On Thursday: Open Hadoop User Group Munich

2009-12-16 06:06
If one evening of Apache Hadoop is not enough for you: The next Christmas Meetup in Germany takes place one day later in Munich.

  • When: Thursday December 17, 2009 at 5:30pm open end
  • Where: eCircle AG, Nymphenburger Straße 86, 80636 München ("Bruckmann" Building, "U1 Mailinger Str", map in German http://www.ecircle.com/de/kontakt/anfahrt.html and look for the signs)

Talks scheduled by Bob and Lars:

Bob Schulze from eCircle will be giving the first presentation on how eCircle is planning to use the Hadoop stack.

Dave Butlerdi will be giving an overview of his usage of Hadoop.

Lars George will give a state of affairs of the HBase project. What is it, what does it do and how he is using it (since early 2008).

There is a quick connect via train from Berlin to Munich. So if you are attending the Berlin Get Together, it is very easy to travel south to Munich one day later and visit the Munich event as well.

On Wednesday: December Apache Hadoop @ Berlin

2009-12-14 20:15
This week on Wednesday at 5p.m. the December Hadoop Get Together takes place in newthinking store Berlin.

Talks scheduled so far:

  • Richard Hutton (nugg.ad): “Moving from five days to one hour.”
  • Jörg Möllenkamp (Sun): “Hadoop on Sun”
  • Nikolaus Pohle (nurago): “M/R for MR - Online Market Research powered by Apache Hadoop. Enable consultants to analyze online behavior for audience segmentation, advertising effects and usage patterns.”

There will be videos after the event linked to by StudiVZ (thanks for sponsoring) after the Meetup is over.

As this is the last Meetup before Christmas there will be cookies waiting for you.

If you want to get notifications of future events on Apache Hadoop, NoSQL, Apache Lucene - be it trainings, meetups or conferences - feel free to subscribe to the Mailinglist or join the Xing Group that accompanies the Berlin Get Together.

Photos the traditional way

2009-12-13 21:05
After one year of taking pictures at various occasions and at various places the pile of photos grew frighteningly large:

I am not counting the images taken at Apache Con US Oakland - they are not yet developed. All other photos were taken either with an old fashioned Olympus µ-zoom or a Praktica Nova 1st.

Several hours of work later, I ended up with one more book containing memories of an exciting year...

"Schneeflöckchen, Weißröckchen"

2009-12-13 09:23
First snow seen this morning - seems like finally it's winter:

Apache Hadoop at FOSDEM 2010

2009-12-11 09:19
Though the official schedule is not yet online: I will be giving an introductory talk about Apache Hadoop at next year's FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Developer European Meeting) in Brussles. This will be the 10th birthday of the event - looking forward to a fun event, meeting other free and open source software developers from all over Europe.

If you are a Apache Hadoop developer and would like me to include some particular topic in the talk - please feel free to contact me. If you are an Apache Hadoop user and would like to learn more on the project, please come to the talk and ask questions. If you are an Apache Hadoop Newbie - feel free to join us.

In addition there will be a NoSQL Dev Room at FOSDEM as well. The call for presentations is up already. So if you are doing fun stuff with CouchDB, HBase and friends or are a developer of these projects - submit a talk and join us in early-February in Brussles.

Reminder: Apache Hadoop Get Together next week

2009-12-07 20:16
Just a tiny little reminder: The Apache Hadoop Get Together Berlin is scheduled to take place next week on Wednesday.

When: 16th of December 8PM
Where: newthinking store Tucholskystr. 48, Berlin Mitte
Kindly sponsored by: newthinking store (location) and StudiVZ (videos).

Please register (or use Xing for registration) so planning becomes a bit easier.

Talks scheduled:

  • Richard Hutton (nugg.ad): "Moving from five days to one hour."
  • Jörg Möllenkamp (Sun): "Hadoop on Sun"
  • Nikolaus Pohle (nurago): "M/R for MR - Online Market Research powered by Apache Hadoop. Enable consultants to analyze online behavior for audience segmentation, advertising effects and usage patterns."

Looking forward to seeing you in Berlin next week.

Berlin hospital chaos (Charite)

2009-12-02 08:05
What getting screws out of your knee looks like at Charite: Got sent to "Virchow Klinikum" by my doctor back home: I got some recommendations for it from my colleagues and is easy to reach for me. Called up there earlier this week and got an appointment for today at 8:30 a.m. (was already wondering, that this was possible so quickly). Arrived this morning: But seems like I was out of luck - no one at the hospital knew about the appointment. Obviously it didn't get tracked in any of their systems. Seeing that I was back at Charite Mitte one year ago, they were like "but those screws need to be taken out by the doc who put them in" - WTF? Really great way to start a day - about two hours of time wasted.

Sesat - moving from FAST to Solr

2009-12-01 22:07
The article was first published on Sesat Weblog. As the whole site went down several days ago, I retrieved the content from the Google cache and posted it here for perservation.

Update: Original site is up again.

ScrumTisch Berlin - November

2009-11-26 23:03
This evening Marion organised another successful Scrumtisch: Usually we either meet for timeboxed discussions on Scrum and agile development questions or a speaker is invited to present his favourite Scrum or Lean or Agile topic.

Today Markus Frick gave a presentation of how Scrum was introduced at SAP, a German software company. They started implementing Scrum in a "small" team of about 60 people, organised in about six to seven teams. The idea was to get people together who are already sort of familiar with agile technologies and let them evaluate what works in the companies context at what doesn't. The conversion started with trainings, teams were organised by features as opposed to components. The main goal was to get people to learn Scrum and then spread the idea across the whole company.

Soon upper management were fascinated by the methodology - not shortly after that the goal was reset to converting 2500 employees working at four different locations (Bangalore, Berlin, Waldorf and Sofia/France) on diverse topics ranging from developers to managers to agile methods. The question thus turned from scaling Scrum to quickly scaling the conversion process: Where do we get enough trainers? Where does Scrum expertise come from? How should communication be organised? How do we adapt our sales and governance processes?

The way to do this chosen back than was to use Scrum itself for the conversion process. That is to introduce teams for training and conversion and let them work according to a backlog. Also managers were set up to participate by organising work according to a backlog containing management tasks. This first let to quite some confusion: Conversion does take time and working according to sprint backlogs makes it pretty much obvious how much time it actually takes and how much time people really spent on these tasks. On the other hand, the whole process was made very transparent for everyone - and open for participation.

The process started about two years ago - it has not finished to date and processes continue to evolve, get improved and refined as people go along. A very rough estimation was that it might take another three years to get to a stable, clean state. However most - if not all - problems were not caused by Scrum. They were made visible and trackable by Scrum.

The main take home messages were that Scrum does bring improvement:

  • It makes goals transparent and communicates clearly the current state.
  • You get a short feedback cycle so people actually see where problems are.
  • It inherently allows for reflection and analysis of problems.
  • As introduced here it also made the work of management people transparent by making backlog and velocity of managers accessible by everyone.
  • Internal trainings helped to get feedback from teams who are already practicing what is introduced.

Among the people who were very skeptical there usually were quite a few people from middle management. Uncertain about how future development should work they usually feared a loss in influence. Most positive feedback came from developers themselves: After explaining what Scrum is all about, that is includes shore release cycles and fast feedback, most developers that were in the teams already for quite some time reacted by stating that this basically resembled development "in the good old days" with a bit of development process added on top.

If you are interested in hearing more stories on how Scrum is or was introduced in companies of various sizes, I would like to recommend visiting the German Scrum Day in Düsseldorf. The talk by Thilo Fromm gives a nice overview of how a transition from traditional Waterfall to Scrum can look like. And agile42 Andrea Tomasini will talk about the Scrum implementation in distributed teams at be2 ltd.

Update: This blog post was re-posted at the Agile42 blog.

First Apache Dinner Berlin

2009-11-25 02:33
A few days ago, I received a mail from Torsten Curdt that read something like: "[...] For a long time now I wanted to organise an Apache Dinner Berlin. What do you think, when would be a good time for that?". As that was about the third time I heard of that idea (and the third person mentioning the idea), I included some Berlin-based Apache-people asking whether they would be interested in having an Apache Dinner on November 24st in X-Berg. General answer: Yes! Sure!

The idea was to make it open to anyone interested in the ASF and send invitations to committers who are living in the greater-Berlin-area. Then book a table, have some food, get some drinks...

We met at Graefekiez - we, that is Torsten (Jakarta and Hadoop), Jan and Daniel (CouchDB), Simon+Vera (Lucene), oswald (xampp), Eric (Http Components) and myself - for a great "small menu" at La Buona Forchetta (Thanks to Torsten for coming up with that restaurant and booking the table). After that some of us moved over to a bar close to the restaurant.

After a long evening with lots of interesting (cross-project as well as non-technical) discussions, the general conclusion was to organize another Apache Dinner some time in January after Christmas-time is over:

Thanks guys for a great evening. Hope to see you all - as well as a few more Apache people from around Berlin - in January. Date and location to be set.

Final note to self: No Club Mate for Isabel after 02:00 a.m. ...