Caius Theory

Now with even more cowbell…

End Of An Era

I remember watching Steve Jobs' commencement speech for the first time and being fairly touched by the three stories he told in it. The major one that resonated with me at the time, and has since made more sense to me, is the first story he tells about joining the dots later on when you're looking backwards. To quote from it:

Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

It made me think back to a time when I was a teenager and someone far older and wiser than me told me one way to think about the future and how what we do today affects where we end up. He described it as holding a piece of string in your hand, with the other end dangling free. The end of the string not attached to you is the future, and where you're holding it is the present. As you do things in life your hand moves around, flicking the string around and amplifying the movements of the present in the future.

I think what he was trying to impart by telling me that story was to be careful not to do anything too extravagant in the present (like get expelled from school for instance), so as not to affect the future too much. Which I never really took on board at the time, but now I look back at the dots of my (some would say) rather short life so far, and connect them to see how some things influenced other things and how everything works out in the end. But that sometimes you need to push yourself or do something unexpected to get there.

Looking Backwards to go Forward

When I look back over the last few years of my life, I find the dots quite amazing to connect. First there was BarCamp Sheffield 2007 where I met Dom, and there was Twitter and BarCamp Manchester & Leeds where I met geeks like Rahoul, John and Jeremy both online and offline. And then in June 2008 I moved to Leeds, sharing a house with Dom and quite quickly ended up being hired into what was basically my dream first job at Brightbox.

And that's where I've been working for the last 1198 days, having far too much fun, solving weird, wonderful and sometimes downright frustrating problems, all with fantastically awesome and hilarious colleagues. And working on a massive variety of things, from tiny utilities to the newly launched Cloud Platform.

And today I flick my wrist ever so slightly more than normal by leaving Brightbox, without really knowing where the future end of the string will eventually end up, but knowing that I'll look back in a few years and see dots connected that I can't imagine today. I truly don't think I could have had a better job to start off as a professional geek, and especially want to thank John and Jeremy for hiring me and helping me start my career in the best way possible.

As for my next challenge, I'm solving interesting problems in the online advertising world with Cristiano, Dom, Melinda and Rahoul. And we're bloody amazing together. :-)

Think Visibility: An Online Marketing Conference

Now I'm not one for blogging about events usually—if I'm attending one then I'll just talk about it on twitter quite a bit beforehand. However, seeing as this one is being organised by my housemate and I like to keep him in a good mood so he doesn't do something daft like change the locks, I figured I'd blog about this one. (Also its really rather a good idea, I'll be paying to attend and think he's bloody mad to organise a conference!)

The conference is Think Visibility, which is a

one-day mini conference with a focus on the areas of web development and marketing which are usually left behind in the creation process: SEO, PPC, Monetisation, Blogging, Accessibility and Usability.

The speaker line-up has rather a lot of big names in it if you follow the SEO/Online marketing world, and its only £30 to turn up for the day and listen to them speak. Oh, and theres an afterparty with free drinks (Sponsor permitting) where you can get drunk with your hero's. (Or something.)

Me, I'm attending simply because up until a year or so ago I thought SEO was a complete heap of crap, but having known Dom for a while, and worked for an SEO agency, I'm starting to appreciate that there is an art to it, and it is a much needed skill to run a successful website.

When work just feels right

Much like Rahoul's post on knowing you're on the right path, I had that moment this morning whilst we were discussing a future feature for our control panel.

john: will I be able to superpoke our customers?
john: is that in the spec?
Jeremy: "John made server10 a zombie"
Caius: "server10 zombified server9"
Jeremy: "David has poked server19 19234 times"
john: server16 messaged David "My disk is filling up and I have files I need to put somewhere, please help!"
Caius: "Rahoul ended his friendship with server15"
David: "server02 is now married to server05"
Rahoul: server10 has sent you 12 videos of a fat man eating a cake
David: server11 joined the group "KVM ftw"
Caius: "server16 threw a sheep at server15"
john: server03 joined the group "Centos sucks!"
Caius: "server15 sent an emergency broadcast: physical movement detected"
john: storage03 has logged off
Caius: "x13 flew to the moon 0 times"
john: disk5 in storage02 is now a zombie
Jeremy: disk4 in storage02 is now a zombie
Jeremy: disk3 in storage02 is now a zombie
Jeremy: disk2 in storage02 is now a zombie
john: storage02 was sold on ebay by Jeremy
Caius: "john was sold on brightbox marketplace by storage5"

(In case you don't know, I work for Brightbox.)

Published Pictures

Interesting email arrived in my inbox today. I attended BarCamp Leeds in late 2007 and whilst I was there I happened to take some pictures (as I am apt to do these days.)

Anyway, I was rather happy to see that at least one picture isn't just stagnating in my flickr stream:

Hi Caius,

I am delighted to let you know that one of your photos with
a Creative Commons license has been selected for inclusion
in the newly released fourth edition of our Schmap Leeds

Town Hall

Original Picture on flickr