Team Life

Category: Team Life (57 posts) [RSS]

Jul 19 2019

Words from the CEO for the #15yearsofXWiki party

On the 8th of July, we celebrated 15 years of XWiki. In this celebration, we were joined by XWiki Alumni, friends of the company and the Open Source project, and some lovely clients. 

Below, you can find a written version of the speech Ludovic Dubost, the CEO and creator of XWiki, held that evening. Note that the following text is not the exact transcription of Ludovic's speech, but the written version before the actual speech.

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This party celebrates 15 years of efforts from all the XWikiers to grow a sustainable company building Free and Open Source software that matters. It means a lot to me and the XWikiers to have you all here tonight.

It is very hard to summarize 15 years in a simple and short speech, and I'm not very famous for being able to keep it short. I'll do my best.

A good approach would be to summarize it by the objective. When I created XWiki, I did not fully know what I was doing. I'm not saying I do know now, but at the time I came out of an experience in the Internet Bubble, working for a company that was successful in the bubble. That success means that today it doesn't exist anymore. The company raised money, built great proprietary technology, went in 15 countries, made little revenue, went on the stock market, and eventually was sold for 10 times less than it was valued before. The technology that we had to build went, in part, to the trash bin.

Free and Libre Open Source Software

 Open Source has been my main answer, knowing that by building our software as Open Source it would still be there whatever happens.

Later, as I built XWiki, I discovered more about FLOSS Software, and participating in this movement has become something very important. Free Software is about control. The movement was created with the objective of users regaining control on software. Today, although we have more Open Source software, the lack of control is still a big concern, as from Proprietary Software companies giving you software that you don't control but that you install in your home or company, we have moved to Cloud companies providing services mainly built on Open Source code, but which you still do not control. While the FLOSS movement has progressed we are still lacking the FLOSS based end services and software that allow us to keep control. What XWiki does today, providing both software and services fully as Free Software is even more relevant and important.

I'm very proud that XWiki is part of an important and vibrant movement in France and Europe, alongside many other companies and organizations. These organizations are important as they show how important Free and Open Source is. Some of them have joined us today: April, or OW2, but it's also worth mentioning CNLL, AFUL, Framasoft, La Quadrature du Net and internationally FSF, OSI or free software events like FOSDEM.

Software that matters

Knowledge: Another objective was to build software that matters. In my previous job in 2001, thanks to Erwan, I discovered wikis and we set it up to share knowledge in our team. I had found software that matters. Wikis matter, because they help share knowledge. Sharing knowledge matters for many reasons. First, it is very important for companies to make them more successful, but it also helps people grow when accessing more knowledge through companies or public wikis. "Knowledge is Power" said Francis Bacon.

 Knowledge empowers individuals and allows them to become team members instead of tasks executors. For us, at XWiki "Knowledge is Power ... so it should be shared"

Going a step forward, we should be proud that XWiki is being used to make knowledge accessible to probably millions of people, inside 7000 organizations that have XWiki installed, and through public websites with tens of thousands of visitors.

Clients and Users: Not only do we build the software, but we also help companies make better use of it and set up knowledge sharing systems. Throughout the years we have been able to work on many great subjects, including Education Knowledge Sharing, Information Sharing for the Public Service (CNFPT), Knowledge Sharing for train repair or answering calls from people having had an accident, lately the Historical Lexicon of Switzerland, MonAvis system for allowing citizens to vote on dematerialized public services. We have also worked on medical wikis such as the CDLS World, community helping parents with sick children or the Children Knowledge Network in Canada. We are also happy to bring knowledge sharing to medium-sized companies with XWiki Cloud and even to individuals with CryptPad. Since we launched these two products we have had subscribers from 20 different countries.

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A big thank you to our clients and supporters who participate in building our Open Source Software.

Privacy: More recently, the subject of privacy has emerged. The Snowden revelations have shown that we don't know who has access to our data and for what. The business model of cloud services has fuelled a surveillance economy that we cannot control anymore, as it has been used to influence elections. The progress of cloud as a more convenient system for users both in terms of usage and price, combined with the greed of businesses fighting for the "winner takes it all" spot, is driving us into a wall.

At XWiki we had the opportunity to do something about it, so we took it: working on our realtime editors, Caleb (Alumnus) found a way to make realtime editing work without needing the server to read the content.
It's worth telling how I almost killed this project. 

 One day I come in the research office and Caleb tells me how he just recoded the realtime synchronisation in Javascript instead of Java. My first question was whether this was really needed. The NIH syndrome is very popular amongst developers.
- Why exactly did you recode it? 
- So I used the blockchain to allow to manage the order of patches and then reimplemented Operational Transform in Javascript, and now the server is only transmitting the data, so we can encrypt. 
Obviously, he knew he was talking to a CEO, and that he would get me with the word "blockchain".

