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Category: Life Hacking

Creating Serendipity in your Community

Creating Serendipity in your Community

I’m looking forward to the meeting dubbed “Group of Groups” happening later tonight. A large number of high-profile tech community members have been gathered to sit down and decide how to improve our community and its cohesiveness. It’s enthusiastic to see these individuals taking the time to get involved, but I’m concerned about the lasting impact that this meeting will produce. Primarily because of each person’s interpretation of “improving our community”. It has been suggested that meeting once per quarter will be enough to keep our channels of communication open, but I don’t believe that it will be enough.

Part of our community’s problem is how far everyone is stretched apart from each other. I’ve written before about how valuable serendipity can be to success[1] and it applies similarly with community. As an attempt toward improving this, I propose creating more opportunities to have one-on-one interactions. If you’re having trouble thinking of reasons to get together, lunches are a perfect excuse. I think if each person can commit to having lunch once per month with someone else in the community, two things will happen: (1) we will generate more serendipity and (2) more starkly expose our “disconnected-ness” as a community. Both of these are hugely beneficial in our communities growth, but only if we’re truly all-in on building this community.

I’ve started an open thread on the South Florida Tech Leaders Google Group for lunch invitations. I hope you’ll consider my offer.

South Florida Tech Leaders open lunch invitation

 

Mike Greenberg is a software developer from South Florida. Occasionally, his finger-peckings are attention-worthy. The rest of the time, he’s just intentionally distracting you from something he doesn’t want you to see.

You can even follow @mikegreenberg on Twitter.

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[1]On Manufacturing your own Serendipity

 

On Manufacturing Your Own Serendipity

On Manufacturing Your Own Serendipity

People who spend their money on the slim chance to win millions are derogatorily referred to as gamblers. “These people have a problem and need to get help,” but I understand the satisfying feeling of spontaneous and beneficial discovery. Or in their case, discovering their bank account several times larger than it was mere seconds ago. These people aren’t really addicted to spending their money. They’re addicted to serendipity. And sure, some extra money is a pretty shallow victory. But with a more altruistic goal in place, serendipity tends to be a pretty satisfying experience. It’s the reason I’ve gambled upwards of 100+ hours of free time in the past six months to helping strangers improve themselves and their lives. It can be difficult for people to understand why I go out of my way to help others, but that’s only because they are looking at the  short-term benefits. In reality, I find a wealth of benefits that come from listening to other people’s struggles and then helping find ways to solve them.

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Just Do It (And actually finish!)

Just Do It (And actually finish!)

This came from a question on a HackerNews thread.

So I used to have problems starting projects – I would plan/read/design etc and then never actually get around to doing anything concrete; I have overcome that issue. But now I find myself not being able to finish anything. I end up with little software projects that are half-done and abandoned because I lose motivation once I solve the ‘interesting’ challenges. When there is a clear path to the finish, I suddenly become disinterested.


Creative Commons License credit: Rakka

This is something I still struggle with quite frequently. I’m not certain if it’s a particular chemistry in my brain or just a personality trait that I’ve developed over time. I find myself constantly hungering for interesting ideas and ways to solve problems. So much so, that the mental exercise of arriving at a unique solution has become a fun pasttime. This “not being able to finish” might seem like the main problem here, but I’d argue otherwise. Admittedly, the “problem solving” is hugely satisfying; more importantly than that, the problem that you’re trying to solve should be just as satisfying.

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Wanted: An Entry-level Job That Doesn’t Suck!

Wanted: An Entry-level Job That Doesn’t Suck!

Everyone once in a while, I offer to help other people be awesome. I’m not qualified at “Being Awesome” by any authority, but people seem to like my brand of advice. So I continue to offer it. This is a post that was adapted from one of these exchanges.

The question wasWhat’s your advice for landing a really cool job that you enjoy right out of college? Not just getting a job that you take because you need to have a job and end up despising.

Oh, man. Time and time again I see these college-minded sheep students go to these crap-tacular job fairs, all vying for the same entry-level QA and testing gigs in their white-collar, paisley-pattern ties. These kids were all destined to a life of Office Space-like professional routine. Good-enough jobs are abundant and easily found. Right now, thousands of people in your local market are casually throwing around their resumes to whomever will accept it. No thought is being put into who is reading your information or how it’s being presented. Anyone who tells me they can’t find work or are not qualified to find work (ESPECIALLY in our “difficult” economy) is really missing an opportunity.

{tl;dr} I’m not trying to sell snake oil here. Finding a job that is amazing to go to every day doesn’t just fall in your lap. Bottom line (for those too lazy busy to read), you won’t get something for nothing. You have to know what you’re going after, you have to be in the right place at the right time, and you have to know the right skills as well as the right people to get the job. If you’re missing any of these checkmarks, consider them points against you. You’ll need to make yourself stand out from the crowd and figure out what sort of awesome job you should be looking for. Trying out these suggestions will help you correct some of those issues and maybe you’ll find yourself in a few serendipitous situations. {/tl;dr}

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Negotiations You Should Have: At the Dealership

Negotiations You Should Have: At the Dealership

All day long I see stickers, licence plate frames, and other marketing contraband attached to the back of go-mobiles advertising awesome dealerships that have swindled these folks. Yes. Swindled. Every day, they are hocking these dealer’s  names at virgin eyeballs like mine and likely are passing up on an opportunity here. Next time, you start to walk out of your saleman’s office at the dealership, consider a slightly alternate reality:

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