Category Archives: Coffee break

Learn something new or simply have fun during the coffee break.

Dan’s presentation at Appcelerator Meetup @ Mobile World Congress 2012

I’m the most annoying person on Appc’s QA forum, my name is Dan and this is how I can be found:

@dan_tamas
http://dan-tamas.me

Today I will try to talk about my experience as a freelancer that uses Titanium for all his mobile projects.

The community

screenshot of the Appcelerator community website

This is the Appcelerator Community. I’d like to tell you about what drives me to spend so much time on the QA. I love the open source movement and I think that helping other people will make us better and we’ll finally achieve world peace.

WRONG! This is wrong, but not as in lying but as in not telling the whole truth, just like marketing does ๐Ÿ˜€

Let’s take a client. Kevin (Whinnery) looks like he knows some stuff about Appcelerator and he wants a cross-platform application. Somehow he finds my website.

Dan Tamas portfolio screenshot from his website

A freelancer’s life is usually governed by NDAs. Everybody wants an NDA as if their project will be the next Angry Birds. When you reach a certain level and people start to know you, you begin to have better and more complex / interesting / nicer projects. But we all know how this usually happens.

The X (big) company hires a Marketing company to take care of their image, website and of course mobile apps. But they need programmers for this, so they hire a programming company. Well the story is that the programming company is nothing more than a few guys in-house and the rest of the team is made by us, the freelancers. And as you suspected they will want an NDA, because they also have one from the Marketing company or they don’t want the world to know that somebody else did their job.

I can tell you that I have worked for 2 companies so big that everybody in this room heard about. But of course I cannot tell you who they are. You might believe me or not but Kevin, the client, surely won’t – he needs something to see and not just simple words.

So coming back to my portfolio what does the client see?

Some certification – everybody has one – a boring FunyABC app for kids, MotorSport – an auto magazine for a German publication, some books and of course the biggest hit: the divorce calculator.

Nothing fancy, nothing outstanding. But because I’m pretty in the picture he gives me a chance and asks me for an interview.

What can I come up with?

I come up with this: I’m number 2 in the Top Experts
Appcelerator top experts: Dan Tamas is second

And this: I’m an Enterprise user of the framework with access to professional support, free modules and… free beer of course ๐Ÿ˜€
Dan Tamas profile on Appcelerator website

And I start to explain to the client that I’m a Titan, that I was chosen “Titan of the month” back in September, that I wrote some tutorials and, starting tomorrow, that I was invited to speak to an event organized by Appcelerator itself.

At this point there are very few clients that will discard me as a candidate for their project. If he’s not looking for cheap work or unless some other Titan manages to impress him better – like Aaron or Matt or any other guy spending his time on the QA forum – I’m all set.

How do you reach this level?

  1. Spend some quality time on QA, giving answers to questions, but good answers.
  2. Write articles and tutorials, people are searching for good Titanium tutorials.

Appcelerator as company is a little different because they are really helping the community, despite what some people complain on the forum. For example, most of the Titans have Pro accounts – for free – and the most active guys on QA are actually Appcelerator employees.

As you see, 1 hour ‘wasted’ on QA every day starts to bring something back.

Also reading other people’s answers makes you a better programmer, you learn for free just by reading their posts. And we have the whole stuff about clients impressed by this, as I just told you.

Bottom line

So bottom line – as a freelancer, build your business around the community. That one hour a day spent helping other people will have the best ROI you ever saw.

The Meetup in pictures

Meeting the Appcelerator guys

Kevin Javier and  Dan Tamas at Appcelerator Meetup Barcelona 2012

Kevin Javier and  Dan Tamas at Appcelerator Meetup Barcelona 2012

Nolan Jeff and  Dan Tamas at Appcelerator Meetup Barcelona 2012

Dan Tamas speaking at Appcelerator Meetup Barcelona 2012

Dan Tamas speaking at Appcelerator Meetup Barcelona 2012

Dan Tamas speaking at Appcelerator Meetup Barcelona 2012

Javier Rayon speaking at Appcelerator Meetup Barcelona 2012

Javier Rayon speaking at Appcelerator Meetup Barcelona 2012

Javier Rayon speaking at Appcelerator Meetup Barcelona 2012

Reasons to be cheerful – Chris Heilmann talking at Fronteers 2010

For those of you webdevelopers who have 1 hour to spare I am offering this Chris Heilmann talk at Fronteers 2010 in Amsterdam. I promise you it’s funny, engaging, motivating and it will make you feel good to be a part of the web world :)

You can find information on the Fronteers Conference website and all the 14 sessions (about HTML5, CSS3, Accessibility, Javascript, Design and more) are now on their Vimeo channel.

Funny and serious TED talks about education by Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson gave 2 very funny and impressive TED talks about revolutionizing the education (one in 2006 & one in 2010) and we got so excited about these that we decided to post them here and share them with you. In case you don’t know TED you might wanna check more talks and ideas on their website.

2006 – Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

2010 – Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!

Changing Education Paradigms

A wider notion of ability

A talk about abilities, recognizing the talents that each of us have and identifying all the senses we can develop and use. You can see more interesting videos at Creative Momentum page or their Vimeo channel.

In case you know about more speakers we should follow, drop us a line. I’ll keep updating this post with more talks.

Multibrowser Pixel-perfect addon for horizontal grid designs :)

It’s Friday, I was thinking to have a little fun and offer you this brand new multibrowser addon to create pixel-perfect layouts based on a horizontal grid.

Multibrowser addon for layouts based on horizontal grids

We will also think about a vertical one, or mixing vertical and horizontal grids to bring some happiness into designers’ world :)

Suggestions and improvements are welcome and much appreciated. :)