But he got something there. This technology is a breakthrough, allowing new types of applications which are "privacy by default" and "Zero-Knowledge". This gave birth to the Open Source software CryptPad and CryptPad.fr which has more and more users and supporters. 10000 users per week are accessing CryptPad from around the world, 300+ instances are running, protecting users content. Not only are we breaking new technological ground with this project, but we are also trying a new business model, through low-cost subscriptions and crowdfunding. 

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I would like to thank our subscribers for the CryptPad service. Also, to our supporters who have donated, along with BPI France that funded our research project for many years. Of course, I wouldn't want to forget NLNet that is currently funding CryptPad's roadmap, allowing us to actively continue the development of the software and service.

More generally, I would like to thank the public bodies that have funded our research throughout the years: Ville de Paris, Ile de France Region, Agence Nationale de la Recherche and the European Community have been great supporters of this work. I would also like to thank the partners that have invited us on their projects: Mandriva, Nexedi, INRIA, Linagora, University of Catalona and many more. We would not be as far without their funding. 

Giving people more than a job: Another thought that crossed my mind when I created XWiki, was how would I build a company that did not repeat what I didn't like in the companies I worked for as an employee. The answer to this hasn't been to build a campus with beanbags, slides and bikes, but to try to make a transparent and open company, based on general trust. A company where employees have a project they can believe in and focus their work towards the same goal: better product, better services, better us.

In the case of our small business, we aimed to:

  • get people paid for the work they do;
  • keep reasonable amounts of pressure or constraint;
  • make it a successful business that is competitive in our industry;
  • keep the company independent, without raising money, and not end up being sold to the highest bidder;
  • all of the above, without forgetting to provide the code of our products as Open Source, usable for everyone.

We do have a baby foot table though.

Obviously, if you can get the paycheck coming in without any pressure or constraint, it might be easier to have a happy team. But XWiki has not been about trying to solve easy problems. I believe it is important to not stop at easy, especially in the IT industry. I believe that we, working in IT, are privileged today, as we are in a market where the demand is high.

I find that this privilege particularly applies to me, having had the chance to be born and raised in a country and by parents that gave me a lot of security and allowed me to benefit from high-level education. I have learned this is not as obvious as it may seem. I use this occasion to thank my family for this. So, this privilege gives us a responsibility to try to do more. 

Europe & Romania

Another reason we chose to go for Open Source software is that at XWiki, we believe in the European software industry. Even though our industry has become more and more prevalent, it is massively dominated by US companies, today the same as 15 years ago. The French and European software and internet industries are still weak, but working hard to catch up. I've always believed, thanks also to my "European" education, having lived in Germany as a kid, that Europe is highly important for our future and that we need to collaborate more across Europe.

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While I'm proud that we have initially built this company out of France, I've always thought of XWiki as an international company being able to span frontiers.

It's not an easy fight. I wish I could be positive, but unfortunately, we are struggling to get a united Europe. The software industry is not an exception. Europe invests in R&D and we are very grateful for the help, but we do not see an industrial strategy at the European level trying to bring our companies closer together. Investment in startups is national. In France, Startup Nation and FrenchTech are everywhere in the press reinforcing a nationalistic point of view. XWiki SAS is a proud Open Source EuroTech. ​​​​

I'm particularly proud that we have built XWiki as a Franco-Romanian company. I did not know Romania before Sergiu (Alumnus). After being a Summer of Code student, he helped create XWiki in Romania, in 2007. Twelve years later, I discovered a beautiful country with many talents and lots of new friends. I'm very proud of our team in Iasi that has joined us today, and everything they have achieved at XWiki. Also, XWiki has changed the personal lives of quite a few people, including my own. I'm glad that I had something to do with it. If we will have failed everything else, at least this cannot be taken away.

This project is yours

I want to make one thing clear: this is your company and your achievements. It was achieved by the highly talented XWikiers:

  • it is the XWiki Product Squad spending endless hours releasing 12 XWiki versions per year, our QA team running the same tests over and over again, trying to catch bugs;
  • it is the Client Squads, lead by our account managers, spending long meetings with clients to sell projects, and get them delivered;
  • it is the Client Team's architect's and developer's talent building the projects and taking responsibility to make them work;
  • it is our Support Squad, keeping our clients happy, whatever happens;
  • it is the Cryptpad Squad, previously our research team, working hard to get research projects, deliver them and break new grounds;
  • it is our Marketing Squad getting us at conferences and ensuring we have great brochures, flyers, stickers, and tee-shirt for these events, catching our leads, with only a fraction of the budget of the big players;
  • it is our HR Squad getting young engineers to see beyond the size of your logo on the building and keep us happy while making our two offices work smoothly and seamlessly;
  • it is our Community which uses XWiki, makes it known, contributes to our forums and extensions. There are no small contributions to Free and Open Source software;
  • it is the research funding agencies, along with our research partners who allow us to get the necessary funding to fuel our research and innovation process, while building new capabilities and releasing them as Open Source;
  • it is our clients who buy our services, our cloud, our support and are funding the development of these projects and allow this company model to exists.

