I have to say, I cannot believe how fast the time has gone in two months since leaving Canonical and joining 10gen the folks behind MongoDB. It has been an amazing journey. Starting off in NYC and meeting the team, MongoDB Masters Summit, Open House, Office hours and MongoDB NYC all in one week was a lot to take it. I came back not exhausted as you may have thought but excited and full of energy and wanting to get stuck into meeting the community.
I spent my first week in the London Office where I got to meet some of the developers, Solution Architects and sales folks who operate out of the office. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and also curious to find out what I had in store for EMEA and how we can work together. I’m usually found in the office on a Wednesday as I work from home usually but on these days 10gen nicely buys its employees Lunch, it’s not necessary but it’s welcomed and it’s nice to catch up with people from other areas in the company so you hear about what cool things are happening.
Europython was next on my visiting list, I’d never been to Europython which was being held in Florence for its final year. I have to say it was possibly one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to, it was so well organised, a great attention to detail, an abundance of talks to chose from and also alternative ways to listen into the rooms, if the room was packed or you were in fact too hot to sit indoors, the organisers had massive tents set up where you could watch it on tvs with earphones they provided and you tuned into the room. I thought that was very coo! 10gen were a sponsor at the event and for me it was an opportunity to meet members of the community. I found it invaluable to meet people face to face and listen to what they had to say, the ideas they wanted to share and how I could be involved!
I had a great few days there and we sponsored a cocktail evening on the hotel rooftop overlooking Florence, it was amazing and over the evening I got to meet some of the MongoDB folks in Italy who are looking to have more events taking place, the coming months will see a lot of events happening there and I look forward to being involved.
There have been other trips to Berlin where I got to hang out with Christian the lead Driver here in EMEA that was great as I got to see and understand what the drivers do, I also got to work from a co working space in Berlin, there are so many to chose from so if you do ever want to travel you’ve a lot of choice. When I wasn’t travelling I’ve been working on making it easier and clearer to request sponsorship from 10gen for community events. As there are many MUGs in EMEA I also split the groups into smaller chunks so I’ve been catching up with MUGs in different regions and getting to meet the users, I’m also kicking off a series of blog posts with the MongoDB masters. It’s interested like in any open source project to talk to people in different groups as everyone has a different idea on how things can be done. My job is to listen and see how we can make it happen or make sure they’re being heard. I’ve also created the IRC channel on freenode #mongodb-community if you ever want to stop by and chat, as I’m online anyway being in an IRC channel is second nature to me.
I’ve worked in a distributed team before and worked from home before and I do enjoy it, breaking up the week by going into the office does help. My manager Francesca Krihely had a great idea for the team recently for us to see our strengths. She recommended we all purchase Strengths Finder 2.0 and do the quiz and on our weekly meeting share our results, This is a great thing to do in your team as everyone has a different strength and there is something to learn about yourself and your team by doing this when you have the time to spend doing the online questions.
I found the results to be rather accurate for me.Doing these types of team building exercises when you’re a distributed team are very useful as you can see your team mates in a different light, perhaps things that would jump out at you if you worked by them daily instead of remotely. Try the test and let me know
People who are especially talented in the Deliberative theme are best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices. They anticipate the obstacles.
People who are especially talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.
People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
People who are especially talented in the Consistency theme are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. They try to treat everyone in the world with consistency by setting up clear rules and adhering to them.
People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
I still find it hard to believe it’s been two months since starting as it felt very natural working with everyone, if the last two months are an indicator of what is to come. It’s going to be a lot of fun and very interesting. I’ll keep you posted!