2011-06-24

Networking in Iceland

(This entry is a forgery, written a day late)

Today was a day of hanging out at Opin Kerfi, doing a bit of hacking on Asterisk, which is a free software solution for telephones. I also did a bit of hacking on Breeder, another PageKite spin-off project which I suspect may come in handy when deploying some of the Python scripts in OK.

In the evening, Ewelina and I went to a concert and had some beers.

Ewelina and I go out quite a bit, and it's interesting to note that our "active" circle of friends has grown from about 1 person to quite a sizeable chunk of folks during the past year.

Fun!

But it's also useful. We've been getting good advice everything from work and job opportunities, to hints about PageKite negotiating with the government and marketing itself outward.

Iceland is small, and Reykjavík is smaller. Many things here function based on contacts and informal networking, which makes some problems really easy to solve once you have built up a network, but makes them almost impenetrable to an 'outsider'.

But since Ewelina and I spent the last year working from home, our opportunities to make new connections have been mostly limited to the people we meet at the pub and through our friends. It's interesting to discover that that actually does work.

Of course, I am no outsider - I knew lots of people from before I left for Ireland, many of whom I have reconnected with since, either just for fun or to get advice and invaluable help with our ventures. It can feel a little odd at times to seek help from someone you haven't met for the last five years, but I am lucky in that my old friends and coworkers have so far all just made me feel very welcome. Quality people! That's not something one should take for granted, someting I realized while living abroad and really had almost no-one to turn to.

So to the Icelanders reading - thank you! But more importantly, I think this is something we should all keep in mind when we meet a foreigner who has just arrived here: they probably have no network and they need help building one. They may not even be aware they need it!

Make time, make an effort. It matters.

And what goes around comes around, it'll pay off in the end. :-)

Tags: life


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