I’m looking for a passionate, enthusiastic and opinionated person to join the EMEA community team at Basho.
The job title is Technical Evangelist, but it could just as easily have been Developer Advocate or Community Manager.
The person who’ll suit this role knows the open source world inside-out, can quickly grok technical detail and understand use cases and, most importantly, what solutions are a good fit for them.
If this is starting to spark your interest, do the following items describe you?
- Technical, with the ability to read code and some ability to write code.
- Excited to travel, for one or two days at a time, two or three times a month within Europe and maybe the Middle East and Africa.
- Confident speaking to people at meet-ups and giving talks at conferences.
- Autonomous and full of ideas but able to work to a plan and within a team.
- You understand that marketing is more than being really good at Twitter.
If you’re interested, drop me a mail (mrevell AT basho DOT com) or take a look at our application form.
Last week I started a new job as Community Manager at Basho‘s new London office, looking after Europe, the Middle East and Africa!
Basho are the people behind the Riak NoSQL database, along with the RiakCS S3-compatible block storage platform. Riak was inspired by Amazon’s Dynamo paper, which describes how Amazon have used their own in-house database system to ensure their services run even in the event of outages and that they can scale quickly and with minimal effort.
It was a pretty easy decision to apply to work at Basho. They have a core product, in Riak, that solves a set of problems that will affect just about anyone deploying services over the net. What’s more, they’re doing that while maintaining a good balance between retaining the independence to create the products customers want while being aware of the broader contexts in which those products are used.
Perhaps most importantly, though, for me was that the people at Basho are smart, friendly and everyone there has a voice and a hand in the success of the company.
As Community Manager in the EMEA team I’ll be making sure that Basho and Riak are at the right events, I’ll be organising meet-ups, podcasting, writing, meeting people and generally helping to grow and maintain a community of people who are interested in and excited by Riak.
On September 4th Lyne and I became parents to George Sidney Revell!
He is healthy, looks like his brother, and is already seven weeks old.
I’m hiring a Technical Writer to work on my team at Canonical!
We need someone to help us explain some of the products we’re working on, including MAAS, Launchpad, Ubuntu’s cloud offerings and Ubuntu Server. Although the job title is Technical Writer, the person who gets this job will be someone who is equally happy producing screencasts, writing UI text and writing somewhat more traditional documentation.
It’s a home-based position, so you’ll need to be disciplined and self-motivated. Ideally, I’m looking for someone in western Europe or the east coast of the Americas, as that makes timezone stuff easier. However, don’t let that put you off if you’re based elsewhere and you think you can overcome timezone issues.
If you’re interested, here’s the job ad.
Last week, I finally gave in and bought a new laptop. I wanted something small and lightweight, yet reasonably powerful.
I discounted the MacBook Air on a couple of counts: the increased cost and the potential for extra hassle getting Ubuntu running.
My two choices were the Dell XPS 13 and the Asus Zenbook. The Dell was my first choice: Project Sputnik, the fact Mark has just got one and its size were all in its favour.
The Asus is a good looking machine and has had good reviews. Some dislike the keyboard, but it has been okay for me. However, the Dell feels like it has more momentum amongst the kind of people I work with and the people who make Ubuntu work well on laptops.
After much thought, and a few conversations, a couple of things pushed me away from the Dell: the trackpad isn’t yet well supported in anything other than Windows and it’s a touch more expensive than the Asus.
So, after a few days with the Asus, here’s a quick run-down:
- It really is very thin, lightweight and looks great.
- The keyboard is okay; not perfect but not terrible.
- The battery life under Ubuntu is mediocre; three or four hours under light usage.
- Wifi range is a joke; seriously poor.
- Despite being advertised as supporting 5GHz wifi, it sees only 2.4GHz networks.
- The trackpad does not switch off when typing; very frustrating in use and, also, I could probably have got the Dell.
- Sound quality is very good.
- The screen resolution is good and, for my purposes, colours and contrast appear to be good.
I’ll report back when I’ve started to tackle some of these issues.
As a teenager, I ran a small poetry and short story magazine. It had a suitably overwrought title, was lots of fun and put me in touch with a whole load of people who’ve influenced who I am today.
One such person was Geoff Stevens who ran another, far longer established, magazine called Purple Patch. I didn’t realise at the time but Purple Patch was one of the best respected and widely known small-press poetry publications in the UK. Both Geoff and Purple Patch were based in West Bromwich, and for a little while, Pebble Mill. These were far off and exotic lands to the teenage me, living in a windy ex-pit village in the north-east.
When, a few years later, I found myself living in the West Midlands, I had a go at getting in touch with Geoff; no more than a couple of answerphone messages. Then other things got in the way and, well, now it’s too late.
I was sad to read, today, that Geoff died a few days ago. So, thanks Geoff for your encouragement and I’m sorry I didn’t try to call again.
I recently took up a new job in the Canonical Launchpad team, as Product Manager.
In my new role, I don’t have time to look after the user research and communications tasks that made up my previous job. So, I’m very excited to be recruiting a Usability and Communications Specialist to join the Launchpad team here at Canonical!
I’m looking for someone with experience of running user research programmes and who can write beautifully on technical subjects. If that’s you, take a look at the full job description.
I’ve been working full time from a home office for the past four years. It’s great but sometimes I miss working in the same room as other people.
Dave Morley, of Wolves LUG and a fellow Canonicaler, and I are thinking of meeting to work together every couple of weeks in Wolverhampton.
The Lock Works cafe at the Light House seems a pretty good venue: free wifi, tasty food at reasonable prices. The only downsides being the, erm, not so great coffee (sorry, HasBean has spoilt me) and the fact that it is a proper cafe rather than co-working space, so may get busy.
I’d love to see this become a regular event open to anyone who works from home and wants one day of working with other people. Leave a comment here if you’re interested.
Dad died at around 10.15 this morning. He was asleep and went peacefully.
I’d been worried that he’d suffocate while awake, as he almost did last weekend. Motor neurone disease seems a particularly cruel way to die.
If you knew him and would like details of his funeral, please let me know.
Lately, I’ve been interviewing Launchpad users to learn more about how they work with Launchpad and what they think of new features we’re proposing.
Until now, this has been mostly face to face, either at the Ubuntu Developer Summits or Canonical’s London office. Talking in person seems to be the best way of doing this: as the interviewer, I can see exactly which part of a proposed page the person is looking at when they pull a certain face, for example.
However, doing it this way greatly limits who I get to speak to. Not everybody who uses Launchpad attends UDS or is within easy travelling distance of central London during the work day.
So, I’ve been looking at ways of doing this remotely. There are some important constraints:
- pretty much anyone should be able to take part
- no special equipment should be needed
- it should cost nothing, or very little, to conduct.
Recording Skype video calls in Ubuntu
As it seems to meet my requirements, I’m going to give Skype video calling a go. And I say “Skype”, rather than anything else, for reasons that I’ll now explain.
I’ve spent quite some time trying to find a straightforward way to record video calls in Ubuntu. I’ve come up with nothing, so here’s one way that seems to work:
- capture the audio using Skype Call Recorder
- capture video using GTK-RecordMyDesktop (apt-getable)
- splice the two together in a video editor.
Test calls have worked. I’ll post again with a report on how it worked in practice.