So I’m 2 weeks into my course now and I can honestly say I am enjoying focusing most of my waking time on learning something new. Not that there aren’t moments of frustration but they are short lived and come with an underlying feeling that it will pass.
Being part of the first cohort of Makers Academy I’m not only learning about how an agile startup operates I am in the middle of one watching as it happens. It’s been interesting to see how the 2 cofounders (Evgeny and Rob) of Makers Academy work long hours dealing with all aspects of the Academy while keeping calm and focused on the priority of Makers Academy; making sure we come out of the 10 weeks with a good experience, learning as much as we can and leave with a foundation that will make us successful employable coders.
Makers Academy is set up with things you would expect to see in a typical startup, ping pong tables, a Wii, (reminders to me that this is a male dominated industry) stocked fridge, snacks, breakfast, yoga class and 20 minute massages on Friday afternoon. Now you can see why I am enjoying this learning experience!.
The past week was spent learning about the computer language Ruby and object oriented programming which Ruby it is based on. The concepts are somewhat abstract. I find my self having moments of clarity, then moments were it feels I have no idea and wonder if I have taken in anything at all. However I didn’t learn to read and write in a week so I continue to peck away at the basics and then go back to the bigger concepts. Not giving up and continuing to move forward is key. Even if it means being far outside your comfort zone. I think this one time my stubbornness is going to come in handy.Read More
The past year and a bit has been an interesting one. After many years working at Sky Sports I decided although I liked my job it was time to move on. Boredom had set in, and the options to move up the career ladder in sport production meant working antisocial hours with lot of travel. Not very appealing to me at this time in my life. So when a call came about a job that would require both my production/broadcast knowledge and my travel background it seemed the perfect opportunity. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way and I had the worst work experience in my working life.
I don’t regret leaving Sky Sports I was too comfortable there making unlikely I would have really shook things up a by making a risky move job wise. When I found myself with not a lot to lose and a little money saved I decided to move forward with a business idea of running a coffee tuktuk and Bluenose Coffee was born. This would be something totally different from I had ever done before. I was looking for a mix of a challenge and an adventure but didn’t want to up and leave the country.
When starting up Bluenose Coffee I had some location ideas, however securing any pitch turned out to be a nightmare. So I started looking for options to tide me over until a pitch could be sorted. This made me realize how much going back to the corporate world was of little appeal. During this time I came across a write-up about a new school starting in London, Makers Academy. It sounded perfect. Their aim was to teach Web Development in an intensive 10 week course while working with partner companies who need developers in order to place students at the end of the 10 weeks.
So I could have a new career in a field that I’ve been interested in (tech) since the day Mom bought a Commodore 64 for the family; a pretty long time. Not only that but I would have a career in a field which is in demand and over the years I could do vert well if I continued to build on what I learned. It all seemed to good to be true but I thought I should apply and find out more.
I applied, was offered an interview, passed that and was offered a place at Makers Academy. Evgeny Shadchnev who interviewed me was one of the co-founders and during the interview I asked loads of questions. Then after I emailed asked more questions. In the end I could see the idea and behind the business of the school was a strong one, both Evgeny and Rob Johnson (the other co-founder) had solid backgrounds and so I felt Makers Academy was an opportunity worth going for.
This decision was made after much anguished debate on my part. Giving up Bluenose Coffee seemed like abandoning my baby but Makers Academy became the obvious choice in the end and I’m exited about this new path and seeing where it will lead.Read More
It’s been a while since I’ve written a gadget post and I have a new little wonder I thought I’d share with you. It’s the new Grip Tight Micro Stand by Joby.
I am a big fan of the GorillaPods by Joby. I have a small one for my small cameras as well as a larger one for my bigger ones. When at the Gadget Show in London last month I came across the Joby display and found their new Grip Tight Micro Stand which was exactly what I was looking for my new phone the “phablet” Galaxy Note 2. This little stand will pretty much fit any smart phone, iPhone, Android, Windows or Blackberry, even with a case on. This is great because if ever you change phones it is one less accessory you will have to replace.
I like Joby for the attention to detail they give to their products. This one allows you to take the micro stand off the grip and mount the grip to any size tripod that uses a screw head (1.4 – 20″) letting you take advantage of the great camera on some phones. As well the whole thing folds up into a compact tiny slip in your pocket size which you can also attach to a key chain or carabiner. Anther great design feature is when on the stand the phone can be tiled to the angle that suites your sitting or lying position.
You can use the Grip Tight in many ways such as making videos, Skype calls, general hands free calls, group photos you want to be in, reading, watching YouTube or other videos or for keeping your phone on your desk to keep an eye on your twitter updates or other feeds.
Should you not need or want the micro stand the Grip Tight is available on its own as well. It is due to be widely distributed in the UK from February, so keep your eyes open for this itty bitty gadget. In the mean time you can see details here or check out this video:
The Panasonic Lumix DMC – FZ100
I recently had an email from a friend asking what camera I use, and I realized I’ve ever written about the third love of my life (after my boyfriend and travel of course), my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100.
My relationship with Panasonic started over 5 years ago, after much soul searching and research, when I bought the FZ7. I was about to go completely digital, leave the world of film, AND SLR cameras behind. I looked at many camears, my criteria was: it had to be light, have a decent zoom, and give me the option of going completely manual. After handling the feather light Panasonic FZ7 with it’s 12 x zoom there was no looking back. As a bonus it was small enough that I could throw it in my regular bag which meant blending with the locals when travelling. The reviews were good, the colour and sharpness of the photos impressive.
I placed my order and just days before I left for a trip to Europe it arrived. I learned the various menus and buttons as I went during this trip, referring to the small manual occasionally. Here are some of the first shots taken with the Panasonic FZ7, they are untouched straight from the camera (other than reducing the size of the image for faster loading):
I really enjoyed using the FZ7 camera. The photos came out well, usually on the first attempt. Over the next 5 years I got to know the camera really well. Five years after buying my first Panasonic Lumix camera I started to look at the new modles of the FZ series, thinking it may be time for an update.
In the end it turned out to be an update with a bit of an upgrade as the FZ series now comes in 2 models, and I went for the higher speck FZ100 (this year’s model released in September is the FZ150). The screen resolution is much better, it also rotates and flips out which is very handy, there are more buttons and features to get to know, a 24x zoom, lots of fun features, as well as all the things that I loved about the FZ7 as far as the camera’s ease of use, lightness, and versatilely.
I feel after 7 months with the cameara I have just scratched the surface of getting to know it, and I am enjoying every minute getting to know all the rest of the featurs. Here are some of my favourite shots from the Panasonic Lumix FZ100.Read More
I had to post about my latest favourite app (it is also a website too). It is called TOUT. It’s like twitter but in video format, 15 second or shorter video status updates. I have been having such fun with it, making videos and seeing glimpses of other poeple’s worlds though their lenses. Good Morning American in the States, a show I grew up watching, has an account. It’s fun for me to see glimpses behind the scenes of the show as I work in TV here in the UK and I can relate to what they do. I look forward to more people from countries around the world singing up and sharing what they see.
You can add links to your Facebook and Twitter accounts so it becomes one seamless process to share you videos with your current social networks. It really is a lot of fun and the more I use it the more I want to share and make videos, seems Tout is habit forming!
As I get more comfortable talking on camera possibly the next step will be getting in front of the camera too. Give it a try and if you do, send me a shout out so I can follow you! You can find my profile here: http://www.tout.com/u/bluenosegirlRead More