Beaten To The Punch…Again!

I remember waaay back in 1996 when I thought to myself “Self, it sure would be cool if somebody would market computers with brightly-colored cases. Gee, maybe I’ll do it!” I never took action. Two years later the iMac was born.

Then there was the time when I thought to myself “Self, wouldn’t it be spiffy if these was a way to seamlessly swap files with anyone over the internet without having to use eMail?” Yeah, the idea was so spiffy that Napster did it just a few years later.

Well, it’s happened again. Just a handful of months ago, I thought to myself “Self, why are there so many people who know how to write code, but completely fall down on every other aspect of developing software? Maybe I should write a book about that!” And lo and behold, Mike Gunderloy beats me to the punch with Coder to Developer: Tools and Strategies for Delivering Your Software.

Of course, Mike being a legend in the industry and me being – well, nobody in the industry, odds are that no one would have ever read such a book if I had written it, whereas everyone in the industry is likely to at least skim a book with Mike’s name on it. So that is a good thing – I’m sure tons of coders are going to read this and learn something useful. Heck, I’m going to read it and will probably find it useful!

Now, wouldn’t it be cool if someone could invent a way for everyone to communicate via their computer? You know, we could have these things called "pages" that everyone could read, using a program called a “browser”…

Gmail Mania Grips the Masses

It’s official…Gmail invites are the hottest thing since Willy Wonka’s golden tickets. You show me any message board on the internet and I will show you at least one “Beg for a GMail Invite” thread. Things get even deeper if you hit the blog of any Google employee. I am ashamed to admit that I actually contributed to one of these “me too” threads. What a chump.

Why is this so hot? After all, it’s only free eMail, and we’ve all got free eMail already.

I’ll tell you why it is so hot: Google has street cred unlike any other company out there right now. Their technology is proven and their corporate mantra resonates with the geek demographic. In short, we implicitly trust Google to deliver the goods. I challenge anyone to name something Google has offered that sucks.

Nobody knows when GMail will be officially launched, but until that golden event takes place you can bet there will be people continuing to scour the internet in search of extra invitations.

And all I have to say about that is…invite, please? 😉

My First Published Article

I’m very excited to say that I have been published (in print) for the first time. I wrote an (admittedly cheesy) article for the Visalia Chamber of Commerce monthly publication.

Sure, it’s not Visual Studio Magazine but it is a start.

Edit: looks like the Chamber wipes out all the previous month’s content when they post the next month’s newsletter on the site. The link I previously had is now dead. Maybe I’ll post the article here when I am no longer ashamed of the unabashed marketing angle of the piece. 😉

Happy New Year!

As much as I hate to do it, I’m going to commit (publicly, no less!) to some resolutions.

  • Double my consulting income over last year.
    Ordinarily I do not like money-based resolutions, but as a self-employed fellow, I have to have SOME metric by which to measure my progress.
  • Earn an MCSD certification by year’s end.
    I have been fighting this since 1997. I believed – and continue to believe – that certification is a slippery slope that leads ultimately to an artificial limitation on billing rates for both the certified and un-certified (more on that another time). However, I cannot argue that the market has embraced certification to a significant enough degree that I cannot ignore the marketing value of the cert. Like it or not, a certification – like a degree – is seen as a proxy for knowledge and/or capabilities. Sure, I could learn all the same material and not get certified, but if I’m going to end up learning it anyway I may as well have a marketing tool to show for it, no?
  • Spend an extra hour each day playing with my son.
    We play a lot. And when we play, we play goofy. It is a lot of fun. And I intend to serve up a double-helping of playtime this year. Being a father is the single greatest role I have ever played – programmer, husband, boxer, provider, employer, employee – everything else pales in comparison to the quiet sense of satisfaction I get from my son. I intend to make the most of being a father.
  • Compete in one amateur boxing match by year’s end.
    “Boxing!?!” you say. “But Christopher…you’re a geek. People are supposed to beat you up, not the other way around” Well, it’s been a long time since I was that skinny kid getting picked last for kickball during P.E. class. I boxed a bit in high school, dropped it, then picked it up again about 2 years ago to get in shape. I still have the competitive bug, and at age 31, if I don’t satisfy it soon while I still have decent skills and a reasonable ability to heal, I likely never will. Some people kick a ball for fun, I get hit in the head for fun. That probably explains a lot of my code.

That’s it. I prefer to keep my resolution lists short, since we all know how likely we are to actually keep them. 😉 There’s less bitter disappointment to deal with that way.

Guess Who’s Coming to Blog?

This re-launched ChistopherHawkins.com marks my entry into the blogosphere. I intend to avoid authoring a “today I ate lentil soup for lunch” blog and more of a “today I learned something cool about technology or business” blog. We’ll see if I manage to live up to that lofty aspiration.