Sunday Mar 14, 2010

Massive DTrace Day Coming to Tokyo

The Japanese OpenSolaris Community will be hosting a massive DTrace Day on Saturday, March 27th in Yoga. Meeting details are here in Japanese and here in English. Directions with photos are here in Japanese and English. There will be two rooms to hold the six sessions. All talks will be on DTrace and everything will be in Japanese. A nomikai will follow (of course). Developers working on all operating systems platforms are welcome.

Friday Jun 12, 2009

BSD, Linux, OpenSolaris: A Conference in Tokyo

I've been thinking that it might be an interesting time to do a little kernel conference for OpenSolaris, Linux, and the BSDs right here in Tokyo. Get everyone together. See what happens. What the heck.

We could hold the event right at the Sun office on the 27th floor just like BarCamp back in May. We already hold the Tokyo Linux User Group meetings here and get about 40 people each time, we hold OpenSolaris meetings and get about 40 people (and about 100 for formal product launches), and BarCamp drew 100 people from multiple communities. That`s basically where I got the idea from -- and, of course, watching James C. McPherson put together his kernel conference in Australia. So, I wonder what would happen if we organized a day long conference specifically to bring together developers and community members from the key open source operating systems in an informal, un-conference format? I wonder what technology and community building bits we could all share together? I bet we could attract 150 top guys from Tokyo, and I bet we'd make quite an impression in the process. And I think there is more than enough talent right here to pull it off without having to call in people from the U.S. or Europe (although they'd certainly be welcome to come and participate, of course).

Just kicking this idea around ...

Monday Jan 05, 2009

DTrace in FreeBSD 7.1

Nice to see DTrace officially in FreeBSD 7.1. ZDNet news article here. FreeBSD announcement here. DTrace community on OpenSolaris here. Also, I see that the AsiaBSDCon 2009 conference will be held at the Tokyo University of Science in mid March. Cool. I should be around in March, so I`m looking forward to hanging around this conference for a bit.

Saturday Nov 08, 2008

Tokyo Linux User Group: 110808

Here are some images from the Tokyo Linux User Group meeting earlier today ...

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Friday Oct 24, 2008

Running Successful OpenSolaris User Groups

I've been re-reading Eric Raymond's How To Become A Hacker, and one of his links in there points to Rick Moen's Recipe for a Successful Linux User Group. Both documents are excellent. So, I figured I'd scratch out a little "Recipe for Running a Successful OpenSolaris User Group" based on what these guys have said, my own experiences participating in some user groups, and also some observations about a long post I wrote a while back -- Building OpenSolaris Communities. I'll keep adding to this post over time. But for now, here are a few obvious items:
  1. Start: Just start. Decide that you want to form a little group and get going. Keep it simple. Don't do too much planning initially. Just get some guys and go to a local pub or coffee shop someplace and talk. That's a user group. Remember, this is a social exercise first, technical one second. Just my opinion.

  2. Infrastructure: Eventually you should have some sort of web presence to show your stuff and a mailing list to talk to people. If you want this infrastructure on opensolaris.org, start here and we'll help you out. Or you can use Google/Yahoo if you like, and if you have some gear you can always build and host your own site. Also, you can leverage many of the social networking platforms out there, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning.

  3. Meetings: Many people feel that to have a user group and attract new people they need technical meetings with well-known speakers right away and that these technical meetings have to occur every month. Why? Why not every other month? Or once a quarter for tech meetings with social meetings in between. Don't treat this as a job. Treat this as fun. Technical meetings naturally grow over time to fulfill a need, but you have to get together as people first to see what happens. Who's working on what? Who knows who? Who wants to collaborate on some projects? Who has some lessons learned to share? Who else lives in the area? Whatever. Don't force it. Talk on list and meet casually till things click, and over time the need for technical meetings will be obvious.

  4. Meeting Rooms: If your group does grow into having regular meetings with presenters and demos and such, you'll need a room. Check with the local universities in your area first. But also talk to the local tech companies. And maybe some members of your user group can offer access to their company's offices on a rotating basis on the weekend. Ping Sun, too, if we are around. We certainly have an interest in seeing OpenSolaris User Groups thrive, and many groups are hosted at Sun facilities worldwide anyway. And if you don't have any Sun employees in your group, this is a good way to get them involved.

  5. Joint Meetings: As your own meetings mature and as you reach out to other communities in your area, consider doing some joint meetings. Get the BSD guys together for a joint OpenSolaris/BSD session. Or an OpenSolaris/Linux meeting. Or go up the stack and talk to application developers and web developers. There are many other user groups and communities out there that you can hang out with to explore technical and personal relationships.

