Stop complaining and make a list

Right Web Dev Community, shut your moaning bitching mouth. People disagree all the time, there is not a time I haven’t disagreed with people over a talk, someone’s methodology, or their attitude. But what I will say is that moaning and saying “I’m leaving this industry, you’re all bullies” is bullshit, you should grow a set. All I want to say is the good far out weighs the bad.

And to prove this, here is a list of random acts of kindness I have experienced, both for me personally and things I have been involved in for the community. And a list of just awesome people all over.

UPDATE: Because I have constantly been reminded of people that have been so kind to me and the community, I shall try and keep maintaining this list for the unforeseeable future, although you might not all agree with the names on the list – I really have taken something for nothing from every single person named. Keep it up!

  1. Before I even knew what PHP was, Douglas Gresham taught me how to submit a form using PHP despite we’d met only once at a totally unconnected to web event.
  2. Edd for turning into a cycle nerd friend as well as geeky event mate.
  3. Everyone on Stack Overflow, for answering people’s questions.
  4. Ross Bruniges, for generally being an excellent beer hound (add Ben and everyone from @pubstandards to this item, as a matter of fact)
  5. Paul Stanton and Ryan Taylor for being extra friendly fellow northerners whenever we happen to be in the same place
  6. Paul Stanton and Ryan Taylor (yes, AGAIN!) and Anna Debenham for volunteering on the BoagWorld podcast, helping me out quite a bit in the early days.
  7. Kris Noble for being a random traveling buddy (or is he actually stalking me?) and general friendly face at all manner of events. And for not whinging after accidentally stealing his idea.
  8. Gareth Thompson for offering business advice in running your own web stuff. And being a bloody good bloke to boot.
  9. Dave Smith for feeding work and excellent advice constantly. And letting me loose on his RackSpace hosting.
  10. Jake Archibald for agreeing with my views on homeopathy (and providing good web advice!). He does bloody good talks too. And is sometimes funny.
  11. AlunR for organising Geek Karting (although the £1.70 profit on the last event may mean he’s not as kind hearted as I though – PS, that’s a joke…)
  12. John O’Nolan for being thoroughly offensive and wrong (read as challenging my HTML structure and semantics, which is good!)
  13. Rob Hawkes for Rawkets, and that book and sound advice.
  14. Syd Lawrence for letting me bug him in his own house while he showed me some HTML5 Mobile App stuff.
  15. Dan Knell and Kornel for always being available to drink while teaching me clever stuff.
  16. Paul Adam Davis for reminding me of something I already knew, then virtually apologising for the good point he made!!
  17. Antony Killeen, who organises Croydon Creatives. PS – I can’t believe he isn’t even a full time web dude yet!
  18. Katskii for being everything I would expect from a Geordie lass! That *is* a good thing, honest.
  19. Luke and uBelly for pointing me at interesting things that I should do and always being willing to pay for my beer!
  20. Drew and Rachel for and providing just awesome advice and support for Perch. Rachel also posted a much more coherent post on this topic than I ever will on her own blog.
  21. Chris David Mills for not only being very metal and introducing me to Steel Panther, but also giving up his time to speak at the awesome Speak the Web
  22. Dan Donald and Rich Clark gave up their valuable time to organise the aforementioned Speak the Web, so they definitely need a mention.
  23. Myself (!!) for volunteering at some events, manning doors and setting up chairs etc. And buying a wooden spoon prize to try and make Geek Karters smile. I know, I am too humble…
  24. A thousand (literally) other people who have all become friends, colleagues or complete strangers that have helped me on my way in the web world. And long may it continue.

and finally, thanks to @arranrp, who for his sins does organise a lot of events and through him I have met many interesting and good people (some included in the above list). And he’s a mate.

So why focus on the bad. What I would like to see is a similar list for each and everyone that is currently unhappy with the industry – you never know, it might restore some faith in your friends, colleagues and complete strangers.

Feel free to ping me – I’ll always help wherever I can, and why don’t we all try it, I actually enjoy being nice. Unless you’re Julia Hartley-Brewer, of course.


