Taking a break

It’s a bit strange to write this blog post in the same week as Martin Pitt is announcing moving on from Canonical. I remember many moments of Martin’s post very vividly and he was one of the first I ran into on my flight to Sydney for Ubuntu Down Under in 2005.

Fast forward to today: 2016 was a year full of change – my personal life was no exception there. In the last weeks I had to realise more and more that I need a long break from everything. I therefore decided to move on from Canonical, take some time off, wander the world, recharge my batteries, come back and surprise you all with what’s next.

I’m very much leaving on good terms and I could imagine I won’t be too far away (I’d miss all you great people who became good friends way too much). Having been with Canonical for 11 years and 12 years in the Ubuntu community, it has been an incredibly hard decision to take. Still it’s necessary now and it’ll be good open myself up again to new challenges, new ways of working and new sets of problems.

It was a great privilege to work with you all and be able to add my humble contribution to this crazy undertaking called Ubuntu. I’m extremely grateful for the great moments with you all, the opportunities to learn, your guidance, the friends I made around the world, the laughs, the discussions, the excellent work we did together. This was a very important time of my life.

In the coming weeks I will be without internet, I haven’t quite decided yet, which part of the world I’m going to go to, but maybe I’ll post a picture or two somewhere. 🙂

I also haven’t lined up a new job yet (it’s a question many already asked me). If you have crazy new ideas of what I should work on next, I’m obviously all ears. Drop me a comment or drop me a mail, just note that I might be unresponsive for some time as I’m going to sit on top of a mountain, get lost in the jungle or the desert somewhere.

(My last day at Canonical is Dec 15, so if you have anything to sort out and discuss, let me know and we’ll figure it out.)


Aït Ben Haddou [HDR]
Aït Ben Haddou (Photo by Oscar Gomez - CC-BY-NC-ND)
See you back on 9th January 2012. 🙂

Midnight Sun

See you in two weeks! I’m off to the North of Norway from tomorrow on, so if you have anything urgent you want to discuss, I’m sure one of these fine gentlemen should be able to help you out.

Midnight Sun
Picture by Oddbjørn Steffensen (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Remarkable people

You don’t see me blogging about things outside the Ubuntu world very often. OK, an occasional mixtape every now and then or some holiday pictures, but I generally try to stay away from topics such as politics or things that happen in the world elsewhere. This is not because I don’t care or don’t have an opinion – it’s quite the opposite. I just prefer to not get drawn into huge arguments about who’s right and I try to avoid writing about and singling out particular events and miss to mention others.

By now most of you will have heard about the horrible events in Oslo. As my girlfriend is from Norway, I paid even more attention to the news. The reason I’m writing about this is that among all the usual suspicions and noise in the news a few people stood out and truly impressed me.

We will stand by our democracy. The answer to violence is more democracy, more humanity.

Jens Stoltenberg, Norwegian PM

I don’t think security can solve problems. We need to teach greater respect.”

Oslo Mayor Stang when asked whether Oslo needs greater security

We had been discussing on the island, how to tackle extremism and racism. We will continue this.

Youth leader who escaped Utøya

If you haven’t read much about Oslo and Utøya in the last days, read these two chilling first-hand accounts of people who survived Utøya: from Khamshajiny Gunaratnam and Debian contributor Tore Sinding Bekkedal.

After all of this, it would have been very much understandable to show any signs of knee-jerk reactions. The people I mentioned above reacted remarkably to the situation. It’s very inspiring how they chose to stand with their humanitarian values. It’s unfortunately very uncommon nowadays, especially for politicians, who in situations like this are under a lot of pressure. These leaders have my deep respect for choosing to do otherwise.


I’ve been slacking a bit when it comes to DJing land picked it up this year again. Some of my mixtapes are on a part of my blog that’s not syndicated, but I set up a page with all the posts. I just posted a new one today.

If you have no plans tonight and you’re in Berlin, come to the GNOME3 Launch Lounge (Facebook event page) in c-base tonight. I’ll be playing there as well. 🙂

Who are your mentors?

Jorge and Allison blogged about their mentors and start into the Open Source world and I thought it would be a great way to thank at least some of the people who helped me get started. So I started thinking about who all helped me out in one way or the other in the last few years and I realised that there’s incredibly many people I should’ve been thanking years ago already.

  • One person has constantly been there for me in the last 6 years: Michael Vogt. I got to know him in Dortmund, the city where we both studied. We quickly became good friends and although we now almost live 700km apart we stayed in touch and talk on the phone every second day. What I love about Michael is that he’s pragmatic, modest, thoughtful and generally a lot of fun. I’m incredibly glad he helped me out like he did.
  • Sébastien Bacher was the first person I worked with on a daily basis. Luckily he was very patient with me and explained lots of packaging details to me. We both grew up close to the Franco-Allemande border, which probably was the reason why we instantly got on very well. We laughed a lot when working together.

There’s dozens of other people who helped me out, got me thinking and changed how I saw things, but I’ll probably save them for future blog posts. 🙂

Today it’s been almost exactly five years since I’ve been with Canonical and six years in the Ubuntu community. Everybody was fantastic to me and still is. Thanks a lot also to other folks who were there for me in the early days (Oliver Grawert, James Blackwell, Jane Fraser, and loads and loads of others).

You know who you are and thanks a lot for the time with you. 🙂


Visa, finally got it
Visa, finally got it

Tuesday next week is my last working day and I’ll be gone for three weeks, without laptop. If you have anything really urgent, talk to any members of my team, Michael or Ara, they know how to get in touch with me.

I’m very much looking forward to this one and happy to meet Mehdi of the LoCo team there! 🙂

I’ll be back on 29th September.


Earlier today I went to a goodbye party of a friend who’s going to Australia for a few months. Great things that happened:

  1. Party was outdoors, a few DJs played, great atmosphere, 100+ people at peak times
  2. Some of my awesome office mates were there, my sister too
  3. The police showed up and instead of shutting the party down, they told us where it was “OK” to have the party
  4. We moved all the equipment, the generator, drinks and everything else to the new place, which was nearby, everybody helped
  5. I played a 4 hour Drum’n’Bass set, which I (and others) were very happy with, they even collected money for the DJ – glad it was dark, so nobody could see if I was blushing
  6. I watched the sunrise by the riverside while the party was still going on
  7. I drove home on my bicycle
  8. A few guys stopped me to take a picture of them and as a thanks offered me their last beer

Oh how I love this city!

Photo Story (for Robert Collins)

So Robert doesn't believe me...
So Robert doesn't believe me...
there's only little barriers
there's only little barriers
too far to walk over to the bridge and cross that
too far to walk over to the bridge and cross that
dunno how these got here
dunno how these got here
I wasn't the only one who had the idea
I wasn't the only one who had the idea