Thank you for making this possible. I suppose, if we are still there after those 15 years, earning more than we spend year after year, we have succeeded.

You should be all proud of this achievement! This INCREDIBLE achievement!

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Drawing of the evening, courtesy of Bénédicte Roullier

What does the future hold for XWiki

Technology continues to evolve, and XWiki needs to embrace the changes. Virtualisation is an incredible trend, and the browser is the key tool everybody is using now.

With new technologies like WebAssembly, we can expect that we should soon be able to run the Java JVM and MySQL in the browser and, therefore, XWiki itself. If we can run XWiki in the browser, then we should be able to run XWiki inside CryptPad, allowing the combining of our two products and bringing encryption to XWiki.

Well, who knows what can happen in 15 years, maybe it will be possible!

More seriously, in the next 15 years, XWiki SAS will be what you decide it should be. We have created the Squad structure to create team autonomy and make each team focus on its sustainability and its key goals. What XWiki SAS does will evolve with you!

On my side I hope 15 years from now, XWiki SAS will have grown XWiki and made many more knowledge projects, all the while being more integrated with other popular Open Source solutions so that, together, these products can help our companies and countries regain technological independence. XWiki SAS wants to help, but we cannot do this alone. 

On the CryptPad side, I'm confident we will reach sustainability thanks to our users and supporters helping CryptPad spread. CryptPad has enormous potential to change the way software is being built and used, focusing on privacy first. I wish new squads will exist. XWiki SAS should be your home for building great, sustainable free software products. 

To finish I'd like to raise my glass to all those who have helped us, who share our goals and to all our team.

After bragging for an hour about the work we do, I would like to close by raising my glass to the many, inside and outside XWiki, that do even harder and more important work, silently tackle the non-easy tasks, without being in the spotlight. It's not always those of whom we speak the most that do the most important work.

Happy 15 years!

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Jun 10 2019

How to Organize a Company Retreat

At XWiki, we are strong believers in flexibility, so we trust our team to choose when and where they can do their best work. Consequently, our team is distributed across multiple countries, with people working both from our offices and remotely.

A downside is that we need to make a conscious effort if we want to get everybody together in the same place. We regularly have colleagues traveling to our two offices, but the way we get everyone in the same spot is by organizing a team retreat once a year.

As we’re working on our 11th global get-together we thought it would be nice to share how we go about planning it and how we use tools to stay organized and on track.

The prep

Our retreat usually lasts about a week, with two days dedicated to travel. Starting January we create a detailed plan and budget for our retreat. We also like to build our own app to make sure it fits our specific needs. Once the groundwork is done, we start looking for the perfect time and setting.

Finding the perfect location

We begin every new year by scouting for the perfect location, get in touch with hotels and resorts that we think might be a good fit. In parallel, we run a poll on our intranet checking our team’s availability. Once we save the date and come up with the locations shortlist, we create a new poll and ask our team to vote for their favorite place.

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Transportation arrangements

As soon as we sign the contract with the location we start making the transportation arrangements. We try to have the team travel together as much as possible, but we also accommodate colleagues who travel from other locations or who wish to stay longer or less. Everyone receives their ticket by email and we have a page on our intranet where we put all the travel information. We always try to pick locations that are reasonably easy to get to.

Preparing the sessions

With most of the logistics taken care of, two months prior to the event, we start prepping the sessions and other on-site activities. Anyone at XWiki can use the dedicated Seminar app to propose talks they’d like to organize or participate in.
By now you’ve guessed we are big fans of polls at XWiki. We love using them to make decisions as a team. Whenever we have too many proposals, we launch a vote to pick the most interesting sessions.
Once we have the final schedule, we feature it on our intranet calendar and sync it with Google Calendar. We also export the schedule as a PDF, so people may use it offline should they wish.

Food, trip, and other fun activities

A large extent of our efforts goes towards planning the day trip, party, and team building activities. Much of the time on site though is spent hanging out, playing games and getting to know each other better.
One of the highlights of the retreat is the hackathon. It provides the perfect opportunity for all of us to work together in person. Anyone can suggest topics and the remaining colleagues will join one of the proposed ideas. Hackathon teams work on their projects throughout the day and get to present the results in the afternoon.
In terms of catering, we try to select a buffet menu that is diverse and satisfies varied tastes and dietary restrictions. Once we have collected team feedback and agreed on the final menu with the location, we share it with everyone.

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Goodies

No company retreat is complete without geeky T-Shirts and goodies. We come up with a custom logo for each retreat. Everyone can send a proposal. The most voted logo is then proudly worn on our t-shirts.

