December 1, 2007

Wicked Cool Emacs: get in on the action!

December 1, 2007 - Categories: emacs, wickedcoolemacs, writing

Ever since I started on this “Wicked Cool Emacs” project with No Starch Press, I’ve run into all sorts of amazing geeks who have been working on something similar. For example, Ted Roden‘s further along in writing the book than I am. It would be a shame to waste that effort. <laugh>

I would love to work on this book with other people. I think that it would become an even better book than I could write by myself, just as Emacs is better because all these people have worked on it. Besides, I’d love an opportunity to widen my Emacs network!

So here’s the outline I planned:

Preface 15 pages
A Day in the Life 30 pages
Customizing Emacs 20 pages
Working with Files 80 pages
Working with Code 40 pages
Browsing the Web 15 pages
Reading Mail with Gnus 30 pages
Being Big Brother 30 pages
Taking Notes 35 pages
Managing Tasks 35 pages
Managing Your Schedule 20 pages – DRAFTED AND SENT, YAY!
Other weird stuff ?

I’d be totally happy to co-author this book with someone else who can commit time over the next year to help me do it. Take a look at the first chapter I’ve written: Organizing your schedule (OpenOffice.org document). I know you can do better than that. =) Let’s find out how wonderful we can make this book.

If you’re seriously interested in coauthoring this, get in touch with me and we’ll talk to the folks over at NSP.

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When you’re new to the job and everyone knows more than you do

December 1, 2007 - Categories: career

Do you remember what it was like to be new to the job? I do. I
remember it like it was yesterday. Wait, it _was_ yesterday. I was in
a customer meeting with all these people who were trying to solve a
problem. I was just fascinated by all the stories and insights
and perspectives they shared, and I knew that I was nowhere
near being able to contribute something like that.

I’ve read that new graduates often come into the workplace thinking
they know everything. There’s no danger of that here. From my point of
view, I don’t know anything compared to these folks. I keep warning my
teammates not to expect that I know anything. ;) On the way into the
meeting yesterday, I told my teammate, “You do know that I’m a
complete newbie at this, right?”
She told me that it was fine and that
I shouldn’t worry about it. Well, if she’s okay with that, I guess it
will work out. After all, everyone started from somewhere. =)

So if I can’t bring decades of experience and thought leadership,
what can I bring?

I can bring hard work. Someone needs to take care of the grunt
work, and I’ll happily volunteer for that so that my team members can
be freed up for more creative work. I might even be faster doing that
than other people would be because of the shortcuts I come up with and
the tools I use. Besides, with fewer habits to unlearn, I might
stumble across interesting ways of doing things.

I can bring my questions. Questions make people think, and
maybe they’ll realize something interesting in new.

I can bring my writing and reflections. I’m still a little shy
about speaking up in meetings, but I enjoy thinking about what I
learned during the meeting and writing it up as a blog post or handout
or article. I can make educational materials, too. I’m looking forward
to helping people learn by sharing those handouts and giving people
hands-on help.

Even if I’m new, I can bring something to the table.

And so can you. If you’re new to the job, cheer up and don’t be
intimidated by all the other people who do it so easily because of
their experience. If you’re already experienced, please look out for
us newbies and help us settle in. =) After all, everyone has to start
from somewhere!

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My convocation; or how my mom’s a much better blogger than I am

December 1, 2007 - Categories: family

Read her blog for the story of what happened during my convocation. =)

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