Treat others how you want to be treated

Internet Troll

Mika Epstein published yet another great blog post today: Support Politeness. It reminded me of another post, Hello, I’m a Human Being. I often go back to that post when I’m having a rough day at work.

In an ideal world, everyone asking for help would behave like Mika. As she demonstrated in her post, it makes everyone’s life easier, and often means you get a better service.

However, we do not live in an ideal world. If you work in support, you will help people who are not grateful. When that happens, go back and read these 2 posts. And remember: you’re not good at your job because you can help friendly people; you’re good because you can help passionate users, users who are sometimes too passionate about your product to be reasonable.

But if they’re asking for help, it means that they haven’t given up on you just yet! You have the chance to help and to make them happy again!

Hello, I’m a human being – Elliot Jay Stocks

I’m the human being who reads your nasty, snide, and downright unnecessary tweets. They may be sent to my digitally-abstracted Twitter account, but they are read — and felt — by me. The human being.
Hello, I’m a human being

Work can be tough sometimes. Some people tend to forget that we’re human beings, like Elliot pointed out in his post. It’s easy to be mean on the Internet, but that’s rarely the best way to address people and get some support.

A Day at the office

I received a GoPro camera for my birthday. I have already posted about the great things you can do with a GoPro, but since I am not ready to jump off a cliff just yet, I thought I’d play a bit with the Time-lapse features of that great little camera!

One of the camera settings allows you to take one picture every 1/2/10/30/60 seconds. I used it to take pictures every 30 seconds for a complete day at work (read: in my kitchen). Not much happening, I know, but I got to play with my new toy a bit, and I also learned a bit more about iMovie in the process. Stay tuned for more videos of me jumping off a cliff trying to catch my mouse! I will also try to build a Time-lapse tool from an egg-timer, to get a bit more movement!

Bonus: the GoPro Hero3 is just out, and honestly, the promo video is stunning!

J’ai reçu une GoPro pour mon anniversaire ! Et comme je ne suis pas encore prêt à sauter d’une falaise à skis (rapport au manque de neige), j’ai décidé de créer un Time-lapse d’une journée au bureau (dans ma cuisine, en ce moment).

La GoPro a un mode Time-lapse qui permet de prendre une photo toutes les 1/2/10/30/60 secondes, que j’ai utilisé pour prendre des photos toutes les 30 secondes pendant une journée. Rien de bien passionnant pour le moment, mais c’est un début, je commence à me familiariser avec la caméra et avec iMovie, le logiciel que j’ai à ma disposition pour le montage.

Prochaine étape, la construction d’un outil pour faire des panoramas, avec un minuteur de cuisine ! Je pourrai ensuite m’attaquer à la préparation d’une vidéo comme celle-ci !

Preparing my flashtalk, and discovering Impress.js

Impressed, a presentation about presentations

Last week and after 9 months working for Automattic, I met most of my colleagues for the fist time. We all travelled to San Diego, California, and spent the week working on team and getting to know each other.

Flashtalks are an important part of this annual grand meetup. Each one of us gets to stand up in front of everyone and talk about the topic of their choice for 5 minutes.

As it turns out, that’s actually quite difficult! First of all, because I had never talked in front of that many people, but also because I respect and admire the talented people I work with. It makes it harder to pick a topic that could be interesting and valuable for all the people in the room.

I spent quite some time thinking on the best topic; I wanted to talk about something I was passionate about: your presentation is always better if you are really passionate in your topic (see this talk by Scott Berkun to help you choose a good topic). That made things more difficult for me: I am interested in many things, as long as I feel that I am learning something in the process.

Continue reading

Why don’t you try a standing desk?

When we moved back to Europe, I started thinking on getting a proper work station. Instead of working from the kitchen table and a really uncomfortable chair, I am now able to set up my own home office, with a real desk / chair. But is that really what I should be looking for? Some of my colleagues seem to have given up the standard desk, and are now using standing desks. So why not giving it a try?

Continue reading