|By Brian Gracely||
|December 24, 2012 03:52 PM EST||
A year ago, I wrote that people looking to advance their career should have at least one (if not a few) projects that they do for "free". Something outside their day-to-day work that lets them explore new skills or new ways to address challenges in a new market. It's not an easy thing to do, as we all live busy lives, but I continue to believe it's critical for anyone wanting to have greater control over their career and their future.
I thought it would be useful to highlight a few examples of people doing things for "free" that not only helped them learn new things, but opened new opportunities for their "career paths".
- Nick Weaver (@lynxbat) and Tom McSweeney wrote the Razor framework for Puppet, to simplify how IT infrastructure is deployed in an automated manner.
- Chris Hoff (@beaker) started the DefCon Kids camp to encourage kids to question the world around them and hack the machines to explore their ideas. Chris is someone I truly admire for the amount of time he gives back (both public and behind the scenes) to others.
- Josh Atwell (@Josh_Atwell) and others ran the vBrownBag program, bringing community-generated content to IT professionals around the world. Josh used that public exposure to become part of the "Roving Reporter" program for Cisco social media, allowing him to get exposed to more that his behind-the-scenes role in Cisco IT.
- Simon Seagrave (@Kiwi_Si) learned how to use the prototyping tool called "EaSynth ForeUI" to create realistic, interactive demonstrations and prototypes of new technologies. We were able to use that technology to build a live, interactive demo that was used by EMC CMO Jeremy Burton (@jburton) in his Oracle OpenWorld keynote, but could be used for a broaded range of technology demonstrations.
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