Posts Tagged ‘JAOO’

9th January
2011
written by Therese

Reading through the YOW! 2010 conference program I was reminded of the rallying cry “more cowbell”. The evening keynote on the first day, 50 in 50 by Guy Steele and Richard Gabriel, really brings back memories. I first saw this keynote a few years ago at JAOO Aarhus 2008 and I was in awe of the artful presentation of so many programming languages! It’s not every day you see Guy Steele rapping.

Fortunately it was taped and the video is here:

How many of the programming languages did you know?

29th October
2010
written by Therese

Most of the time startups focus on getting investors and optimizing for how much money they/we get out of it. But is that really the best strategy?

Github founder Tom Preston-Werner doesn’t think so. Github has never taken founding from VCs or Angel investors. Tom believes that you should optimize for happiness instead and actually that could also have a positive effect on the money part of things. If you build it they will come…

I recently found a video of Tom giving a presentation at startup school. I really likes his way of thinking:


Watch live video from c3oorg on Justin.tv

I was (as I previously mentioned) at a talk by Tom Preston-Werner a few weeks ago at JAOO about Github and Git. He is a really great speaker and his star in my book did not fade because he and the other github-people sponsered a drinkup during JAOO. I got to talk to some really interesting people and that lead to an idea that I’m going to work on in the future. It seems like what Tom is talking about in the video really works.

My main takeaways from Toms presentation: creating win-win situations, helping luck through proximity and being creative in not paying for things. It seems like I have been on the right path all along ;-).

If you have to chance to hear Tom present, don’t miss it. He is a laid-back, really cool guy.

18th October
2010
written by Therese

I have been to a lot of conferences and seen a lot of presentations from brilliant people, but sometimes those brilliant people fail to make a presentation that connects with the audience. As an audience member (and not speaking as one of the brilliant people presenting) I have just one advice for those speakers.

Speak at conferences because you are on a mission. Don’t give a presentation just because people ask you to, and you are flattered. Make sure to think about what you are giving the audience – what the audience should take away from your talk (and make it simple). At conferences most attendees are on information overload, so you have to inspire them for further investigation. Tell jokes, tell anecdotes, use images to let your audience connect with your material. Be enthusiastic. Be memorable. Be tweetable. Be bloggable. Be the odd one out. Make sure that everyone knows why you are on that stage and what you are talking about.

That’s it.

15th September
2010
written by Therese

So far all my code versioning needs has been covered by CVS and SVN, but recently I keep hearing about distributed version control. Git and Mercurial are very popular topics in certain parts of my social circle, so I decided that I need to look into the topic (some very painful personal experience with a large programming project on Subversion also had some motivational influence on that decision).

So where to start?

I decided to start looking into Git. This was not a deliberate deselection of Mercurial but motivated by my attendance at the IT-conference JAOO in a months time and at JAOO Scott Chacon from GitHub will host a Git 101 tutorial, which I am considering attending (oh, and one of the GitHub founders, Tom Preston-Werner, will do a presentation called “Mastering Git Basics”, which also could be interesting).

My starting point was wikipedia and as it mentions that Git is designed and originally developed by Linus Thorvalds, I googled Git together with his name to see what he had to say about the subject. The result was this Tech talk from Google, that I quite enjoyed:

Then I told my twitter friends that am looking into Git and as always they give great feedback. My favorite was from jlouis666, who pointed me to a page with the Pro Git book by aforementioned Scott Chacon (the guy hosting a Git tutorial at JAOO), which is available online. I’m hoping to look into it before his tutorial.

So far I have not had time to really play with Git. Because all my existing projects are in SVN and migrating between two such different systems would probably be unwise/a pain I am saving my practical experience with Git for my next project. I hope that these things I am looking into will prepare me for the practical experience, but any advise you have could really help too…

After JAOO I plan to look into Mercurial/hg – If you know of good sources of information for that I would love to hear about it. (I guess with all the Git-stuff at JAOO they didn’t have any time slots left for Mercurial or maybe they have just chosen their favorite…)

11th September
2010
written by Therese

Sometimes you have to remember to do something good for your blog readers (and twitter followers) and because I have been behind the scenes at JAOO the last few years, I was able to negotiate a good discount for the JAOO IT-conference.

So if you want to go to JAOO in Aarhus and hear some great speakers like Tim Bray, Oren Eini (Ayende), Dan North, Erik Meijer, James Gosling, Mary Poppendieck, Michael Nygard, Dan Ingalls, Dave Thomas and many more, you can get a 20 % discount using the discount code “jaoovip2010″ when signing up.

If you have questions about going to the conference, feel free to ask. You can leave a comment on this blog or write to me on twitter @qedtherese.

7th September
2010
written by Therese

I’m so sorry, but I just have to rant about this: The last few years I have been part of organizing an IT-conference here in Aarhus called JAOO. Last year, when the world was in crisis mode, I could understand why people, when asked if they want to go to JAOO, said, that their boss wouldn’t let them and that the conference budget for the whole year was cancelled.

This year the economy is doing much better and still my friends are not going to JAOO even though they love the conference. Now the excuse is that they don’t have time. Fewer hands are doing the same amount of work as before the crisis, so now they are running around getting sick from stress. AND they just accept that their employer does not update their skill set because the business is too busy.

