April 07, 2017
Some of you who stop by here from time to time may know/remember that I am part of the organiser team for #GDGDUS - GDG Düsseldorf (more about it here) and Women Techmakers Düsseldorf.
Google Developers across the globe. While GDG != Google we do have a connection to Google and we are supported by Google - but most of all, GDG across the globe and across the DACH region cooperate in various formats. We could not do this without the members and we wouldn't be so strong if we didn't cooperate with GDG:s in the rest of the DACH region - sharing ideas, discussing approaches, speaking at each others event, meeting up on a regular basis, online or face to face - at the Firebase Devsummit, for example.
Many GDG:s run events at the same time, the next big one coming up is Google I/O Extended which we of course do here in Düsseldorf as well.
But the really big thing coming up is coming up in the autumn - Devfest season! Devfest - Developer Fest - is a conference series and GDG:s across the globe organise developer conferences across the globe, developer conferences covering different topics in the tech field - from Cloud to Android, from hardcore code to design, usability, accessibility.
April 04, 2017
Where are the photos and everything else from travel?There was a time when I posted much more, and there was a time when there were a lot more travel posts.
There was also a time when there was another blog, more anonymous, with quite a bit of travel tips - that blog is long gone, I deactivated it and stopped writing when I had started to move to Taiwan.
There used to be an artblog as well but that has been gone even longer, and it wasn't up and running very long either - took a lot of time to do all the research I felt it needed.
With the travel tips and ideas: Well, the blog turned more into a blog about tech, sustainability, events and so on.
However there is another forum, a little blog where I post very little text but I post photos now and then - the photoblog. Feel free to visit me there! With the photos there are little stories as well so it might be interesting.
March 27, 2017
On technology and society - and the end user in the centre
If we want technology to serve society rather than enslave it, we have to build systems accessible to all people - be they male or female, young, old, disabled, computer wizards or technophobes.
The quote above is supposedly from Anita Borg, one of the more important names to know when it comes to tech. When she said it and in what context I don't know, nor do I know if it is an actual quote from Anita Borg - internet is full of fake quotes - but nevertheless it is the one I pick today.
Anita Borg, a name you should know if you are in IT, and especially if you are a woman in IT - follow the link to read more about the mission of the Anita Borg Institute (see link).
And when you build technology, think about the quote above. It is one of the ideas that drive me - usability and accessibility are two of the things that drive me and the work that I do in IT - that, and I am guided by the LEAN principles (from Toyota Lean, I was, after all, fostered into automotive at an early age...) - identify value, map the value stream, create flow, establish pull, and improve/seek perfection. The LEAN principles are in my eyes applicable throughout an organisation and very useful also when it comes to building software, or running a department not related to any type of production; Put the customer in the centre - and work with the customer (end user/internal customer/external customer) in focus.
If we all did that, and adhered to the Anita Borg ideas, we'd have far less frustrating systems out there.
March 13, 2017
Fun in the sun
On a completely different subject... Kite flying....
Going through old photos, after a recent hard disk crash, I found some old photos from when I did some kite flying here in Düsseldorf - or rather tried to.
It was a few years ago. Some weeks, or maybe months earlier I had walked past a children's toy store and found a kite. A cheap one, just some plastic toy, really, one I had to put together myself, but one with a long tail and two handles. I remember having a kite when I was a small kid, however the kites me and my brothers had were small kites, without a proper tail and with only one string attached, this one was slightly fancier, but really only a little - or if it was simply more modern.
I remember kite flying, I remember there being many kids out in a field - mind you, at that time I lived in a very small village so "many" was certainly relative (we were only about 32 kids in the whole area born the same year as me and we only had one small shop, for the most urgent things you could need - everything else you had to have a car or other transportation for.) It felt like there were many kids though as we all somehow stuck together - kids from various age groups, we often played games together, and kite flying was one of those things.
Kite flying was the thing for a while, and everyone would gather out on a big field and try and fly their kites. I don't think we were ever very successful though, at least I can't remember a lot of actual flying, but I do remember gathering on the field, a big bunch of kids, with our kites. It never quite left me.
Travelling in Asia I have always been absolutely mesmerised with the kite flyers, they seem to stand there, almost still, while the kites are flying, higher and higher, listening to the tiniest move of the wrists of the kite flyers, and reacting to the wind, going higher and higher.