08 April 2009

Giving back

Over the last week I've been really gaining a lot of new connections on twitter. Its been fun to get a chance to meet all of the new people. But for the most part the connections really haven't gone very far. They seem to stop after just a moment of @SOandSO and back.

I think this may be because we are all being plowed by so many offers. We are getting numb because we can't tell which ones are of value and which ones are just noise. 

I have been following up on every new follower by looking at their twitter profile and the web page they link.

What I've seen are hundreds of offers of lists of things to do, things to buy, or services to purchase. With 700 followers and so many offers for purchases I haven't been able to filter enough to find the offers where people want to work with me on something, offer me assistance, or just take care of something I need. Perhaps we are scared to just give away our time. Perhaps we only do that for close friends or people we think we'll do business with in the future or charities. 

Even when I thought of the idea of just giving away support myself I was scared and angry at the thought. The voices that stop me from action came shooting from inside my head, "My effort and even my idea wont be appreciated, no one will want my services, they won't value my time, they wont understand my intent, they won't see that I really do value their needs, they wont like me."

The idea almost died on the vine just then. 

But then my higher self came in and I realized that I need to be the change I want to see in the world. 

So I'm offering to do something for the first five people to ask me. The maximum time commitment I can make for each task is 2hrs per task and I will complete the task within a week. I'll be doing one or two of them a day.

Here are a few things I can do very well:
1. Project Planning: you provide me description of the project and what the end results will be I'll help you build a schedule.
2. Code inspections: you provide me some code in any of the following languages and I'll provide you my feedback. C, C++, Java, C#, ActionScript, VB Script, etc... you get the idea. I'm a senior software engineer by training.
3. Project Scope definitions: you provide me with the context of your project in as much detail as you can and I'll provide you up to a two page project scope document.
4. Design review: you provide me a software design and I'll provide you a design review against standard design methodologies.  I have been designing software since 1992 so I have some knowledge in this.
5. Project Assessment: provide as much detail as possible and I'll provide you an assessment and 10 things you can do to improve your project performance. Also, if you provide the necessary schedule and completion data I'll provide you an earned value assessment.
6. Professional coaching about a work environment or work process problem. I'm willing to make the long distance call on my dime (which is already paid for because I have unlimited calling time.)
7. Anything else you can think of that I can help you with.

I am offering these things for free. You pay nothing. I will not store your email address or contact information for any purpose. I will not bug you about the services I offer or products I sell.

Again this offer is: I will perform any of the above 7 tasks for you within the next week. I can spend a max of two hours on each task but I'll give you a full dedicated effort on your task.

If anyone who reads this would like to also participate in this giving exercise let me know and we can find a way to start spreading the load. 

The first five people to contact me I'll list here and we'll get things rockin.

My email is djkester (at) gmail.com. Please, include "Plz, help me with" followed by the task in the subject of your email.