Hacker-nomadism

I build software for a living. This means creating the new generation of Content Management interfaces in the IKS Project and developing custom client applications at Nemein.

As my office is where my laptop is, none of this work is particularly tied to a physical location. And as much of the work is communicating, I end up spending quite a lot of time traveling between meetings and conferences.

For this my previous home town of Helsinki, Finland wasn't quite ideal. From an European perspective, Finland is an island. And so I've accumulated airmiles instead of being able to travel more comfortably (and productively) on the European railway network.

I've previously dabbled with living in other locations like Istanbul and Saint Petersburg, but this time I hope the move will be more permanent: in the beginning of this month we packed our stuff, got rid of the Helsinki flat and hopped on a plane to Berlin.

berlin-bears.png

The modern world makes this easy: my whole library fits on a Kindle and music collection on Spotify, version control and testing happens in the cloud, and banking and invoices are on the web. And thanks to EU there is minimal red tape in setting yourself up anywhere in Europe.

My current setup is such: I'm traveling with about two weeks' worth of clothes, my trusty work laptop, and tablet with an amazing 18 hour battery life. Accommodation happens in furnished, short-term rental apartments, and Internet comes from an old N900 serving as a WiFi access point via prepaid 3G.

While Berlin has excellent co-working spaces, I'm currently sharing office with Content Control, the local Midgard shop. Though at the time of writing my office is temporarily relocated to the nearby Hasenheide park where there is a nice sunny spring day.

hasenheide-park-hacking.png

I'm still planning on popping into Helsinki every now and then. With Air Berlin, the travel cost and distance is almost the same as if I lived in the Finnish city of Tampere (yeah, VR is expensive). Once the snows there melt, I'll also ride my motorcycle over.

If things work out, I may be eventually able to say: ich bin ein Berliner. This city is quite amazing - the amount of cultural activities and hacker meetups probably beats any other place in Europe right now. If you're around, ping me!

And if Berlin doesn't work, then there are lots of other interesting places for a working nomad...