Category Archives: Networking

Reinventing Yourself at Boston Ruby

I gave a talk at the November 2013 Boston Ruby Meeting about my experience moving back to a development role after working the last few years in more managerial roles in the medical device/laboratory automation space.

My hope was that this talk would help people starting out in the Rails world, or perhaps people who are transitioning to Rails from the Java or .NET worlds as I was.

Along the way, I also talk about ways to establish yourself in a new development community and how to build up your network beyond just adding people to your LinkedIn network

One Good Thing

I have been trying to get out to more networking and technology events lately. In the past, I have gone to some of these events with high expectations and have sometimes left disappointed.

I have a new milestone for these types of events that I am calling the “One Good Thing” principle. If I can get one nugget of wisdom or truth: an idea to put into practice, a new blog to read, a new way to use an existing tool, a good contact, then I should consider the event a success.

Some recent examples of the “One Good Thing” principle in action

  • Pollyanna Pixton at an Agile Boston event gave some great tips on collaborative leadership that I was able to put into immediate practice
  • Sue McKinney at the same Agile Boston event was talking about how she implemented Agile techniques at IBM (which I hear is a pretty big company). There were a lot of good things in this talk, but one that I found particularly useful was how she dealt with teams that were resistant to adopting Agile practices. She did not force it on them, it was OK if they didn’t want to adopt it, but they could not disparage it publicly.
  • A recent Ignite event at Microsoft NERD. I had never been to an Ignite event, but I hope to go again soon and maybe even present. I learned something about how to present an idea well (and sometimes not so well) in a short amount of time. Kudos to all who tried, I learned quite a bit there.

And finally, with all the Microsoft bashing in the world, I would like to say thanks to Microsoft NERD who seem to be making a concerted effort to open their space for networking and technology events in the Boston area. If you are in the Boston area, you should keep an eye on their Events page