The day before WordCamp Mumbai, India celebrated Holi, the Festival of Colors, to welcome the arrival of spring. Two other Automatticians, Prasath, Mahangu, and I were able to see a group celebrate it in a courtyard close to our hotel, so we decided to take a closer look and take a picture or two. On our way to the celebration we were stopped by a security guard unfortunately who would not let us enter, saying it was a private party and we were not allowed inside. We were a little disappointed but decided to walk around the block to see if we can find another group to take pictures.
We were almost back to our hotel when we saw a park with groups of people and took that detour. One of the groups were men who painted each others faces with India’s flag, taking pictures of one-another and having a good time. We must have looked sufficiently curious (and me unusual at 6’7″ and pale white), and as we were just about to walk past them one of the man took my hand and dragged me towards the head painter. And so this happened:
I just pushed code to millions of users from an airplane, in an altitude of 35,000 ft, somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. SMH.
Michael Cain and I decided to do a Cain & Obenland special at lat year’s Automattic Grand Meetup. The Grand Meetup is a one-week retreat where all of Automattic gets together and works on projects, takes classes, and hangs out together. Everyone is required to give a 4-minute flash talk, and we were able to convince Gary Pendergast to give up his slot and be the guest for that episode, giving us a total of 12 minutes for our show.
Part 1 is our news section, tailored to Automattic.
Part 2 is the interview, featuring a video of Automatticians who didn’t want to be on the show.
Part 3 is a Best of Cain & Obenland, with highlights form the shows at WordCamps Atlanta and Orange County. We spoke in the Grand Ballroom of the hotel, so in the beginning of the video we ran from the back of the room on stage, high-fiving the audience on our way, which is also why I’m so out of breath.
I was in San Antonio for their inaugural WordCamp last weekend and decided to explore San Antonio’s River Walk after Contributor Day. During the event on Saturday, everyone told me to go check it out and I’m glad I did! I was genuinely impressed by how beautiful it was, the pictures don’t really do it justice. It gives the city a European feel, with cafés and restaurants lining the river. I ended my walk at The Alamo where I learned more about Texas’ history and the role the siege played in it.
Together with fellow Automatticians Marjorie Asturias, Brandon Kraft, and Aaron Douglas, I was invited to a panel Q&A at WordCamp San Antonio.
I’m currently in Austin, TX for the inaugural team meetup of Apollo, the WordPress.org-focused team that I switched to when was created a few months ago. After five days of discussions, planning, and working on code, we took some time off today and went indoor skydiving.
It was a lot of fun, and surprisingly much less dangerous than jumping out of a flying airplane! It was exciting to be able to build on my Park City, UT experience and improve my body control in a way that I was almost able to steer myself.
I’m German, living in the United States, and for that been asked about pretty much every German stereotype imaginable. One of the most common misperceptions is that Germans, or Europeans in general, drink their beer warm. Since I was asked about it multiple times again last week (I like beer), I thought I’d turn to the keyboards so I can point to this post in the future.
Automattic’s job page says that you should expect to travel four to five weeks out of the year, if you join us. That’s actually a really good rule of thumb. Of course it varies from person to person, but with meetups alone you’re looking at a minimum of three weeks. I ended up spending a bit more time on the road, so I thought I should write a short recap.
In 2013 I traveled about 79,000 miles which—not being used to that much travel—felt like a lot. So going into the new year, I planned on reducing it a little, only going to meetups and local WordCamps. That was not what happened however.