Listening for peace

In this TED Talk, the presenter tells us how important listening is. In our world we are not listening enough to our pairs. We are focused, concentrated, deconcetrated, multi-tasking all the time. But the consequence of that is misunderstanding, which can lead to violence and pain.
Recently I felt frustrated because I wanted to tell someone what I was thinking about something he did. My aim was to help him to improve but he was not really listening … even if he was saying « yes, yes, yes ». I felt bad afterwards and in the end I was almost angry of not being listened to. So in this little life experience, I felt how it is important to give your attention to others.
In the following talk, you’ll receive 5 little exercises to improve your ability to listen. Starting from now, I’ll try to apply them ! If you wish to join the effort, I added the list of exercises on the bottom of this articles.

5 exercises :

  • Silence : 3 minutes of silence a day to recalibrate and be able to listen to silence again
  • The Mixer : listen to how many channels of noise you can hear in a noisy environment
  • Savouring : listen to everyday sounds to find out the hidden choir
  • Listening positions : adapt your listening position according to what you are listening to and playing with those filters :
    • Active / Passive
    • Reductive / Expansive
    • Critical / Empathic
  • RASA : if you are leader, spouse, friend, parent, teacher :
    • Recieve : pay attention to the person
    • Appreciate : making little noises like « hmm », « ah », « ok »
    • Summarize : Using the word « so, you said that … », « if I’m right you think that … »
    • Ask : To make sure you understood well

Good listening 😉

Getting to FOSDEM 2014

Begin february I went to the annually biggest european conference on Free Software in Brussels, the FOSDEM. It was the opportunity to get in touch with the developper’s world and to listen to some conferences presenting libraries or tools that I may use in my project.
Since I’m developping a python web application I wanted to go to the javascript and python rooms to listen to their talks. I was surprised to see how small those rooms were. The rooms were completely full and it was almost impossible to get into it. I had to abandon the idea to listen to javascript talks. I was feeling frustrated because lots of javascript talks sounds very interesing. Fortunately the talks will be available on the web later.
In the python room I could listen to some interesting talks. Here is a little overview of the subjects :

Eve Framework

The Eve framework is a new web application framework that provides a quick tool to develop rest API. Powered by Flask, MongoDB, Redis and good intentions Eve allows to effortlessly build and deploy highly customizable, fully featured RESTful Web Services. You can also find more information on their blog.


  • Sentry is a tool to manage the errors generated by a production application. When you application run into an exception you will get notified on sentry and it will generate a ticket. Sentry can also be connecter to any task management system like Jira.
  • Pyrasite is a module that allows you to execute code in your application during its execution. It is a tool for injecting code into running Python processes.
  • New Relic is a powerful tool to profile the thread of your application and determine which part of your code is the most heavily loaded anytime. The Thread Profiler is a low-impact profiling tool used to identify app bottlenecks in your production environments


Alembic is a tool for database migration.

Python Fibers

Fibers is another implementation of eventlets. Eventlets are event-based threads that can be executed in a single process.


Couchbase is a document based database, so it is an interesting alternative for mongoDB for some specific cases.
We also got an interesting talk about how the New York Times decided to setup Cassandra in their software architecture.
But the last talk I heard was about mongoDB and gave some tips to switch from SQL to NoSQL : How mongodb can tackle most of your problems.

Leaving for climbing cliffs in China

It was a long time since my last expedition. I’m already used to Asia. Most of my past experiences were there:
But I never went to China before!
I’m going there with two good old friends,  Nico and Fix. One lives in Malta The other lives in Vancouver. I’m the only who stayed in Belgium for now. (for those who know me,  you also know that this will not last for long)
I’m now in the plane to Hong – Kong where I’ll stay for a day to visit. Then I’ll leave for « real » China taking the plane to guiyang and then the bus to getu where the petzl rock trip of 2011 happened.
I’m looking forward to see theses amazing cliffs and diving in the local caves through underground rivers! (I’m carrying 3 boats in my bag)
For now this is it but stay tuned for the next news 😉 my next sunrise will be in Hong Kong!

Being agile at work

The agile methodology is used as a project management methodology. It comes from the software development world and it aims to work in a « release soon and release often » style. The idea is to work constantly in perfect communication with the stakeholders of the project even though they are not developers themselves.
I’m working in an agile style for several years now and I keep thinking this is a good way of working. The development team keeps focused on the main features and the project owner have always a good vision of where the development goes and how fast it can go.
This is a short video explaining the main concepts of the agile methodology for software development.

Make our cities walkable

This video almost make me reconsider my wish to have a house in the countryside. It is true that living in cities is the future and that one should think about it for many reasons : energy, economy, health, environment, …
But still, in Belgium the cities are not walkable cities at all. I don’t feel good in this cities. Even biking in Brussels is really dangerous because everything is adapted for cars only.
Our politics should really think about making our belgian cities more pedestrian-oriented. I’m sure this would help me (and a lot of other people) to feel better in our cities (country).