Smart nerds do this thing at tech conferences when they’re trying to get to know each other: they ask “What are you (working on|most interested in|excited about) right now?” It’s a variation of “What do you do for a living?”, modified for and by people who watch the tech field like hawks, are likely to have a fabulously interesting hobby or weekend project, and might be excited about things for which they aren’t getting paid a salary.
It’s a tough question to answer, especially when you’re not working on a single thing. Last weekend at Foo Camp I failed miserably at explaining myself and my slash careers and how they all intersect. But at that same conference, I had the pleasure of attending a session by David Eaves, who eloquently explained that his goal is to apply his experience and training in negotiation skills to open source community management. On his site, he published a map of his past, current, and future work, and how those activities all interrelated. Cool!
Inspired, I spent some time thinking through my own aspirations, activities, interests, experiences, and goals, and put together a Venn diagram which attempts to list the main items and where they overlap and inform each other.
Here’s version 1.0 of that diagram:
What I’m Most Interested In and Working On Right Now
Gina Trapani, June 2011, v 1.0
Data visualization experts will likely point out that this isn’t a perfect use of the Venn diagram. It’s true; some of the set overlap could be improved. Consider it a work in progress.
This was an interesting exercise in professional reflection and focus for me, one I recommend for anyone who doesn’t have a ready answer to “What are you excited about right now?”
If you want to make your own, I published the Google Docs’ drawing I used. Go forth, copy, and repurpose. If you do, post a link to your finished diagram in the comments, and let me know what you think.