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How to establish yourself as a subject matter expert...

IBM Lotus 
Notes Domino Portfolio I was asked recently by a developer who was looking for a way to make a name for themselves in the global developer community how they could do just that. While this developer was not an IBM Lotus platform developer, my advice was similar, and something that was echo'ed on a recent episode of Boagworld.

The advice, simply put, is to give it away and build a portfolio.

When this developer asked me how they could establish themselves, my initial response was to ask them if they knew of any non-profit or volunteer organizations in the area. If they were able to find a local organization where they could donate their services.

Giving away your services doesn't exactly establish you as a subject matter expert, but it gives you exposure.

Exposure of your solutions to people -- especially in the volunteer organizations -- who most likely work for larger for-profit organizations.

Exposure of your solutions to customers, as there is no better confirmation of your reported skills then being able to witness them in a production environment.

And -- most importantly -- your own personal exposure to the solution delivery process.

Sure, you might be able to sling code... but until you can work the entire process (from requirements gathering thru development and to delivery), then it's all just theory.

... so what does this have to do with IBM Lotus Notes Domino application development?!

Well, my advice for youngblood IBM Lotus platform developers doesn't change much. You should absolutely seek out local organizations that could benefit from your skills... but we IBM Lotus platform developers are lucky enough to have an resource that allows us to not only showcase our talents, but to allow us to develop needed skills.

It's called

I have been lucky enough to master chef several projects on -- Showtime, Abbr, and Time Tracker -- which not only allowed me to get my solutions out there for the greater of the global IBM Lotus community... but it helped me evolve my development techniques and methodologies from creating databases to creating applications.

So if you want to establish yourself as an IBM Lotus platform development Subject Matter Expert, I would highly recommend showcasing your talents (and sharpening your skills) via contribution to

Or, at the very least, while you're over there you can check out my and my fellow chef contributed open source solutions for IBM Lotus products.

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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