Necemon Yai is a dear friend of mine since High School. He’d always been one of the kind, smart, focused, and determined. So when he asked me to join the eBook collaboration – The Necemoon Album- it was an obvious ‘yes’.
I was proud to be part of this project through which I got to introduce my upcoming book (we’ll talk about it soon) and get the readers know a little about me.
You can view and download the eBook from his web site (Necemon.com), but in the meantime meet Necemon!
An Interview With Necemon Yai:
1. First and foremost, who is Necemon?
Sometimes described as a part-time digital artist, strategist, essayist and entreprenerd, Necemon is primarily a Software Engineer extensively involved in Microsoft .NET technologies. Pie-in-the-Sky creatively, down-to-earth technologically. He majored in Computer Science from NIIT, Christ University and Swansea University (Master of Engineering, Computing). At the time of this statement, he has worked for a Europe leading E-Commerce company, a major UK financial group, the General Electric global corporation and a few tech start-ups that you probably never heard of.
Necemon is different. For now, here is what you need to know, www.necemon.com.
2. You work and live in London. Are you not planning to move to Africa?
I am open to any serious opportunity, wherever they may come from, in Africa or elsewhere. Beside a proven adaptability to diverse cultural and business environments, I am fluent in English and French. When it comes to team projects, I like to work with people who are motivated, ambitious, persistent, consistent, decisive and loyal. Anyone wishing to collaborate with me is welcome to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. What do you currently work on? What’s new with your projects (the Babi Fraya video game, the Evasium Web platforms, etc.)?
I am glad you asked, because my most recent project indeed is The Album, an e-book where I summarize my top projects, as well as a compilation of my most popular articles. The book is available as a free download on TheAlbum.NeceMoon.com.
4. What kind of stuff can be found in that book?
The NeceMoon Album is an e-book about Technology and Strategy. It contains a compilation of the best articles on my blog, The NeceMoon™. I also invited the greatest writers in my network to include some contributions in this book, especially some exclusive interviews and some of their most relevant insights in terms of Technology and Strategy. In The Album, there are 9 chapters organized in 2 volumes (Softcore and Hardcore). Each chapter deals with a specific topic. The various chapters and volumes can be downloaded independently/separately, according to the reader’s interests. The PDF, EPUB, Amazon Kindle and MP3 formats are available on TheAlbum.NeceMoon.com.
5. How did you come up with that e-book idea?
The project was based on the observation that the Blog format does not always do justice to techno-strategic contents. Blogs were initially designed in a journalistic spirit and are better suited for chronological events and (often trivial) discussions about latest news. Even though the usefulness and the importance of some analyses may persist over time, the progressive stacking of the articles makes it almost impossible to find those best parts and difficult to consult them. Blogs are generally not suitable for thoughtful publications whose lifespan and advantage far exceed the announcement of the latest scandal of starlets in search of attention, as was saying another MVP (Microsoft Most
Valuable Professional). That’s why the best articles have been reviewed, reworked, and arranged in a logical order that is now fitting a book format.
6. The book has been professionally published online in several formats: PDF, EPUB, Amazon Kindle, etc. How did you do that?
For editing and conversions, I essentially use 2 software tools, Microsoft Word and Caliber. As a classic text processor, Word needs no introduction. Word makes things really easy when it comes to formatting and layout of documents, through some straightforward commands that I will not overly describe. But it’s not about which tools you use, it’s about how you use them. One of the features of Word that has proven particularly useful is the implementation of master documents and subdocuments.
A master document is a Word file that contains links to a set of linked subdocuments. In order to find your way more easily, using a master document allows you to organize and manage a long document by dividing it into smaller, coordinated, more manageable subdocuments, saved in individual files, one per chapter for example.
