the smart ones have probably noticed I’ve been lately writing much more about traveling, friends, mood, and fewer about software in general. nice shot! in fact the last 6 months have been so full of news and changes for me, in my private and personal stuff. don’t want to bore anybody, but: I’ve moved to a new flat, which j’adore, I traveled a lot (Spain, Crete and southern Italy), and finally bought a car (this is such a big change!), to name a few.

but only the smarter ones could have guessed it was due to kinda a “tiny” breakdown I had, and thanks to friends it’s all gone. funny enough, at least when I tell people about, it seems to be an “age of 30” breakdown!

anyway, I’m not done with telling you news. in fact, in order for you to understand how I could travel so much, and spend so much time on my own, you miss one more bit. here it goes: I left my job.

past year has been really tough. first, I learned new stuff and skilled a lot on system administration and shipping to production. even more, my company had a major internal restructuring, so my team no longer belonged to Sourcesense but had a brand new home: XPeppers.

big changes outside, big changes inside. that’s when I realized I should have had some time focusing on myself. and quitting my company was a natural choice. bank account said saved money was enough for a few months off. so I embraced change without fearing the future too much. sure, I briefly looked for open jobs in Europe, and Milan as well, but targeting a very long holidays before starting any new job.

and we’re done. next week I’ll join 7Pixel Nautilus team, where I’ll meet two ex colleagues: Davide as a full-time coach, and Antonio as a uber senior developer. this means moving from customer development and even consultancy, to product development, facing both internal stakeholders and the market.

can’t really say how much I owe Matteo and Orione team, and all the people at Sourcesense and XPeppers. I had more than 3 years of intense learning and fun, working side-by-side with skilled people in Milan, Rome and Amsterdam (shame is I could not join UK people too).

well, don’t forget they’re hiring!

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In my shoes

July 19 2011

back from an amazing journey in Crete: 11 days, 5 main cities, lot of beaches and towns only by public transports, hostel by hostel with a light backpack. can’t count how many buses and boats I’ve been taking. and, best of all, people I’ve met.

here’s a quick report:

  • day 1: plane from Milan to Hania. Agioi Apostoli and the Kalamaki beach
  • day 2: Gramvousa island and Balos beach, by boat
  • day 3: bus to Paleohora. sandy beach and pebble beach
  • day 4: Elafonisi beach and island, by boat
  • day 5: boat and taxi to Plakias, via Hora Sfakion. Plakias beach
  • day 6: hiking to Moni Preveli (Preveli monastery), then palm trees beach. way back by boat
  • day 7: bus to Rethymno. beach and old town
  • day 8: Panormo beach, by bus
  • day 9: bus to Iraklio. old town
  • day 10: Agios Nikolaos, beach and town, by bus. Kolokytha peninsula and Spinalonga island, by boat
  • day 11: Cnosso palace, by bus. historical museum and archaeological museum. plane to Milan

following is the initial plan, but of course, as any well-done plan, it has been adapted day by day:

pictures here.

sure, it’s been a tough journey: hostel owners were impressed by my willing to see as much as possible in so short time. sadly, I could not visit eastern coast, like the Vai beach. that could probably be the goal for another journey!

Spring addicted

April 3 2011

I was thinking about how to name this post, where to start from for putting thoughts together, and started re-wrintg from scratch a few times. yep, that’s me, who likes getting think more complex than they actually are.

but finally, I got it, and that’s quite simple. sharing a sunny weekend with real friends stets you positive and joyous.

I’ve noted down (and locked up) suggestions and wisdom they shared with me, while trying to get this messy thing called life sound better. spring has come, be prepared!

London calling

March 15 2011

back from a 3-days weekend in London! run away from daily concerns, I’ve signed up to “help a (brokedown) friend” service, hosted by my saviour Fabio and his tiny sweet home. believe it or not, that’s my first time London, which is even better that I thought.

my pictures as a tourist here, while Fabio probably put even more on his facebook account (I guess, colleagues of mine this morning just asked “I saw some pictures.. were you drunk?!”).

friends are there when you need it. period.

De solus peregrinari

September 8 2010

well, sorry for my bad latin (almost a dozen years since my last versione), but it sounded so nice as a title! just wanted to share with you such an amazing experience I had: travelling all alone from hostel to hostel, meeting zillion of people from all over the world, while having holidays, beach, good food and relax.

that’s, to be short, a summary of my ten days in Algarve and Portugal, last august.

here’s the route of my travelling, by plane from Milan, then only using public transports, which turned out to be a lot of.. waiting! Tavira, Faro and Sagres, getting on and off in Lagos and Tunes, then straight to Porto, Gaia and Granja. such a great time, met people from Germany, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Norvay, Ireland, Scotland, England and New Zeland, to name a few. I also improved my english!

if you like sun and beaches, well consider Algarve for your next vacation. Tavira is calm and relaxing, while in Sagres you’ll find wild coast, waves and surfers. Lagos and Albufeira are very turistic places, so I just skipped those. Porto has been very challenging, walking up and down the hills all day.

feel free to enjoy these pictures!

