As some of my readers know I am co-host of the podcast The Dane & The Pain, a weekly show on tech, life and my co-host’s beard. As our show grows, the traffic to the website increases and being a tech show we wanted to make sure we follow the latest web standard to a certain degree. I don’t mean go all NSA proof and fine tune every single thing, but rather have a good set of practices in alignment with the current industry benchmarks. To be honest I am okay with spy agencies getting unencrypted access to my joke of the week.
I have been toying with the idea to make the podcast I co-host (The Dane & The Pain) a weekly regular show, for some time. Going independent means that I can allow myself a little bit of time to dedicate to the project. So I have. And I love it.
I caught up with a friend this week and among other things he asked “Why do you bother doing a podcast and why so often?” With the latter part of the question, he was referring to our decision to do a weekly show. And it is a question I have been asked in other contexts and in other ways. So here is why.
A couple of months ago I was in London for NDC, and besides doing two workshops (one privately and one at NDC), two talks at NDC, hosting the evening event on the Thursday night, presenting at PubConf on the Friday night, I also managed to record three courses for Pluralsight in their “Play by Play” format. Before I get to the actual courses, let me explain the concept.
How The Sausage is Made
As with any other course being published in Pluralsight, there is a relatively extensive and thorough proposal process preceding the recording. For each play by play a full proposal that outlines the concept, modules, demos and overall approach needs to be completed and approved by the Pluralsight content managers. The content manager is the person that understands the material in the current catalog on the website and knows if this particular proposal will be a good fit.
As most of you know, I talk a bit about about Lenovo hardware, for better or for worse. I don’t work for them, and I don’t get paid for anything I do with them. I do spend my own cash on hardware occasionally and sometimes they shout me hardware of some kind. It is a great relationship, but these words, and any other you might read from me, are my own. I am not bound by contracts, promises etc. So with that out of the way, let’s turn our attention to the task at hand (cause it does actually fit in one hand): The Lenovo Yoga Book.
I have just returned from a 3,200km round trip to the Gold Coast to attend the yearly Microsoft Ignite conference (formerly known as Tech Ed). I had only done that drive once before, in the opposite direction, and this time I took the family along. Normally you would fly this distance, so it was a great opportunity to see a tiny bit of the enormous country I live in.
It is a long drive up there, but at least we had some great places to stop on the way. It took us two and a bit days to do the drive, but the breaks were just bearable.
Enough about the journey. This is a recap of the return of Microsoft Ignite after more than a year off the events calendar. If you aren’t familiar with Microsoft Ignite Australia, it is the premier Australian Microsoft event of the year, traditionally held on the Gold Coast in Australia. It is of course a very corporate event, but it does showcase all the latest and greatest in the world of Microsoft. Most of the great Aussie speakers in the space are there and the content and quality is always top notch. I do enjoy going there. Continue Reading
In December 2016 I was invited to speak on HoloLens development at a new conference, Code Europe, in Poland of all places. I have never been to Poland, and to be honest, initially I thought the first email was spam. But it wasn’t. I ended up doing 2 workshops and 4 talks in two cities in 3 days. It was a bit hectic. Before I go into details, check out this recap video from absolvent.pl, the company behind the event.
For the past year I have been doing a lot of talks, workshops and writing around the HoloLens device. I have travelled to Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Poland and lately England, as well locally around Australia to share my passion for the device and the development for it. Although the tooling continue to improve and change, the main paradigm and approach hasn’t changed. Mixed reality is still the same, but the interest for it (and other digital realities) is growing rapidly. Because I can’t be everywhere and only can attend so many conferences and events, I decided to turn some of my conference material into a Pluralsight course for all to consume. Continue Reading
Throughout the last 20 years I have worked in any kind of job and workplace you can imagine. I have worked on products, worked as a consultant, worked on four different continents, had a desk, had no desk, been in an office, been in open space, in short; all kinds of workplace situations. I have worked with some of the smartest people I will ever meet, learned from amazing talent and great leaders. Yet, somehow every single place has had disgruntled employees, grumpy bosses and annoying rules and regulations. I have never found a place to work that had all the great things I have experienced, and none of the bad.
What is it about workplaces that make people so grumpy, and why are there so many of them (both people and workplaces)? Often you do run into idiots, but more often than not it is the little things that make a huge difference, for better or worse. Simple things like moving the coffee machine, a random act of kindness or leaving a handwritten note of thank you can make a huge difference to someones day. To explore more of how we can be much happier at work, I got an amazing opportunity to sit down with my good friend and overall amazing person Kylie Hunt, who herself is a Chief Happiness Officer. Isn’t that the coolest title ever? We talked about all things workplace happiness, grumpiness and how to have a much better experience at work, which was recorded by Pluralsight and turned into a Play By Play that you can watch today. So go on. Get happier.
A couple of months ago I gave probably my best talk ever. It was a totally non-tech talk and I delivered it at NDC Sydney to about 200 developers and geeks. It was a talk that was comprised of my life over the past 6 years and what I did to change it. It was an incredibly personal talk and it resonated with a very large amount of people. I gave the same talk again at DDD Perth, and again I had an amazing amount of feedback from people wanting to know more. Continue Reading
I like to keep my life full of challenges, projects, experiences and never just settle. Those people that know me best have come to live with me never sitting still, never being content with the current state of things. I have achieved a lot of my goals, but I am still very much a work in progress. As you might have seen I have created courses, written articles and conducted webinars for Pluralsight for quite some time. While an article can be written in a relatively short space of time and you can fit it in with other tasks quite easily, a course is a different beast entirely. I have to script what I say, produce PowerPoint slides, write demos and then record everything. Unless you have a dedicated sound recording studio, getting clean sounds is really hard! I have birds, kids, washing machines, guests and 1000 other things being noisy and disruptive. So I tend to record from 10pm onwards.
About two years ago I had just completed two courses and I was ready to sign on for the next one. Despite the fact my son had just been born, moving house (huge move that ended up taking 6 weeks), starting a Bed & Breakfast, taking over a 50 acre property and changing jobs, I figured I would just take on another course contract. After all, how hard could it be? Answer: very. Continue Reading