First Week of Work and School

As the first week of work and school comes to an end, I realized that this 100 days to offload is harder than predicted. I partly blame that I got the traditional going-back-to-work cold, but I guess I also have less time to spend on fun stuff like writing.

This week has been about cleaning up.

I’ve started to clean-up my backlog of foss-north video recordings. I’ve got some 12GB of videos rendered, and I’m not even halfway. For next year we really need to do something about the audio recording situation, but it is what it is and it will have to do.

I’ve also contacted a lawyer to help me clean up some personal stuff that I need to complete, given my new family situation. It is not hard, I just find myself procrastinating instead of doing the paperwork. By paying someone (a lot) I guess I will be more focused at completing the task.

Finally, I’m cleaning out stuff from my office and garage. The office simply needed cleaning. If I intend to keep a collection of keyboards, I probably need to make sure they fit somewhere. But it is getting there. I need to reorder the stuff in my shelves to make for a nicer video call background though :-)

I’m cleaning the garage to make room for the electrician who will come and install a charging box for my new, all electric, car. More about this in another post – but it will be nice to be able to do three phase charging at home instead of just 2kW.

All in all – a productive week!

Weekend topic: Music

It’s weekend time, so I thought I’d write about a lighter theme, so why not music.

This week I’ve been listening to the following albums.

As you can tell, it’s still vacation (last week) so not much coding music, but music that requires a bit more attention. Still, I enjoy them all.

This post is a part of my 100 days to offload effort.

The What, How and Why

I’ve thought a bit about learning a skill. How to progress. What the next steps are. This is probably because I’ve moved away from what I thought I used to be, career wise, to something else, and now I’m trying to determine what I will do when I grow up.

The only way to learn a skill is to actually perform the task. To do it. This ranges from the very basics – crawling, walking, running, cleaning your room, and so on. You can get inspired from a million YouTube videos and blog posts, but to learn to do something yourself, you need to do it yourself.

If we look at programming. This is something I’ve done since I was ~12. I know how to code. I can tell when other people know how to code. They get it. Then it is not as much about what language or framework to use. Instead they understand the concept of code. How to solve problems using code.

There is a tangent here about tools and frameworks and how the volatility of this side of the trade ruins my conception about knowing how to code, but let’s save that for later.

My issue with coding is that it quickly becomes “pick another ticket”. What intrigues me is the what to do, which leads to two very interesting questions – why? and how?

The why is interesting because it moves from the art of implementing code to the mysteries of figuring out what the customer whats. This quickly leads to business and how can we have a sustainable customer relationship. Something that is even more interesting when it comes to open source, as the customer is more empowered and in many ways acts as a partner instead of a customer.

The how is also interesting. Especially when you look at the question through the lens of a large project that will take time to build, or through a corporate lens. This is where methodology comes into play. I hate to say agile, because it means so many things, but there are supports that can be used to support both agile and less agile ways of working. I’m thinking of automation. Automated builds, automated tests, automated deployments, infrastructure as code (i.e. some sense automation of the automation). There is a mountain of non-recurring engineering that each software organization must climb to be productive.

For me, these stages came as a linear progression. First I did, then I thought about what to do, when why and how, but they are interconnected. There are various feedback loops hidden, which both limits and drives the progression of the product and team.

Looping back to the original question – what do I want to do when I grow up – I’ve started to circle in towards building teams. I’m still to fully define this, but this would be to help drive the why, how and what to provide purpose and a nice work place for a development team. The question I’m asking myself right now is towards whom to define the why, how and what. It very interesting to do it directly to the end customer, but in a corporate setting, that is rarely the case. Then, instead, this must be defined in relation to the surrounding organization, and how to do this in a good way is still something where I’m in the do stage.

Do you want me to dive deeper in any particular direction, or have thoughts of your own? Reach out to me in the comments or at Mastodon.

This post is a part of my 100 days to offload effort.

A summer of catching up

The feeling of this summer is one of catching up. Last summer was intense due to changes in the family followed by decease and death, leaving with me as a full time single parent. To my great joy, I’ve met someone who is special to me, so this summer has been about getting our families to work as one. It has been fun, but also very intense.

This means that my focus on engagements that I used to do has been very focused on deadlines and what must be done, rather than what I take pleasure in doing. That means economic reporting for foss-north and such. I pushed hard to make foss-north possible this year, and am very happy that it did. However, I’m still catching up in the post event activities.

This means editing videos and such now, rather than in May, and trying to get them on-line during the fall. All speakers have been very understanding in this, so I’m sure it will be good eventually.

