Saturday, November 17, 2007

What have I been doing in the past few months?

Yes, it's been a long break and, as you already assume, here comes a (long) post with a bulleted list of all that happened in the mean time and deserves to be mentioned:

  • First of all (I've been trying to write this for a while now) I started working for XWiki Iasi. We are a team of 9 people but only 7 of us are in Iasi and only 5 of us are Iasi employees: Sergiu and Marta are in France for studies, Jerome and Jean-Vincent are employees from the Paris office that came in Iasi to help setup the team here. The romanian team is made of: Evelina, Raluca, Cristi, Marius and me, closely collaborating with the big french team in Paris.
    I must mention that this is my first job and I'm learning things as they happen: the development process of a big project, the teamwork, the communication, the skills, getting used to "doing only one thing" (as opposed to school where I was doing a different thing everyday, writing code in 3 different programming languages at the same time, learning and trying new technologies, banging the head against the wall for all these reasons but enjoying every minute of it). Still, XWiki is a nice place to do "more-than-one-thing": there are various areas where you can spread your work if you want and creativity is encouraged.
    We also had a nice XWiki Iasi launch party in october where we invited a lot of friends (some pictures can be found on picasaweb).
    I also learned that cultural barriers are no barriers at all and all it takes is just a little time to get used... (a subject that deserves a post of its own...)

  • Second of all, I started the master courses at infoiasi that compensate the "doing-only-one-thing" at work. Not too many opinions on this yet, besides the shock that, after trying for 2 years (the final years) to teach us how to write code and how to look at things from the practical side, they are now going back to the theoretical side (that gave us nightmares in the first 2 years at the faculty) and expect us to understand everything and agree... I know, it is supposed to be like that and it is OUR job to put the two together, etc, etc, but it is a little hard to bear anyway...

  • Third, I started my classes at the faculty: I am teaching web technologies laboratories to the fourth year students. This whole "getting on the other side" experience is very interesting on its own and deserves a full post, too (maybe I'll do it, just maybe). I can say that I am having a lot of fun teaching, although you should probably get some opinions from my students too...

  • Fourth of all, I wrote a chapter about web recommendations using microformats embedded data for the "Web 2.0 Programming" book (in Romanian) to appear at Polirom. While doing this, I finally finalized the Java Firefox extension example that I talked about in the last post, realized that it's incredibly hard to talk about some things you are very familiar with while trying to be clear enough and explain that stuff to someone who potentially does not know a thing about them, and also learned how valuable good feedback is! The blog dedicated to the book is at, designated for communication with the readers of the book, so feel free!


Alex said...


Pascal said...

Nice blog Anca ! Hope to see more pictures and IASI's employees in a near future...
Kind Regards