March 13, 2017

Kite flying

 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 D├╝sseldorf - 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.

March 12, 2017

Job searching

Job application process in Germany - not exactly Agile... 

Currently I am between projects, and hence I am looking for a new position or a new project - preferably a fixed one. 

While I am flexible when it comes to location I would prefer to stay in Germany, at least now. I like D├╝sseldorf, I wouldn't mind staying here, but I also don't mind moving. 

Companies are also looking for staff, not the least in IT. OK, many of them are looking for programmers and I am not a programmer even if I have a good conceptual understanding of programming and even if I do know a bit - it's been a very long time since I did anything in that field - I got pulled into sysadmin, database management and so forth when I first started, and even that was quite a while ago - I have been doing a lot of project management, and the list of IT projects is long. 

And there are a lot of interesting positions out there. 

Yet there are a lot of positions I never apply to.

Many German companies are, sadly, missing out on a lot of good people, simply by being too stuck in their ways, many claim to want to be agile - but the HR process is anything BUT agile. 

If I can send a personal letter and my CV, I am happy. 

If I have to register in a database, where they require me to give in every piece of information about myself, before I even know if they are interested in someone with my profile or not - I am not going to waste my time.

March 08, 2017

Happy International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day!

A good day to celebrate both how far we have come - women are allowed in  most jobs, we have the right to vote in most countries - at least where voting is allowed - we can theoretically become whatever we want - but also a day to remember how long we still have to go.

You may be allowed in all jobs as a woman but there are a lot of jobs where you won't be hired, because someone has the idea that "that's not interesting to women", or "she will anyhow have kids soon and leave" or "she is too old" or "[choose the job] is better for men because [pick silly reason]" or "she is too nice looking and she would just be a distraction" or "she is not pretty enough so she wouldn't represent our brand well".

There is also a long way to go, also in the countries that are deemed to be the most equal: Women are still doing the majority of the house work even when working full time, women still get, on average, lower pay for the same job (or a different title when doing the same job). Women are still told that they are "bossy" when men "have leadership skills" - and so forth. 

January 30, 2017

Troubled

I am deeply troubled by what's going on in US at the moment. The fact that I don't write about it here on the blog doesn't take away from that.

I am engaged and involved in various forums and I want to try and keep my own blog as positive as possible, so I will not give the new US leadership more attention than they are already getting - it is really important to stand up against bullies and people who try and rule through fear - looking overall the world is a good place, and people are good.

When it comes to news: We are ALL biased. You can't go through life unbiased, it is simply not possible - with machine learning not even robots are unbiased, because it depends where and what they learn from.

I only have this to ask.

CHECK the sources. Don't buy into anything automatically. Critical thinking is needed now more than ever. Check more than one source, and if something sounds too crazy, double- and triple check.

THINK - think for yourself.

Democracy is built on the people but for democracy to really work and not be demo-Crazy critical thinking is absolutely necessary. It is difficult - but our future depends on it.

And ALWAYS remember that when it comes to politics , there is no such thing as "somebody else's problem".

When it comes to Climate change that is even more true.

What we do now will have an impact generations ahead.