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A half-decade taste of Norway

A half-decade has passed since I first arrived in Norway, and the last one year has been a rather calm year. After completing my PhD last year, I have been focusing mainly on developing my software development skills and on getting more exposure in the Norwegian oil and gas industry by taking part in a continuous development cycle of an environmental accounting software called NEMS Accounter®, which has been widely used by operators on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The experience so far has been satisfying, I would say, as I have been able to practice test-driven development on daily basis (although I must admit that I still create test code after the implementation code most of the time), and work with (relatively) old/legacy code. Refactoring has been my daily bread since I moved to Stavanger area in mid June 2014, and I believe it has been done for good reasons. I have been working with experienced and smart colleagues, and have been blessed with the opportunity to learn new things from them while claiming my (fair) share of contribution to the software’s code base. I completed a 6-month probation/trial period in mid December 2014, and have since been a regular employee.

However, as most things in life, not everything is milk and honey (I actually almost wrote “not everything is oil and gas”, as I currently live in Norway 😀 ). It is widely known that the oil price has been (roughly) halved since June 2014, and downsizing has been inevitable in the very sector I have been working in. I tried to make a joke among my office colleagues telling them that I was perhaps the bad omen to this industry as I started to work in mid June 2014, just before the oil price went down hill (I think the Brent crude price was still hovering around 100 USD per barrel at that time). After all, oil is just another commodity that is subject to supply-and-demand law’s mercy. As supply surged without increasing demand at the same scale, price would naturally collapse (it does not sound like a rocket science, does it?). Well, I am not an oil and gas expert, but I have heard that the main culprit has been the wide use of a relatively new technology called hydraulic fracturing (or fracking in short), which has enabled operators to gain access to hydrocarbon reserves that were previously difficult to extract, which lead to a huge increase in production/supply (I heard this mainly happened in north America). Anyhow, I feel sorry for my colleagues who have been hit by the downsizing, and hope for the best for their future endeavours.

Apart from work, I have been experiencing everything for the first time in the Stavanger area (I have actually been living in Sandnes, working in Stavanger part of Forus), including Christmas and Easter. There was not much snow during the winter, with more share of rain compared to Grimstad. I attended a team-building event with office colleagues (the developer team) in mid November 2014 (ice skating and dinner at an Indian restaurant), and a company gathering dinner in the third week of November 2014 (mainly with the environmental department team) at an Italian restaurant in the city centre.

Ice skating -- Stavanger, Norway

Ice skating — Stavanger, Norway

I watched the lighting of Christmas tree by the end of November 2014 in the city centre, attended a morning Christmas celebration mass on 25th December 2014, and went with some friends to the city centre to celebrate the new year (watching some fireworks).

Christmas tree lighting -- Stavanger, Norway

Christmas tree lighting — Stavanger, Norway

Christmas day -- Stavanger, Norway

Christmas day — Stavanger, Norway

Nothing much happened during the first quarter of 2015. I went to the city centre with a friend to watch the celebration of the Norwegian Constitution Day on 17th May 2015 (food market and parades).

17. mai -- Stavanger, Norway

17. mai — Stavanger, Norway

As in many other cities, summer is always a nice time for some outdoor activities. I attended another team-building event with the developer team in the second week of June 2015. This time we were canoeing and doing a bit of running orienteering (one of the developer team members is an orienteering expert/veteran).

Canoeing -- Sandnes, Norway

Canoeing — Sandnes, Norway

I travelled to Indonesia (Jakarta, Bojonegoro, Yogyakarta) for 2 weeks in mid July 2015 mainly for family-related event and several short reunions with old friends.

When the weather was good, having lunch at the office’s rooftop was actually a nice thing to do during the summer (when there was not so much wind). I figured this out with some office colleagues in mid August 2015, and we repeated it several times.

Office rooftop lunch -- Stavanger, Norway

Office rooftop lunch — Stavanger, Norway

I celebrated the 70th Indonesian independence day with other fellow Indonesians in the Stavanger region at the end of August 2015, and attended another company team-building event in the third week of October 2015 (høydepunkt game and dinner at a hotel in the city centre) with mainly the environmental department group.

And here I am, having another birthday, getting older and (hopefully) more awesome 😀

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Dafferianto bids farewell to Germany, Aachen, and everything in between. Auf Wiedersehen Deutschland!

This is my last day in Germany (most probably) for this year. I will leave for Norway tomorrow morning, departing from Düsseldorf’s international airport. According to the itinerary, I’ll have a flight transfer in Oslo before arriving in Kristiansand. I haven’t been to Norway before, therefore, I do really hope an adventurous journey will lie ahead of me.

I’d like to thank everyone in Aachen who, directly or indirectly, helped me through my study in particular, and daily life in general. My apology for any wrong doing. I will definitely miss you all.

Auf Wiedersehen Deutschland!

1+ year has passed….

