I've spent this week in Copenhagen, Denmark, getting to know my colleagues at Addition, getting ready for Umbraco Code Garden, and admiring a beautiful city, on my first trip off the North American continent in almost twenty years.
Copenhagen is a beautifully historic place steeped in contrasts. The most obvious is the architecture, baroque brickwork next to global corporate headquarters, but more subtly it's about preserving tradition, but not being bound to it. An important mindset for the developer.
Other fun facts include:
- A city really can run on trains and bikes
- Netflix can help you involuntarily learn foreign languages (due to licensing weirdness, a lot of the movies lock the subtitles on)
- Rye bread is serious business
- When coming to Europe, get a credit card with a PIN code
- A Macbook, a European power adapter, and your body can be used to make a circuit
A lot of people get confused when I try to explain that Addisolv is the American branch of a Danish company named Addition. Just the name can be a stumbling block: sometimes they think "Edition", sometimes "Audition" - seeing the logic behind the American name change?
A simple perspective on the company is that there is a very successful Danish CMS system, Sitecore, that has global adoption, those with experience in the system are in high-demand. Addition has a ton of experience, not just making it work, but turning it from a tool for making webpages into an enterprise-powerhouse.
I was charged with smuggling my Danish cohort's best practices and good advice back to America. It was great to finally meet the cast of characters on this continent, and finally confirm they weren't just part The Danish Matrix (which runs on human power - bicycling humans).
In a lot of cases, I was able to finally put a face to a voice (and Skype avatar). Chief among them is David, my partner for the last 4 months of my professional life. In the digital age, it's possible to communicate across the world, but it's still so much better to connect face-to-face.
My first week was all about finding my way in the city, getting to know everyone around the office, and getting in site-seeing when I could. I finish out this week at my real reason for coming: Umbraco Code Garden 2013, THE conference for the open source .Net CMS Umbraco (another Danish web creation where Addition shines). As one of the cornerstone technologies for Addisolv, I hope to take back some practical knowledge, perhaps some new contacts, and of course an authentic Danish tech conference T-shirt.