Microverse guest lecture: How to build a career working in Open Source (and also remotely)

In 8th grade, our home economics class got an assignment to create a scrapbook describing our adult life. Students would cut and paste - I mean literally, with scissors - pictures from magazines to create a portfolio with their 3 bedroom houses, one or two cars, a dog, and so on.

I of course did it a bit differently. I spent hours drawing a log cabin that my future family would live in. The cabin was in the wilderness in Lapland, where I operated some tourism related company as a family business. This was a few years before I would hear about the internet, or own a cell phone. But in my dream future I used a fax and satellite phone to operate my business. Btw, it was also years before I heard the word "startup" :-D

I got a relatively low grade (by my standards) for this assignment. The teacher thought my portfolio was completely unrealistic. I had misunderstood the assignment, since I didn't just paste a picture of a 3 bedroom house with a Volvo in front. (In Lapland I of course had a Jeep.)

I've worked from home office since 2008, when I started working for MySQL AB. Granted, I don't actually live in Lapland. As a Sales Engineer and Consultant it has been necessary for me to live reasonably close to Helsinki airport. Still, we live in a classic Finnish old house (rintamamiestalo), in a town outside of the Helsinki metropolitan area. I often remember my home-ec teacher and her assignment. I wonder if she remembers me, now that she has spent two months teaching her classes from home too! Oh the irony, :-P


Last year I was invited to give a talk at Microverse. Microverse is an organization that offers additional training to software engineers, and also helps them connect with employers that hire remote employees.

I tried to give some helpful tips how to go about finding such jobs. What to look for depends a bit what country you are coming from, etc. I hope I also gave some useful tips on the specifics of how to get hired by open source companies.

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