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Less fun, but equally important: keeping track of finances

All through the event prep, we make sure to regularly update our budget and expenses. To stay organized we upload all contracts, invoices, and tickets to our wiki and use livetables to filter and sort documents.

Feedback

At XWiki, we love giving and receiving feedback. As we aim to make retreats better every year, after each event we run an internal survey to see what went well and what could be improved.

That’s about it! Organizing a team retreat is no easy feat for our HR team, but it’s always worth it. As we’re writing this post, we’re in the last stages of planning our next seminar, which takes place in exactly one month from now. We’ll be starting out in Paris, then traveling to the Loire Valley. Looking forward to another good one and we’ll make sure to come back with updates!

Silvia Macovei, Head of Cloud Business

Jan 25 2019

Be Ready for FOSDEM 2019

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This year begins with one of the best conferences about free and open source software - FOSDEM. During two days experts, enthusiasts, and volunteers from all around Europe gather and share their insights into topics related to Open Source.

Over the past FOSDEM editions, we noticed that even though the event hosts plenty of developer rooms dedicated to development or infrastructure solutions, there are very few devrooms dealing with use cases impacting both technical and non-technical individuals, such as knowledge or content management.

Therefore, we have managed to create and coordinate such a room. Here's an insight into the topics that will be tackled in the Collaborative Information and Content Management Applications Devroom:

1. A Private Cloud for Everyone

Jos Poortvliet will talk about why you should care about privacy and how Nextcloud builds a private alternative for your data.

Time: 15:00 - 15:20

2. Who Needs to Know? Private-by-design collaboration

Aaron MacSween will discuss about who must have access to your data by focusing on private-by-design collaboration and CryptPad. 

Time: 15:25 - 15:45

3. Tiki: Easy Setup of Wiki-Based Knowledge Management System

Jean-Marc Libs will talk about how you can use Tiki for building up a knowledge management system.

Time: 15:50 - 16:10

4. Displaying other Application Data into a Wiki...and other Integrations

Ludovic Dubost will be there to show you how to display other application data (such as Elastic Search, Matrix/RIOT, Nagios, Cacti, JIRA, Databases) into a Wiki.

Time: 16:15 - 16:35

5. LibreOffice Online - Hosting your Documents

Michael Meeks will discuss about how you can avoid giving your documents to a large proprietary company and yet enjoy powerful collaborative editing of documents.

Time: 16:40 - 17:00

6. XWiki: a Collaborative Apps Development Platform - Build applications incrementally on top of XWiki rather than coding them from scratch

Are you planning to develop a new application from scratch? Anca Luca will explain to you how to use XWiki's features so as to assemble them in a brand-new application.

Time: 17:05 - 17:25

7. Vishkar - a CMS for Structured Content

Raja Renga Bashyam will tackle the issue of creating structured contents in a modular way.

Time: 17:30 - 17:50

8. Memex: Collaborative Web-Research

Oliver Sauter will discuss about the (im)possibility of building the perfect knowledge management tool.

Time: 17:55 - 18:15

9. CubicWeb Linked Data Browser Extension

Nicolas Chauvat will present the Web Extension that makes your browser capable of handling RDF data so that you can surf the Semantic Web and choose how data is displayed and how you interact with it.

Time: 18:20 - 18:40

10. Document Redaction with LibreOffice

Muhammet Kara will talk about preventing leakage of sensitive information by redaction in collaborative environments.

Time: 18:45 - 19:00

Moreover, if topics like Legal & Policy Issues or Design pique your curiosity, you can join Cristina DeLisle and Ecaterina Moraru in their discussions. Cristina will explain how the data protection rights are enforced by the OSS model, by analyzing some of the technologies that have risen from this ecosystem (such as Wikis), while Ecaterina will get involved into an open discussion about the difficulties that might appear when more designers contribute to Open Source projects.

See you at FOSDEM! 

You can check the entire schedule here: https://fosdem.org/2019/schedule/.

Jan 10 2019

XWiki's 2018 in review

2018 has been both challenging and rewarding at XWiki, but overall, a very productive year for us. We participated in various events, developed our products and services, received two awards for our hard work, and took great care of our team spirit.

Here is a quick revision of XWikiers` journey:

Team work makes the dream work

1. Breaking records 

In February we received the biggest reward we could have received from you, our users: an incredible increase in XWiki installs and instances activity.

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2. Amazon uses XWiki for over 1 year

The internal Wiki platform for documentation and collaboration is being used by nearly 20 000 active users, mostly in engineering and product teams, as a collaborative knowledge sharing and documentation platform. 

3. XWiki receives Best Open and Ethic Business Award 

In December we were recognized as providers of ethic software and services for over 10 years.

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4. CryptPad receives NGI startup award

Europe’s Next Generation Internet initiative (NGI.eu) awarded CryptPad the Next Generation Internet’s Privacy and trust-enhanced technologies startup award. The NGI Startup Awards recognize Europe’s most disruptive entrepreneurs who are advancing revolutionary products, solutions and services destined to have a major impact on the internet of the future.

What is new in XWiki?

1. XWiki 10.x

The 10.x cycle is defined by having an improved usability for on-boarding new users and administrators: from protection against refactoring operations, to editing inline macro content, to more auto-suggests, to a faster user interface. We managed to have over 750 issues closed: 415 bugs, 160 improvements, 31 new features and more!

2. ONLYOFFICE online editors added to XWiki`s ecosystem

Users can perform all their editing tasks directly in XWiki without having to switch between the editor and their collaboration software anymore. Furthermore, multiple users can collaborate in real time and push changes directly to XWiki.

3. XWiki Cloud free for Open Source Projects

Open source projects requesting a cloud wiki, can host their wikis with XWiki SAS at the bronze level and receive regular updates.

4. GDPR compliance with XWiki`s cookies consent application

In light of the latest European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), our team created a Cookies Consent application to help XWiki users ensure compliance. It can be installed for free and customized in such a way that it matches each brand`s identity.

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XWiki at conferences

We've been more active than ever in the international conferences and meetings scene. Whether in France, Belgium, Romania or the United States of America, our team made sure we are well represented.

1. FOSDEM 

We participated with presentations in six different tracks, tackling various hot subjects: new features, compatibility and integration with other tools and services, lessons learned from deployments, surveys, research and development, legal issues, and Artificial Intelligence.

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2. Salon Intranet

Ludovic, our CEO, had 4 talks about collaboration and wiki culture. 

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3. OW2 Meetup

At the beginning of June, we hosted a user meetup within the OW2 conference. It was a great occasion to see and meet people from the corporate and Open Source world interested in the use cases of XWiki.

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4. Libre Software Meeting

Our participating XWikiers, Clément Aubin, Ludovic Dubost and Anca Luca discussed about building a customized knowledge base in minutes, tips and tricks to finance free software, CryptPad - the Zero Knowledge editor, and Open Food Facts.

5. Hackathon in San Francisco

Ludovic, Anca, and Clement held a presentation about CryptPad, our end-to-end encrypted real-time collaboration tool. Also, they took part in a hackathon on CryptPad and XWiki.

6. Cloud Expo  Europe

We met plenty of you at our stand and discussed about digital transformation problems linked to cloud and encrypted collaboration solutions.

7. Day Click

Our HR Team met potential candidates and shared our job openings and internship opportunities with them.

8. B-Boost Convention

Ludovic took part in the round table discussion on Open Source and free models. It was a great opportunity to exchange on security topics and CryptPad, too.

9. Capitol du Libre 2018 

Ludovic brought to discussion the topic of financing free and open source software and described how collaboration with end-to-end encryption is possible using CryptPad.

10. Paris Open Source Summit 2018

We presented during the following tracks: Increasing ethics in Digital, End-user Solutions for the Workplace, Open Source Community Summit and European Open Source Law Event.

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Team life

1. XWiki Seminar 

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Both teams from France and Romania had a great time together in Brasov. The theme chosen for this year was about the topic of “bears”, considering the mountain location. 

2. Breakfast @XWiki on International Week of Happiness at Work

Armed with smiley badges, colorful balloons and inspired by the emblematic "Breakfast at Tiffany's" theme, we organized an early breakfast in Iasi and Paris, at the same time.

3. Women in Tech

PIN Magazine published an article about how in XWiki (Iasi) women proved that they can work in IT and even outnumber their male colleagues.   

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How was your 2018?

Dec 13 2018

XWiki @Paris Open Source Summit 2018

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Our team of brave XWikiers did it again! We`ve represented XWiki and CryptPad at Paris Open Source Summit 2018, event that got to its 4th edition. Between the 5th & 6th of December, 5000 participants had the occasion to attend around 200 conferences and get in touch with the latest technological innovations.

Our colleagues tackled four main topics during the conference: XWiki Solutions, CryptPad, GDPR, and Open Food Facts. Moreover, as a token of all the hard work in the past 15 years, we received the “Best Open and Ethic Business” award.

XWiki Solutions

Ludovic, our CEO, conducted a track on End-user Solutions for the Workplace. Providers such as Bluemind, Maarch, XWiki, eXoPlatform, ElasticSearch, Tuleap, BonitaSoft, SpagoBI, and RocketChat offered an insight into their solutions for Collaboration, Chat, Big-Data or Document Management.

