Umm, what’s this Codocent thing?

Opening day!

Welcome to the inaugural post of my new presence on the web. If you were directed here from my MSDN Blog, nothing’s really changed in terms of my role as a Microsoft Technical Evangelist. One of the primary motivators for the move was to gain more flexibility and control over my blog hosting and perhaps most importantly provide a responsive theme for mobile users – something that wasn’t easily achievable on the MSDN platform. By the way, my MSDN Blog and all the past articles will remain in place, and you can get there by clicking the “M” icon on the right sidebar.

What’s with the name – codocent – you ask? Well, my eponymous URL, jimoneil.com, was already claimed; the owner wasn’t interested in relinquishing (and from the state of that site apparently not too keen on publishing either); and I didn’t want to settle for just a .net or .me version.

That set me off on a brainstorming mission.

  • I love code. I love the craftsmanship aspect, the discovery of a better way to do things, and the learning along the way. I knew that “code” needed be part of my brand.
  • My other passion is teaching, helping folks understand concepts, seeing the lightbulb come on and learning from them as well as they go through that process.

Many of you know that I have a strong background in the classics, so it’s second nature for me to reach for words with Latin roots. “Teacher” in Latin is “doctor”, which has an patently different connotation in English, but from that I gravitated to “docent”, which literally means “they teach” but in English refers to learned guides in museums, historical sites, and other such attractions.

Codedocent, though, doesn’t quite roll of the tongue: co-dedocent? code-o-cent?

Enter a bit more of my classical training (and some poetic license). In poetry, there’s a device known as elision where you conveniently leave out parts of a word or phrase to fit a meter or make it easier to pronounce. Take the word temperature for instance – not many of us spend time with that second ‘e’.

codocent then is an elision of code and docent and with that comes a bit of serendipity. A co-docent is exactly what I aspire to be. As I explore and write about technical topics like mobile development and cloud architectures, I endeavor to expose others to what I’ve learned.

But it’s not a one-way street. Through every interaction I take away something from the audience that I’m ostensibly there to educate. Each individual comes from a different place, a different context, different experiences, and I learn as much from them as I hope they do from me.

So it’s in that spirit of mutual learning that I’m kicking off this new blog. I hope you’ll join me on the journey and participate in the conversation here and whenever we have the chance to meet in person.

3 thoughts on “Umm, what’s this Codocent thing?

  1. Pingback: Weekly East Region Roundup: Vol. 8 - Devhammer on MSDN - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *