Being a freelance developer is all about people. Pleople you work with, people you would like to work with, people who are using your products, etc…
Social networking becomes very important in my line of work. Clients contact me from mouth-to-ear, because they know someone who worked with me, or people who have used one of my small programs. I don’t remember ever having to actually prospect for customers, because a) I don’t have the credibility (I’m young, but I worked on a lot of projects. Nope, I can’t talk about them, most of them are still under NDA. Please, believe me!) and b) it’s very hard to tell someone he actually needs you, especially if you don’t have any idea why he would need your help.
So it is without any surprise that I accepted to help out for the big french “mass of Apple” – a.k.a. Apple Expo, on the “Business & Innovation” booth. Helping people I know is both immensely satisfying as a human being (I’m nice, right?), and as a professional developer (who’s the guy sitting there? really? cool, let’s chat!).
As usual, I’m part of a very small team, doing a very unspecialized job : we handle the Problems. From network access all the way to stool-theft (no kidding!), the four of us got to handle the well-being of our fellow professionals, making contacts and being as unobtrusive and efficient as possible. This year was comparatively easier than the previous shows, partly because being a mac developer (as opposed to being an iPod-something) isn’t as image-rewarding as it used to be – so we have to stick together -, partly because the general public was not as interested as before, prefering to drift towards the loud speakers.
So we spent a week together as professionals having a good time in a not so pro environment. The business was attented to when the general public was still waiting for the week-end, and for the last couple of days, all that was left to do was preventing people from entering the bar (Sorry, it’s a private lounge. No there’s no open-bar lounge on the show floor. Yes, I will prevent you from entering if the need arises), trying to keep people away from the exhibitor’s computers (Sorry this is not a cybercafe. No it’s not an empty post, the guy will be there shortly, to work. Yes, I’m a mean guy, because you can’t play online chess on this computer) and drinking coffee (to cope with the tiring activity).
I took the liberty of shooting a few pictures, starting with The Before Crew,
then The During Crew
All in all, it was a success on all fronts. Thanks to everyone who attended!
[UPDATE] Yann has posted his own impressions