In the same track, Clément, our Account Manager, had a speech on how the open source XWiki software developed, and how companies like SCOR, SNCF, SFR, Naval Group, Fidelia, ARS Hauts de France benefit from XWiki SAS solutions. Find out more about this topic by reading his presentation:

CryptPad

During the Summit, Ludovic had two important roles: he was both a trackleader and a speaker. His intervention as a speaker was focused on CryptPad and the need of a new approach for collaboration services based on end-to-end  encryption and zero-knowledge of user`s data in cloud services. Take a closer look at his presentation:

Aaron, who is the CryptPad CTO and part of the XWiki Research Team, held a presentation called CryptPad, Encrypted Collaboration, tackling the same issue as Ludovic`s: providing both the highest security of user`s data and real-time collaboration. For further details, read his presentation:

GDPR

Cristina, our DPO, had an intervention on the implementation of GDPR in IT companies by bringing to participants` attention some epic fails and XWiki`s example of good practice on enforcement of data protection measures. Check out the entire presentation below:

Open Food Facts

If you joined the Co-producing a free database round-table, you might have met Anca, our Client Service CTO, who debated about the new concepts of Open Data.

To sum up our experience, we had a blast during these two days. Meeting new people, establishing new connections, and impacting the Open Source Community made us look forward to next year`s edition.

Anamaria Aniculăesei - XWiki Marketing Intern

Oct 30 2018

XWiki and its Women in Tech

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This article originally appeared in PIN magazine.

XWiki is an organization active in the open source domain, offering its own product: a software used to build collaborative solutions and services. The company was founded in 2004 in France and since 2007 in Romania as well. At the time of publication of this article, our team consists of 39 employees split between the Paris and Iasi offices. Diversity in the workplace is important to us, and it came naturally, because we have always sought to hire the best person, regardless of age, gender, religion or any other external factor. With regard to gender distribution, the difference between the percentage of female and male employees is not significant in the company itself. The statistics for the Iasi office are, however, more interesting: the number of women considerably exceeds that of men.

We asked our female colleagues for testimonials on their experience in the IT world, from the point of view of their professional activity, but also from a personal point of view.

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Ecaterina Moraru - Lead Interaction Designer

I am one of the few high school colleagues who have ended up working in this field. I remember that when I was accepted into the Faculty of Computer Science, there were just a few girls taking the same courses, with the gender difference already marking this field. Besides, if you were passionate about gaming, you were even more rare. Today, things have changed quite a bit.

At XWiki, I'm an Interaction Designer. Even if what I do may seem a little "soft", I consider it a best choice, as it's a place a come to work with great enthusiasm. In Iasi, the field of Interaction Design and the entire area of User Experience are still in the beginning phase. I cannot say I had someone that I was able to learn from, but I believe I was able to find and implement solutions that made the software more accessible and easy to use.

XWiki was the first company in Iasi to develop an open source product and, even today, it is one of the few companies built around this philosophy. I always had this desire to contribute to the creation of a product, and now I'm part of the team in charge of developing the open source product. I take care of the specifications and interface of the new functionalities which we want to integrate into the product. I create prototypes and write code for the front-end. I collaborate with our international community and we decide together about the functionalities that would be implemented. The product I have been developing and contributing to for more than 10 years has more than 3 million downloads and users in more than 115 countries.

Instead of a conclusion, I consider that women can learn and work in any IT specialization. In addition, you have the opportunity to act and develop not only locally, but globally. There are now many projects and companies that promote gender diversity and encourage women to pursue a career in IT. Nevertheless, I believe that the power of example is the most powerful motivation: the more women who work in this field and talk about their experience, the more they will attract others who will want the same thing.

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Cristina DeLisle - Office and Legal Administrator, DPO

I studied law with a specialization in Business Law, and I currently work at XWiki in the Paris office, after spending a year in the Iasi office.

My role is a combination of cross-functional skills, in areas such as human resources, law, data protection, accounting, technology sales - all because XWiki, my employer, is an open source company. The majority of my colleagues have a specialization in computer science and are professionals in this field, but other employee skills are also appreciated within XWiki.

I had the chance to meet great colleagues at XWiki, who inspire me to explore the technical side and go beyond my limits. I had the opportunity to participate and speak at IT conferences, where, considering gender differences, I found myself at a presentation where there were only men in the audience. It was one of the moments when I realized the disparity in the industry or sectors of the industry.

Fortunately, this problem does not exist at XWiki - almost half of the employees are women (including in management positions) - as well as there is no gender-based discrimination. I would like to find this model in general, in all IT companies.

I think it is important that there are examples of women who have made careers, in general, to find them in executive and leadership roles. The challenge is to ensure a balance between this model and meritocracy, which in most cases brings men into the recruitment process who are finalized with an offer. Moreover, gender discrimination in IT seems to be a real problem, if we take into account analyses that, fortunately, I have just read and not experienced from a personal point of view. I am happy to have women I admire on my team and I believe that such examples will ensure, over time, a numerical balance between the sexes in the technical field.

