At the Dawn of Spring

The first quarter of 2016 almost out of the way, and everyone around is waiting for the spring to finally settle. Now it’s a good time to take a small break and make a summary of the accomplishments I made so far. Everyone needs a bit of extra motivation every now and then, even if it’s patting yourself on the back.

On 18th of February I published another article on SitePoint.com – “Cleaning House after Internet Explorer“. That makes three so far and I definitely don’t plan to stop here. I am working on a follow-up and I hope to finish it as soon as possible. I think I managed to hit a sensitive topic here, as in only a month I got over 9000 views. Enter Vegeta, stage left:

It's over 9000!!!

Next on the list is my activity as SitePoint Ambassador (see my previous post from December). I made a couple of presentations of their behalf, participated to several meetups and got more involved in the community activities, like doing peer reviews for new articles of fellow authors or participating to discussions on the forums. Here is the slides for two presentations I made a local meetup – Web Developers Ireland.

First one was promoting the launch of a new SitePoint book – “Jump Start PHP Environment”. It is a great guide on how to set up a modern professional environment for PHP development.

The second one was on the topic of my latest article: an exploration of the various web development practices that are no longer required if you decide to drop support for old versions of Internet Explorer.

As a bonus, you can amuse yourselves watching me actually delivering the first presentation.

Unfortunately my camera let me down when I tried to record the second session and stopped recording after 8 minutes. Most probably due to overheating, as later tests recorded a lot more, until it hit a file size limit of 3.99GB. At the moment my only option is to record at a lower resolution. For further amusement, here’s the only part that survived.

This should be enough for now. Expect a few more updates soon, as I’m working on the launch of a few projects. Until then, I wish you all the best.

SitePoint Ambassador for Ireland

SitePointAmbassadors

“Internet. The final frontier of human communication. These are the voyages of the SitePoint ambassadors. Their continuous mission: to push the limits of UX, design and web technologies. To spread out knowledge and best practices. To boldly go where no other web geek has been before.”

I wrote these words back in June when I had to come with a job description for the new activity of SitePoint ambassador. The first of us invited were a bunch of hyper, enthusiastic people and I wanted something equally funny and serious, to post on my LinkedIn profile.

How did all this started?

I got my hands on the first SitePoint product back in 2005-2006. It was my room mate’s copy of the Web Design Business Kit (https://www.sitepoint.com/premium/books/the-web-design-business-kit) and I was fascinated by the opportunities it promised. I begged and cajoled until I got permission to study it myself, took many notes and promised myself that one day I will have my own business in this area.

Over the years I returned often to SitePoin.com (especially for the CSS reference – sadly outdated at the moment) and to pick up interesting articles to read. Then, the last summer, I noticed the invitation to join the new Ambassador program and I was delighted to know I was accepted. Now, when the program got real traction and things are moving in the right direction, I am really glad I followed my instinct to volunteer my efforts.

Like with any other activity there are pluses and minuses. And the most important thing is that most of the good effects will happen sometime in the future, while the efforts tax my already limited time. As this program is a volunteer activity, I can only allocate it time and effort after my daily job took its course. To keep up with the “motivational quote” trend, for this situation I like best this piece of Internet wisdom: “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.”

Yet, even disregarding the future bonuses, there are many immediate benefits about being an Ambassador. The part I like best is participation to offline events, where I met some very interesting people. I did more networking in the last three months than I did in the last 5 years. I look forward to continue these activities and hope to meet as many as possible of my fellow Ambassadors directly, not just over the Internet.

Last but not least, I had the great honour of receiving the second everĀ Ambassador of the Month title. To quote our fearless leader, Elio Quoshi, I managed “to impress with various offline events, structured reports, meeting notes and occasionally NSFW humor”.

Until next time…