It has been more than a year since I last posted an entry to this blog. The days were packed with constant pressures, and the nights were (almost) always long (including weekends). A natural consequence of my very own choice: master’s thesis + student helper job at Ericsson Eurolab. But I’m happy that I made it through. Not only have the pressures given me unique experiences, but also a good lesson: how precious to focus on one thing is (Seriously, I mean it…. Happy are those who can focus only on their theses or jobs, not both 😛 ). It would be really great to have some leisure activities such as playing a video game or youtube-ing after work hour. I didn’t. It was mostly technical stuffs that I was in charge of during work hour, and after reaching home I should think about other comparable brain-intensive technical stuffs for the thesis, struggling to finish before the deadline’s date. Now I’m quite relieved to have obtained my masters degree. I was officially graduated from RWTH Aachen University just one day before the deadline 🙂 . Yes, for the sake of coolness, I can proudly introduce myself anywhere: Yohanes Baptista Dafferianto Trinugroho, M.Sc. Haha…. In addition, a paper incorporating some parts of my thesis work was accepted in NGMAST 2010 conference.

My decision to do both the thesis and student job was not taken lightly. I was financed by the European Commission with the generous Erasmus Mundus scholarship thoroughout the course of my study, but only for 2 years. I went back to Germany from Italy for the thesis in my 4th semester, and couldn’t manage to finish the thesis within that semester. That means I had to extend for a semester without any financial aid. This situation (somehow) forced me to do a part-time job, and thank God (also my bosses), I was offered a position at Ericsson Eurolab. With their kindness, I was even offered a Ph.D. position that I will undertake in the foreseeable future.

So, let me write a bit of what I did in the past one year as  a log so that I won’t forget them myself in the future. Just briefly 🙂

I travelled to Amsterdam for a 2-day trip with an ex-Trento classmate in June 2009. We visited several famous spots, including Van Gogh museum (I was alone for this one actually), Madame Tussauds wax museum, Hard Rock Cafe for a drink, the Red Light District 😛 (only sight-seeing), and a cruise trip.

Amsterdam – I amsterdam

In August 2009, my EuMI senior (an Indonesian) visited me in Aachen with his friend, and we went to Liege for a day trip. I remember we took a nap in a small garden for about 30 minutes or so.

Liege – Stairs

Christmas break has always been a good time to rest. I optimised 2009’s Christmas break for a 1-week trip to Rome and Paris with a friend. We attended the Chrismast eve’s evening mass lead by the Pope himself in the Vatican city’s St. Peter’s basilica. We met 2 Indonesian girls, and returned wet to the hostel after a long walk through hard rain. We visited many famous places such as the Colosseum, Rome’s Pantheon (well, we didn’t go inside since it was closed), Paris’ Pantheon, the Eiffel tower on new year’s day, Sacre Couer, and Louvre. We also attended a mass in Notre Dame Paris.

Rome – Colosseum

Paris – Eiffel tower

After being freed from the thesis, I joined the Indonesian student community organisation for a trip to Rurhsee in the Eifel National Park near Aachen. I really enjoyed the fresh forest air during that almost-spring season. We had our dinner at Chicken Pon, and continued with the evening Easter mass with some guys who celebrated the Easter.

Eifel National Park

In late June 2010, I visited Strasbourg for a day trip with an EuMI classmate. We did several projects together during our stay both in Bonn and Trento, and he recently landed a good job as an IT architect in a subsidiary of one of the largest telecom operators in the world. Congratulations to him!

Strasbourg

In July 2010, I went to a horse race show with my flatmate. Aachen is also famous for its horse race which has been taken place every year since 1924 (?). In the evening we travelled to Köln for a firework event called Kölner Lichter. I didn’t waste the chance for learning the basic of photography with my new DSLR camera during that day. The fireworks were awesome.

Aachen – CHIO horse race 2010

Cologne – Kölner Lichter 2010

My junior in the Media Informatics programme (an Indonesian) invited me for a lunch with his friend who studies in Korea (also an Indonesian). We chose Chicken Pon and ordered a fair-sized plate of chicken, french fries, and salad. The other week, in early August, I went to the Drieländereck (the border point between Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium) with this guy coming from Korea. A week later, we cooked together for a lunch and continued with a nice Indonesian dinner at Indonesia’s 65th independence day celebration in Aachen. I and some friends went to Köln to watch Inception as well in August, which, in my opinion, is a must see movie.

Dreiländereck

In late August 2010, a former classmate at the Gadjah Mada University visited Aachen, and we went downtown for a walk. Surprisingly, he brought with him a DSLR camera, so we took several pictures together. A week later, one of my EuMI juniors (an Indonesian) invited me for a farewell dinner. The food was nice. I wish him a happy stay in Trento 🙂

Those are the events taking place during the last 1 year with a relatively low level of granularity that I can trace back. Hopefully I can write logs more often in the future 🙂