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Diana Veron - HR and Admin Coordinator

I had the opportunity to enter the IT industry in 2011, just after completing a Master's degree in Human Resources Management at the Faculty of Economics and Business Management, by obtaining a position as HR and Admin Assistant at XWiki. I have always dreamed of working in HR in the IT industry, because the challenges in this field (especially related to the recruitment process and employee motivation) have always attracted me. What I found at XWiki fully met my expectations: the work environment, the young and dynamic team, the international aspect and the way we communicate, the flexibility of the work schedule, the autonomy and the trust the management and my colleagues invested in me, the relationship with them, etc.

Even if, usually, in the field of HR we see mostly women, I had the opportunity to work also with men having this role at XWiki, and in my experience, gender is not a concern at all. As a member of the XWiki Executive Committee, I have always felt that my opinion counts and is taken into consideration, I am only satisfied because I have had the opportunity to contribute to strategic decision-making within the company. For me HR and the IT industry will always remain key aspects in my professional career and I am proud to lead my activity in such a rapidly changing industry.

IT is a dynamic industry and I have encountered challenges everywhere, but in my opinion the secret to success lies in the passionate performance of tasks and in being in the right professional environment, with the right team. Of course, there is also determination, curiosity, continuous learning and concentration of effort to achieve a high quality mission.

This year I became a mother, and I added new challenges to my current activity: I moved to France, started working remotely, and I am constantly working to maintain a balance between family and professional life. One of the major differences between Romania and France is the fact that, after the birth of the first child, mothers must be back at work immediately after maternity leave, which is only 4 months.

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Oana Lavinia Florean - Software Development Intern

I graduated the Computer Science high school, Grigore Moisil in Iasi, currently studying in the third year at the Faculty of Computer Science and I have been an intern at XWiki for 5 months. I therefore have experience strongly related to the IT field and contrary to what is said, I have not observed a great discrepancy between the number of women and men in the field.

At XWiki, I had my first internship, my first experience in a company, which gave me the opportunity to interact with the open source environment. I was part of the team that developed the open source product and had the opportunity to get in touch with a less well-known IT sub-domain in Romania. I collaborated with people from different countries, I have seen my contributions integrated into new versions of the product and I have improved, at the same time, my developer skills.

We do have the coolest colleagues, isn't it?

Oct 10 2018

Join our hackathon in San Francisco

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As some of you might already know from our tweets, Ludovic, Anca and Clement will be travelling to San Francisco between the 12th and the 20th of October. They're looking forward to meeting contributors and friends from the area, so let them, or us, know if you want to grab a coffee and exchange ideas.

Moreover, if you want to roll up your sleeves, you can join them at the hackathon hosted by Noisebridge, on Saturday, 20 October. The event will start with a presentation about CryptPad, our end-to-end encrypted realtime collaboration tool, followed by the hackathon on CryptPad and XWiki, the open source software.
The host will be Steve Phillips, creator of CrypTag & Cypherpunks Write Code and lead developer of LeapChat. Noisebridge is a hackerspace for technical-creative projects, doocratically run by its members. They are a non-profit educational institution intended for public benefit. Located in the heart of San Francisco, their motto is: We teach, we learn, we share. 

Agenda (12 p.m. - 6 p.m.):

12 p.m. - Opening and introductions

1 p.m. - CryptPad presentation: "Why Privacy Matters and How to Collaborate Securely"
Ludovic Dubost, CEO of XWiki SAS, the company that is building the CryptPad open source project and online service, will tell us what went on when the idea of Cryptpad came about, how it was developed and what possibilities this new technology brings.

1:45 p.m. - CryptPad and XWiki Hackathon
This is an event for any developer that wishes to work on an open source software. You can help enhance CryptPad and XWiki, try to build your first privacy enhancing application and, for the perfectionist bunch, fix a bug in CryptPad or XWiki.
We're officially launching a challenge for the advanced developers: to integrate a JavaScript calendar viewer and editor inside CryptPad. Signed up yet?


Who will be there?

- Ludovic Dubost: creator of XWiki and CryptPad contributor, business lead of XWiki & CryptPad;
- Anca Luca: 10 year XWiki committer and XWiki Client team CTO;
- Clément Aubin: XWiki committer & Google Summer of Code Mentor;
- Steve Phillips: creator of CrypTag & Cypherpunks Write Code + lead developer of LeapChat;
- You!

 See you in San Francisco?

Sep 26 2018

What about breakfast @ XWiki on International Week of Happiness at Work?

Though happiness is a common daily attitude of XWikiers, when we heard about the International Week of Happiness at Work we decided to celebrate it properly. Armed with smiley badges, colorful balloons and inspired by the emblematic "Breakfast at Tiffany's" theme, we asked ourselves "What about breakfast @XWiki?". As a consequence, both teams organized an early breakfast in Iasi and Paris, at the same time. 

