Adrià Mercader

New adventures

December 14, 2023 | Archive

Next week will be my last one working at the Open Knowledge Foundation.

A mug with the words I love Open Data

It still feels weird to write it down or say it out loud, it’s been almost 13 years after all! But it’s time to move on and I’m ready for whatever is coming next.

What I take from all these years is overwhelmingly positive.

I was hired as a software developer thanks to having a particular set of skills (having worked with the Pylons web framework and spatial stuff like PostGIS or WMS) but quickly found out that the job wasn’t like any of my previous ones. I had never worked as part of a remote team, my English wasn’t great and had no experience in fancy things like “test suites” or “distributed versioning control systems”. I remember distinctly telling my partner I wasn’t sure I was cut out for that job. Luckily, I was allowed to grow and was surrounded by really brilliant colleagues, from whom I learnt every day.

I was also fortunate to join what was a pioneering organisation in the field at a foundational moment for the Open Movement, and was able to learn from incredibly talented people who were really passionate about it. These first years I mostly listened to my colleagues and other community members, and occasionally said the odd nonsense, but people were nice enough to educate me. I have fond memories of discussions in Cambridge or Berlin about Open Data, software development, hacking, communities… but also kendo, Thai food, moneyless societies and many other topics I had never heard about. For a younger me, who came from a small provincial town from Spain and just spoke serviceable English it was an incredible opportunity to expand my worldview.

Over the years I’ve had a ridiculous amount of great colleagues, and I’m especially grateful to all my managers, who always gave me space to grow and make my own decisions, provided guidance, and shielded me from internal turmoil. I hope that when it was my turn to manage the OKF Tech Team I gave the same support to my colleagues.

As for what comes next, well, first and foremost a break. An extended Christmas break to allow me to rest, reset and explore options. I intend to keep active in the CKAN Tech Team and the wider community, and there are a couple of side projects that I might be able to finally put time into.

Other than that I’m not really sure, but watch this space!

Some really nice clouds over the beach