Inbjuden tillbaks till hemlandet: Sverige

Det är en ära för mig att ha blivit inbjuden att tala på konferensen Software Passion i Göteborg, Sverige. Det här är en stad med en mer än tusenårig historia och ett område (byn Forsheda) från vilket min gammel mormor en gång utvandrade till USA för över hundra år sedan. Jag hoppas kunna lära mig lite svenska innan min resa.

This will be an exciting challenge for me because I realize that most of my public speaking in the past few years has been very much in a FLOSS context. The program at Software Passion shows quite a diversity of technologies and topics -- including proprietary technologies that I know little about. In my talk I will cover some of the great fun I've had with the Clojure programming language. Therefore I will consciously make a point to highlight the importance of "standing on the shoulders of giants".

The productivity I have enjoyed would not be possible without the stack Free Software I count on, including, but not limited to:

Several years ago I was able to travel to Norway on a project I had with the electric vehicle company Think Global. I was able to visit my aunt in Oslo and get very close to the border of Sweden while working at the car factory in Aurskog. Indeed many of the engineers I worked with were Swedes who commuted across the border each day.

My great-grandmother, Olga, immigrated from Sweden to the United States around 1900. She was from a fairly well-to-do family in Fosheda. After some careful investigation we learned that she had fallen in love with a servant, but couldn't marry him due to family pressure. A few years later after her mother died she came to the USA with her "little brother" and started a new life here. She was studying nursing in Boston when she was asked to accompany the Minneapolis Postmaster's wife back home on the train.

Much earlier than the "personal ad" era Olga mysteriously found my great-grandfather, Andrew, within 3 days of arriving in Minneapolis and married him soon thereafter (the Swedish mafia? :) ) . This is the background on my Nordic roots in Minnesota.

I realize that for non-Americans the obsession with immigration history seems a little silly. I'm proud of my mixture of German, Danish, Swedish and Bohemian roots. And I'm especially excited to finally set foot in Sweden!