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You know, there are times when I don't count myself as a social… - The tissue of the Tears of Zorro [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Jun. 9th, 2008|03:23 am]
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You know, there are times when I don't count myself as a social creature at all, and just wander about life. Then someone says something and I end up starting on a story like, "I know someone who did..." and after telling a few different stories like that, people start saying, "You'd be likely to know someone who does..." The problem is, most of the time, they're right.

This just happened tonight - I was talking to someone from college, who asked me out of the blue if I knew voice actors. To be honest, I don't. I just happen to know animators, short film directors and have a clue about how I'd hunt down people for free or cheap.

It also seems to happen in technology - I know things that might not be of use to me, but someone says "Oh, I wish I had a tool to do..." and my ears prick, my mind races and in a few seconds I point them to something that they find useful that I've never used myself.

Something makes me wonder if I should say "Screw plain programming... let's figure out how to leverage this to be useful" - I mean, most of my time in final year involved helping others. There were roughly 3 ways of working, roughly equally distributed:

  1. Helping people with the implementation/ideas - I engaged with this mainly because I was hoping that working on an actual project would spur me into working on my own.

  2. Being a second pair of eyes - This is common for almost any task, not just programming. Sometimes you get so deep into something that until you explain it to someone else, you don't realise what's wrong. The really funny part of this is that half of the time, I didn't have to do anything... I was just a catalyst.

  3. Resource consierge - this is the fun one. I'd know of random technologies and throw them to people who were likely to make use of them in their projects. Funnily enough, these didn't intersect with the first group... I'd tell them what I thought would be useful to them and then they'd run with it or not. 9 times out of 10 it was useful, but mainly I'd have to follow up to know about it.

This isn't the sort of activity that gets you academic credit but... I just wonder, is there some sort of job in there that can be marketed to companies?

[User Picture]From: niall_o_bhrion
2008-06-09 01:39 pm (UTC)
Could you perhaps design some sort of site that acted as a crossroads for all this random stuff you know??? Somewhere companies could go to when looking for stuff that might help them?? I don't think I'm explaining myself very well . . . . .
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[User Picture]From: ebel
2008-06-10 03:51 pm (UTC)
There are about a million and one sites with that kind of thing. The real value with this skill is that someone can talk to you about something, you randomly figure out what they're talking about, then give em an answer. If they don't understand, you can explain more. It's that sort of quick feedback and turn around that means it's better to do something like this in person than on a website.
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[User Picture]From: ebel
2008-06-10 03:59 pm (UTC)
I've working in places and with people who can do what you're talking about. It is valuable for teams doing something. It's not really something you can put on your CV reliably. People only recognise this skill in when they interact with you. One way is to work with people. Figure out the people that recognise that skill (vs the people who only want 'yes men', or dumb people who hire dumb people so they don't look bad). Then... Profit?
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