  6. Audio and Video: Some user groups I've been to or observed in the OpenSolaris community are recording their meetings to audio and/or video files for download. Others are streaming. Others offer conference call numbers for live phone participation. These communication techniques are very cool because they enable you to reach new people in your local area and around the world. I live in Japan, but I've called into meetings in China and the United States, and I've viewed online audio/video content from India and Prague and elsewhere. All this brings up another point: local user groups hanging out at local bar are now really international communities. This was always true to a point, but with easy and pervasive communication tools you are now local and global. That's cool.

  7. Size: Don't worry about growing big. Most user groups are initiated and maintained by a pretty small number of people. That's ok. Keep it small if you want. Or grow it large. There are no rules. You decide. But don't feel you have to be this way or that way to be a user group. You don't.

  8. Consistency: Although size is not that important, consistency is probably a bigger deal. Try to keep conversations flowing on list, and if you meet live, try to meet regularly. Some groups meeting monthly and others quarterly. You decide. The frequency of meetings is not as important as the consistency. Momentum and predictability are important for establishing trust and helping people get involved.

  9. Diversity: Try to encourage some diversity. Keep your group open to everyone in the area. You never know who is connected to who out there. Also, part of diversity is to reach out to other groups and other communities. I'm an OpenSolaris guy, but the Tokyo Linux User Group welcomed me to their meetings and on their list as soon as I contacted them. I use Linux, too, but that's not the point. They are open to everyone. And that's a big deal. This is open source. Be open. Same story with the Tokyo2Point0 community.

  10. Identity: Design a t-shirt. A logo. Etc. People love to identify with something bigger themselves, something doing good, something they love. Leverage this natural feeling and promote an identity for your group. You don't have to be aggressive about this, but just be aware that over time your group will develop a culture. Let it emerge naturally.

  11. Photography: The camera is one of the most powerful community-building devices I've ever experienced. It cuts cleanly through tough culture and language barriers, and the vast majority of people I've met love to see images of themselves hanging out with others. I've met thousands of people by taking pictures. So, take pictures.

  12. Leadership: Although most people like keeping things as casual and decentralized as possible, someone has to lead from time to time. Book a meeting room at a university or local company. Send out notices. Update web pages. Collect money at bars for drinks and food. These are all activities that require assertions. As your group grows bigger, the need for clearly identifiable leaders will grow as well. Do you want to lead? And if you are leading, consider rotating leaders at some point. Give other people a chance.

  13. Money: Chip in some of your own cash, but don't go wild. Over time as your group grows, maybe try to raise some money via auctions. The Tokyo Linux User Group does a great job of this. Also, poke the local tech companies for some sponsorship dollars. Hey, you never know. Ask. Use the money for hosting services, trips to conferences, t-shirts, or any other infrastructure costs. You're not running a business, though. You don't need lots of money.
That's it for now. Not complete but just some ideas to kick around. I'll update this from time to time as I think of stuff. Also, if you know of other lists of "how to run a user group" let me know. Until then, keep checking out http://opensolaris.org/os/usergroups/ for updates to the OpenSolaris User Group Community.

Saturday Oct 11, 2008

Engineering Across Languages and Cultures

I had great fun earlier today participating on the cross-cultural engineering panel at the Pasona Tech conference in Tokyo (here, here). We addressed cultural, language, and career issues facing Japanese engineers as they engage employers and developers around the world. This is not only an interesting subject for me, but it's also an important issue since economies are globalizing and software development is moving to open source community development. Dealing with people from around the world every day is now normal. It's not an occasional interaction. So, having a sense of language and cultural issues is critical since these things pervade our jobs -- even if you work in the country in which you were born and even if you work in your native language.

Since I have an interest in China, I talked a bit about the changes occurring in Chinese technology universities, and especially how students, professors, and administrators are now assertively engaging westerners in English. That was not necessarily true a few years ago in China, and it's not especially true in Japan today so it will be interesting to see where those trends lead in the future. A side note: when I'm in China I talk a lot about what the Japanese are doing to build community here and how they contribute to communities in Japan and around the world (their contributions are substantial but many times difficult to find at first). So the learning can go both ways since both sides have a great deal to offer.

At the event, we also talked about different communication styles (face-to-face vs online) among Japanese and American developers. Again, both sides could do a bit more reaching out to each other in these areas. Americans tend to be direct and Japanese tend to be indirect, and this very obvious difference can lead to some rather interesting situations. Balance is critical. If you have too many Japanese in a given situation, it's too far skewed to the Japanese language and thought processes. The opposite is true, too. When you have too many Americans in the room there is too much English and American thinking going on. You need both to balance things. You should try to offer enough communication channels for everyone to participate at some level, while encouraging the bilingual people to serve as conversation facilitators reaching out to both sides simultaneously. I think Tokyo2Point0 and the Tokyo Linux User Group are good examples of communities who recognize this issue and address it very well. I'm sure there area others, too. This is how I'd like to work with the OpenSolaris community in Japan. If the community is built with an international focus as its foundation, then it has a good shot at growing large and connecting globally.

