29 January 2009

Lots of changes, big and small


Yeah, low blogging for quite some time, again because life throws me lemons when I strictly ordered potatoes. I like potatoes, but then, through a bizarre twist of fate, I've taken a liking to these lemons as well. Let me tell you a bit about them.

Where to begin? Well, I've been back in Norway for about a year now, with varying degrees of adaption-trouble and Australia-withdrawal-symptoms, but also good times in the woods, in the snow, at work and around the house. It can't all easily be summarized, but I think "busy" sums it up pretty neatly. Not an overwhelming amounts of either good nor bad, we're more or less balancing it all.

Right, the big news first; we're moving back to Australia (Kiama, 1.5 hours south of Sydney on the coast ... meet me by the blowhole!) on the 17th of February, in roughly three weeks time (but there's a 10% chance we hold off the actual move for about 6 months, if the price is right and deals fall through). What? Yes, we're moving back to the sweltering sun, the warm salty seas (the seas here are also salty, but not very warm) and a somewhat easier lifestyle. Well, at least, that's our excuse. That's what we're aiming for.

No, there is no big drama involved. We just decided, after thinking about it waaaaay too much, that Australia is a better place to live for us right now. The reasons are many and varied, but chief among them is my wife's tightly knitted extended and lovely family which we feel we need, the beach (!!!), the easier climate (these days we use about 40 minutes to get out the door on a cold day), the proximity to sub-tropical rainforest, did I mention the beach?, and, well, some other challenges I'll write more about later when all things fall into place.

Yes, I got a new job. Yes, I'll be doing exciting things. Yes, it will blow my mind, and yes, indeed, I'll be working more intensly with Topic Maps. And I'll be leaving the consultancy world behind, and indeed the library world I sometimes immerse myself in, and work for a company that's head-quartered in the east (but not far east), so lots of new things to consider and experiences to adapt to.

Let me first point out that my employer Bekk Consulting AS is the darn best friggin' consultancy gig in town (or, now with Bekk Trondheim, I dare say the country!), and I owe them everything! They've taught me right from wrong, taught me to be structured and all grown up (for the most part), gave me heaps of really interesting challenges, and have nurtured me through some tough times and being a great support. Frode B is the best boss I could ever hope to have, even in his anal retentive correctness and profssional manner there's a wonderful cheekiness that I'll miss dearly. Thanks, and thanks to all my collagues there, past and present; you're a great bunch, you really are. Oh, and if you're a good developer/BMC/UX person and want an Oslo gig, tell Frode I sent you, ok?

I've was holding a seminar in Bergen for the west-coast library sector, which I think went pretty well. I'll summarize it and post the slides when I get the chance. I had a great time and I met a lot of really nice and interesting people. Oh, and I'm doing the seminar once more before I leave, in Fredrikstad in February somewhere (13th?), so I'm looking forward to that.

In other news, I've been thinking lots about programming and development paradigms, where Topic Maps fit into it, why we're doing this again, and other IT issues that I seem to rile against. I think the whole IT sector has landed on a rather stigmatized platform from which we try to create good software, and we're failing because stigma leads to rigidity. More on this later, as well.

Anyways, that's the "first post" of the new year, a year that will go down in the history of me and my family as, um, very interesting.