Tag Archives: Berlin

Openismus Getting Smaller

Openismus has recently had to let some great developers, and good friends, go. We are now much smaller.

This is really sad because it took us a long time to find and train these people, and they would be massive assets if the future looked better. Although they will be greatly missed, I am at least reassured that they will have no problem finding new jobs. I do hope that they don’t settle for work that is anything but worthy of their experience and enthusiasm.

This downsizing happened because we are now finally losing the customer work we had from Nokia, as expected since their February 11th 2011 decision to kill MeeGo. Nokia are not our only customer, but they are by far our largest. That gave us the opportunity to diversify, and we tried, but without much success. That failure is mine. On the one hand, it’s unfortunate that we have been so dependent on one customer. But, on the other hand, we would never have been so big for so long without them. I would do the same again without regrets.

I view the last few years of Openismus very positively:

  • We gave several young developers their first chance to prove themselves as professionals.
  • We trained new developers. They are now established as respected and experienced developers.
  • We made a few contributions to our favorite projects. For instance, natural layout in GTK+ 3.

Personally, Openismus has allowed me to work part-time, so I can spend time with my children. My first child was born soon after the company was founded, and for the first year, I worked from home, contrary to the myth that founding a company means working all hours of the day and neglecting your family. The tech industry is excessively male, with little understanding for men who want to share in the work of child-rearing, so I’m glad I had the freedom to work part-time. I am highly motivated to keep this freedom.

This has been a disadvantage, of course. For instance, I strongly suspect that I could win more customer work by traveling more to conferences and to customers on site. That has given good results when I’ve managed to do it. But this is simply an impossibility for someone who needs to take care of kids. I think the custom of business travel might be one of the greatest obstacle to women reaching top executive positions. It’s one of many things that won’t improve until men are forced to share more of the burden.

So, Openismus goes on, with some uncertainty. Our specific expertise in the Maliit input methods, in the QtContacts and EDS contacts systems, and in DLNA via Rygel should be very attractive, but time will tell. If you need help with GTK+ or Qt on Linux, from people who really know how, and are not afraid to tell you how, then we are still here and still ready.


Desktop Summit, Berlin

The Desktop Summit is almost over. I spent the core days there, mostly just meeting old friends and listening to parts of some talks. The whole event felt very smooth, in an excellent venue. There was just enough partying, though I always sneak away early to get some rest.

As Openismus has a large Berlin office, several employees volunteered to help with the organization. I hear they did a great job. Thanks to Chris, David, Jon, Kat, and Patricia. Only a little of their time was provided by Openismus, because I didn’t want the responsibility, so I can’t take the credit either – it’s all theirs.

Openismus also provided some space for the GObect+Introspection hackfest over the last 3 days.

I’m not a fan of KDE and GNOME combining their conferences. I think GUADEC (and Akademy) should inspire developers, herding them in a common direction, but it’s tediously hard to focus on our core values while surrounded by others who simply don’t agree. But I’m not particularly relevant to GNOME these days so my opinion shouldn’t count for much, and people seemed to like it last time.

I do love Berlin and it’s great to see others discover it too.




Openismus is Hiring

Openismus is currently looking for a few experienced C++ coders, to work with our expert team in Berlin or Munich. We could really use some more Qt expertise. It’s an advantage if you have experience of GTK+ and GObject-based libraries too, though it’s not essential.

As usual, please email a description of yourself, along with a CV. I look forward to hearing from you.

Trainee Mini Projects

We asked our 3 trainees to do some little projects to make sure that we ironed out any problems in their C knowledge before moving on to C++, to get them familiar with autotools, and generally to have code to talk to each other about.  I forced them to make actual tarball releases, so they can also complete features as if there were real users, instead of just hacking without focus. These are the modest results. Click on the links to see the descriptions and screenshots on their blogs.

Jon Nordby’s massifg: To show graphs from valgrind massif output. So far it only shows the simple graphs, though using the Cairo drawing API makes printing to PDF easy, so it’s already useful. I want Jon to do the detailed graphs too, but I’ve asked him to look for a proper Graph API first, because it’s tedious to do it all with just Cairo. Hopefully without acquiring awkward dependencies. He’d welcome advice.

Chris Kühl’s GMemory: One of those games that lets you turn over tiles for a moment and try to find matching tiles. It uses clutter and could probably be a candidate for the gnome-games package soon.

Patricia Santana Cruz’s GHangTux: A hangman word-guess game in which Tux the penguin loses his accessories rather than his life.

(The Gs in the names were their idea.)

I think they have all learned lots from the exercise and are ready for the next stage.

Jens Georg and Jon Nordby joining Openismus

The Openismus family is expanding again. Jens Georg will join us as a developer in July, bringing both his open GNOME experience and closed/commercial Qt experience. His name is probably familiar to you from his from his work on Rygel or Anjuta.

Around the same time, Jon Nordby will become our third trainee, joining Chris and Patricia. I suspect they may not need much training, but that’s all good. Jon already works on MyPaint, which I keep hearing about.

I like them and I like having them in the company.

Openismus 2010 Trainees Chosen

We have chosen two new Openismus trainees who will start at the beginning of June: Patricia Santana Cruz and Chris Kühl. We are looking forward to the new life in our Berlin office and I bet they are looking forward to life in Berlin. I’m thinking of hiring a third trainee, so email me if you are interested.

After they have settled down, they will be studying hard and probably looking for easy ways to help real-world projects such as gnome-love, with our assistance. It won’t be long before we start thinking of them as junior developers instead. I don’t envy them the hard work but I do wish I’d had the same opportunity.

Friedrich Kossebau joining Openismus

Last week we had the pleasure of meeting Friedrich Kossebau at our Berlin office and he accepted my offer to work for Openismus, starting at the beginning of May. Friedrich contacted me because we need more Qt expertise. His long KDE involvement fills that requirement perfectly and I think he has the temperament and attention to detail that we value. Unusually, we must send him right off to Helsinki, so we can’t immediately enjoy his company in Berlin. But I think he likes the adventure.

This means we are still looking for an extra Qt developer to work in our Berlin office, so please do email me.