Archive for the Technology Category

September 30th, 2016

Dublin Travelogue

I’m writing this on No. 1 Lounge in Heathrow, in between flights from Dublin and to Helsinki. I’ve spent the past week in Dublin, participating in the annual European DrupalCon.

I’ve visited Dublin once before, in 1998. Back then, the city felt quite drab and expensive. Now, it felt fresh and somewhat expensive. There has been a huge amount of new buildings erected near the docks area and the conference happened to be there – so lot of new and even futuristic vibes.

I arrived on Monday after spending my weekend with junior hockey players in Leppävirta in eastern Finland. Travelling with 43 eleven years old players and around ten adults for two days (and nights) takes it toll. I was dead tired on Monday morning after woking up 5.20 in the morning – I had spent seven hours at home between trips.

Monday was a Business Summit day that I combined with a quick visit to Acquia Partner Day and then the opening of the expo floor. The Business Summit was awesome and way better than I would have expected. Didn’t learn that much, but we had excellent posse on our table and thus had loads of fun.

My company Exove and One Shoe from Netherlands organised a Drupal CEO Survey together with Drupal Association. We got over 70 responses and analysed them before the DrupalCon. A shared press release and detailed analysis was made. We presented the analysis on Drupal CEO Dinner on Wednesday, and discussed about the results with Drupal Association. People welcomed the survey and its results so warmly that we’ll do it again in 2017.

Other than that, DrupalCon was quite normal experience. Met a lot of old friends, made a few new ones, and had numerous good discussions. The venue was the best since Munich and its location near the city centre unrivalled by any DrupalCons I’ve visited from 2011 onwards.

The event ended on my behalf on Thursday evening at the DrupalCon volunteer dinner. I was this year global track chair for the business track, helping the my local counterpart to build a comprehensive and well-balanced track of sessions. There would have been Drupal Trivia Night after the dinner, but I was so dead tired that I decided to hit the bed.

Today has been a day of wading through emails and travelling back home. The first flight was from Dublin to Heathrow where I needed to change terminals. I got nice instructions from Heathrow’s website stating that the transit time is 75 minutes. I got through in less than 30, so I’ve got plenty of time to enjoy the food here and write this entry.

September 29th, 2015

DrupalCon Barcelona

I spent the previous week in sunny Barcelona – albeit mostly inside in CCIB conference center – as my company Exove participated in DrupalCon Barcelona as a Diamond sponsor.

DrupalCons are held once a year in Europe, and also in America and Asia. So, attending to DrupalCon has been an autumn tradition for the past five years or so for me.

Barcelona was by every means an excellent city to host the event. Good weather, excellent architecture, fabulous food, and working infrastructure makes it an ideal destination.

Unfortunately I had quite a bad flu the whole week. It actually started like two weeks before the trip and I was constantly coughing and sneezing. Some days were better and some worse, but I felt a bit sick every day. Not so much to stay in the bed, but just having a constant headache and so forth.

Anyhow, I flew in on early Sunday morning – the flight left Helsinki airport at ungodly hour of 6.15 in the morning and I was already at the city at 9.00. Most of our people – eleven in total – would come on Monday and leave on Friday, so we had reserved a big apartment for everyone of us. I had to pad my stay for a night on both ends, as I bought extremely cheap tickets from Stockmann’s crazy days. And then upgraded myself to business both ways using Finnair’s campaign. I probably had the cheapest business class seat on both of my flights.

I had reserved a room for one night at both ends (Sunday-Monday and Friday-Saturday) from a boutique hotel through booking.com. What I didn’t notice when doing the reservation that the hotel was a gay hotel. Albeit heterofriendly. Frankly, I was a tad shocked at first, but found that it was actually quite a good hotel. The only cues for the orientation were pictures of tanned and very muscular lads without shirts in all hotel advertisements.

I spent Sunday strolling around the city quite aimlessly. I decided to go to Picasso Museum, but the queue was like hundred people and it moved really slowly. So I ended up coding in my room. This is the downside of visiting cities that you’ve been in several times already.

Monday to Thursday was DrupalCon. A lot of meetings, a couple excellent dinners, and standing at our booth. I was quite drenched on Thursday evening.

I rented a car on Friday and drove to Andorra. I’ve never been there before and this was like a good day to pop over. The drive took around three hours in one direction and then I spent a couple of hours in the small country. It seemed to be a tax-free haven, but I ended buying only a can of Diet Pepsi.

On Saturday I flew back to Finland. There was a warning for an air controller strike for Saturday, but fortunately it was cancelled.

I spent Sunday mostly sick at home and then visited doctor on Monday – sinusitis on both sides. Now I’m on antibiotics and hopefully getting better.

The next trip is to New York to speak in eZ Conference at the beginning of November.

