Tag Archives: Germany

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 needs more Qt developers

Openismus is looking for experienced C++ and Qt developers to join our team creating quality and fighting entropy. It’s a chance to work on serious projects with (sometimes uncompromising) colleagues at Openismus who care about getting things done properly.

Please email me if you are looking for work and can show me some public involvement. I like having URIs for blogs, ohloh, git/svn, mailing lists, etc, to see your personal sense of code quality and your ability to communicate. We ideally need people who can work in Germany, probably moving to Berlin.

(We do GTK+, gtkmm, and Qt development, and we like really knowing them all. These days Maemo/Meego developers need a wide range of experience.)

Openismus Wants More Trainees

A little over a year ago, we hired our first batch of Openismus trainees. After an intensive year gaining knowledge and experience, I’m proud to say that David King and Michael Hasselmann have now graduated to regular work on customer projects. They’ve become solid developers in whom we have confidence, thanks to mentoring from all our other employees. Personally, creating these new development careers is one of the most worthwhile things I’ve done in my career.

So we need some more people to repeat our success. Here’s the text from the first time:

If you are smart and enthusiastic but you lack experience then we can provide the opportunity. You would work mostly on existing open source projects instead of customer projects, just to get experience with C, C++, GTK+ and Qt. Our developers would provide technical guidance and encourage you to work and communicate in a structured way, creating software that’s actually usable and useful.

This is also a great opportunity to move to Berlin – a wonderful city for young people. Munich may also be a possibility if necessary.

I’d also like to point out that we are very much an equal-opportunities employer. We get almost no applications from women or minority groups and that’s not good enough. We are a small company so every new person can make the place more like themselves.

Please send us an email telling us about yourself. Show enthusiasm and show us anything you’ve done in the open source world already. As before, I will filter out the least suitable candidates by expecting you to find the appropriate email address yourself. Unfortunately, as before, it’s unlikely that we’ll want to deal with visa paperwork if you are not already working in the EU.

Update: We think we have chosen our new trainees already. Stay tuned. Do bug me if I have not replied to you.

Peter Penz Joining Openismus

I’m pleased to say that Peter Penz will become an Openismus employee at the start of February. I’ve known and liked Peter since I worked with him six years ago in Linz, Austria on a proprietary C++ mobile phone platform. Back then I was impressed with his skill and temperament so I’ve watched with interest as he has become a core KDE maintainer via the Dolphin file manager.

Obviously Peter will help Openismus as we gain experience with Qt for Maemo 6 (Harmattan) in addition to our continued use of GTK+ and gtkmm.

Peter will work from home in Linz, occasionally visiting the office in Berlin. I like the idea of another office in Linz though.

Openismus 2009 T-Shirts

As per tradition, the new Openismus T-Shirts are ready for GUADEC 2009 (GCDS). They are again unlike last year’s, and simple enough to wear among civilians. We were a little rushed this year but they turned out nice. Thanks to Kat for fixing things in Inkscape and getting them done.

We only printed a limited number, so seek out an Openismus developer over the first weekend to get yours.

Now that we’ve found a place to get these done in Berlin we’ll probably do a new design (2009 1/2) for the Maemo Summit in Amsterdam in October.

Openismus T-Shirts 2009

Openismus T-Shirts 2009, modelled by Michael Hasselmann


It’s taken me about two years on and off, but the long slog is finally over. I finished reading Max Frisch’s Stiller in German.

I’ve read maybe twenty English books while trying to get through it, never quite giving up, never caring if the character is actually Stiller, uninterested in the commentary on Swiss society. Now it’s done. His Homo Faber was more enjoyable.

planet.openismus.com and Trainees

Over the last month or so our two trainees, David King and Michael (not Mathias) Hasselmann have made good progress getting familiar with GTK+ and associated tools on Linux. They are on an intensive schedule, but they have the time to learn how things really work, so they don’t have to feel that any part is a mystery. For instance, they know now how to create custom GObjects and GTK+ widgets rather than just how to put widgets together in Glade. Now they will move on to C++, moving through gtkmm and then to Qt, with detours through Maemo and Scratchbox.

We hope to offer training to customers in the near future and this is giving us a good idea of what to cover and how.

Beyond just coding, Daniel and I are helping them to form good open source habits, creating developers in our image, so they can be creators of quality and fighters against entropy. I’ve encouraged them to blog about the experience and generally get involved in the community as an important part of their training, so don’t hesitate to give your advice.

It’s also interesting to see how the move to Germany has been for David, registering for various things and finding an apartment. It seems easier in Berlin than in Munich, and easier now than when I moved to Germany 10 years ago. Daniel‘s help has been a big time-saver, I guess.

I set up planet.openismus.com to show their blogs and all our others too.

Inefficient Crèche/Kindergarten Allocation in Munich

It’s hard to find a place in a Crèche (Kinderkrippe) or Kindergarten in Munich. As far as I can tell, this is how it works:

  • Every family puts their child on the waiting list at 50 Crèches. That’s 50 separate waiting lists. Each family needs different hours – such as half-day or full-day.
  • Every Crèche therefore has a huge waiting list, probably 50 times bigger than their capacity.
  • A Crèche fills the next available place by calling people on the waiting list. Many people they call already have a place elsewhere, because they registered at all the other places, because they have no confidence in any one waiting list, because the waiting lists are huge. Families have to take the first place that is offered regardless of suitability because they have no clue about their chances on the other waiting lists.

This is incredibly inefficient and ineffective. I am surprised that nobody has created an online system to match children to Crèche and Kindergarten places. It wouldn’t have to be specific to Munich or even Germany.