Monday, March 1, 2010

Forum Nokia Champion - Elected for the fifth time

I've just been informed by Nokia that I had got re-elected for the fourth time as a Forum Nokia Champion for 2010, thus it's my 5th year in succession from the launch of this program. It's definitely worth looking back what has happened in the past 4 years.

I started as a keen contributor to NewLC Symbian forum back in 2004. I had been programming for Symbian for 4 years by then when I "opened my eyes" to see that there were quite many independent developers eagerly looking for help on Symbian programming. I was fortunate enough to be "close to the fire" as I had been contributing to S60 platform development and as such had good resources to learn from. With the wish of helping others, I was an active contributor of the afore-mentioned forum.

Then came 2006 when Nokia kicked-off Forum Nokia Champion program to reward those people who had voluntarily helped the community and spread the word. People who were not only developers: one of the best examples is Anina, "an international model with a passion for technology". The word? Yeah, mobile development in general and those technologies in particular that had to do with Nokia. Like Symbian, Java, Flash, etc.

The good things offered to FNCs (our short name), among others, are:
  • Welcome device (one per year), I just voted for an N900 this year
  • Semiannual Forum Nokia Champion Day held at various places
  • Market yourself as a FNC backed by Nokia's brand, which is not only valuable when you're an individual, but your company is also authorized to use the FNC logo
  • Early access to new hardware, documentation.
Thanks to this program I met such people that I would never have done and learned about the use of mobile in medicine, developing countries in Africa, heard how people at universities get in touch with mobile, how an RC car can be controlled with a mobile, etc. I made friendships, took part in writing a book, got to know fellow Hungarians whom I would have never met otherwise. Met friendly Indians, heard about inventive people from the Orient and was proud when one of my workmates got also nominated as an FNC.

We created our informal e-mail group that is an inexhaustible source of mobile development knowledge, are available on LinkedIn (closed group, sorry), share ideas, job ads, etc among ourselves, and ultimately form a loose network of trustworthy people that we can always turn to with our problems.

I've also been rewarded by numerous small and not so small gifts during the years of my membership, being the biggest is the opportunity that I could travel around the world for the sake of meeting my fellow champions: I've been in Singapore, Las Vegas where I didn't lose a dime, London where I was one of the presenters and Budapest my home town at the time.

And even though my main focus has turned from being a "plain" Symbian developer long ago to sharing opinion on blogs and other forums as well as actively helping Nokia do their business, the point is still the same: it IS worth being a Forum Nokia Champion.

Who else has remained from the original founding members?