February 28th, 2015

DrupalCamp London 2015

I’ve been fortunate to participate in DrupalCamp London for three years in a row – actually, as long as the Camp has been organised. This year I also had a session about making meaning by open source contributions to people near and far. The slides can be found at Exove’s Slideshare channel.

The camp is one of the largest DrupalCamps in the world and probably the largest in Europe, this weekend it hosted in total around 600 people. It is always good fun to see a lot of familiar faces and enjoy excellent discussions spiced with some sessions. I even ended up in sprints to help in a JavaScript questions the coders had.

Besides DrupalCamp, I’ve been meeting prospects and clients – we’ve been working on the UK market for a few months now, and our story has a very good traction. Of course, it takes a lot of time to convince people to buy systems from a newcomer, but we are extremely patient.

I didn’t have any time to stroll around the city – only a quick dash to Lego store – but fortunately London is such a familiar city nowadays that I can cope with this.

September 23rd, 2014

Amsterdam Calling

In a couple of days (three, in fact) I’ll be going to Amsterdam to spend a week at DrupalCon Europe. My company is a platinum sponsor of the event, and I’ll be talking, breathing, and living Drupal for one very intensive week.

Travelwise, it has been a while since I’ve been in Amsterdam for good. I was there briefly in 2012 — again in a Drupal event — but spent most of the trip near the airport and visited the city only for one dinner at a restaurant near the central railway station. The previous occasion was 2009 — very good trip, only me and Sanna; kids stayed home with grandparents…

Anyhow, this time I’ve got a weekend to both stroll around the city and network with fellow Drupalists. It is always a pleasure to have some free time to discuss and reflect things, especially after spending this week hectically organising everything and between related to DrupalCon.

March 31st, 2014

DrupalCamp Stockholm

Mere two weeks from DrupalCamp London, and I was on the road again due to DrupalCamp Stockholm. This time I had two sessions, one individual and one shared with Wauwaa’s Laurent Chollat. If you are interested in the slides, go to Exove’s Slideshare channel.

Besides one truly good and inspiring day at the local camp, Stockholm is always a fun city to spend a day or so. I arrived early on Friday — the camp was on Saturday — and spent part of the day with fellow Drupalists. And also writing a couple of offers and spending some time in telco. Thus no much time for shopping, but I’ve already discussed with my wife that we could come as a whole family to Stockholm during summer.

February 28th, 2014

DrupalCamp London

I’m currently at London, attending DrupalCamp London. Today is a CXO day and the next two days are full of Drupal goodness and meeting a lot of people.

There is a surprisingly lot of people from abroad. Maybe London is an easy destination for most of Europeans.

I continue my high-flying lifestyle in two weeks in Stockholm, where I’ll give two presentations at DrupalCamp Stockholm.

My only wish is that these events would be during weekdays, working two weeks without pauses is somewhat tedious.

September 30th, 2013

DrupalCon in Prague

I spent a week in Prague attending, sponsoring, and volunteering in DrupalCon, and have finally recovered from the event.

First, a few words about Prague. It is stunningly beautiful city, as it was not leveled during World War II. There are monuments, castles, towers, bridges, and houses from several centuries – making the city layered and interesting. I didn’t have too much time to stroll around the city, as my calendar was filled with meetings and dinners, but I was able to squeeze in visits to the castle, Charles’ bridge and the astronomical clock. I also spent some time in the shopping malls without finding anything worth buying.

Most of the time was spent at DrupalCon. It was hosted conveniently next to a metro station and it took about ten minutes from our hotel in the city centre to the congress centre with metro. Not bad.

As usual, DrupalCon is a lot of fun and meeting both old friends and new acquaintances. As my company was sponsoring the event, I spent a lot of time at our booth, including also setting it up and dismantling it. I was also a track chair for business and strategy track and visited a few of sessions on my track. I was thrilled to note that all of them were excellent (as expected, of course…)

I flew back on Friday evening after popping in code sprints and the weekend was spent recovering.

In two weeks I’ll be in Lego building event in Ilmajoki with my boys and friends. And then to London for an extended weekend. This seems very good season travel-wise.

August 25th, 2013

DrupalCamp Baltics

I spent last Friday in Tallinn, enjoying the sessions at DrupalCamp Baltics. I’m a bit biased to say that the event was a blast — I’m also part of the organising committeen.

But it was a blast, the biggest and best Drupal event in Baltics in my humble opinion. A number of excellent speakers discussing about relevant and interesting topics, surprisingly lot of discussion, and really good venue. Or have you ever heard a conference venue that sponsors a pair of dancers to the after party? Hotel Euroopa did that. The after party was very nice on other fronts, too.

Tallinn has become one of my favourite cities. It has a lot to do and see, there’s plethora of good and inexpensive restaurants and cafés, the hotels are in top-notch shape, and everything just works. Like in Finland, but still differently.