Thursday, February 26, 2009

Learn Git

In several areas of the open source community, Git is the hot new source code management system. It's been popular now for a while, so it's not just a flash in the pan. It's really worth learning, especially if you're in the Ruby community.

If you're wanting to learn git, here's a great w


But more than just learning, use the site as inspiration. If you've got something you know how to use, something as simple as source code management, start writing tutorials. Put a site together around it.

Who knows? Maybe you'll be the next website someone else blogs about. :)

btw, I found this link on a reddit post. I want to get involved... Lots of great fodder in here!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Version of the Book Available

I completed a significant number of copy edits and layout changes in the book today and got it uploaded to Other than running into a few very annoying bugs with Word on Mac (probably caused by my moving between versions), it's a very easy process to update the book.

You can find the new and improved Career 2.0: Take Control of Your Life

More Advice on Blogging and Slide Design

Career 2.0 reader Chris Wash had several great suggestions for blog entries. They were too late for the first edition of the book, but they were so good, I wanted to at least share them in a blog entry.

Blog Tips

- Cultivate a blogroll and stay up to date on it. Networking in the blogosphere is a good way to promote your blog and stay abreast of "hot topics"

- Respond to other blogs - instead of burying your thoughts deep in a comment thread, start writing a blog entry of your own in response to another one (or article). This will draw upon previous readership and can be a lighthearted way to "throw your hat in the ring" on a certain topic.

- Link to your previous posts where you've already expressed your opinion on a topic, and update previous posts to forward readers who may have found a particular blog entry via search engine to how your opinions or knowledge of a subject have changed. This can go a long way in growing a strong reader base. If people see you're good for more than one good entry, they're much more inclined to RSS your blog and continue reading.

Slide Design

- Humor! If you aren't having a good time, your audience won't either.

- Experiment using animation - it's a good way to keep the audience engaged during a narrative. Just be sure to do it tastefully.

- Less is more - Put constraints on yourself when designing slides. Garr Reynolds talks about this in Presentation Zen and it really blew my mind when I read it. Constraints make you more creative!

- Don't design a presentation in front of a computer. Just like in PP and other places, you need to get your brain in a different, more creative mode of thinking. Use sticky notes, paper, whatever. But don't just sit there and play in Keynote or Powerpoint. Your slides will show.

- There are a few principles of design that can make your slides more aesthetically pleasing:
- The rule of thirds:,
- I can't find the principle for this or any links, but can ask my designer friends (I know there are some good articles on it) but if you use a picture of a person, position them in such a way as to have their eyes looking at the text on the slide. This will naturally guide the readers to your message.

Thanks Chris! That's great advice.

Everyone, keep the great ideas coming! I won't publish your ideas without your permission, but I'll try to pass on great ideas.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Java Blogs: Keep An Eye on the Industry

In the Career 2.0 presentation I often tell people about blog aggregators. A small subset of developers are familiar with them, but most aren't. So let me point you to

The front page of Javablogs shows postings as they scroll by. Someone blogs, and they've registered their blog with JavaBlogs, and they make the front page. But the next posting scrolls them down, and so on.

The postings that look interesting get clicked. Get enough clicks and you end up on the Hot Entries page. I find the Hot Entries page is a great way to see what the Java community is interested in today.

If you haven't added your blog to JavaBlogs, I'd really encourage you to check it out. It's a great site to get your blog pushed out to thousands of developers all over the world, and it's also a great site to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

Career 2.0: Take Control of Your Life is now available!

After a month of working overtime on evenings and weekends, the Career 2.0: Take Control of Your Life book is now available for purchase! You can find it on ( link) now, and it'll be on Amazon in a few months.

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

The content in the book was shaped by the feedback and blog entries from so many people... I sat down and tried to figure out how many people I'd given the Career 2.0 talk/keynote and realized it was (conservatively) over two thousand people! And after nearly every talk a few people came up to share a new idea, or a better example, or to ask why I hadn't added in this or that idea. The talk has really grown, and this is the culmination.

But it's not done either... given how works, I can upload and entirely new version of the book in about 10 minutes, and you'll get the latest version. So I'll be fixing typos as they're reported. The time line to finish the book was so tight that I've still get reviews I haven't had time to incorporate. We're close to getting them all fixed though.

One addition that's been getting rave reviews is the "Rogue's Gallery" appendix. I received so many great career stories from people that I couldn't fit them into the book as sidebars as I'd planned. Cutting down content from Neal Ford or Venkat Subramaniam is hard! Which part do you take out? So I added in an appendix with the best stories I received. Whether you're reading about Chad Fowler or Nathaniel T. Schutta, I think you'll find more gold in their stories and advice.

If you've been thinking about your career, or job, in these times, I'd really encourage you to check out Career 2.0. I hope it'll remind you of what you knew you should be doing, and provide new ideas and directions as well.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Review of the Career 2.0 Talk, and the Video

I spoke Monday evening at the Minneapolis Java User's group, and thanks to a nifty iPhone utility provided by, I was able to stream (and record) the video via my iPhone.

Because it was streaming, Surya was able to watch the talk from Philadelphia. (I love technology!). You can read Surya's review of the event here.

He also includes a link to the video.