Dear Clara (*), …

I am not a Technician-at-your-Disposal

(Deutsche Version dieses Beitrags)

…I am not a Technician-at-your-Disposal, even though I am perhaps sharing quite a lot of information, perhaps may have quite a lot of knowledge in regards to things you are interested in and we perhaps met at some time in the past, had a conversation or two or even battled with each other in a ballroom competition.

So, whenever you ask me something in some social network, there is no world in which you would have the right to expect an answer from me within minutes or even days. I WILL answer your question, but at a point of time, when it fits into my life as well.

Additionally, although it might look differently, I am not following social networks very closely. I am looking into them not more often than every second day, I have no FB-messenger or similar software installed, I actually refuse to use the default applications for such networks and I have turned off any notifications from those networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.).

Therefore, kindly hesitate to stress me in your social network of choice not even 48 hours after your inquiry. It won’t improve my reaction time, it won’t give you a better answer, but it will guarantee you my frustration and a harsh response. So, do me a favor, Clara: Ask me, but ask me in time. Expect an answer and perhaps remind me of that answer (you deserve it), but don’t bug me or lay your stress and frustration on me, since I will answer you in exactly the same way then.

Thank you, Clara!

Truly yours,

Karsten

(*) Name changed for some obvious reason

DevOps: Just get it started!

DevOps. Just do it!

I hear this quite often:

Yeah, we want to do DevOps. We understand this is a critical thing, it is important for succeeding in our Dev- and Ops-projects. We can’t do without.

But…

…we need to get the whole picture first. We need to have a fully featured DevOps-concept. We need some infrastructure. We need top clarify with our Stakeholders.

You know what?

These are only excuses for not doing DevOps.

The best approach to DevOps is by simply starting it. Forget about that fully featured DevOps-concept to be discussed throughout all hierarchy levels of your organization. Forget about providing the perfect infrastructure. Forget about everything – just start it!

DevOps is a process and a mindset. It is an approach to collaboration, to transparency and to knowledge sharing. Yes, it always can be done better, more aligned, deeper integrated, etc.

But nonetheless: The best way to start doing DevOps is to simply start doing it.

Today.

Life at Cloudibility (IX): I will never ever hire that person!

logo_cloudibility_rgb_transparent_square_smallI said this quite often during several projects over the last years – and often directed to persons being „difficult“ with regards to discussing hard, having different opinions, contradicting a Product Owner or an Architect with thoughtful arguments. This is something you will have to accept, even if it is hard to do so. And it is exhausting, it is stressful working with such people on a day-by-day basis.

But, I changed my mind.

Or, to put it differently, I am now in a position where I want to have such characters around me. Here at Cloudibility, we want persons having their own ideas and their own minds, we want them to contradict us and to proove us to be wrong.

We want to have such minds around us. Of course, they will have to stick to our rules of respect and culture, they will need to be compatible with customers and the team. But besides this: Have your own mind, contradict, improve, overtake us!

So, we are looking for the Crazy Ones:

Are you one of them?

Welcome!

Life at Cloudibility (VII): Can’t we negotiate a special price?

I do often get this question when providing our specialist’s profiles to possible customers.

Well. No. We can’t. And we won’t.

Let me explain that bold statement a little bit. There are plenty of reasons for saying so. The most important one: We have some of the best specialists here at Cloudibility.

We love our experts.

We provide our bright minds with an environment which allows them to shine – a good work-life-balance, paid educational hours, etc. We do this, since we would have liked such an environment ourselves when being employed. But it was not possible due to calculation issues. Which forced us to quit our jobs.

Therefore, we want to pay our experts reasonable salaries and want them to gain even more knowledge. We want them to stay motivated and hunt for solutions instead of billed hours. We are investing a lot into our experts, and we are very happy and proud to do so. We know, that you deserve the best expert and the best approach for your project.

But it’s still expensive, though.

Do you know how much it costs, to do without good experts? Or to simply opt for the cheaper alternative since it is … cheaper? Can you really afford the second best or a somehow okayish solution? Just for the sake of saving some bucks forehand?

Our experts are worth their money.

They are experts and bright minds, they are able to solve problems, they are able to think outside the box. They save you time and money and nerves, they bring knowledge and experience into your projects.

So, no. We won’t do special prices.

We already have the best prices in the market since we have the best experts and the brightest minds here at Cloudibility.

Period.

Five minutes late…

I am delivering a Xamarin workshop this week. Unfortunately for my sleeping habits, the location is Munich, appr. 550km away from home.

The best way to get there is by train, at least if you don’t like flying. So, my train was to depart at 4.30am. Which implied I would have to leave home at latest at 3.50am.

Well. So much for the theory.

In practice, I left home at 3.55am. Which caused me to directly head on the Autobahn towards Munich. Instead of having a somewhat relaxed trip to the Bavarian capital, I had an unrelaxing one in my car. And instead of elegantly driving with an ICE-train from Munich to Frankfurt and then back home on Friday, I’ll drive back home on Thursday and try to catch the morning train from Berlin to Frankfurt on Friday, since I don’t want do sit in my car for 10+ hours.

This makes five minutes quite important.

And that’s why I try to keep an eye on the details, though I’m the high-level guy at Cloudibility.

Life at Cloudibility (IV): Best. Team. In. The. World.

Cloudibility-Logo-SquareWe have the best team in the world. Period.

I’ve never seen a team being that committed. That focused. That inquisitive. That eager to learn. That funny. That great.

Team, I am so proud of working with you! 

