Monday, September 8, 2008

Keynote Feedback

I've been giving a Career 2.0 keynote talk in various venues and thought I'd share some of the feedback I've been getting.

Jack Frosch heard me at the Rich Web Experience in DC last week. He writes:

The most frustrating situations I encounter teaching in the JUG and the community college are those of the legacy COBOL / RPG developers desperate to upgrade their skills. Of course, they want to do it fast and easy. Unfortunately, like the 60 year old who never saved for retirement, they haven't been investing in their Knowledge Portfolio and have only their initial, 30-year-old "one-time" investment to work with. Now they face the prospect of downsizing or their job being outsourced. Some have been told their legacy programming jobs are scheduled to be eliminated - as soon as they finish training their outsourced replacements! (This is perhaps the ultimate slap in the face from companies who only wanted them to be "good enough, but not so good they could leave.")

Many got into COBOL 20 or 30 years ago straight from college. They mistakenly believe just taking a course or two will prepare them to compete against experienced Java and web developers. They're overwhelmed by the prospect of learning object-oriented programming, a modern programming language, and development methodologies.

Nearly everyone in our field knows someone like this. They got out of college, then coasted through their careers. They worked hard everyday, but they never looked around to see what was going on outside their team. Eventually, it always catches up with you.

Ken Sipe, a fellow NFJS speaker, sent me this:

Here are two points you might want to know.

1st: Getting know (Visibility) I specifically got an extra $20 / hr bill rate based on visibility. The client did not normally pay high dollar rates... they did a google search on my name which resulted in a number of hits. Their jaws dropped and they said we need you.

To your point... I didn't write a book... this were articles, blogs and speaking engagements

2nd: The other point is you just don't know what will be popular... here is a link with a comment which just makes your day.

Let it be know that I was "Internet Hero for a Week" :)


From Jason Rudolph, Groovy and Grails guru:

Definitely continue to encourage people to write about everything they do. "Write about everything you do." Or, "Don't do anything without publicizing it / writing about it."


You mentioned several times that people can't know what's gonna be popular on their blog. So true!

* I recommend talking even more about the "no pain, no gain" stuff you discussed. When something's hard, you're learning. Otherwise, you're coasting.

* You explained that if you really want to know a topic, write about it. Right on! I couldn't agree more. You might *think* you know a topic, but when you start writing about it, I'll bet you learn more about it than you've ever known. You don't even know what you *don't know* until you start to write about it. :-)

Finally, from Phillip Rhodes,

Hey Jared, I was just thinking about your "Career 2.0"
talk and a thought crossed my mind that I thought I'd
run by you. How about "Creating / Editing Wikipedia Entries" as
an "action item" for becoming a recognized expert on a topic?

Absolutely! That's a great way to get your name out there.

I realize this is a long post, but I've meaning to share some of these for a while. Keep the feedback coming.