Welcome back to Code Cafeteria. We decided to take a few weeks off, but are now back with a new episode. This week we're launching into a mini-series on public speaking and how to get into public speaking. This first of a couple of planned episodes around the topic is about how we got started, what appeals to us about preparing and delivering technical talks and some fundamental ideas that might help you to get out there yourself: 

  • Your first talk doesn't have to be a 60 minutes slot at a global event - start with a local meetup.
  • Your first time in front of people doesn't even have to be a talk. You could just co-run a meetup night and make some organisational announcements.   
  • Ideas for talks sometimes come to you in mysterious ways, embrace even random ideas.
  • If English is not your first language, that's totally not a problem. The tech community is full of people with a non-English background.

For more ideas, listen to the episode...

Next time, we'll look into in more detail into deciding on a topic, coming up with an abstract for your idea and then submitting it to conference.

April 27, 2020

Episode 8 - Dead Tech

We're back from our Bunny Day break (to stay in Animal Crossing New Horizons lingo) and talked about (perceived) dead technologies.

We recorded this episode already about a week ago and it was due to me (Kai) stressing around giving a virtual conference talk and then getting on with life in general that it just is being published now, sorry for that, peeps!

Why did we decide to talk about what people perceived as dead tech? The topic got kind of triggered by the recent demand in COBOL developers due to a wide range of changes in countries' social security or tax systems all over the world. It turns out that many of these environments run on mainframe systems that were originally built in the 1960s-1980s.

After a brief look at the language we talk about the variety of risk environments organisations operate in. Consumer products get iterated over much more rapidly than bank or government systems dealing with fundamental societal infrastructure and that's part of the reason why we still find a lot of COBOL-based mainframe applications in these kind of organisations.

But there are many other technologies that are perceived dead. One of them is ColdFusion - a commercial web application back end platform (nowadays owned by Adobe), which is a very unusual business model for web app back end technology in 2020. Kai has, among other technologies, been using CFML (the language behind ColdFusion) since the late 1990s and Miguel talks about his personal recent experiences (the good AND the bad) with CFML. He was using Lucee though, an LGPL-based and open-source CFML spec implementation. CFML is certainly a niche language and has still a place for product development in certain environments.

From there we move on to talk about a bunch of other things: Prolog, Visual Basic and also about Java. Will Java ever be perceived dead? In Android-circles it certainly already is and nearly everyone has moved on to using Kotlin. But part of the problem there is that Android's supported Java version is Java 8, which actually lacks of lot of useful and expected features these days. 

What defines a technology as dead and can it ever truly die? Certainly technologies come and go with the Gartner-quadrant-what-ever-hype cycle, but eventually a technology will probably become used less and less and end up in a long tail. There's also the question of available producers and consumers of libraries and the overall developer ecosystem. The question then is - what's economically and technologically better: stay with a chosen platform or at some point rebuild from scratch? Or maybe a middle ground is the way to go?

Many things to consider and we hope you enjoy us talking about some of these considerations.

 

 

 

 

 

There's a new Nintendo Switch game that is keeping our minds busy in these difficult times. A game that couldn’t have come at a better time. Of course we are still talking about Animal Crossing

Today’s episode 7A is the second episode about this game. This time we tried doing something different though: We invited a whole lot of our friends that also play the game to an online meeting room and we had a bit of chat about their experiences with the game and cover some extra topics like the bunny day event, sharing an island or using Animal Crossing Amiibos and Amiibo cards.

So, we got together with:

Jen (2010-4877-8227)
Diane
Helen (8425 2934 5599)
and Nick (3984-7759-3378)

Switch friend codes in round brackets.  

After a bit of general chat, we start off with the bunny day event. Some people don't mind getting inundated by eggs instead of fish and wood, but others like Miguel and Helen are really annoyed by it. If at least the DIY recipes were any good...

