I am about to head off on holidays for a couple of weeks during which time I will only have limited internet access and won’t be helping out here at Chandoo.org or at the ExcelHero Academy whilst away.
I thought I may leave a few words and a Challenge for everyone.
In mid 2009 when Chandoo setup the forums I was an infrequent visitor to Chandoo.org. Chandoo had a neat way of writing his posts, not dissimilar to how I write which is personable and not text book style.
The first time I saw the forums there was about 20 unanswered posts, which I decided to see if I could tackle. When the forums were setup we used to get about 2 posts a week (on a busy week) and sometimes a week would go by with no posts.
Although I’ve used Excel for ages, I didn’t consider myself an expert by any measure. There were areas where I was very competent (Sumproduct & Data Tables) and I do consider myself very good at systems analysis, but I was no way an excel expert.
However I was surprised at my ability to answer most of the questions posted, and so would set myself a challenge to research and try and solve the posts that I couldn’t directly answer.
I will admit to being nervous when posting my first few responses.
- What if I make a fool of myself?
- What if the answer is wrong?
- What if my answers aren’t . . .
You get the idea.
What I found was exactly the opposite.
Most of my answers were close, and people would tell me when they weren’t right and we’d work on the problems together, even if it meant 40+ posts to solve an individual question.
People started appreciating the efforts I was providing and saying Thanks.
I realized that a lot of the problems weren’t actually Excel related, but more were data organization, data flow, problem analysis related, and I fitted into that slot easily.
Chandoo all of a sudden made me an Excel Ninja, which apart from the Free Gold plated Ninja Sword, Free Black Hood and Magical Powers, gave me the power to Edit my own posts and Delete others when they were rude/obnoxious etc.
But most of all I found my own Excel skills were developing quite rapidly and mostly into the areas I wasn’t familiar with.
This came about from not just answering the questions, but from the research into some of the harder ones. The research often took me to sites and into techniques and areas that I’d never seen or heard of and I was able to apply these to unanswered questions and work. I recently stumbled across a web page and was able to answer a post question which was 20 months old with what I had found.
Obviously since then I have written about 30 posts for Chandoo.org and have been allowed to run the site whilst Chandoo
Holidays teaches Excel around the world.
So firstly a thanks to Chandoo for giving me the opportunity and authority to post without censorship or review and to take care of his site from time to time, I’ve really enjoyed all of it.
I also want to thank the other users who regularly answer Forums posts, including our second Ninja Luke M as well as Vijay Sharma, Dan_L & Fred and all the others who answer posts, for assisting me in recent times.
YOUR TWO CHALLENGES
Challenge 1. Answer a Forum Post
To assist you in developing your excel skills, I won’t be answering any posts whilst on holidays, mostly because I will have limited internet access and won’t have access to Excel. Also when I get back from holidays, I’m going to stop answering Forum Posts until they are unanswered for 2 days.
My Challenge is for you to step in and fill the void.
Take the first step and try your hand at answering a few Forum posts.
Don’t be shy or ashamed of making a mistake. Your mistake will get picked and corrected and you and then many others will learn from it as well.
Start with simple posts you know or sort of know.
Give yourself a goal of say answering 1 post per week, or answering the next question on a specific topic. Read other answers and if they aren’t quite right or you can add to the story, do so, in a polite way of course.
Write as you would like people to speak to you.
Please be aware that we get posts from all languages and often the Poster’s translation into English isn’t perfect. Be patient.
Challenge 2. Write a Post
If you have any specialty areas/skills or excel techniques why not try your hand at penning a post.
If you have developed a neat Dashboard or Report or anything else Excel that your proud of, why not try and write it up as a post so that other can learn from your skills.
So I’m off on Holidays.
Take care of the forums whilst I’m away and good luck with the above challenges.
PS: Please don’t post or rush to answer posts marked as URGENT, etc, Direct people to the Posting Rules & Etiquette Page.
Added by Chandoo:
How can I thank Hui for all he does. He is a great teacher, friend & supporter of our work here. He shows immense passion for helping people and teaching what he knows. I feel so fortunate to have known him. Wish you a kickass holiday Hui.
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