The benefits of master documents also extend to tables of contents, hyperlinks, cross-references, headers, footers, page numbers, and other enumeration features, that may all be applied across different subdocuments. Hence the master document works as a sort of global view. When browsing a master document, the contents of the subdocuments are displayed transparently, as if everything were in the same document while each link actually invokes the contents of the connected subdocuments. As a result, any changes made to the subdocuments are automatically incorporated into the master document, and vice versa. This feature helps a lot in avoiding repetitive works.
Another feature of Microsoft Word has proven to be very effective: Dynamic Fields that allow better of content.
Word Fields are special placeholders used to record and display variable data in a document. They can be used for different tasks, more or less simple, to display the hyperlinks, the current date, the number of pages of the document, the current page number for instance, but they can be much more versatile than that, if you want them to.
You can use them to boost your tables of contents, to ask questions, to perform calculations and functions, or to program decisions based on specific conditions.
Fields can give you precise control over the dynamic texts of the document. That is, they are particularly useful when working with a document whose content may change with time and circumstances.
The other software, Caliber, is a powerful and easy-to-use e-book manager. It is also completely free and open source. Caliber supports the conversion of many digital formats. Caliber has a conversion system that is designed to be very easy to understand and use. Basically, you may just add a book to Caliber, click “Convert” and Caliber would try to generate a file in your chosen format, that is as close as possible to the input. However, it is possible to have a greater control over the conversion system, Caliber has many options to fine tune the conversion process (page setup, layout, styling, structure detection, table of contents, etc.).
7. What difficulties did you come across in the process?
There were hardly any difficulties. Since this was the first time I was doing an exercise of this nature, the challenge could have been about the complexity of the various tricks to learn on the spot, alone, in a short amount of time, but I am used to learning fast. There is all the necessary information on the Internet.
8. This book touches upon a wide variety of topics, including personal development, professional careers, marketing, video games, software engineering, etc. I would like to know, why did you choose to do it this way?
The book is reflecting the original Blog, where I have been addressing these same topics. It’s a kind of review of the things I’ve learned over the past few years, some notions that would have been useful to me when I started. This mainly goes to the juniors who are getting started.
However, it would not be entirely correct to presume that the themes have absolutely no relation between them. It’s all about techno-strategy. Technology and Strategy. It is a holistic/global approach that could serve the concerned persons. That being said, I am fully aware that these themes are not all equally useful to everyone, to the same extent, that’s why The Album is organized into volumes and chapters that can be downloaded independently/separately, so that everyone can read/keep only what suits them: TheAlbum.NeceMoon.com.
9. So to sum things up, what advice would you give to your readers?
It’s always challenging to give any general advice that may apply to everyone, but I could humbly suggest these 3 ideas, among others that I discuss in The Album. These are things that we already know, but it is good to keep them in mind.
Firstly, Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong (at the worst possible time). Most ideas look great on paper. But by the time events go from A all the way through the alphabet to Z, you see who rules when it comes to getting something from the theoretical stage to the practical stage: it’s Murphy’s Law. No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. No strategy survives first contact with the customer. Hope for the best, be ready for the worst.
Secondly, it’s easy to be great… It’s hard to be consistent.
It’s easy to be great for 2 minutes. It’s hard to stay great constantly, every day. When you have a good idea for a new project, you feel a great desire to start researching, designing and programming. You feel a rush to turn your idea into something real and you become super productive. But the problem is that this motivation fades over time. Yes, it’s fun and it’s easy to have new ideas and start working on them. But then there are the efforts to be made, the adjustments, the launch, the maintenance, the corrections, the improvements, and so on. Over several months. This is where it gets hard. It is hard to stay focused on the same idea, on the same project for months and years. It takes a lot of discipline. It’s easy to be great. It’s hard to be consistent.
Finally, to quote Monty Oum, if you can match his resolve, then you will Succeed. The human spirit is indomitable. If you endeavor to achieve, it will happen given enough resolve. It may not be immediate, and often your greater dreams is something you will not achieve within your own lifetime. The effort you put forth to anything transcends yourself, for there is no futility even in death.