I may or may not be interviewed on the Swedish language Radio Vega. The background to this confusing statement is that the Finnish government today publishes a report on the use of open source in Finnish companies and associated risks related to that. I was a contributor to the report since Monty Program is a Finnish open source company. I guess since I speak Swedish, the reporter had scheduled a telephone interview with me after the press conference.
I'm writing this blog post over a JoikuSpot 3G connection.
I travel a lot, so I often used internet over a Bluetooth/3G connection provided by my phone. I have a flat rate 3G subscription for that, but when I travel abroad it gets expensive of course. Even so, I've found that it was often more efficient to get my emails read to download them over a 3G than trying to get WLAN to work in every new location. Abroad it gets expensive, but I figured getting my job done rather than spending 20-30 minutes troubleshooting WLAN issues was worth it for my employer.
Actually, it is horrible how poor WLAN is still today on Linux. After all, this is something where Windows XP achieved quite decent usability in 2001, that is 9 years ago!
When I recently threw my Nokia E71 into the pavement in Stockholm, I had to buy a new Nokia E75. Since then my 3G over Bluetooth modem setup didn't work anymore. Today I decided to fix it. I went back to the source of my instructions. See, there's still an area in desktop Linux where the only way to make things work is to copy some scripts here and there. Then, after a while, I gave up. The PPP scripts just wouldn't connect. I have no idea what is different compared to the previous phone that (mostly) worked.
This blog post is just to list links and tips on getting home to Finland.
First leg: getting to anywhere in Europe
Being stuck in San Fransisco, my first problem has been to get just anywhere closer to home. Taking a boat from America to Europe takes from 6-15 days and is not significantly cheaper than flying. So the best bet is just to fly to Europe.
Between following (from a distance) the talks at Fosdem and anticipating the ones at MySQL User Conference in April, I was reminded of 2 interesting MySQL talks that have had a deeper meaning to me than their original speakers probably intended. I thought today could be a good time to share these 2 stories that for me personally are filed in the "things I learned from MySQL AB and Sun" folder...
"If you can't solve the problem, try solving some other problem"
I just wanted to post this note so there is no confusion or rumors popping up: In a recent meeting at Monty Program we concluded that with the recent additions to the community and engineering teams, the team is now in excellent shape, except for one thing: we have bottlenecks on the top. As a solution we've decided to split my current job in 2 parts:
COO: in charge of company operations and routines, who most will report to
VP of Community and Business development: will be a more "project oriented" role taking care of ad hoc things that need to get done. (Such as, setting up ODBA, arm wrestling with Oracle, productizing our offerings, developing also internal processes, etc...)
I attended Open Ocean Capital's birthday party yesterday. It was in the Storyville Jazz Restaurant in Helsinki, with Katja Toivola and the Spirit of New Orleans playing. It was great to be at such a good live Jazz concert, something I have been missing the last years.
Mingling with business people I was reminded of 2 sayings that I often hear managers use.
Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?
This saying was actually quite popular at MySQL. Just in case someone doesn't know how it is used, this saying is used against someone who points out problems or weaknesses in the company, especially if perceived as complaining.
Some weeks ago I've resigned from Sun Microsystems, where I worked as a MySQL Telecom Sales Engineer. Beginning July 13th I will take on a new role in the MySQL ecosystem, as "Project Manager and COO" for Monty Program Ab.
Since it can be argued I'm moving to a competitor, and I was working in a customer facing role, upon resigning I had to immediately return my computer, phone, etc to Sun, and my login accounts, including email, were terminated. I've gotten some comments about this (like: "Is there no trust in the world anymore?" and "How can you treat anyone like that?") and I cannot stress this enough: This is normal, I expected it, indeed brought it to my managers attention myself. If nothing else, think of it this way: This precaution also protects me from any misunderstandings and/or false accusations. Besides, starting your vacation by returning your laptop and removing your email account isn't the worst thing to happen to you - try it, you'll love it :-)
This had in any case the side effect that I was not able to honor a long standing tradition of sending a goodbye and thank you note to a certain internal mailing list, because I cannot do that from my private email. (Also asking others to forward a mail proved to be problematic/sensitive in many ways.)
Hence, I'm posting the email I wrote here instead, so that both my former collagues and other MySQL community members can read it alike: