Saturday, December 22, 2007

The long-deserved update

OK, if I state that my life turned upside down in the last 6 months I will be doing an understatement...

Professionally, I'm still working for Tridion (SDL Tridion nowadays) in New York, and I have no plans to change that. I'm really happy with the team I work with, and the growth potential is amazing. As a Senior Consultant I have the responsibility to guide and mentor as many of the new guys as possible, typically by taking them with me to customers and letting them know what to do.

Personally, everything changed. I'm now divorced (I was never really married, but had a 13 year relationship that ended recently), and live a continent away from my 11 year daughter. It's not easy for anyone, but that's the way life works. I'm looking for an apartment in New York (Manhattan), I have one now but my rent is quite high. If I stay here I can't afford the amounts agreed with my ex as child support, and with the Dollar going lower every day, it just looks set to get worse for me every minute. So, I need to find a cheaper place to leave, but I'd love to remain in Manhattan... Time will tell.

Breaking up a 13 year relationship is not something you do lightly. It takes time, it takes a lot of consideration. And with an 11 year old daughter involved, things don't get simpler. But it had to be done, I don't think we were getting anywhere, and truly believe this is the best solution for the 3 of us. It also means that suddenly I was "in the market", something completely new for me... I met my daughter's mother when I was 19 and started living with her at 20. Suddenly I have no partner and - as a man - want to meet people. I can guarantee that New York is the best place to be in when you get divorced.

After the break down period, where the last thing I wanted was to get involved with anyone, did not want at all to start any relationship, the unexpected happens. This beautiful chestnut-eyed girl sets her eyes on me. I try to avoid it, I play the macho man, I pretend I don't notice, I try to push her away. "I'm broken-hearted, leave me alone", as an ass-hole as I can be is pretty much what I said. But she didn't give up, she could see my soul and desire whenever she looked into my eyes. And lucky I was that this was the case, because now I'm in a state where I can't think of going forward with living without her being present in my life.

But that's a story for another day.

Happy Christmas, and a year full of easter bunnies!

Monday, July 02, 2007

It's the most sacred-cow of the IT world. Their dominance in the market is comparable only to Microsoft or IBM's. Their marketing is fresh, witty, and (at times) even funny. They sponsor boat races. Their GM's and VP's stand shoulder to shoulder with Hollywood stars, presidents, ministers, embassadors, this world's elite.

Some of them are charismatic and get job titles as "Chief Evangelist".

A whole bloody religion.

The community build around their products is huge, again only comparable to Microsoft or IBM's. But I am convinced that if Oracle would have been created 5 years ago instead of 30 years ago they would never have had any success. Actually, nobody would buy their bloody products only for the sheer complexity of getting "as simple" as a RDBMS running. Granted, they have the performance numbers on their side. But it requires - at least - a full time DBA per application during development/deployment and for large systems it might require more than one FTE per application every single day.

Sorry, just had to shout it out loud.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I'm so p****d off!

Here I am, finishing some code for a Product Import routine for one of our customers, which I decided to try to write as an updated importer-style tool rather than falling back to the existing one (for 3 reasons: 1. My XSLT skills still dictate that it will be faster for me to write and maintain a c# tool than to write and maintain the XImporter XSLTs; 2. The client's paying for it; and 3. Let's admit it, it's just pure fun!), and as I was finishing the file upload mechanism (always tricky) $#@!#^&!% Visual Studio crashed on me! It's all GONE!


So, to release some steam, I decided to post back some news and other happy stuff.

AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH! GNGNGNGNNGG!. **!@#(((%!@#%()))!@#%^&@#

And this thing keeps on underlining my insults as if they were mailto: links. Got to stop using @ signs on it. %%$###*&^!. That's beter.

