It’s two weeks into the new year, and I’m still reminiscing about many wonderful things that has happened last year. 2014 ended on a high note for me, thanks to the visit from TMavica Pang, admin of Jolla The Other Half 香港 – Hong Kong community Facebook page, as well as Andrey Kozhevnikov a.k.a. CODeRUS, a talented C++/Qt/QML developer who is well-known for his app contributions to Maemo, MeeGo and Sailfish OS.
TM started preparing for his Finland trip from Hong Kong about 3 months prior, shared some of his plans with me, and I was looking forward to meeting up with him. Interacting with community members on a daily basis, many of you have become my friends, so the anticipation is similar to reuniting with a friend. I learned about Andrey’s trip plans a bit later, and the excitement built up with many of us following his 3-day, almost 3000km drive from Chelyabinsk, Russia to Helsinki, Finland with the Twitter hashtag #CoderusDriveToFinland!
On December 30, 2014, I arranged for them to visit the Jolla Helsinki office. We were joined by Jussi Ohenoja a.k.a. juiceme, a Maemo Community Council member and author of Ubiboot hailing from Järvenpää. As it was the holiday season, our office was less occupied than usual, but Marc was there at the helm with the crew offering a look into how we work in the Jolla boat. Andrey experienced firsthand how amazing our Care team is when they fixed his Jolla smartphone on the spot.
“Initially I wasn’t planning to visit the Jolla office, however TMavica and Carol invited me! It was great to see some of the actual people at real work for Jolla, including the unexpected fix for my Jolla phone. Marc is the best company boss I have ever seen, and I can drink coffee with him while talking to him about anything. Finland in general is cool, it’s a very silent and peaceful place in my humble opinion. This is my very first time visiting Europe, I have never done this before, so I can’t say much more 😀 ,” Andrey shared his thoughts on his visit. “It was a nice visit, great to meet some people that I kind of knew in real life,” Jussi added.
The next day, Andrey drove to Tampere with his girlfriend Mira, and TM. We had a few Sailors in Jolla Tampere office on this New Year’s Eve, and with some bubbly we toasted to Jolla and our passionate community! It was evocative of Simo Ruoho and Joshua Strobl’s visit in October 2014, with coffee instead of bubbly 🙂
TM’s Finland trip was slightly longer, to experience Jolla’s “origin” as he puts it. He also had some comments on this country, Finnish design, cuisine, and Jolla to share: “Finland is a great place for visiting as the people I have met here are nice and polite, ready to help when I ask. Although it was extremely cold in Rovaniemi, it was beautiful and I still felt good, especially meeting Santa Claus whom I like so much! Perhaps Asian taste differs from Finnish taste, as I really don’t understand what’s so good about the rye bread as Finns claim, although most food here is satisfactory. However, the coffee in Finland is the best I have ever tasted! In the modern city of Helsinki, there are many great design shops, and I like many of them with their own product designs. I also noticed there are not too many brand names here like LV or Gucci. Through the museums I’ve learned a bit about the Finnish culture and history. I love this snow country that gives me a relaxing feeling without much life pressure, which is totally different compared to Hong Kong. The most trouble I had here was with the complicated tram system.”
“I feel so fortunate to have the chance to visit the Jolla offices, even though I am not a techie/developer, nor in business development. I can see that it is a nice office with good staff, and to my surprise there is no employee time clock system! The people in here are friendly and kind, like Carol and Marc, and through them I see the future of Jolla. Finally, I would like to thank Carol for being my tour guide, and we’ve enjoyed a great New Year’s eve dinner together, followed by fireworks welcoming to 2015. Thank you all! I will come back and visit again in the future,” TM concluded.
The honour is mine to have the opportunity to show you – Jussi, TM, Andrey and Mira – around Jolla and Tampere. The Jolla/Sailfish OS community is not only for techies and developers, it encompasses supporters who blog and share news about Jolla, users who give us constructive feedback including bug reports and feature requests, people who help each other out with questions and issues on TJC / IRC / many other forums, developers and hackers who are creating incredible things with the SDK / TOH DK / HADK, and you, the dear readers of this blog. The love and passion for what Jolla is doing being the common thread that runs through us. I hope to feature more community members and your contributions in upcoming posts!