This morning I went to The Hazeley Academy in Milton Keynes with Si Jobling from asos.com, Richard Wiggens from MK Geek Night and PixelCreation fame and a bunch of other “Creative Professionals” (yes I realise that creative is a stretch for my profession) that had travelled from far and wide for a creative careers breakfast at 7:30-9:00.
The idea was to talk to the students about what we did for a living. I talked about public speaking and the day to day of being a globetrotting developer evangelist.
Groups of 2-5 students would come to my table for around 10 minutes, and we would talk about what I did, and my route to getting where I am today. A bell would ring, and then they would move to the next table, and a new group would sit with me for the process to begin again.
The whole event was tremendous fun; I hope the kids got something out of it, they seemed to enjoy themselves and had loads of questions. I certainly did.
You see it gave me a real opportunity to rehearse the Christmas party conversation that will inevitably arise at this time of year, the dreaded “What do you do for a living.”
Trying to explain what I do for a living to a group of 14-15-year-old students who have probably no Idea what a software developer is (nevermind an evangelist) was challenging. Towards the end of the breakfast, I had my story down to the following pitch: I speak in front of groups of 50-200 people at events all over the world and talk to them about technology in the hope that they will consider the technology that my company makes. I blog, make videos, write creative code (yep I said that), meet customers and learn.
"I’m pretty much Oracles answer to Zoella"
One of the kids asked, “Are you a YouTuber”. No, I replied. Not really, but part of me wishes I was.
Maybe that’s what I will say at the next party when someone asks what I do. "I’m pretty much Oracles answer to Zoella."