If I had one good piece of advice for the budding freelancer it would be this, Ask Questions. One problem I had when first starting out was that I was afraid to ask questions, why, you may ask.. Because I was afraid that my clients might think I didn’t know what I was doing. Obviously, if I had to ask, then I didn’t know and therefore I didn’t know what I was doing. I know, it sounds silly but I consider myself a fairly smart individual and I made those mistakes. We all make mistakes when starting out. Hell, we all make mistakes as professionals. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in this business, even veterans ask questions. In fact, veterans usually ask more questions, because they know what needs to be asked. Their questions are just more refined. So don’t be afraid to ask, your clients will have a better experience in the end and a better web property to show for it.
Here at work we have a bunch of different cafeteria’s that you can go to. – Currently our cafeteria is under construction. We moved in to this building a couple of weeks ago and then after we moved in, they decided to update the cafeteria… shouldn’t they have done that before we moved in? – But, I digress. One of the busiest cafeterias here has an “automated” ordering process. Let me explain. When you go to most of the cafeteria’s around here, you walk to the counter, tell a person what you want, and they give it to you. Then you walk to the cashiers and pay them many monies. They ask if you want a receipt, tell you to have a nice day and that is that.
In the automated cafeteria you walk up to the ordering screen, spend a few moments going through the options, spend a few moments backing up because you pressed a wrong button. Wait for the system to catch up with you. Try and get the attention of someone cooking to ask how you special order onion rings instead of fries. Get advised that you need to place your order and then tell the cook after, that you would like to sub the fries with onion rings. Swipe your card, swipe your card again because you put it in backwards, swipe it again because you swiped to fast, pay your monies. And then wait for them to start making your food. Then they call your number and as you look in your bag your realize they gave you fries instead of onion rings because the cook you told wasn’t the one who read the order receipt and he had other things on his mind that took precedence over your snooty onion rings. So you go back and say, “hey, I uh.. I ordered onions rings” and they give you this look like. “Shut up you stupid head” and you spend the rest of your meal eating onion rings covered in tears.
The point is this. Automation works better if
- Everyone completely understands the process and can move through it comfortabley
- There is no one involved accept the automation process
So just because we can streamline the process doesn’t necessarily mean it is faster, or better. As if my onion rings needed more salt.
Yesterday on Web Camps TV We had two great guests from across the pond. Kevin Boyle and Bart Read from Red Gate arrived to talk about VSNomad, a simple extension for Visual Studio to enable cross platform mobile development. Since this was my first show as co-host I mostly kept my mouth shut, except when I chose to say really stupid things, (I believe there was even an awkward puppy dog head tilt in there.. ). I am definitely looking forward to getting new guests on the show every week, and the opportunity to learn about things that I may otherwise never come across.
Channel 9 is a Microsoft community site for Microsoft customers created in 2004. It has video channels, discussions, podcasts, screencasts and interviews with Microsoft.
Web Camps TV is a videocast on that that network. Which is this:
Web Camps TV gets you closer to the Microsoft Web Platform with exclusive interviews and demos from the guys that make it easy for you to create rock star web applications.
All that being said, I am super excited to get the opportunity to co-host this program. It is a fantastic chance for me to meet and learn from people in the industry that I may never have gotten to sit down a talk with. We film every Monday and air a new episode the following Monday. So here’s to becoming a personality! Cheers