I’m starting a new project, working title “Reproman“. The idea’s been sitting in my mind for months now, but I found no good way to start yet. So I decided to start here: by blogging about it.

But first something about how and why I got to this point.

Basically, I’d love to specialize in something. Because if I’d specialize, I’d also get a clearer path to speaking at events more often, which is something I’d love to be doing.

On the other hand, I hate specializing because I’m at my best when I get to be a Jack of Many Trades. I enjoy work and hobbies the most if I get to focus on things in short bursts. Becoming one of the best in a specific programming language, or being able to bake the most perfect brownie: it’s just not for me. I want to be good at those things, sometimes even great, and then move on to become good at other things too.

What I realized several months ago: I need to combine these two things!

I have specialized in not being specialized at all. I specialized in learning new things; in getting good at something fairly quickly. So what will do is try to help other people acquire new skills, at first specifically around technology. This will involve providing content around at least these things:

  • Formulating Issues. Analyzing a problem you have, asking a question, getting help from a colleague, or submitting a bug or feature request: these are crucial when learning new things.
  • Creating Repro’s. To be able to create minimal conditions, and demonstrate something (e.g. an issue) under those conditions: this is essential when learning new things.
  • List Making. Being able to summarize something, and (importantly!) knowing what you don’t know (yet): this is vital when learning new things.

I’m sure that once I start analyzing how I and others learn new skills in technology, I will come up with more. But you’ve got to start somewhere. And I will start with the above.

Next Steps

So, what’s next with this project?

The most fun way for me to convey these things are in-person: by talking about it. Of course, I get my fare share of this at work in projects. But it would be fantastic if I could get a chance to speak at events about these things. Hopefully I’ll be able to tailor them to specific scenarios, contexts, and technologies.

But before I’m there I need to get my story straight.

Most importantly, I want to write about these things in some form. Possibly in the form of blog posts, or manuals, or a mix of the two. I’m considering starting a specific blog (or even “brand”, if you will) around this idea.

Secondly, I want to learn some new things while doing this. I’m very eager to learn how to make video courses (or at least: short video tutorials), so I might as well mix that in.

Finally, I have several other grand ideas too. There’s making a dedicated website for this material, organizing courses and workshops around this, as well as some even crazier ideas I’m not yet ready to talk about.

In Conclusion

Wrapping up, I mainly wanted to put my thoughts into writing. This already helped a lot in getting my ideas straightened out.

Next up will be some silence, while I build critical mass for an initial launch, something big enough to support new ideas and efforts. I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s ready!