How to kill 4 chickens in 3 years

I had a great time at Ignite Portland 5 last night. There were seventeen other fantastic presenters, amazing volunteers and the always great Legion of Tech crew there to cheer us all on. Oh, and like 700 people in the crowd!

Thanks to everyone who helped me out on this presentation. Especially my husband, Scott, who really did volunteer for that slide.

Enjoy the slidecast below, with some audio commentary I recorded this morning (drop.io FTW!) below. @linuxaid‘s video should be up soon!

And here’s @linuxaid’s video:


twittering on 2009-02-19

  • sad i’m missing the advanced topics meeting. but need to practice! #
  • @ramereth meeting will be at paddy’s (http://paddys.com/), back room at 6pm friday feb 27 #
  • @ramereth formal announcement coming shortly! #
  • sad i won’t be in town for #RCC. #
  • @eggyknap +1 for the new clone! #
  • #Puppet users, configuration mgmt geeks – join us Friday 2/27 @ Paddy’s http://calagator.org/events/1250456728 #
  • @irabinovitch that is true :) #
  • RT @planetpostgres: Robert Treat (…) http://tr.im/gyrk [bottom-line: inspired by @osbridge] #
  • @atreat get a G1!!! #
  • @emmajanedotnet CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU. #
  • sunrise was gorgeous. making coffee. #
  • In case you missed it – #Puppet users, configuration mgmt geeks – join us Friday 2/27 @ Paddy’s, pls RSVP http://tr.im/gzS8 #
  • um, where did my coffee go? #
  • @stewartsmith that was very sweet of you to travel so far just to steal my coffee. #
  • @stewartsmith the answer is YES! :) #
  • @igalko thanks! checking into it… #
  • trying to come up with a good way to illustrate a ‘pull’ in a diagram (as opposed to a ‘push’) #
  • @igalko RSVP robot is now fixed! Thanks for alerting us. #
  • @spinnerin hah, nice idea. i’m thinking of something more like an icon, though. #
  • @markwkm good idea, but i’m pulling something all the way over to the other side, which isn’t exactly what you use a pulley for. #
  • @grigs your sports-related post momentarily confused me as I jumped directly to the ‘PG’. #
  • @sarahsharp genius! :D #
  • @markwkm hmmm. #
  • @verso just saw. sorry, buddy. in reply to verso #
  • @phillips cool! that’s near where @gorthx and I run :) #
  • @aplyley wow awesome! video is great, other resources look awesome. #
  • For those who haven’t heard, @aplyley is presenting code-n-splode about her work, and will give a quick primer on financial stuff w/ Q&A #
  • Code-n-sploders: check out @aplyley’s collection of material for her talk — http://snipurl.com/cns_stuff #
  • RT @endpoint: Bare git repositories and newspapers http://tr.im/gAR5 #

twittering on 2009-02-18

  • @jkuramot you rock :) #
  • chuckling inside about tour de coops solictation email i just got. still practicing presentation. #
  • @migueldeicaza can’t take credit, but: ‘the man is going down, my friend’ via @thesethings #
  • biking over to @gorthx’s this morning. and then, a run! #
  • @murwiz you can always move to the west coast! :D #
  • beautiful day! #pdxst #
  • gratitude, freedom and open source http://tr.im/guxo #
  • so i just added a sentence about institutions, and now i’m *really* getting on my bike. #
  • @ramereth just don’t run out of disk space :( #
  • @ramereth there’s a linking bug that a postgres person found as well. worth trying, but not production-ready IMO #
  • @ichae that rules :) #
  • @turnstep JEALOUS. although i had hot chocolate brought to me by @gorthx #
  • @spinnerin my list is: gift for parents (joke clothing, babysitting time), simple but sparkly/jangly toys, something you made (hat/booties) #
  • RT @IgnitePortland: New post: How To Enjoy Ignite Portland 5 http://tinyurl.com/bulgs2 #
  • whatever @gorthx is making for lunch smells delicious #
  • @markwkm you are welcome anytime! (she says without checking with the hostess) #
  • RT @turoczy: Just caught a great post by @rogoway from yesterday http://twurl.cc/he1 #
  • this is a special shout out to @jkuramot: http://www.kickbrix.com/ #
  • @jkuramot LOL #

Gratitude, freedom and open source

Audrey just wrote a fantastic blog entry about Open Source Bridge, her thoughts about citizenship, and what it means to be a responsible open source citizen.

Yesterday, Forbes published a piece talking about the “open source collaboration gap” and waxed poetic about why it is that corporate IT doesn’t contribute back to open source projects the way that individuals do.

