try and, or, apply to a situation has just worked for me. I was intrigued with his idea of making art. It starts early in the book with a quote by Steve Jobs, “Real Artists Ship”.

Shipping can happen in a few minutes, or longer depending on the context of what’s being shipped. Its your server at the table, car mechanic, barista – anybody who moves into your circle throughout the day and delivers something to you.  Everyone can make art, but you just have to watch for it.

If you’re not making art, then you’re pretty much reading “the manual” – you’re doing what the manual says, no more and hopefully no less.  Probably an over-simplification, but it’s close to what I believe Seth was trying to get across to the reader, me.

On a recent trip, I saw art and I saw someone doing “the manual”. The art came at a layover in Atlanta while ordering a coffee. The crew behind the counter made up a song my “Tall Americano” while they were making it, it was so cool. Art is cool, right? Then on the plane a stewardess wasn’t having anything close to a good day that I can see. She did “the manual” with all of the stuff she needed to do before the plane left the ground. That was it. No art, but she gets grace because it’s not an easy job to do, and more demanding than most guest facing jobs I would imagine.

But there it was, both examples in the space of a few hours. Go, make art, it’s a beautiful thing.

Making Art

Making Art