Scale Summit, FOSS North and some routine changes.

Changing routines to stay productive

As a remote worker, you need to find ways to keep productivity levels high. No matter how exciting your work is, there are times in which you struggle with keeping up the pace. Looking back at my performance during the last couple of weeks of January and first few days of February, I discovered that I was getting into a productivity valley, which never happened to me after coming back from a couple of weeks vacation. I decided to do something about it before the issue had any impact in my overall performance.

  • I have a little place back in my home island, La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain, where I can work comfortably. So when I feel I am not being very productive at home, I move there for a couple of weeks. It does work well for me. I decided though to try something different this time.
  • I go to the office in Manchester, UK several times a year. Those weeks there are intense and change whatever dynamic I am in. I spent there a few days early in February already but I decided to go back again the last week of March.
  • Once in a while, specially on Fridays, I go to coworking spaces in Málaga, specially when I am at home over three weeks in a row. This past month of March I decided to join The Living Room coworking space, in Málaga. My idea is to work there once or twice a week the coming three months. So far the experience is positive.
  • The first week of March, after the Embedded World 2019 and the CIP Technical Steering Committee face to face meeting in Nürnberg, I went to Prague for a week. I rented an apartment there and a hot desk at Impact Hub coworking space. The trip gave me the opportunity to break the routine while enjoying some of the many activities that the city offers. The classical music, opera, jazz and blues scene in Prague is rich. There are plenty of theaters and clubs to go to every night. Live music is one of my passions and Prague is perfect for it.

Impact Hub Prague is a big and busy coworking space with great facilities. It is maybe too crowded for people that have concentration difficulties or many video chats, but very good for entrepreneurs and freelancers. Those who have a fixed desk there work in more quiet areas. People were very friendly and I could have a productive week.

I am in the process of slightly changing some well established routines like starting a little earlier, reducing the lunch time and trying to finish a little earlier when working from home. I might also increase the amount of time I am working standing up.

It seems that all these measures are working so far although I will need a few more weeks to confirm this impression.

Scale Summit 2019

On Friday 29th March I attended to Scale Summit 2019 in London, UK, an unconference that works under Chatham House rules bringing together “professionals from the operations and software development communities who have a particular interest in scalable, high performance systems “.

It is a fantastic event. One of the best ones I’ve been to. This is the second time I have attended and will not be the last one. The quality of the discussions is very high and people go there to learn instead of to shine, sharing experiences and asking questions.

FOSS North 2019

I was invited by the FOSS North organizers to give a talk on Tuesday 9th April. This is a 2 days, 260 participants and two tracks event, that takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden. This was the fourth edition and the next one, at the same venue, will take place on March 30th and 31st 2020.

It was my first participation at this event and my first time in Gothenburg. FOSS North is well organized, vibrant, it takes place in good facilities, there were great speakers (Adrian DeGroot, Chris Simmonds, Mirko Boehm, Molly de Blanc, Michael Kerrisk, Chris Lamb, etc), some interesting talks, the food was great… and I liked Gothenburg. There will be videos available from every session. The speakers dinner was fun and interesting, which is not always the case.

Thanks Johan for the invitation and thanks Codethink Ltd for sponsoring my trip there.

I would recommend you to watch Mirko Boehm’s keynote “Open Source, Standards Development and Patents in Europe“. I found specially interesting the view of Open Source projects from the standardization bodies point of view he provided. It is always good to receive criticism with somebody else’s eyes. Specially controversial was the point referred to meritocracy.

I heard for the very first time about Property-based testing, which is an alternative approach to Example Based Testing (like Unit Testing). I believe it is kind of a structured way of doing Fuzz Testing. I will read more about this topic because I liked it. I initially find it specially useful for regulated environments (Contract Driven Development).

I got a good amount of feedback about my talk, which had a couple of controversial slides for some. I will deliver this talk again (in Spanish), this coming month of May at OpenSouthCode. Some of the comments will help me to improve the talk, which is always a good thing. I will link the video to the Conference section of this site as soon as it is available. Meanwhile I have published the slides already.

As part of the Community Day, on Sunday 7th, I attended to the KDE workshop driven by Adrian DeGroot. I took with me my RPi3 and RPi screen with Plasma Mobile and my 10″ Lenovo tablet with openSUSE Tumbleweed and Plasma. Adrian took his 7″ device, also with Plasma so the room looked like an embedded oriented workshop.

There were several other activities from different communities in different locations across Gothenburg that same Sunday. Several companies and non-profit organizations hosted these workshops. This warming up activity was considered a success so it will take place again in the 2020 edition. There were a few booths from sponsors at the event. Most of the companies present were recruiting.

If you are in Scandinavia, think about attending to this event next year. It is a good one.

In May I will attend to OpenSouthCode and J On The Beach, both in Málaga area. See you there!

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