I can let you in on a little secret: The business is always busy when there is no economic crisis. Some IT-companies was even busy when the crisis was peaking. Such is IT. The diffence between now and then is that now the workers that did not get to go to the conference last year and probably wont get to go this year are outdated. They haven’t taken the time to get their qualifications updated the last few years and the tech world is moving terrible fast. Some don’t know what the whole NoSQL-thing is about, some haven’t heard much about HTML5 and some haven’t heard anything about the mobile phone development department. Now the crisis is over and companies are getting business deals that demands skills in that department and their current workforce can’t deliver. They should have been working smarter, not harder!

A lot of places they are trying to bring in new people with updated skills but this is turning out to be problematic. New workers have a learning period before they can get really started and sometimes you end up hiring the wrong guy/gal for the job because none of the people who applied was right for the job. Firing people is also expensive (at least it is here in Denmark) and if the current skill set in your workforce is outdated then you might have to.

I just think that it is very irresponsible to accept being outdated in the tech knowledge department – it could lead to unemployment. When my last employer told me I couldn’t go to JAOO, I decided to pay for the whole thing myself by taking some of my vacation during the conference (I got the ticket through version2.dk because of my blog there). Of course now I don’t have the problem of having to use my vacation time on conferences, because I quit my job to travel the world… (I’m leaving just 2 weeks after JAOO and yes, that timing is chosen on purpose.)

I’m so sorry for the rant – soon I will be back to normal and overly positive as usual.

(P.S. Of course there are plenty of ways to keep your skill set updated – I just know the conference business especially well, so I know that those few days are well spent, very inspirational and valuable enough to miss a few work days.)

26th June
2010
written by Therese

Working behind the scenes at the JAOO conference the last few years has been a great inspiration for me. I have met great conference speakers like Linda Rising, Michael Nygard, Mary Poppendieck, Jim Coplien, Ola Bini, Dan North and many more that I really respect and admire. This year I left JAOO for a glamorous job as a full-time programmer and even though I can’t wait to go back and experience JAOO from the other side of the fence I must say that looking at this years JAOO speaker lineup, I am less than impressed. My favorite speaker Linda Rising is not coming and even though the usual suspects seems to be there except Linda I’m just not as excited as I have been the other years I have attended JAOO.

One of the first things I noticed was that in general there is not many female speakers on the program this year. I would have liked to see names like Rachel Davies, Aino Vonge Corry, Linda Rising, Rebecca Parsons, Amanda Laucher, Gabrielle Benefield and maybe even some new female names up there with all the guys. And usually there is quite a few female speakers at JAOO – even a few obscure cool female geeks and not just the cool authors of geek books – just not this year. Weird. And yes, I know I’m one of the few that notice this gender disparity but as a geek girl you are always looking for new geeky role models.

The second thing I noticed was that JAOO doesn’t seem to be featuring a lot of talks about topics from every day life as a programmer. I am a Java programmer by day and a C# programmer by night and both C# and Java seems to take a backseat to the more obscure languages at this years JAOO (but you could argue that this is a continuing trend from the last few years). There is no pure .NET-track this year but a “mainstream languages” track where Java, Javascript and C# can battle for the presentation slots. And they couldn’t even fill one track with mainstream languages – they put F# in there too. I could only count 9 presentations tagged with .NET but a few of them can’t be called .NET-topics – they are just vaguely related. The Java side of things looks a bit better with Spring-topics,  Android and of course all the languages built to run on the JVM like Clojure and Scala.

Of course this is all concerns I have with the conference schedule as it is now – things can look quite different in October when the conference starts. There is still open presentation slots on the schedule. And even with a less than JAOO average lineup this years conference will probably be much better than the other developer conferences. I love JAOO!

See you there?

P.S. I will even forgive the team behind JAOO for chosing a pink venus sign as the logo for my usergroup Ada Aarhus, but only because we haven’t chosen a logo for the group yet. The sign of venus is just a bit too cliche to use for a usergroup of geek girls.

P.P.S. I call Ada Aarhus my usergroup because I co-founded the group back in December ’09.

6th June
2010
written by Therese and Poul

“We like to travel!”

Let me just break that sentence down for you. “We” are a Danish married couple (Poul and Therese) – both geeks working in IT as software developers.

The word “like” is a bit of an understatement – we actually love to travel but “love” is an overused word which we try to avoid. Alternatively we could have written “We ♥ to travel” or “We ♥ travelling” but that is also much too cliché – so we settled for “like”.

And then we come to “travel”. By travelling we mean both vacation, business travel, adventure and just getting out of the country for any reason. Denmark is a very lovely country but 30+ years here is enough; we need to see something new. In 2009 we travelled 8 times between us – some for business but mostly recreationally. We started the year in the African continent, spent most of our days in the European continent, visited the North-American continent and ended the year in the Asian continent. Our plans for 2010 is to work hard and eventually save enough money to travel in Asia for 6 months to a year.

So yes, we like to travel!

This blog is our diary

We started this blog because we would like to have a channel of communication when we travel and also to have a place to rave about our geeky projects. Right now we are both working full-time while also doing our own projects in our free-time and trying to keep up with interesting trends in software development. Our background include 3 ScrumMaster Certifications between us, one academic education as a Computer Scientist and one education as a Computer Engineer and we have been working for IBM, “Den Blå Avis” (Ebay), Lego, Aarhus University, one local hospital and the JAOO IT-conference to name a few.

When we travel we tend to take a lot of photographs and we intend to share a lot of them with our blog readers. The photo in the blog header is also one from our travels – it is taken in Bangkok at Christmas time. The blue spots on the picture are Christmas decorations that hung in front of the view. Beautiful isn’t it?