Jen talks about playing on the same island with her husband. Turns out that the first player on the island becomes responsible for everything the Nooks want to get done while the other players can happily do their own thing... :)

Diane and Nick introduce us to the concepts and the use of Animal Crossing Amiibo cards and Diane elaborates on her struggle to invite her favourite cat Rosie to the island. 

It was lots of fun for us getting together with our friends and we hope you enjoy this episode, too!

 

 

Also: if you were wondering what the Animal Crossing clown sheep character looks like...

clownsheep.jpg 

 

 

The pandemic is - not to anyone's surprise - still not over. As more countries go into lockdowns, at least there's now a game for the Nintendo Switch that seems to have captured everyone's hearts. It offers the perfect storm of Kawaii cuteness and escapism into an alternative reality in which you live with lovely animals on an island building civilisation from scratch. Which - hmm - sounds a bit awkward.

We're obviously talking about Animal Crossing New Horizons. Depending on one's count and if one included spin-off titles like Pocket Camp on Android and iOS in the count, it's the 5th or 8th instance of the successful Nintendo game franchise. And it seems to have taken off unlike any other game in our bubble and group of friends. On most afternoons or nights pretty much every single one of our Nintendo Switch friends who are online play Animal Crossing these days.

All three of us got the game on launch day. Actually we all pre-purchased and downloaded it before launch day and the game just unlocked in the middle of the night. When we did this recording, we were just about 1 week into the game and already see different strategies and interests. While Miguel went wild on creating custom designs, Lara turned out to be a collector and fish/bug hoarder while Kai is trying to make big bucks...eh bells, with fruit selling. 

We talk about our experiences with the game, how more and more of our close friends got sucked into the game and what you can do to get more out of the game.

And if you're wondering about our reference to the fruit and resource stealing by a friend of us, this incident was obviously documented on Twitter...

In case you want to play with us, below are our Nintendo Switch friend codes:

Miguel: 2754-0743-7310
Lara: 8359-7630-6308
Kai: 3852-3319-8305

 

External sources being mentioned:

Using ACNH for parties and virtual catchup

Miguel made an ACNH pattern with his and Lara's dog Lily

Animal Crossing Patterns community

Animal Crossing etiquette guide

After last week's episode about how things change in the tech industry in these pandemic times, we thought it'd be interesting to get some other people's views on remote work and business continuity planning. Let's face it: Lara, Miguel and I have very clear views on why we prefer remote work and at the same time have less experience from working in *really large* organisations. Also - our respective business setups are rather small, family-sized operations and we don't face challenges that come with being responsible for employees.

This is episode 6B, the second interview we did in the wake of episode 6. We wanted to get some outside view points on how different types of organisations deal with changes in the tech industry. In this episode Kai talks to Nick, who's been working in various IT management roles in large public and private sector organisations in New Zealand and the UK for the last 20+ years.

During the discussion with Nick it becomes obvious quite quickly how different large organisation (have to) look at remote work. It can be much harder to send 1000 people home instead of dealing with the situation of a 5 person dev team. That starts with the simple things as hardware VPN authentication tokens, access to laptops and ends with networking infrastructure. Also - as a public sector organisation, state secrets might actually be at risk.

However, regardless of all the struggles, does Nick think that overall we're properly setup to deal with the pandemic or other emergencies from an ICT point of view in New Zealand? You'll have to listen to find out!

Have fun and wash your hands!!! 

Ok, we've done that weird thing again and went off the main line of the podcast to sneakily injected an interview.

After last week's episode about how things change in the tech industry in these pandemic times, we thought it'd be interesting to get some other people's views on remote work and business continuity planning. Let's face it: Lara, Miguel and I have very clear views on why we prefer remote work and at the same time have less experience from working in *really large* organisations. Also - our respective business setups are rather small, family-sized operations and we don't face challenges that come with being responsible for employees.

In episode 6A we're having a chat with John-Daniel (JD) Trask, one of the co-founders and CEO of Raygun. They have about 50 staff in Wellington, New Zealand as well as Seattle in the US and some remote contributors in various places in the world.