This also means that I’ve actively taken a step back from gbgcpp (and swedencpp), as well as not attending fosdem, nor any Stockholm meetups (tdbi, swedencpp, etc). It also means that there has been no gbgcpp activity for a very long time. Let’s see how (if?) I can reactivate that community at some point in time. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you want to help.

This post is a part of my 100 days to offload effort.

100 Days to Offload – take off

So, I’ve been procrastinating instead of jumping into the 100 Days To Offload bandwagon. This is something I’ve contemplated for a long time, so it is a bit ironic that I failed to get started. The idea is to just write, and that is what I intend to do from now on.

Hopefully the 100 posts during a year means that I finally get into a habit of blogging. It’s been a very on and off thing for me, but I want it to be a part of my routine.

As a part of this, I’ll probably expand a bit on what I cover in this blog. The title is Life of a Developer, and my life has been quite dramatic over the past couple of years, so I’ll try share a bit about that.

On the other hand, that does not mean that I’ll stop writing about events I’m arranging or taking part in, nor about technology that gets me excited. Perhaps this can even motivate me to do some more coding just to get contents. Let’s see.

I’ll link to my posts and use the #100daystooffload hash tag over at my Mastodon account. Feel free to follow me there, or via the good old RSS flow.

Either way, this is a first post of at least a hundred. See you on the other side!

foss-north – Just one month left

As I blogged about earlier, life has been challenging the past months, but now things are getting back to normal. This means that some things are late, but also that I really want to do some things. foss-north is among these things.

In one month, April 23-25, foss-north 2023 will take place at Chalmers Conference Centre, in Gothenburg, Sweden. This will be the first in-person event since 2019 and I know it will be great. The speaker line-up has been set and it will be great. We’ve got a bunch of great sponsors helping out to make this possible. What we need are projects for the community day and visitors – this is where you come in to the picture!

So, to encourage you to get yourself a ticket. Tell your friends. And if you want to do a hackaton, workshop or just hang out with fellow hackers, reach out to me to get your project to join the community day!

Getting back to speed

The end of 2022 and beginning of 2023 has not been much to cheer about, but life goes on and it is time to do some fun stuff, and I’ve got some lined up that just might involve you.

First of all, foss-north is back as a physical event. The 2023 event will be the 8th (9th if you consider that we had two events back in 2020 in hope of COVID to be over after the summer) and it will be the 5th physical event. Last time around, in 2019, we peaked the number of speakers, community projects and visitors, so I hope that we can continue that trend and make it even bigger this year.

If you want to participate as a speaker the Call for Paper is still open for another week, so feel free to join in. We’re also looking for projects for the community day as well as sponsors and visitors. Tickets will be made available during March.

In addition to this, me and a couple of friends are getting back to podcasting. The topic is anything open source and we’ve setup a github project for you to contribute your ideas. Feel free to drop in your suggestions.

The Next Step

I recently blogged about my departure from MBition after a four year stint helping to build a software department within Mercedes Benz. Having contemplated various possible paths, I decided to leave my comfort zone and move away from automotive on-board software, which has been my life for the past 11 years.

Instead, I will help Autoliv Research’s ML/AI team to help them build awesome detection tools to help save more lives. This means working with a group of very smart people ranging from domain experts on things such as psychology, bio-mechanics, machine learning, embedded systems, mechatronics and more. I’m really really excited about this – so much fun to learn.

It is still early days and I still have a lot to learn, so I don’t know the details yet. I’ve been meeting people from all around the world for the past week and a half, and will continue to do so until Christmas, but the real fun starts in 2022.

The team is growing, so if you are interested in joining me in a quest to save lives and learning about real life applications of ML/AI in small embedded systems, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Moving on

In the autumn of 2017, me and my family moved down to Berlin for a month to start the infotainment software part of MBition. We were a handful of people at Mindspace in Mitte. I’ve never done so many interviews in my life – and I’ve never had the opportunity to get to know so many great people.

Fast forward to today, and we have grown to over 400 people in the project and are about to deliver an amazing product. The architecture team has grown from a one man team consisting of me, into one of the best groups of engineers I’ve ever worked with.

We wanted to change the world. We could not change everything, but I feel that we are bringing improvements to the project, as well as building a better foundation for future work at Mercedes Benz. I very much want to buy the first car with the MBient platform in it, as I know it will be an amazing product.

This has been a fantastic journey and one of the most challenging, but also rewarding, parts in my career. However, all things must come to an end. I’m sad to leave, but I’m also happy to say that I’m staying with the project as a part of the MBition Advisory Council. I’m happy not to go to Berlin twice a month, but I’m already missing the city, so I’m glad that I know that I will come back.

There are so many I’d like to thank and mention so I cannot begin to try to list you all – I’ll just forget someone. You know who you are! Keep up the great work and let’s meet the next time I’m in town!