Early in 2018, I started a new adventure at Waffle.io as a Developer Advocate. Waffle.io makes project management awesome for developers and developer teams by automating work tracking and providing a single view of both the work and the code – which is awesome if you’re on a development team!
As a Developer Advocate, my mission is basically to make sure everyone who could benefit from Waffle.io knows about Waffle.io and has a chance to try Waffle.io for themselves. In the startup world, this is otherwise known as acquisition and activation. But to me, it’s really about trying to help people have more time to focus and do meaningful work. If I can help someone to have a bit more time to build some awesome thing or solve a big hairy problem – that’s what’s in it for me!
One of the things I love about being a Developer Advocate for Waffle.io is that I can approach my mission in any way that achieves the outcomes. I can write a blog post, I can give a talk, I can make a video, I can write code, I can run a hackathon, I can pair with a user. It’s all about the outcome.
One of the things I did a lot of in 2018 was speaking. Speaking is a great way to share new ideas with people, giving them knowledge and options to take back to their jobs and life to make an impact.
One of my main themes for 2018 was speaking about making more time for focus and doing meaningful work. If you’re a maker – a developer, writer, woodworker, etc – you probably need a lot of focused time for uninterrupted work. Especially for developers, there’s a high cost associated with interruptions and context switching. And interruptions are in no short supply, with many people only having 25-50% of their time for making at their jobs. What’s worse, about 50% of these interruptions come from ourselves.
It’s been very fulfilling to share what I’ve learned about the state-of-focus, why interruptions happen, how to prevent interruptions, and how to get good at being interrupted – knowledge and options that can be equally beneficial to makers and people who work with makers. But out of all the speaking this year, I think All Things Open 2018 was my favorite.
In addition to helping staff the Waffle.io booth at All Things Open 2018, I was scheduled to give a talk Making Time for Focus and Getting Shit Done for Makers! However, the day before my talk, I lost of voice. Joking about what to do as a whispered to my co-worker, I joked “I could write a bot to give my talk for me.” But then that night I thought about it and decided why not! And that’s why you can listen to my talk spoken by a robot voice while you follow along with the slides! Enjoy!
What’s even better, my talk is now version controlled in GitHub and accepts Pull Requests.
You can find links to my talks, including slides and videos, at https://github.com/adamzolyak/speaking.