Writing Holiday to Whitby

Last week I went to the coastal town of Whitby in Yorkshire here in the UK for a writing holiday after my trip the previous week to Web Summit in Lisbon. I have just started a new book project for a publisher called APress, and as with any project, it takes a lot of upfront effort to get started, so I decided to lock myself away from the world to get started as I have a deadline to deliver the first 3 chapters.

The trip was timed to coincide with an inset day my kids were due to have on Friday of that week. I went to Whitby to work from Monday to Thursday, and my wife drove up with the kids on Thursday evening so we could enjoy a nice long weekend there as a family.  The trip was a massive success, getting away for that week enabled me to focus and get the 3 chapters delivered. I am not going to talk much about the book just yet until I get nearer to completion of the complete first draft, but I am quite excited about it.

It will be interesting to compare the results from it against my new Kindle publishing business to see how it does. I have already published one short guide myself called A Gentle Introduction to Agile Software Development, and it is doing really well. I have my 2nd short guide ready to release very soon so I will update on that shortly.

 

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Web Summit in Lisbon

The last few weeks have been quite busy with a lot of traveling, which I am going to cover over 2 posts. First of all, a few weeks ago, I went to Lisbon to the Web Summit conference. I wasn’t speaking at this conference but was there as an attendee to show off another project I have been working on called LadderPay. The purpose of the trip was to talk to investors and validate what we are working on. For those reasons, the trip was a success.

I went to Web Summit last year too with the company I was working with at the time, so this wasn’t a new experience for me. The conference is huge with 60,000 attendees. It is split over 4 large halls and a huge arena. As well as being a place for startups to show off what they are doing, it is also a conference with lots of talks. Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of a lot of the content at Web Summit. The speakers only have 20 minutes to talk which makes it hard for them to go into any depth. This isn’t the speaker’s fault, it is just the format of the conference. Because of this, none of the talks really going into any depth, it is more just high-level concepts.  This is probably fine for most people, but I prefer more detail. This is why I like conferences such as NDC, Techorama, and Code Europe where the talks are more detailed and advanced.

Anyway, it was a good trip, and it was nice to get a little sun as the weather back in the UK is much colder and miserable. Not sure if I would attend web summit again, we will have to see what happens in 2018.

Why Do We Procrastinate? What Can You Do About It?

In this video, I look at the reasons why we get distracted with our work and procrastinate.

  • The fear of failure
  • Being a perfectionist
  • Low energy levels
  • Lack of focus
  • We make distractions too easy
  • Doing unpleasant and boring tasks

Then I look at some techniques for beating procrastination and distraction by exploring:

  • Understanding that we are not perfect
  • Failure is not fatal
  • Doing your best and being happy with the output
  • Developing a healthier lifestyle for more energy
  • Setting goals
  • Rewarding yourself for achieving goals

Speaking at DDD North, A Free Community Software Development Conference

In this video, I talk about a trip I made to Bradford to speak at the DDD North community event. I also discuss the subject of speakers being paid for talking and why I am happy to talk at community events like DDD North at my own cost.

The talk I did at this event was my Scaling Agile with the Spotify Model talk. If you want to see a version of this talk, I have my recording from NDC Oslo this year.

Want to Quit Your Job? You Need an Income Strategy

So you are thinking about quitting your job and going solo? Before you do, you need a plan for where your income is going to come from. This should be split down into Active and Passive income.

For example, for Active income, this will be things like contracting, consulting, where you are exchanging your time for money. This is great, but once that time has been spent, you will not earn extra for it.

With Passive income, you will spend time producing work, such as an ebook or online course, and once it has been put live, you will earn income off of it from there onwards with no extra work.

Should You Quit Your Job?

I have made another video on my YouTube channel, and in this video, I ask the question, should you quit your job? Where I am going with this, is should you stick at a job that you don’t like, working for someone else, or should you try and pursue your passions. Pursuing your passions is a great thing to do, but you need to be prepared and do some planning, especially financial planning.

In this video I go through my personal story, and talk a bit about the financial planning I did prior to making this move. I also introduce the idea of Active vs Passive income which I will explore in more detail in another video.

I’ve Started a YouTube Channel – HELP US ALL!!

I recently quit my job to go it alone, which is both exciting and terrifying. I want to document this journey and also share lots of other information. Normally I would do that on this blog, but writing and editing posts frequently takes a lot of time and I am struggling to do it. Recording a short video and editing it takes no time at all, so I am experimenting with this new medium. I have put up my first video which is an intro video to the channel. It feels very off seeing your self on the screen, but I will just have to get used to it.

I want to make this channel useful and not just a diary so I will be discussing lots of topics around software development, leadership, working from home, passive income and other things that I find interesting. I also want to do some interviews with people that work for themselves too to get their insights.

If you are interested in listening, then please hit the youtube subscribe button to follow along.

Even though this is the first proper video, it was actually loads of fun to do. I filmed it on my new iPhone 8plus because the front-facing camera shoots in full 1080p HD video, which means I get a higher resolution and I can see what I am doing on the screen which makes this much easier. Sadly this means my bigger camera which also shoots nice video, is a little redundant. oops.

iPhone 8Plus filming with the front-facing camera.
iPhone 8Plus filming with the front-facing camera.

The quality of the video on the iPhone 8Plus is excellent. The video I recorded today was on a fairly dull day so the light wasn’t amazing, but the video looked bright and the sound was excellent. The only adjustments I had to do was run a little noise reduction over the audio, but that was it, apart from cutting out a few duff lines. The rest is pretty much raw from the camera phone.