Work-Work Balance

Once again, I am trying to maintain a “work-work balance” as professional activities of different kinds continue to multiply. 

The things which are on my radar in addition to work are

  • getting ready for all of September conferences: only half is done
  • one completely new presentation for October – not even started
  • another presentation for October together with my co-worker: it was started only because both of us pushed each other, but there is still a lot to do (about 25% done)
  • interviews for each of the conferences (only one left, but it’s a huge one)
  • a user reported a bug in pg_bitemporal
  • we just merged a new iteration of NORM, but Boris wants to rework several things, and I agree
  • all things related to PG Day Chicago
  • to build an example for my not-yet-started presentation in October, I need to create tons of new things in postgres_air
  • educational video, which got stalled back in May

You know what I want to say? If not for The Lake, I won’t survive! The daily beach breaks for the past two weeks (along with very beach weather) helped me to relax and recharge, and some days I felt like I was on summer break (although other days, I would be so tired that I would drop dead at 9:30 PM).

As I did before, I am taking some days off to do some work 🙂

When Everything Goes Wrong

Today’s meetup was another epic disaster.

I ordered a new MacBook, and it arrived on Monday. By midday Tuesday, I had it restored from my old Mac Air and started to use it. There were a couple of minor hiccups, but overall, everything looked and felt like I was on the same computer.

Today, I was hosting a Chicago PUG meetup. First, when I scheduled it, I tried “integration of meetup and zoom,” which resulted in me having three zoom meetings :). It took me a while to figure out which one was the right one, but finally, I was there, and people started to join. Then, I was going to start my 5-minute intro, but it turned out that zoom didn’t have screen share permission! I quickly went to the settings to fix it, but then zoom had to restart. I have no idea what happened next, but for some reason, people could not get back in! Zoom was asking for the password, which technically speaking was in the URL provided.

Also, I could not edit the existing meeup and could not paste a new link! And all on top of the fact that my speaker requested an earlier start!!!

The good news was that, after all, the meetup happened. But boy, what a disaster!!!

All Things In Switzerland

I was never asked for a passport – neither on my way to Zurich nor on my way back, I only had to scan the respective boarding passes, and no human ever saw it. So technically speaking, 1) it could be another person, not me, traveling 2) a person who returned might not have been a person who left. Just saying:).

Somr pictures from Zurich:

Continue reading “All Things In Switzerland”

In London

I only stayed in London for two days, mainly at the conference, but the same as five years ago, it was great! Now for the second time, no rain all the time I stayed.

Last time, we went with Vlad, which meant that I didn’t have to worry about getting around. This time, I was a little bit nervous about how I will get around, even with Google maps, but everything turned out fine. Mostly because of exceptionally friendly people. Each time I would start to slow down and look at my phone, and then around me, somebody would ask me where I needed to go and help me get back on my route. It was truly amazing! Also, whenever I would emerge from yet another passage in the tube, somebody would ask me where I needed to go, and if that was the wrong train, they would not only tell me where to go to get on the right one but looked back to make sure I actually made all the left and right turns!

loved the hotel I stayed in (I will show the pictures in a separate post), and I enjoyed the conference, met many of my co-workers in person, met many people in general, and had a great time! I wish I had had time to do more things in London, but I hope it wasn’t the last time!

Work-work Balance :)

Most of the things which concern me these days are somehow professional. Although there are several different issues, they have something in common, which is – I am not learning new things fast enough. 

I submitted two segments of my first educational video, and I received a critique, which I find completely justified. I was thinking along these lines myself, so the critique was not unexpected. 

It has been going on for a while, but I think I reached a critical point – people are putting together presentations differently these days. They are way more animated, using screen recordings and other effects, not “the lecture style,” as I was told. 

I understand that this is related not only to these videos but also to my two presentations which I am giving in a month. I thought that “I had them” and just needed to add a couple of new slides, but now I understand that I need to rework them completely if I want people to listen:). And I am frustrated that it takes me so long!

Similar things are happening at work. I learned a lot in the past six months, but still, I often face some customers’ questions that require me to read volumes of documentation I never read before! 

And overall, I feel like I am behind with everything, although so many people help me! 

OK, that was a moment of venting. I am done:)

To Paris And Back

My colleague K.took the train to the airport (and she said that Helsinki has the best public transportation (which I agree!). While walking to the train, we met two other conference participants who opted for the train, too, so my word was spread ! When we arrived in Paris, she said we would take public transport as well, and that was a slightly more dramatic experience 🙂

Also, it turned out that we were in different hotels, and my other co-worker came to rescue me ;). This co-worker previously invited me to share a suite in the hotel with me, and her boss approved, so I had free lodging. We also had a terrific conversation while walking there and later at dinner.

Chocolate-coffee-buckwheat dessert
Continue reading “To Paris And Back”

What A Week!

So many things happened this week; it feels like a month! And I didn’t blog about anything!
Let me catch up on at least something.

My last post was about Suomenlinna, and how I took one of my co-workers on a tour there. Other people started to arrive on Sunday afternoon, and everybody was asking me about the “nice place for dinner.” All Vlad’s suggestions wee somewhere further away from the city center. A couple of weeks before the conference, I suggested Harald for the company dinner, and then I thought that we could also go there on Sunday, and if we don’t like it, we will change the EDB dinner reservation.

Cinnamon beer
Don’t remember half of it, the black things ar reindeer blood pancakes, and salami is bear salami, and the light things are made with cod tounges. Don’t ask 🙂
Reindeer cooked two different ways
Wild-game sword: it looked gigantic, but actually it was mostly presentation that was gigantic
A close-up

We liked it, although I am sure it is not really a “Viking food,” but rather a tourist version of it, it was a good food anyway.

And we also when there on Tuesday after the conference for our company dinner. Usually, when you are at the conference, you try to socialize more with people from other organizations, but since my company is so distributed, we do not meet in person often, so everybody is eager to see each other.

On Monday, I was trying to work, and then meeting with people and showing a little bit of Helsinki again, and then there was a speaker’s dinner in the evening in a different place.

Both days, there were lots of talks about the war. I argued with one of my co-workers, who was saying that “we need to support our community in Russia.” We need to make a clear distinction between individuals and organizations. Several IT organizations made statements condemning the war, and nobody destroyed them. On the other hand, multiple organizations received money from the Russian government, not necessarily in contracts, but often as direct financing of their work and research, grants, etc. And now they say nothing.

Many ordinary people are braver than these companies. And to be honest, I do not think they are “afraid.” Nobody would destroy them, they just won’t receive money from the government…

P.S. I know that some would be outraged with the way I combine the pictures from the fancy dinner with the talks about the war, but I am being honest. It was as it was: I live event after COVID, which everybody was anticipating, meeting with great people, having a great time – and talking about the war, and thinking about the war – all that time.