After the novel coronavirus and Covid-19 took off globally (and then in NZ), JD has made a very early decision to switch from an office-based setup with occasional remote work to a make everyone work remote. Some people perceived that to be *so* early, that he even had to face some criticism for undertaking this step.

We got together (obviously physically distancing) to talk about their situation, what JD's reasoning was for acting early and how it's been working out so far. 

Have fun listening and wash your hands!!! 

 

 

 

This week's topic is a deviation from our normal plan. Due to the rapid developments around the novel coronavirus and the Covid-19 illness we decided to talk about some implications for the tech industry in regards to work setups and events or conferences.

Please note: Neither of us are doctors or epidemiologists. Lara has a background in biology and we’ve been very closely following the statistical and mathematical modelling around the epidemic clusters, but we are no experts when it comes to the pandemic. We have added some useful and trustworthy links to the show notes though.

So, this episode is not about the virus or the illness itself. Promise. The last thing we want to do is to contribute to anxiety, uncertainty and fear. But there is a need to talk about some of the implications for our industry. How will work look like in the next few months or years? What happens to physical conferences? Will we go back to what work and events used to be when this pandemic will eventually be curbed by medication and/or vaccines?

 

External sources being mentioned:

Are Tech Conferences Dead?

One Team Gov Global Online Workshop

 

General pandemic information and trustworthy/factual people to follow on Twitter:

NY Times (non pay-walled)

The Spinnoff - Flatten the curve

Actually, read all of what Siouxsie Wiles is writing on The Spinnoff

Eric Feigl-Ding (Twitter)

Kai Kupferschmidt (Twitter)

Helen Branswell (Twitter)

Amy Coopes (Twitter)

Caitlin Rivers (Twitter)

 

Music by Chillhop: https://chillhop.com/listen

 

February 29, 2020

Episode 5 - Pets as co-workers

We're back in the main line of Code Cafeteria this week and spend some time to talk about our pets and other animals and how they influence us in our home and work lives.

While Lara works from an office most days of the week, Miguel and Kai both work remotely from home and have their respective animals around. But Lara's company allows dogs at work and we talk about what the pros and cons of that can be. Particularly in a shared, open plan office, bringing your animals to work can be great, but can also cause all sorts of issues.

Join us for some entertaining anecdotes from our animals or from friends who have been visited by rather unusual office companions...

External sources being mentioned:

Lily (living with Lara & Miguel) and Kylo (living with Kai) on Twitter

Dogs at Flick Electric in Wellington

Benefits of Office Dogs

Didga and Boomer on YouTube

Music by Chillhop: https://chillhop.com/listen

 

Episode 3AAAWHAT???

Yes, dear listeners - we went back to episode 3 about operating systems for developers. And then we branched off from master into a special feature episode 3A to talk about BSD.

For this special feature episode, we reached out to Lenz Gschwendtner, who's been using BSD for server and infrastructure hosting as well as his main daily driver on his laptop for years.

Miguel and Kai spent about 30 minutes to talk with Lenz about his background and how he ended up in the BSD ecosystem and what makes it interesting and worthwhile to use it. We also cover topics like available software, hardware compatibility and many more. Hope you enjoy this out-of-schedule recording. 

We're back to our usual schedule next week...

External sources being mentioned:

ZFS

FreeBSD

Laptops on FreeBSD

Byhve

Music by Chillhop: https://chillhop.com/listen

The Nintendo Switch and video gaming in general are important parts of our lives. In this episode we talk about how we got into the current Nintendo platform, how it's relevant to how we met and cover games we love and look forward to being released in 2020.

We also share our tips and tricks for interacting with the Nintendo ecosystem, we talk about pricing and micro-transactions and cover some general aspects of gaming culture along the way.

 

External sources being mentioned:

Nintendo Pulse Podcast (@dasme and @stephenthemunn)

Der Nintendo Podcast (from German Nintendo Magazine)

The SwitchCast

Reddit: NintendoSwitch subreddit

Compare Nintendo Switch eshop prices globally

Music by Chillhop: https://chillhop.com/listen

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