Face time is very cool. No, I’m not talking about the video conferencing technology that Apple is pushing. I’m talking about sitting across the table from someone and being able to see their body language and see what they’re pointing to. If a picture is worth a thousand words, being in the same room with someone is worth a couple of hundred thousand words.
Most of our consulting projects are small enough and simple enough that email and phone calls are usually good enough. However, I’ve come to believe that the more complex projects need something more. Complex projects take consulting to a new level. Complex business requirements almost always mean more complexity in the design, coding, testing and debugging which in turn brings more complexity in interacting with the client.
There is something powerful about being in the same room with the client. You make a connection that emails, phone calls and video conferences just can’t accomplish. It’s been my experience that these clients trust you more because they’ve spent time with you. As social creatures we pick up on little things that either lead us to distrust or trust the other person. You miss most of it when you are using electronic means.
In late April 2015 the Xojo Developer Conference (XDC) will be held in Austin, Texas. Xojo developers from all over the world will come together and talk all things Xojo. More information can be found at http://www.xojo.com/xdc/HTML/index.html. The early-bird special will expire the end of November so sign up for the conference now to save $200.
Xojo will be spending a lot of time talking about iOS, what’s new in desktop and web apps. Hopefully we’ll get news on 64 bit apps, the LLVM compiler, the new framework, and whatever else they’re cooking up.
If this conference is like past conferences the real value isn’t the stuff talked about in the sessions (though that’s usually really great info!), it’s the connections with the people. People looking for a Xojo developer can sit down with several potential developers and discuss their projects and look them in the eye.
Developers can share their successes and horror stories with each other and talk about what works and what doesn’t. The conferences are a great way to network. You never know exactly how those connections will work. Consulting referrals happen all the time. I’ve received leads from developers that are too busy to handle work or on projects outside of their expertise. Likewise, I’ve given leads to some developers because of the conference networking.
Email and forums are handy for storing solutions but are awful mediums because intent and body language are missing. People that I felt were complete jerks in emails and in forum posts turned out to be really nice when talking to them in person! Now, the next time I see their brusque or insensitive comments I can just shrug it off because I know the person. I’ve had face time with them and that’s a pretty powerful thing.