One possible explanation from the article is that there is really a gratitude gap – institutions just can’t feel gratitude or express gratitude the way that individuals can. I kinda like that idea. But paradoxically, Dan Woods then suggests that if we were to just measure the tangible benefits of open source, we’d have our argument for IT contributing back. Well, if the problem is gratitude.. I can’t say that I agree that more metrics are going to fix the collaboration gap.

So, I would try to solve this problem differently. I think that changing collaboration patterns happens one person at a time – with individuals deciding to pursue hobbies and work that interest them, hopefully doing work that matters. To make institutions better open source citizens, they have to change their policies and behaviors so that they encourage, rather than discourage individual contributions.

Encourage individuals to contribute to open source projects from inside large companies, and let individual interest and creativity guide those contributions. The Free Software Foundation was created by a guy who just wanted to solve a problem with a printer. If you run a company, let your employees solve their problems!

That freedom to think, be creative and do something that matters are the parts of my community and my work I most value.

So, if there’s something about free and open source software, your development community, your personal project that inspires you, please submit a proposal to our conference. We want to hear from you!

Photo courtesy of flickr user kalandrakas, under a Creative Commons license.

twittering on 2009-02-17

Learning to think, session II

I attended a free session on “how to think” given by Hideshi Hamaguchi (his twitter feed) last Friday night. Not only did I manage to turn what was essentially a design geek user group meeting into a “date night” with my husband, but I left the meeting with the delicious feeling you get when you’ve learned something really useful.

The session was focused on designers and design thinking. I found it applied even to my work – programming and database design, much of which I’ll claim is creative. I took many, many pages of notes – sketching out replicas of Hideshi’s carefully drawn diagrams. One lesson that stuck with me over the weekend is captured in the diagram that starts this blog post.

It’s a behavior-over-time graph, describing the transition from strategy to execution, with the line showing the growth in what you know about the problem you’re trying to solve. Briefly, strategy is defined as the combination of decisions that are needed to make a decision right now. Execution is what you do after you’ve made your decision. The vertical line shows the point at which you might decide to start thinking, or synthesizing information you’ve gathered. In the graph, that thinking line is pretty far along in the “what you know” curve. The length of time up until thinking begins is a missed opportunity — business-wise and creatively.

Consultants typically like to gather information – maybe asking lots of boiler-plate questions of the client before embarking on the “thinking” phase of consultation. Hideshi suggested that instead of allowing information gathering to delay thought, we should all just immediately start thinking.

He gave the example of FedEx, and what a person who was about to talk to FedEx would know without asking any questions of the company: guaranteed delivery times and hub-spoke architecture for their delivery system. Nothing is earth-shattering about those observations. They are simply things that you already know, and can use.

And here’s an observation I really thought about afterward: the length of time before you start to think is determined by your fears. The fear can be of the unknown, not having enough information, looking stupid or any number of other fears that we all have in a new situation. Taking a moment to reflect on what you already know might be the best strategy for eliminating that fear, and moving on to the useful, creative thought a client may be paying you for.

Much of the rest of the session was an exploration of a few ideas Hideshi had encountered in the last few weeks – creating a Museum of Design in Portland, and couple presentations he had made to help a famous blogger judge a Standford University “innovative ideas” competition. Both were fun thought exercises, with the added bonus of seeing Hideshi’s creative output.

I’m very much looking forward to the next session.

twittering on 2009-02-14

  • @aboutus thanks so much! :) #
  • @brampitoyo just signed up for the session.. scott even wanted to come! hope that’s ok… #
  • @Crad good to know. we’re getting ext4 to fail consistently on some read-write tests :/ so we need to try an updated patch set, i think. #
  • @Crad interesting. we’re just using fio for these tests. #
  • @hideshione thank you so much for the session! learned a lot, and my husband and i have a couple diagrams to share :) #
  • @brampitoyo YES!! very much so. #
  • @brampitoyo would love to! idea/model tweetups! #
  • @msamye i mentioned to @brampitoyo that TravelPortland is da bomb. if you aren’t already talking to them, they would be very helpful. #
  • @brampitoyo hahaha. maybe it can be a lunch tweetup in NE somewhere. tuesday? #
  • @brampitoyo yes! the next week would be good. #
  • had delish v-day breakfast with scoots – is it weird that i had oatmeal *and* strawberries in champagne? headed out for more fun. #
  • @AE3nn haha the former ;) now, for some exciting valentine’s day action at powells! #
  • http://flickr.com/photos/selenamarie/3279825398 #