Amsterdamned

November 6 2009

i’m back.

for the last two weeks, i’ve been staying in the lovely city of Amsterdam, working for a customer of my dutch colleagues. challenging, amusing, funny and resource-consuming, here’s a brief recap of my last 15 days.

first of all, thanks from the deep of my heart to Maurizio “daje forte” Mao Pillitu, for hosting me in his nice and comfortable home, just outside the city town. he’s been very kind and friendly, i hope i had in some way paid back with my italian-style cousine.

so, i’ve been working for Hippo, a young and energetic open-source company born around their CMS product: it’s a nice building down-town, just 15 walking minutes far from Dam square (yep, i loved walking through the city lanes after a full day of working). guys at Hippo are friendly and passionate, devoted to open-source; they also organize forge-fridays, sort of coding dojos with the focus on releasing working plugins (for Hippo CMS, of course) at the end of the afternoon.

Hippo CMS is having a lot of popularity among public institutions in the Netherlands, something my dutch colleagues have been working on hard also. but even if Hippo 7 is getting popular, there are still a lot of projects done with the older product version, Hippo 6. And that’s were my story begins.

i’ve been working for the municipality of Schijndel, a little dutch town, helping its IT management improve and automate meeting’s agenda and reports publishing. yeah, you heard it right: they record and publish (with a little delay, of course) audio and text content for every council’s meeting. being an italian citizen, all that transparency and devotion sounds strange, but is really laudable.

the first challenge i faced was, of course, translating all documentations from dutch to english, from analysis PDF to past emails with customer. i didn’t had everything clear at first, but thanks to double-checking with dutch colleagues i finally got it. (anyway, it’s funny almost every translation from dutch gets verb in the very last part of sentences. it really reminded my latin classes, while at college).

then i finally entered the dark tunnel: technology viscosity and indecent web of dependencies, also known as Maven 1. gosh, i really had to work hard to have a successful build on top of Java 1.4, Axis2 and Cocoon 2.1, which turned out to be classpath monkey-patching, using ant tasks, jelly scripts and maven postGoals. damn!

add lack of support from webservice’s developers and consultants, and the soup is ready to be served! in fact, i just had a working test environment (i mean, representative of customer’s one, with valid data) almost 3 days before the project scheduled end. that’s awesome, isn’t it? how did the hell i managed to get the work done?

applying what i later called the “abstract and adapt” strategy: understand the domain, abstract from implementation details, then adapt code when things get clearer. well, that’s the hexagonal architecture (but, you know, we like coining sexy names). so, i spent the whole first week coding the application logic decoupled from real system behaviour, which in fact was unknown. Agenda and its Repository, Content and Storage, Indexer and Importer, these are all roles i’ve been writing, test-driven, from day one. that’s not easy, and of course it’s risky; but it was the best i could do.

reading webservice specifications and WSDL, i could also guess how that slimmy layer should behave, but i really got it wrong at first! then, i had an ah-ah moment during the first weekend, and changed the webservice adapter in order reflect my new thoughts, without the need to modify domain logic so much (in fact, i also improved my domain knowledge). i changed unit tests, and added sort of spikes: tests with no assertions, just logging actual parsed responses, so that i could “see” with my eyes current webservice behaviour, at each test run.

and i was right! i clearly remember how shocking was reading in the console log some parsed data, when they finally were set up on test environment! you know, i was going for lunch, i ran all tests one more time, before locking down workstation, and i saw that: “parsed 6 agenda”, following by a so-nice full toString(). that was awesome, really: my tests told me setup was done before receiving a confirmation email by consultants, 30 minutes later!

than, i had my journey to Schijndel, to discuss deployment and testing on customer’s network. trip took 2 hours, i also had a 30 minutes stop in ‘s-Hertogenbosch which i spent walking down-town, among nice gothic buildings and golden dragons.

it’s shocking how efficient dutch national transports website is, with its door-to-door journey planner, really. well, it’s a shame it’s not updated with temporarily moved bus stops, which could have saved me one hour in the late evening!

anyway, that’s it, a recap of techy stuff mixed with journey reports. thanks to the whole dutch office for the opportunity and drinks, looking forward to next works together!

Holy dayz

August 19 2009

finally, it’s vacation time for me too!

i’m going to join spanish friends to a trip from Zaragoza to Andalusia. i’m leaving in a few hours, so.. see you in september!