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This year was my first Webstock conference. I haven't been able to make it in previous years given my freelance consultant status often meant that client work would need to be done (when in boom mode) or a bill would need paying (in bust mode). The boom and bust is a well know dynamic for anyone who has worked as a freelancer and I just never seemed to be able to time it to make it along. This year was different, given my new position at SilverStripe (as the Community Awesomeness Manager) I was able to take the opportunity to attend Webstock. Everything lived up to expectations.
Great speakers, great show, great company with Wellington, New Zealand's and perhaps the worlds best web related minds together for 48 hours.
I read this rather interesting book on a recent holiday, "The Pirate Organisation". It was rather fitting reading this on a tropical island really added to the pirate-ness of the reading material. Anyway, the book actually is not specifically about Blackbeard, Bartholomew Roberts or Captain Kidd, but rather explains how whenever sovereign capitalist states find themselves in uncharted territories, pirates emerge who are more agile and can navigate these "waters" better than the state that attempt to control these territories (or in capitalist economic terms, gain property rights).
It happened on the high seas, it happened when a little thing called radio (waves) were used to broadcast (BBC vs pirate radio), it has more recently occurred as the Internet has evolved, and more disturbingly is occurring with biology, genes and biotechnology.
Ok, so my blog has been getting a little neglected lately... life seems to present it's busy times and it's slow times. In my case it seems that life decided the entire year was to be busy! In the midst of freelance contract work, consulting, managing projects, studying a business degree part time, and running an Iaido class among other things; an interesting opportunity presented itself. So, to get to the point I have been appointed the new Community (Awesomeness) Manager at SilverStripe Ltd! (I have unoffically added the "awesomeness" part so I get me be myself as a job - "C.A.M"). SilverStripe is a PHP web Framework and CMS that I have been using successfully with client projects and have been participating in the open-source commmunity over the last 4-5 years. Speaking at meetups and contributing code where I can. It is also a local Wellington, NZ company.
I have been working recently on SilverStripe 3 projects that require setting up some default roles and permissions... however... I could not seem to find a concise table mapping out each of SilverStripe out of the box permissions codes.
So here they are in all their glory...
*note that for each ModelAdmin you create you get a new permission checkbox.
On the 17th July (2013), we had another SilverStripe Developer Community Meetup which was a chance for me to present the outcomes from a previous talk I had given on the social learning theory concept of "Communities of Practice". At last years talk we also held a brainstorm workshop around how we, as a communty, and SilverStripe Ltd could support the community by creating actions, events and artifacts to build bridges between the layers that exist in a community of practice.
This was then followed up by me actually actioning a bridge building action, that is, presenting a case study which are important communty artifacts demonstrating the value of the domain of knowledge that the communty practices to people outside the communty. This sparks interest in individuals as they think about their own work related challenges and how participating in the communty may help them overcome these and hopefully getting more people interested in SilverStripe CMS and the community as a whole.
I spent a couple of days last week attending the AgileNZ 2013 conference here in Wellington. 2 days of great keynotes and breakout sessions with a variety of speakers, though I think the most valuable aspect of conferences like these are the conversations that happen during the breaks... social learning/communities of practice in action I suppose.
This is my first blog post in quite some time, but it is a doooosie, possibly one of my largest projects to date!
Another speaking engagement at the SilverStripe Wellington Meetup (my third time!) on the 1st August 2012. This time I took the concept of a Communty of Practice outlined by Etienne Wenger et al, and applied it to the open-source software development community that works on the SilverStripe CMS. We later followed this up with a 20-30 minute hands-on workshop in which participants were asked to look at providing ideas around ways SilverStripe Ltd and the Community itself could help build bridges between the different levels of participation present in a Community of Practice.
Whether you prescribe to the cult of Steve or not, in this video back in 1997 he answers a seemingly insulting question in a true forward thinking and honest way (as Jim Collins would say... confronting the brutal facts).
With half the year already over and my blog updates being a little irregular lately I thought I would give a bit of an update as to the goings-ons of late.