Next week, we will start our expansion. I mean: We will really start it. Three new Team-Members at the beginning of the month. Two more in the middle. One more beginning of August. One more at mid of August. One, two, three perhaps beginning of September.

But: I am not afraid. I know, that we already have a great team and we will continue to be one. We looked carefully at the new colleagues‘ character and found them to match the team in culture and commitment.

Sandra, Ronny, Emily: Welcome!

You will be part of Cloudibility, you will shape us and you will grow with us. And I am very confident to count you in next time when I write about the:

Best. Team. In. The.World.

Kauflust (I): Lenovo Thinkpad X260

I don’t see why I should spend thousands of Euros for a new computer, when a used one would do almost the same job for a fraction of the price.

Well, ok, there are some moments where I decide differently, for example at the end of last year when I ordered a brand new MacBook Pro 15.4 inch. But this again has proven my opinion about new hardware usually not being worth the money you spend for it – I am actually quite unhappy with this device, as battery life is very subpar (around 4hrs, regardless of the work I throw on it) and the keyboard is so loud to touch upon. Not to speak of the adapter hell, since literally no accessory fits on the MacBook.

So, I decided, I needed something more long-lasting in regards to battery life. Something, making typing a pleasure again. And something smaller, since 15.4 inch are not really portable. And, finally, something cheaper – not only when buying it, but also while owning it. Something, where a power adapter and a cable won’t cost more than 100,– EUR. Something, where I could swap the internal SSD and upgrade the memory, if needed. Something, where perhaps LTE would be integrated.

Impossible? No way!

I looked at eBay and Amazon and checked some dozens of dealer-websites for offers, until I found it: A used Lenovo Thinkpad X260 in good condition, having a LTE-card, being equipped properly with a 256GB SSD and 16GB RAM, displaying the content in Full-HD and allowing to change the battery.

Small, portable. Perfect for working in the customer’s office or while sitting in the train. Nice companion to my iPad Pro 10.5 inch, way more versatile but not so light and easy to carry around.

I got it for only 650,– EUR including two batteries.

Looking forward to using this one with Ubuntu, BTW.

Nice!

Life at Cloudibility (II): We need an organizational diagram

Cloudibility-Logo-SquareCloudibility is not even a year of age, but we already need an organizational diagram, since we are already close to 20 persons (17 beginning of September) working with and for us – and this is only the number of employees which have already signed their contracts, not to be spoken of the ones we are currently having conversations with!

We take this very seriously since Michael and I have experiences in enterprise environments as well as a startup history. For us, one very deciding aspect for the success of a company is the organizational structure – if you don’t have it, you are very likely to fail. And having a structure and an internal organization frees the „creatives“ from having to care about everything, ultimately allowing them to focus on their work and the excellence in their doing.

One final note: The importance of a working organization and a working back-office cannot be overemphasized. That’s why I am so happy with our COO Claudia, Linda, the whole team and their invaluable work.

Thank you, team!

Why I usually leave group conversations in messengers

messengersUsing WhatsApp, Telegram or Facebook Messenger? Thinking of including me in your group conversation?

Well, don’t.

I am a very busy person, and as such, I need to be able to focus on my work or on my recreation (no joking, I need to focus on recreation). Including me – without having asked for my explicit permission to do so – in your group conversation would distract me from that, I would receive a lot of conversational spam, which I’m not interested in.

That’s why I usually leave all group conversations.

It is simply not of interest to me, reading the same complaints, jokes, hoorays or stories which I try to avoid in real-life in my messenger, where it is more personal to me. Sometimes, this even feels offensive to me. Additionally, it is usually the very same group of people leading the conversation there – and while I am very strong in communications, I don’t want to be forced to read the same – sorry – trash and the same mimimimi-stuff all over again, especially, since I don’t have the time to answer, because I tend to think and formulate my answers carefully. Plus it often shows me, how limited these persons are and how egocentric their view of the world actually is. Finally: Answering that crap usually means wasting my personal time and distracting me from the important things in my life – my family, my friends, and my work.

So, kindly do me a favor: Unless I explicitly expressed my permission and wish to be included in your group conversation, don’t include me. Let’s stay friends without that conversational noise.

Thank you.

My. Content. Again.

I had a blog for several years, but for some reason I actually don’t remember anymore, I dumped it at the end of 2015 – I guess, because it was way more convenient to simply spit out something on the social network of your choice. And because it was way cheaper.

But, it turned out: This was not a good idea.

Why? Because you get literally lost in the curated news feeds. You only get fast reactions instead of conversations. There is no sustainability in publishing everything at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. You won’t be found, you won’t be recognized. It simply is not worth it, at least not when you are not publishing the content on your own platform and only use these networks as multiplier.

So, I restarted my blog last year (at least sort of) and hosted it over at SquareSpace.com – which again turned out to be one of my lesser favorable ideas, since that service is reliable, but basically offers no integration and no real comfort to the average blogger. Therefore I did not really blog, I built blog pages – it took hours to finish something.

So, back to basics.

I’m back with a WordPress blog, actually hosted at WordPress.com. They charge me 300,– bucks a year, so I better try something to make use of this amount of money I just spent.

Therefore, I decided to take back my data and my content into my own hands. I will (again) post everything here first, and then (perhaps) in some social network. This applies to everything, including texts, as well as links, images and opinions.

Why? Because now it is my content again. Not the content of some network which uses it to make some money. Not the content of some aggregators and some marketing agencies. I can start conversations, share it to my liking and do not need to care about their rules and regulations.

My. Content. Again. 

Finally.

And it feels good!