When a friend is taken hostage, it puts things into perspective

Today the “Road to Hope” convoy bound to deliver aid to Gaza, Palestine has been taken hostage by a Greek ship owner, who was due to transport them from the Lybia/Egypt border following the Egyptian government denying access by land. Among the group being held hostage are 3 Libyans, 6 UK nationals, 2 Irish, 1 Morrocan and 1 Algerian. Interestingly 2 of the Lybians are Port Officials. Among the UK nationals is my friend Kieran, someone I have respected and admired for many many years.

Having been paid $70,000 to carry out the transport the owner and captain apparently then held out for more. With no more funds being given over and the initial funds recovered, the hostage situation came about. Leaving the harbour by force and half closing the drive on ramp with a vehicle still on it I’m sure there might be more to the story than anyone but those aboard know about.

Bit worrying for Kieran, but I know he is well versed in the politics of wherever he goes and has 12 years experience in the aid convoy business, so hoping that everything works out.

Following quite a bit of pressure through social networks from Kieran’s friends on twitter and facebook, it seems we’ve got some action by the press and government agents with the BBC hopefully picking up the story (thank you @KirbyVictoria), earlier featured on CNN. I’ll await news from the media all evening and I expect for a short while yet.

Where’s Jack Bauer when you need him. Or the Expendables, remembering the first scene from that film.

More links on the story:

BBC News

The Independant
Waltham Forest Guardian
Salem News

FOWD 2009

Future of Web Design over with for another year then and I have to say my first conference was an overwhelming success. Started well, with meeting @boagworld, @stanton, @ryanhavoc, @mikestickler, @anna_debenham, @nofont, @BHardcastle and @dkirk (twitter usernames of course) in the Prince of Teck at Earl’s Court, unfortunately had to bail to finish the current Virgin Insider build, but alas it was still fun. Except the getting stick for not having an iPhone, however after the next couple of days I definitely want one. I just upgraded on Orange. Bugger.

Molly Holzschlag on stage at FOWD 2009 - Flickr image from user: vectorfunk
Molly Holzschlag on stage at FOWD 2009 - Flickr image from user: vectorfunk

Continue reading “FOWD 2009”

XRAY – bookmarklets can be so much fun

A blog entry by my friend Gareth prompted me to blog about this useful bookmarklet.

So you have the web developer toolbar, have solved all issues in Firefox, only to find IE doesn’t do the same.

What if you could click a bookmarked site, load a piece of javascript, then you simply click on any element on a page to display the element, id, class, hierarchy, positioning, border, margin and padding values in a pretty interface? Well sonny, with X-Ray (from you can!

X-Ray bookmarklet with h1 selected

The best bit is that it even works in IE, so you can troubleshoot any box model or double margin problems easily! It’s an excellent idea, and if I hadn’t already voted for jQuery, I would have voted for it in the innovation category of the .net magazine awards. Maybe you could vote in my stead!

Tales of travelling – part 2 – the wedding

The Church

So after a few days in work, not very long (but long enough!) I was off away again to Ruf Y Anun’s wedding in Palma, Mallorca. The flight was fine (easyjet aren’t that bad) and waiting for Jen in the hotel was great as I managed to squeeze in four pints.
Standard Mallorca holiday malarkey until the wedding on Saturday 1st September, 5pm local time. The Church was amazing (see above and below). Anunciada went to school there apparently, which is a bit nicer than the brick building in Hamsterley that taught me to read!

The service, in a mix of Spanish and English was lovely, with readings from both sides and the priest even doing his best in English.

Rufous is clearly impressed with the whole marriage lark.

Afterwards we got a few buses to the Hotel Delta Beach Club, on the coast with a great view, great food (the beef was EXCELLENT, as was the sorbet!). I think being seated at the Bride and Groom’s table was a bonus – it meant Hufty could entertain us! Free wine flowed freely and the dancing was inspired (I cleared the floor at least twice!). I just wish someone had told me the Spanish were going on to a club when the bus home dropped us off in El Arenal about 5am, since I definitely could have partied on into the day – at least I think so!

Anyway, a few more days of beach, burning, pool and Tapas later we all went home and back to daily life. This may be a little short, but then again, I was drunk most of the time and memories fade when intoxicated!