Thrilled, but…


I’m thrilled with Derek Cordeiro’s writing skills, as reflected in his blog. In a way, I could see myself as a mentor, a status he himself conferred on me vide this post titled “Be a flockstar”. It’s a status I would gladly accept, having seen Derek grow and go from close quarters over the past three, or was it four or five, years?

It would be immodest if I didn’t say here that most of the things he learnt, I don’t know about myself. So that makes me a mentor-by-accident. It was just by reading tonnes of magazines, trying out hundreds of CDs and DVDs (literally!) and keeping at it with consistency that Derek learnt.

It would also be unfair not to mention that Derek has been maintaining my computers (with near-perfection), even as he learnt on the job. Each time, he is reluctant to accept the little pocket money offered for helping me. And he has really good at his work… you just need to ask him how to achieve a certain goal, and you can expect, for sure, that he’ll come up with the reply in no time. The term “I can’t do it” doesn’t seem to be in his vocabulary!

(If you have one complaint against Derek is that he’s hardly a businessman. He would hardly bother about “commercialising” his skills, or going out of the way to cash in on them. So when I recommend him to someone else, particularly outside the village, one usually comes a cropper. Because he’s reluctant to go out there. Knowledge for knowledge’s sake?)

For understandable reasons, Derek is unsure of his writing skills. So I was working to convince him that… he’s getting to be good! Or, at least, is showing a lot of promise with his short, pithy, to-the-point technical writing.

Because he promised to do a review of a book that O’Reilly‘s had sent us — if you didn’t know about their useful user-group programme, check the link here —  Derek pointed me to a URL where he had done the review. Take a look at Gimp 2 for Photographers: Image Editing with Open Source Software.

While on that page, I was pleasantly surprised to come across his other writing: Upgraded to Drupal 5 RC1, Waiting for Drupal 5 and modules, and Drupal 5. That these are interesting and well written, there’s no doubt.

What made me … grrr… a little angry was that Derek didn’t post these interesting issues to the ILUG-Goa list or elsewhere. What’s the use of knowledge and writing if it isn’t shared? And what more powerful a tool than a mailing-list to do this with?

Got to talk to him 🙂

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