Rands on Soft Networking

by Darius Kazemi on September 22, 2009

in networking,wisdom

Rands (AKA Michael Lopp) has a new essay about networking. In particular, it’s about the kind of “soft” networking that I’m always talking about. It’s the kind of networking that isn’t directed, where your goal is just to meet interesting people. Rands takes that idea of meeting interesting people and applies a bit more focus, where it’s about meeting “Your People.”

I have a lot of My People in my life. I just got back from GDC Austin and it was one of the best conference experiences I’ve ever had. I think now that it’s because the evenings were full of My People. Rands is right: My People will question what I’m doing with my life and push me in often unexpected, sometimes uncomfortable directions. But that’s part of the fun.

The part that really resonated with me is the bit about stories. Rands says that all day long, there’s a story being written in our own heads.

It’s your inner dialogue and it’s often full of shit. [...] We see the world how we want. A carpenter sees all problems as a nail. I see problems as finite state machines.

As we edit our days into these stories, there is always a risk of fiction. [...]

You tell these stories to Your People without reservation. Your People love your stories — fiction and all. They love how you tell them, they laugh about the lies you tell yourself, and then they stop and they tell you the truth.

Networking is the art of finding those who are willing to listen to and critique your stories.


Sheri September 22, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Darius, I do a lot of mentoring to both students and experienced game developers. If you had to pick one networking tip for me to give my mentees that is the most important one to start with, what would it be?

Darius Kazemi September 22, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Tip zero is: be good at what you do. (Have some skills before you try to network. You don't have to be perfect or great, but don't come in knowing nothing.)

Tip one is: networking is about making friends.

Patrick September 24, 2009 at 3:16 am

Speaking of pushing in uncomfortable directions, dig me on this:

Last Saturday I participated in an Ayahuasca Ceremony. Part of my motivation for experiencing the elixer's active ingredient, DMT, was to get some insight into how to build a procedural content engine, and particularly, how to design an authorship language that would be easy for artists to use but at the same time complex enough to encode the hueristics driving an evolutionary algorithm. Listening to the chanting of the shaman, I had my answer.

So, think about how you might be contributing to the creation of a very robust piece of technology that democratizes authorship of procedural content, lets say in the next few years. Just let it digest.

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