Category Archives: quarterly

Q1 2009 Newsletter

This is a quarterly email with my favorite blog posts, books, links, and personal updates. You received this newsletter because we’re connected on LinkedIn or you subscribed to the list. To unsubscribe or change your e-mail address, click here: !INSERTURL!


1. Personal outsourcing

No matter how productive you are, you only have 24 hours a day. I haven’t figured out a way around that, but I experimented with delegating some personal projects to virtual assistants.

It has its own challenges (I’m learning a lot about specifying what I want!), but I enjoy working with different people–many of whom do the work much better than I can! You can read about my experiences and my processes at .

If you’re interested in getting started, comment on my blog or e-mail me. I’d love to learn along with you!

2. Drupal application development

I really enjoy building content management systems and social networking websites using the Drupal platform, and I’ve been teaching other people tips on how to become better (and lazier!) developers. I gave a sesson on “Totally Rocking Your Development Environment” at DrupalCon 2009 to around 150 people, and many people told me that it was one of their highlights. You can find it and my other Drupal-related posts at .

3. Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, and public speaking

I gave 13 talks, reaching approximately 730 people with an additional 1825+ views online.

External presentations:
– Totally Rocking Your Development Environment, Drupal Peru
– Totally Rocking Your Drupal Development Environment
– Totally Rocking Your Development Environment, DrupalCon 2009
– Enterprise 2.0 and Knowledge Management (Schulich School of Business)
– How the Web is Changing the Way We Learn – Mesh panel
– New Employees and a Smarter Planet

IBM presentations:
– Get Smart with IBM Web 2.0
– GBS Tech Talk
– Networking Outside the Firewall
– Networking Outside the Traditional Office
– Making the Most of Sametime Unyte
– Totally Rocking IBM: FutureBlue and Web 2.0
– Four Generations in the Workplace: Top 10 Signs of Multi-generational Issues

I’m looking forward to helping even more people learn more about connecting and collaborating using social networking tools. I also love helping developers learn about ways to get even better at working with Drupal. Speaking and coaching are both are great ways to get even better ROI on what I’ve learned, and to meet and learn from lots of interesting people along the way.

Want me to speak to your group? E-mail me and we might work something out. Interested in learning more about public speaking, or checking out my talks? See for my thoughts and tips.

4. Lots of hobbies

I got my own bike, and that really changed Toronto for me. I’m learning more about sewing my own clothes, and I’ve been teaching myself the piano too. Ooh, and drawing! Check out for my stick figures, and to see my new background. =)


Quarterly goal review:
– Q1 2009:
Monthly reviews:
– March 2009:
– February 2009:
– January 2009:
Weekly reviews:


Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
Scott Mccloud, 2006
Well-drawn, well-written, and surprisingly philosophical. Definitely worth a read.

The Power of Full Engagement
James E. Loehr, 2003
Applies principles from athletic training to the corporate world. Great book for self-improvement.

Fifty Years of Great Writing: Sports Illustrated 1954-2004
Rob Fleder, 2003
I don’t know much about sports, but good literature like this is a great way to learn why people love it.


If you like reading my blog and you’re looking for other people to read, I recommend:

Sameer Vasta – I Tell Stories,
Check out his quarterly report:

Ryan Stephens
Productivity and social media marketing from another Gen Yer

– and cool blog posts I’ve shared from my Google Reader:

See you next quarter, or earlier! =) If you want more recent updates, check out .

What were the highlights of your quarter, and what are you planning for the next one? Share your thoughts at or e-mail me at [email protected]!

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My contact information:
Sacha Chua
+1 416 823 2669
[email protected]

Quarterly review: Q1 2009

In The Periodic Review, Part IV, Stephen P. Smith gives a handy quarterly review checklist that includes:

  1. Review 3-5 year goals
  2. Review career goals
  3. Review purpose
  4. Review lifestyle

which I will rearrange a bit, because this makes more sense to me:

  1. Review purpose
  2. Review career goals
  3. Review 3-5 year goals
  4. Review lifestyle


I’m passionate about:

  • helping people connect and collaborate
  • experimenting and learning more about life

which is really one passion: helping others and myself be the best we can be through tools, processes, and connections.

Some key ideas that support that passion:

  • Think, do, reflect, learn, share
  • Create as much value as I can
  • Find ways to scale

No significant change in principles from last quarter. I’m getting better at experimenting and scaling, though! =)


There are lots of different paths I can take so that I can eventually fully express those principles. =) No matter which path I choose, I hope to grow into a position where I can create opportunities, help lots of people grow, and continue to have the time and space to experiment with interesting tools and processes. This is basically my current situation, but on a bigger scale.

From conversations, it doesn’t seem as if I’d like the high-powered corporate executive path, although I’m open to being surprised. ;) I can probably do well as a professional, and I would probably also do well as an entrepreneur. I’d like to keep my technical skills (building tools is a lot of fun!), and I want to learn how to build processes that help others be more productive.

Personal projects that can help me advance my career goals are:

  • Help more people learn about Drupal and other tools we use to build systems. I’ll have accomplished this when I can build a body of knowledge that helps other developers get so good that working with them is a real pleasure. =) Next action: Write about my development and deployment processes.
  • Improve my remote presentation skills and help others improve theirs. I’ll have accomplished this when I can consistently prepare and deliver engaging, interactive remote presentations and engaging recorded presentations. Next action: Give a presentation that falls within the 140-160wpm range.
  • Keep experimenting with coordination and delegation through personal projects. I’ll have accomplished this when I can create complex personal projects with help.

3-5 year goals

Among my 3- to 5-year goals are:

  • Exercise every day for at least the recommended time. This is a good thing. Next action: Bike!
  • Get my permanent residency in Canada. Next actions: Print out two copies of that last form, double-check my application, print out my education history, and send my application package in.
  • Establish a good crazy idea opportunity fund. Next action: Continue to save. (I’m ahead of schedule, yay!)
  • Every day, wear at least one thing I’ve made. Just for fun. =) Next action: thread-trace the seamlines and markings for the two blouses I’m making.
  • Give 100 talks. Why not? =) Next action: Prepare for the next one, and brainstorm some other things I’d like to talk about.
  • Connect 1000 dots. Make at least 1000 introductions or referrals between people, ideas, tools, processes, and other ways to help make things happen.


My lifestyle is fairly frugal, although there are some things I spend on that other people might not, because I think it’s worth it. For example, my experiments with delegation have been very interesting! =) My roles and responsibilities are in line with what I want and with the lifestyle I have, although I’m looking forward to finding ways to be more present and more thoughtful, because that’s fun too. Key positive changes I’d like to make to my lifestyle this quarter: use my bike more often, take advantage of the warmer spring/summer weather to play catch, and gradually make more and more clothes for my wardrobe. Ooh, and make time for more dot-connecting!


UPDATE: You might also find these links interesting:

Monthly review: March 2009
Monthly review: February 2009
Monthly review: January 2009