Right after Paris, Giuseppe and I turned our attention to Milan, Italy. The flight from Paris Roissy to Milan Malpensa (EasyJet, 57 euros/PAX) turned out to be clearly cheaper than the taxi ride from Malpensa to Sun's Milan office, where we had the meetup.
In time before the meeting, we had some HR, integration and general planning discussions with Sun. One of the most difficult aspects turned out to be to pick the right form of coffee, as the number of alternatives in the coffee machine exceeded anything observed before.
Luckily, I'm a tea drinker, where the challenge limited itself to finding out how to change the default of adding sugar to drinking the tea straight.
The event saw over 100 participants. It was very competently arranged by Emanuela Giannetta, hosted and supported by Franco Roman and many other Italian Sun people -- including Stefano De Toni who presented the GlassFish Application Server and NetBeans platform/IDE projects.
My Italian Meetup-Mashup keynote also marked a first in what I plan to be a regular thing: That I present the key messages, i.e. the first 4-5 minutes, in the local language, even if I don't speak the language but just pretend to do so. Giuseppe kindly translated my Paris presentation from French to Italian, and we then walked through the difficult passages to pronounce:
Signore e signori, benvenuti a questo incontro informale per celebrare e discUtere l'acquisizione di MySQL da parte di Sun Microsystems.
Mi chiamo Kaj ArnÃƒÂ¶, e sono il Vice Presidente per la ComunitÃƒÂ di MySQL. Vengo da Monaco, ma non sono bavarese. Sono Finlandese come Monty, il creatore di MySQL e molti altri colleghi. Durante l'integrazione con Sun, ho anche il ruolo di Ambasciatore di MySQL, cioÃƒÂ¨ vIsito tutti gli uffici Sun e spiego cos'ÃƒÂ¨ MySQL.
[the remaining 90% deleted for your benefit]
You might nOtice some non-standard capitalisAtion of a few words, denoting where to put the stress. How else would a stupid foreigner like me know it's discUtere and not discutEre?
I didn't get thrown at with raw eggs and tomatoes (perhaps the audience was just unprepared) so until further notice, I will continue the practice of presenting the beginning of my keynotes in the local language.
- ATLAN66 report in Italian by Eva Balzarotti & Maria Pia Izzo: http://www.atlan66.it/news.htm
- Giuseppe Maxia's blog entry: http://datacharmer.blogspot.com/2008/04/working-with-sun-love-at-first-sight.html