The Fun of Being Together — Developer Relations Team Meetup in Oslo

This is a story of places. Beijing (China), Birmingham (UK), Brooklyn (USA) , Chandigarh (India), Los Angeles (USA), Manchester (UK), Montreal (Canada), Oslo (Norway), Saint Petersburg (Russia), San Mateo (USA), Seattle (USA), Tokyo (Japan). For each of these cities, you may imagine food, architecture, colors, climate, and people. These are the cities, where we, the Opera developer relations team, are located in the world. After some departures and some hiring in the last year, we had never met altogether. Last week was our first time meeting altogether in Oslo (Norway).

This was an intense week of discussions addressing issues, challenges and starting new projects for the year to come.

Open The Web

One of our most important activities is to contact Web sites which are broken in Opera browsers. Most of the time these issues are due to bad user agent sniffing or using vendor specific features. We encourage the Web sites owners on using open Web technologies in a way which doesn’t exclude any browsers. During last week, we discussed on how improving our work around this. We are working very closely with the amazing Opera QA team and we categorized our competences and area of actions. Being a French speaker, I take all issues related to French speaking Web sites. Mike Taylor for example is doing things Portuguese, Zibin Chinese, etc. We have also another dimension related to technologies or companies.

Web developers And Implementations

When talking at conferences we receive feedback from the Web developer community. Having a good way of channeling the information to Opera implementers and specifications editors is very important. It helps define the features priority for the next releases of Opera. If we notice that some Web sites are breaking more often because of a lacking feature of Opera, we will push for it.

Conferences Opportunites

We speak at conferences here and there across the world. The list of conferences is quite overwhelming. We have to select the ones we will be talking. We can’t be everywhere, not with a team of 12 persons. We do that according to some criterion related to the location, the audience size, the impact we can have, how would it be useful for the open Web and for Opera, etc.

Articles And Demos

Writing about the open web stack and the technology is an interesting challenge. We often publish articles when we release a new feature in Opera. We have to be careful though that this new feature actually helps the Open Web. That means that we are careful of checking if the feature will break in other modern browsers, because their implementation is not ready. That means for example to put all CSS vendor extensions when creating a demo for the technology in addition to the property defined by the standard.

Fun Of Being Together

We walked a bit in Norwegian Woods, where the moss swallowed our steps. There was a wonderful impromptu happening during our meeting with Andreas with a banjo, Daniel playing Ukulele, Bruce the guitar and vocal, Chris vocal.

This week has been a unique opportunity to know each other and I’m looking forward the next one.