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timestamp: "Sat Oct 13 00: 00: 01 -0700 2007"
title: trans-hemispherical
id: 80
content: |
<p>Well, A and I
have <a href='http://philisha.net/2007/03/big-news/'>been in
Indonesia</a> now for two weeks. We are really enjoying it; see
<a href='http://philisha.net'>the other blog</a> for details.</p>
<img src='/i/waterfall.jpg' alt='waterfall' title='a hike we took'
class='right' />
<p>My task here has been training the team here and setting up the
necessary technical infrastructure. First off was
installing <a href='http://releases.ubuntu.com'>Feisty Fawn</a>
(which was serendipitiously released this last Thursday) on a server
and configuring basic services on that. Previously they have been a
Microsoft-heavy shop with a bit of PHP, but they are very eager to
migrate away from that towards a more flexible, cost-effective
platform. The best part about this is that not only does it save a
lot of money, it also sets the programmers up to be contributors to
the global software community rather than simply being
consumers.</p>
<p>So in addition to the install-fest side of things, I've done some
presentations to get the developers up to speed on important
topics. The first was a "beginning Rails" brief introduction. It's
not enough to really get a start coding, but it was enough to whet
the appetite and make them wish they didn't have to finish up their
projects in PHP. Enthusiasm is great.</p>
<p>The other presentation is an overview of how to use Trac and
Subversion to collaborate on projects. It's kind of hard to
introduce something as fundamental as version control to people
unfamiliar with it since it's so easy to take things like that for
granted and hard to approach it from a fresh perspective. Still,
getting those habits in place is very important.</p>
<p>I've uploaded <a href='/code/presentations.tar.gz'>the code for the
presentations</a>. There's not really enough in the slides alone to
learn from; they rely heavily on a narrator. Still, they could come
in handy to someone else in a similar position. Presenting to a
group is tricky; there are a lot of factors to take into
account. It's important to know your audience level and find ways to
keep them engaged. (I wish I had used more images in the Trac
presentation.) It's been a lot of fun, and I've learned a lot about
how to do this kind of thing, though I'm looking forward to getting
into more of the day-to-day coding rather than all this high-level
stuff.</p>
tags: ubuntu, travel