In Paris, we served a typical French breakfast with croissants, pain au chocolat, brioches, fruits, all sort of sweets, glasses with emoticons and apparently some unicorns in the setting (because why not?). 

The morning gathered the XWikiers from the Iasi office to a classical Romanian breakfast with all sort of salty and sweet delights, cereals, juice, milk, motivational quotes and a lovely rustic arrangement.

Also some of our teleworkers shared with us glimpses of their breakfast experiences and it was fun debriefing afterwords the entire event on our internal chats.

Of course, everybody had a lot of coffee and we got our morning energy setting us for the rest of the work day.

Check out bellow some of our lovely settings from the Paris and Iasi offices. Also, if you want to join us, feel free to contact us and apply for one of our current XWiki opening positions.

The XWiki HR Team

Sep 06 2018

XWiki Seminar 2018

Time flies and here we are at the 10th edition of the awesome XWiki company Seminar. Both teams from France and Romania had a great time together in Brasov, at AnaHotels Sport. The theme we’ve chosen this year was around the topic of “bears”, considering the mountain location. 

In one week, we discussed a lot of topics regarding status of the teams, future planning, challenges and team life at XWiki. We also had a hackathon, participated in memorable HR activities and enjoyed a lot of leisure time. We’ve even witnessed together a moon eclipse. 

For the trip day, some of us decided to test their adventure spirit at Aventura parc and Canionul Sapte Scari. We also had a lot of fun discovering the Bran Castle and the city of Brasov.

We invite you to check out some of our photos to have an overview of the wonderful time we spent together at the XWiki 2018 Seminar.

If you wish to have a glimpse of last year’s Seminar, you can do that by clicking here.

If this convinced you to come with us next time to the XWiki 2019 Seminar, please take a look at our opened positions inside XWiki.

The XWiki HR Team

Jun 28 2018

See you at Libre Software Meeting 2018?

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We will be speaking at the Libre Software Meeting 2018 (or RMLL), in Strasbourg, between the 7th and 12th of July. Our team of participating XWikiers, Clément Aubin, Ludovic Dubost and Anca Luca, will be discussing about building a customized knowledge base in minutes, tips and tricks to finance free software, CryptPad - the Zero Knowledge editor and Open Food Facts.

What is Libre Software Meeting?

Libre Software Meeting is a annual festival open to all, with this year's edition articulated around transdisciplinary tracks. The main track is "Digital education: captivity factory or new emancipation?". The meetings will be in form of talks, workshops, round tables, chatrooms, hackerspaces and creation.

Who will be there?

Clément Aubin

Clement is working at XWiki SAS as an Account Manager, while also being a student at the EISTI and at Grenoble Business School. He's been involved in the free and Open Source software world since 2015 when he joined a student organization named ATILLA, that promotes free and libre alternatives to proprietary solutions. Nowadays, most of his contributions to FOSS go into the development of the XWiki Open Source software, a great project in which he's been contributing for almost a year. Join his presentation, if you are interesting in learning how to build a customized knowledge base in minutes using XWiki.

Ludovic Dubost

Creator of XWiki and CEO of XWiki SAS, Ludovic has been the gentle organizer of the XWiki SAS company for 14 years. XWiki SAS leads the development of the XWiki Software used by thousands of organizations, including Amazon Inc. and helps companies and organizations all over the world organize, share, and collaborate on content. Advanced solutions have been developed to help companies manage support content, sales procedures and knowledge or build complete collaborative Intranets. He prepared two presentations for this occasion, one held on July 8th, at 11:30, regarding CryptPad, the Zero Knowledge software, supporting secure online collaboration, and a second one, on the same day, at 13:00, where you'll discover tips and tricks to finance free software.

Anca Luca

Passionate (web) programmer, open source & free software fan, member of the Open Food Facts community in her free time and working for the XWiki Open Source project as a job. In this talk, Open Food Facts: the wikipedia of food products, held on July 8, at 16:30, you will see how Open Food Facts leverages open source technologies such as Perl, MongoDB, Android, as well as the great power of communities to open data of public interest for health & science, as well as unforeseen applications in your daily life. Open Food Facts is developed and managed by a community of open source, open data and food enthusiasts and is organised as a non-profit association. 

Can I join?

Sure you can! Feel free to attend the meetings that attract you the most either from the ones prepared by our XWikiers or by checking the full schedule on the dedicated LSM page.

Practical information

The Libre Sotware Meeting 2018 will be held from 7 to 12 July at the University of Strasbourg, in France. The meetings included in the tracks start from 10:00 and end around 18:00 each day, with social events lasting until late at night.

Access to the LSM locations by means of public transportation:

  • Central Campus of the university of Strasbourg
    • Université
    • Observatoire
    • Esplanade
  • presqu'île André Malraux
    • Winston Churchill
    • Étoile Bourse

The locations for the meetings: