Jonathan Sumner Evans
Sumner Evans
Software Engineer at Automattic working on Beeper

Berlin Matrix Community Summit

The main purpose of my trip this week was for the Berlin Matrix Community Summit, an event organized by members of the Matrix community in Berlin. Matrix is the chat protocol that Beeper (the company I work for) is building our chat app on top of. The protocol is developed openly, and has a large community of open source developers, projects, and businesses all building on top of Matrix. This summit was the first Matrix-only event. There have been other events at which Matrix had a large presence such as FOSDEM, but this was the first ever Matrix-only event. The people attending the event had quite diverse reasons for attending. Read more...

Berlin, Germany

I’m in Berlin for the Matrix Community Summit 2022, but I arrived a few days early so that I could spend some time sightseeing. I am still trying to put in mostly full days at work while I’m here in until the Summit starts by working afternoons and evenings. On Monday, I went to the TV Tower, the tallest building in Germany. I took the S-Bahn from my hotel which is just a couple stops away from the TV Tower. The Tower was built by the Soviets while Berlin was divided between East and West. I got a ticket up to the observation deck, and the views were great! Read more...

Denver to Berlin

This week, I am heading to Berlin for the week for the Berlin Matrix Community Summit! The event will happen on Thursday through Saturday, but I am heading there early so that I can work and have a bit of vacation before the summit. I flew out on Saturday late afternoon on Lufthansa. There seem to be no direct flights to Berlin, so I flew through Frankfurt on the way out (and will fly via Munich on the way back). Both flights were rather uneventful, though there was some turbulence. Maybe it’s just a German airline thing, but they didn’t turn on the fasten seatbelt light even when it was quite bumpy. Read more...

Oakland, California

This week, I went to Oakland to visit a friend Jack Garner, a friend from school who works at Salesforce out in San Francisco. I flew in in the evening on Tuesday to minimize the time I had to take off of work. I worked for the first two days and then we both took Friday and Monday off for a long weekend. Working from California On Wednesday, we both worked from his apartment. That is the nice thing about having a remote job in software engineering: you can work anywhere that has Wi-Fi. In the evening, we went to a trendy food court. Read more...

London, England and Back Home

Today, I was in a total of five countries. Why? Well, one of the things on my bucket list was to go on the Eurostar from Paris to London under the Channel tunnel. I don’t know why it was on my bucket list; I think it was because I have always liked trains. Anyway, I woke up early and navigated my way to Gare du Nord for my 09:00 train to London. The process to get onto the Eurostar was very streamlined. They have automated machines that scanned the boarding pass as well as automated passport scanners for French and UK border control all before getting onboard the train. Read more...

Paris, France - Day 2 - Normandy Day Trip

Today, I took a day trip to the Normandy beaches. The tour visited Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, the D-Day museum at Arromanches (Gold Beach), and Juneau Beach. This post has taken me a long time to write because I wanted to do justice to the topic, and capture some of my thoughts and emotions from the day. Omaha Beach was our first stop. When we were there, it was high tide. The water came right up to the sea wall. The D-Day landing was scheduled for low tide so that as the infantry advanced and cleared the obstacles, larger craft could be landed further up the beach. Read more...

Paris, France - Day 1

Today was my first day in Paris! I decided to move to a hotel because I didn’t feel totally safe at the hostel I was staying at. I normally don’t care too much about my sleeping accommodations and can sleep anywhere, but just something about the vibe didn’t sit right with me. I was a bit concerned about leaving my things at the hostel, even locked up. Maybe it was just that my expectations were skewed by the great hostel in Lisbon… Regardless, I’m not on that tight of a travel budget, so I spent the first part of the morning moving to the new hotel (the citizenM). Read more...

Lisbon, Portugal - Day 4

Today was my last day in Lisbon. I spent the morning on a walking tour of the city and then flew to Paris. Touring Lisbon The tour was gratuity based, and it was really good. The guide’s name was Hugo and he was very engaging and informative. He took us around a bunch of places in Alfama, and he pointed out interesting things that I wouldn’t have noticed on my own. Avoiding the tourist traps Hugo is a Lisbon native, and he spoke his mind about what he thought about things. For example he railed against a particular attraction: the Santa Justa Elevator which he rightly described as a tourist trap. Read more...

Lisbon, Portugal - Day 3

Due to staying up way too late last night in Alfama, today was a day for relaxing. I woke up just before noon, and a few people that I’d hung out with at various points over the past few days (and who had also been out late last night partying) were planning to go to a beach in Cascais, a town a bit west of Lisbon. There were seven of us in total: Ben (the guy I hung out with for most of the time last night), Jaimes, Maggie, Sadie, Chewy, Kiara, and myself. We took an Uber (or something like that) on our way to Cascais. Read more...

Lisbon, Portugal - Day 2

Today, I went to the Alfama district and toured the Castelo de São Jorge. Then, in the evening, I went out with some people from the hostel to the streets where there were celebrations for the Feast of Saint Anthony which is the largest festival in Lisbon. After a small breakfast at the hostel, I started walking over towards the Castelo de São Jorge in the Alfama district which is the old quarter of Lisbon. My goal was to eventually get to the castle, but I wanted to enjoy walking through the old quarter on my way, so I went at a very leisurely pace. Read more...

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