Many opinions were shared on the panel and at the nomikai afterwards and they all had validity. No single person has all the answers covering such subtle issues like these, and there is lots of room for humility and opportunity to rule the day. I look forward to the next cross-cultural engineering event in Tokyo. We should meet quarterly to continue these conversations. All posts on cross-cultural engineering will be here

Thanks to Toshiharu Harada, Edward Middleton, Gosuke Miyashita, Iwasa Takuma, Hiroumi Mitani, and Tomoyuki Sakurai for their participation at the event. And thanks to Shoji Haraguchi for snapping this image.

Friday Oct 10, 2008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Nice nomikai tonight with the Tokyo Linux User Group. There were guys there from 12 countries. Japan, Italy, Spain, Germany, UK, US, Argentina, Brazil, Korea, France, Iceland, Australia. And that's normal for this group. It's quite an international crowd, and to me that's part of what makes a healthy community. That's also why I like hanging out with these guys.

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tuesday Sep 30, 2008

Cross Cultural Engineering Panel

On Oct 11th, I'll be at Pasona Tech in Tokyo participating on a panel about cross-cultural engineering. Should be great fun and very educational as well. I love this topic and I live it every day. We'll explore how language and cultural issues affect Japanese engineers as they work and interact with other engineers from around the world. I'll be talking about my experiences in Japan, China, and India in particular, but I'll also probe some things I've learned from dealing with developers across many language and cultural barriers in other regions on the OpenSolaris project.

17:00〜18:30 エンジニア・グローバル・サミット2008

〜世界から見た日本のキャリア、日本から見た世界のキャリア〜

<パネラー>
サン・マイクロシステムズ
株式会社
東京ソフトウェア本部
Open Solaris技術部
主幹部長
Jim Grisanzio 氏

株式会社NTTデータ
技術開発本部
原田 季栄 氏

TLUG President
Edward Middleton 氏

株式会社paperboy&co.
事業戦略本部 副本部長
技術責任者
宮下 剛輔 氏

株式会社Cerevo
代表取締役
岩佐 琢磨 氏

<モデレーター>
櫻井 知之 氏

楽天株式会社
国際開発室
美谷 広海 氏

Sakurai-san will be monitoring the panel. Here we are together from a previous cross-cultural event.

Saturday Sep 13, 2008

Tokyo Linux User Group 091308

Images from the Tokyo Linux User Group meeting at Sun earlier today. And, of course, the nomikai later in the evening. As with every TLUG event, it was great to meet a bunch of new guys in Tokyo.

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308 TLUG 091308

TLUG 091308

All of my TLUG images on flickr.

Thursday Jul 17, 2008

AsiaBSDCon 2009

AsiaBSDCon 2009 in Tokyo is on my calendar for March. Looking forward to meeting more BSD guys.

Saturday May 24, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.05 Tokyo Launch

Here are some images from the OpenSolaris 2008.05 launch last night in Tokyo. It was great to see some guys from the Linux and BSD communities stop by, and many thanks to Simon Phipps for coming all the way from London to open the evening of presentations.

Friday Feb 15, 2008

Cross Cultural Engineering

I had a great night tonight at an event in Tokyo at Pasona Tech right outside Shibuya. It was called Cross Cultural Engineer Party and was organized by Tomoyuki Sakurai. There were two technical presentations, a discussion of cross cultural and communication issues between Japanese and westerners, and some beer and pizza and open conversation. Wonderful experience. I met a lot of Japanese and western developers from various companies and from the Linux and BSD communities, and everyone mixed quite freely. The communication and cultural challenges between westerners and Japanese are pretty significant, so it's good to get together to specifically address them and move to new levels of understanding. The world is rapidly changing, and we need more cross-cultural communication and more diverse ideas. I hope Sakurai-san does this quarterly.

Cross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural EngineeringShibuyaShibuyaCross Cultural EngineeringCross Cultural Engineering

Flickr images here.

Tuesday Aug 28, 2007

A Possible Solaris Landslide

Counting the roots of growth: BSD vs Linux vs Solaris: "With virtually everybody outside the most committed Microsoft and IBM shops now doing at least some work with Solaris, the possibility exists that an external event could trigger a landslide in formal commitments to the technology - and if the T2 release isn't quite it, Rock’s impact on HP’s remaining Itanium developers will be." -- Paul Murphy

That would be nice, eh?

Tuesday Aug 07, 2007

A DTrace Grand Slam

A Grand Slam from Adam Leventhal ...

Sunday May 28, 2006

OpenSolaris Ports: DTrace, ZFS

It's really nice to see that the DTrace port to FreeBSD is moving right along and also that there are now some ports of ZFS (to DragonFly BSD and to FUSE/Linux) in the works. Activities like these help us connect with developers in other communities -- which I can see we'll be doing a lot of as OpenSolaris grows.

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