Encouraging Impactful User Content

I’m not one to do a ton of online product reviews but after CocoaLove I was asked to do one for the walking tour we took on Sunday. The site was TripAdvisor and from what I hear having good reviews there is really important for companies so I figured I’d share the love.

Since posting the review I’d say I get an email from TripAdvisor every 3 months or so. The email helps explain how much of an impact my review has made.

Review Impact

I really like the email.

I suspect emails like this help encourage further user contributions. If your website or service captures user generated content I’d encourage you to experiment with similar behaviors.

Swift and Cocoa: The Odd Couple

Swift and Cocoa are like The Odd Couple. Two people, with drastically different personalities who are joined by fate to live with each other.

Swift and Cocoa / Odd Couple

The Odd Couple Theme Song

One prefers things very explicit and will check and double check things are in order before starting a task. The other is happy letting things happen haphazardly, as things flow; the details can be worked out later.

One would only ever allow a single item type like socks in his drawer. The other is happy to store a mix of things in his.

One is very cautious with things handed to it, slowly unwrapping them. The other is extremely trusting and uses stuff passed to it without question, result be dammed.

My New Job with the Big Nerd Ranch

As I posted on Twitter a few weeks ago, I recently accepted a new job with the Big Nerd Ranch. The job itself starts tomorrow and I’m really excited.

The Big Nerd Ranch and its founder Aaron Hillegass have already made a huge impact on my career. When I first started to learn to program for Mac OS X I turned to Cocoa Programming for OS X. It was the, then unlabeled, first edition of the book and it was a game changer for me. Not only did I fall in love with Cocoa but the book itself was incredibly well written and helpful. Later while attending MacHack I was even able to get a pre-conference day of training from BNR. It too was great and the teacher, Chris Campbell, was really helpful with me getting my MegaManEffect hack to work. (It even took second place in the hack contest!)

These days Big Nerd Ranch is still known for their awesome books and educational classes, which now cover way more than just Macintosh and include iOS, Android, Rails and a much more. The Big Nerd Ranch also codes for hire, doing consulting projects for various clients big and small.

Myself, I’ll mainly be teaching and preparing new teaching materials to start. To think, I’m going to be helping craft the very books that got me started — it’s a real honor. In time I’ll probably also help do some consulting but for now, the focus is on education.

I’ll work remotely from Philadelphia and travel as needed for the classes (probably 1 week every 5 or so) and to checkin with my coworkers down on the ranch in Atlanta on occation. I’ll post info on my travel plans as they evolve. I’d love to connect with other CocoaHead chapters and various “conference friends” during my travels that I’d otherwise only see at WWDC and such.

To the company I’m leaving, Tonic Design (formerly DmgCtrl), I want to say thank you. DmgCtrl took me in with a very warm welcome when I was in a bit of a rut doing solo consulting (both creatively and emotionally) and I’m extremely grateful to them for the opportunity. Over the past year+ we’ve built a lot of cool stuff together and I wish them the best of luck moving forward.

Anyways it’s going to be an exciting fews days as I get familiar with all the internal Big Nerd Ranch stuff, and to my new coworkers who might find this, I’ll see you in Atlanta for a week of introductions and geeking out real soon.