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Follow Friday: @lukestokes

Dear Reader,

Today’s Follow Friday is Luke Stokes. Luke is a PHP programmer, an entrepreneur, and lead programmer on FoxyCart; none of those are the reason he’s my Follow Friday today. I chose Luke because he lives a principal I aspire to; Luke is a servant.

I try to help anyone I can. If you know me and have a project you need help with – in any way – I’m always happy to help. However, being a narcissist, I sometimes forget to help if it’s not convenient; Luke suffers no such malady. Despite the fact that he’s just set out on his own and working hard to make FoxyCart the best e-commerce platform on the web, he always has time to stop and help me, even when I don’t ask.

Here’s an example. I gave Luke a copy of my latest book. He read it, he raved about it on twitter, and he rated it on Amazon. Then he went above and beyond and actually sold two copies for me. He told two friends “You have to read this book, go buy it.” Luke gets nothing financial out of doing any of this. Other than my thanks, he gets nothing out of helping…and yet he still does.

Those of us who live life on the web know that aside from the time it takes to create them, bits are free. It is tempting to think that writing an email or blog post really doesn’t cost Luke anything so it’s easy to “help” like that; I strongly disagree. Luke does what I strive to do whenever I can, he shares his influence, and shares it freely.

Luke is quite a bit younger than me – OK, most of you are quite a bit younger than me – but I learn from him every time we meet. I am honored to call him a friend and I gladly tell you about him because I want you to meet someone I think will be one of the great entrepreneurs of the coming generation.

Thanks Luke for your friendship. One day I hope to be able to repay you for all you give me. :)

Until Next time,
I <3 |<

“Avoiding a Goat Rodeo” is now available on Amazon!

Dear Reader,

Yes, it’s been quite a while since I posted “Help me make my book better, please” but I wanted to give you an update. The book is now completed and available for sale on Amazon. (YAY!)

For those of you not familiar with the project

Earlier this year, I wrote 8 short blog posts titled “How to be a better client for your developer”. It turns out I had a lot more to say on the subject and ended up with a book. Titled “Avoiding a Goat Rodeo”, it teaches non-developers about the software development process. No, not “Best Practices” or “One brace to rule them all”, Goat Rodeo teaches its readers their part in the software development process. What to do before they contact a developer and how to describe their project in a way that developers and designers can understand.

If you are a programmer, this book is not for you.

This book is not for programmers. However, each of you know people who have asked you who they can get to build them a web site; this book is for them. It is for anyone who has sat you down and said “I’ve got this idea…”. Even if their idea isn’t “Let’s rebuild Facebook but in light blue”, before they can really describe the project, they need to think it through, “Avoiding a Goat Rodeo” shows them how to do that. Please, if you are a programmer or a designer, don’t buy this book, or at least don’t buy it for yourself.

Here where I’m asking for help

Now that it is available, I need your help getting the word out. If you are following me on twitter, please help me tweet about the book. If you are in my LinkedIn, expect an email, if we have ever exchanged emails, I’m gonna send you at least one more, if we were in grade school together…well, you probably didn’t like me then so I’ll leave you alone…but the rest of you I am going to ask for help.

If you are a blogger or podcaster

If you have a blog, podcast, vidcast or a soapbox on a street corner somewhere, email me. I would love to give you a review copy if you pinky-swear that you will review it. I’m also happy to give audio/video interviews, write guest blog posts, or dazzle your readers in whatever way you think is best, if you’ll simply link back to the book’s site. Email me and let’s discuss what you need and how I can help.

Friends are the best way to succeed

I’ve already had several friends help with this project and can honestly say, I could not have finished this project without their help; now I need yours. Help me, and help your non-developer friends by pointing them to this book. While you are at it, why not drop me an email about your project and how I can help you make it a success.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

Announcing Day Camp 4 Developers #3

Day Camp 4 Developers

Day Camp 4 DevelopersDear Reader,

We are really, REALLY pleased to announce that the third Day Camp 4 Developers has now been announced and tickets are now on sale. This time around, the theme is Project Management.

We’ve added a speaker this time around for a total of six and did away with the lunch break. We discovered that since we were a virtual conference, our lunch break fell at odd times if you weren’t actually in Central Time Zone – and a lot of participants weren’t. So we filled that with an additional talk.

When: October 1st, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM CT
Where: On-line

Here’s the speaker lineup for Day Camp 4 Developers #3: Project Management.

  • Brian Prince: Hands on Agile Practices
  • Thursday Brahm: How Freelancers Can Use Project Management to Make Clients Happier than They’ve Ever Been Before
  • Rob Allen: Getting a website out of the door
  • Keith Casey: Project Management is more than Todo Lists
  • Elizabeth Naramore: Dealing with Difficult People
  • Paul M. Jones: Estimating and Expectations

We are excited about this day-long event and how you will be too. Join us, get your tickets today!

Until next time.
I <3 |<

Day Camp 4 Developers#2: Telecommuting

Dear Reader,

As you may have noticed from the badge on the left, my recent tweets or any number of other online queues, we’ve announced the topic for Day Camp 4 Developers #2: Telecommuting. Like last time, we have a great lineup of topics speakers.

Those of you who know me know that telecommuting, remote working or distributed teams, whatever you want to call it, is a passion of mine. I’ve written about it, spoke about it and most importantly, I live it. Now, I’ve put together 5 friends who are going to talk to you about it. They are going to cover everything from Is it right for you? to How to talk to your boss about telecommuting. If you are a developer working remote, come learn about tools and tips, if you want to be a remote worker, come figure out if it’s right for you.

Like last time, you get the entire day for $35. If you’ve got a few friends and want to get together and participate as a group, you can get an “Office Party” ticket for only $100. However you want to participate, you don’t want to miss Day Camp 4 Developers #2: Telecommuting. Like last time, it’s going to be a lot of knowledge wrapped up in a fun day of just hanging out.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

Day Camp 4 Developers: Soft Skills wrapup

Dear Reader,

Well, it’s done. Our first ever Day Camp 4 Developers was yesterday and was by most accounts, a rousing success. Some of the comments over at Joind.In are just wonderful. I won’t rehash all the great times and comments but I do want to list a few things I learned, even if only for myself.