Notes from An Event Apart Austin: Jeffrey Zeldman

Jeffrey Zeldman, co-founder of An Event Apart, kicked off An Event Apart Austin (on October 5) with: The Fault, Dear Brutus (or: Career Advice From a Cranky Old Man).

Notes I took/tweeted and some of my favorite live-tweets by others during his presentation follow.

On getting into work on the web:

“I was excited about the web because it was democratic and anyone could do it.” Twitter Bird Icon 16x16

On working with clients: 

His advice on showing a client your site design: “Never talk about the aesthetics. Talk about the business problems you’re solving.” Twitter Bird Icon 16x16

On navigating the workplace:

On how “politics trumps work” at big companies: “Attitude trumps work in most companies. Great work + bad attitude = fired.” Twitter Bird Icon 16x16

Bad attitudes are toxic and good attitudes are essential to good work in big and small companies. Twitter Bird Icon 16x16

Also: first impressions last! He says switch jobs or divisions within a company when you think you should be promoted but haven’t been. Once people see you as a certain thing (like an assistant), they might struggle to re-imagine you as a person with a different (higher up) position. Twitter Bird Icon 16x16

On getting involved in the community:

He recommends going to meetups to hang out with people in similar careers/with similar interests. He says even if you don’t talk the first few times… You will eventually! (Most people don’t open up right away, and that’s okay.) Twitter Bird Icon 16x16

On the importance of blogging:

“Everyone in this room start blogging.” He says it helps you get your ideas out & be more confident in talking about your work and your understanding of things. (I agree & recommend WordPress.com!) Twitter Bird Icon 16x16

Back to fundamentals “Blog like no one’s reading”… “The more I write the more I understand what I think. Twitter Bird Icon 16x16

And one last bit of advice: 

“DIY, people.” @zeldman says don’t wait for someone to hand you your dream job/project. Twitter Bird Icon 16x16


Note: The Twitter bird icons link to the corresponding tweet for each piece. Thanks to @jessfantz & @mor10 for live-tweeting the talk along with me on #aeaaus. 🙂

More notes on other sessions soon. I’ll link them all in a list on this page.