Anyway, now that I've released my stress, I've been thinking a lot about the SDL deal lately, and what it means to us. Some of us, blinded perhaps by completely deserved pride on having been in Tridion for very long, might think that we "sold our soul". Others may just not feel that things will ever be the same. I'm part of the latter, and very happy with it. With one move - which I'm sure took quite some time to ponder and decide - we achieved many of our goals:

  • Defined our role as the WCM for the Global company;
  • Got rid of Venture Capitalists in the board;
  • Hooked up with a very successful company whose main goal is to see SDL products on every desktop and server worldwide, developed by SDL developers and installed and maintained by SDL consultants.

All feedback I heard from 3rd party companies (mainly customers) is very positive. They bought Tridion because they wanted to go Global with their website. Our acquisition just means that they don't need to look for a translation company - they already have one. In a way, I'm even slightly disappointed that nothing changes in the next 2 years. Change is GOOD (1).

How simpler could it be: You're a global company, with business in 100+ countries (OK, 6+), and you need a solution for your global presence. Who you're gonna call? LanguageBarrierBusters!

Can't wait to have a proper integration with the SDL translation, and have it as part of the core product. Globalization is the real deal, in case you haven't noticed, and we're not riding the wave for WCM - we're defining the wave. There's many signs out there that analysts share my opinion (or is it the other way around?), so this can only be good.


(1) As a consultant that has always been involved in implementation projects, I often bring change to companies. I know what change implies, and I know how people can resist it. But if there was no change, there was no evolution - and no customer would use our software.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tridion to be acquired by SDL

It's been all over the news. What does it mean? For now absolutely nothing, as the Business Plan for 2007 & 2008 remains unchanged, as well as the product roadmap.

In the long run though, it means Tridion just graduated from an European small WCM player - with a lot of potential as recognized by most analysts - to become part of a huge services and software group (over 1500 employees) with loads of experience on globalization and localization needs - from web sites to software tools.

Time will tell, but I expect Tridion to finally start emerging and becoming a much bigger player.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Got my apartment rolling, and I have now a bed. delivered it last Saturday (the same day I bought it) and I've no need for Chris' air mattress anymore.

Meanwhile someone higher up in the weather hierarchy decided we should pay for the good weather we had earlier in January, so it's freezing as hell in NY for the moment. I wasn't built for this type of weather, I really wasn't...

I'm now back at a Customer where I did the Proof of Concept last year, unfortunately doing some functional design work :-(
But aside from that, it's been nice to see all the guys again and see the difference in their approaches when you switch from POC to implementation mode. The view from here is mind-blowing, just check it out:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Again, a quick update

Just some catching up for those that follow up these things...
  • Found an apartment in NY, not the best location, but still pretty much midtown Manhattan (West Side)
  • Got a new phone. My dutch phone will work until next monday, as from that date you'll get a message with my new phone number (e-mail doesn't change)
  • Got my L1-B visa request approved today, so no more illegal alien status (never had it, since I'm from a Visa Waiver country)
  • Back in Holland for a few days, basically for the Tridion Kick-Off, which I'm sure will be a blast of a party!
  • We continue to kick ass in the US. Last I heard, whenever the competition comes down to 2 vendors, and the other vendor is Day, Vignette or Stellent, they just give up... ;-)
Promise to do more updating when I get more of a life. For the moment just real busy trying to get all to work out...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The great adventure begins...

Just a few lose notes on day 1 of the great adventure...
  • NWA on-board movie offer this month sucks. Best thing I could find was "Something about Mary"
  • Glad I took the option to upgrade and took a car with GPS rather than the standard one... I would still be driving around Newark's airport by now...
  • Took a quick drive through Princeton, looks like an interesting place to take the time to visit, hopefully will have the time to do it next weekend.
  • No matter what Americans tell you, driving cars should require 2 hands and 2 feet, not just one of each! I spend my time wondering what to do with my right hand and left foot...
  • Pretty nice hotel I'm staying in, got plenty of space here! This will change once I move into NYC in 10 days ;-)
More to come as it gets, stay tuned.