Dev House Berlin 2.0

2009-10-04 20:04
This weekend DevHouseBerlin took place in the Box119, kindly organized by Jan Lehnardt, sponsored by Upstream and StudiVZ. There were about 30 people gathered in Friedrichshain, hacking and discussing various projects: Mostly Python/ Django, Ruby/ Rails and Erlang people.

The first day was reserved for hacking and exchanging ideas. Late afternoon attendees put together a list of talks that were than rated, ranked with the top three chosen for presentation on Sunday. The list included topics on CouchDB, RestMS, Hadoop, Concurrency in Erlang, P2P CouchDB and many more. The first three topics were chosen by the participants for presentation.

During the time at DevHouse I finally got a list of topics and papers up at Mahout TU project - now only the exact credit system for the Mahout course at TU is missing. I got some time to work on Mahout improvements and documentation. Unfortunately I was too tired today to complete the code review for MAHOUT-157 - promise to do that early next week.

Spending one weekend with equal-minded people, being able to pair with someone else in case of more complex problems made the weekend a great time for me. Planning to be there again next year. Thanks to the sponsors and organisers for making this happen.

One year coding with "Das Keyboard"

2009-10-04 19:47
Little more than a year ago, I got myself a keyboard from newthinking store. The special thing about it: It is completely black, except for three blue LEDs. With completely I mean no labels on any key:



My main motivation to buy the thing was not the missing labels (although that certainly does make it a cool gadget). I am typing 8h at work and do spend quite a bit of time in front of my laptop after work as well. So I wanted a keyboard that is fun to use: This includes typing speed and the tactile feedback of each key.

I must admit that today, I am hardly ever happy with any other keyboard - usually my hands start protesting after about half an hour. So, despite some odd looks I get at work, it did help increase coding fun :)

Slides are up

2009-09-30 09:02
The slides for yesterday's talks just arrived. They are available online at:



Videos will be online early next week.

Apache Hadoop Get Together Berlin

2009-09-29 16:38
The Get Together started just a few minutes ago. The room is packed with more than 35 people this time. This is the first Hadoop Get Together in Berlin that will be recorded on video, thanks to Martin from newthinking for doing the recording and post processing as well as to Cloudera for sponsoring the videos.

The first talk was given by Thorsten Schuett on solving puzzles with map reduce. His disclaimer: Working at ZIB Berlin he had a large cluster in the basement to put to good use. However the cluster does not run Hadoop. It is based on Lustre FS and does not rely on commodity hardware. So he implemented a solver for 4x4 sliding puzzles in a map reduce framework targeted for "his" cluster.

Second talk was by Thilo Goetz on JAQL, a language for querying JSON documents that can run queries on top of a Hadoop cluster.

In the third and last talk, Uwe Schindler gave an overview of the new features and performance improvements of last weeks Lucene 2.9 release.

After raffling the Hadoop books donated by O'Reilly, we will move to a bar close by after the talks are over to have some beer and continue discussions. A summary that includes more details as well as links to the slides will be online soon.

Update: I had reserved a table at Cafe Aufsturz close to newthinking store for about 15 people - maybe less, maybe more. We ended up going there with more than 25 people - really glad there were still enough tables left for us :)

Update 2: Next meetup - December 16th, I already got one definite and two tentative proposals for talks.

Apache Hadoop Get Together Berlin

2009-09-29 16:38
The Get Together started just a few minutes ago. The room is packed with more than 35 people this time. This is the first Hadoop Get Together in Berlin that will be recorded on video, thanks to Martin from newthinking for doing the recording and post processing as well as to Cloudera for sponsoring the videos.

The first talk was given by Thorsten Schuett on solving puzzles with map reduce. His disclaimer: Working at ZIB Berlin he had a large cluster in the basement to put to good use. However the cluster does not run Hadoop. It is based on Lustre FS and does not rely on commodity hardware. So he implemented a solver for 4x4 sliding puzzles in a map reduce framework targeted for "his" cluster.

Second talk was by Thilo Goetz on JAQL, a language for querying JSON documents that can run queries on top of a Hadoop cluster.

In the third and last talk, Uwe Schindler gave an overview of the new features and performance improvements of last weeks Lucene 2.9 release.

After raffling the Hadoop books donated by O'Reilly, we will move to a bar close by after the talks are over to have some beer and continue discussions. A summary that includes more details as well as links to the slides will be online soon.

Update: I had reserved a table at Cafe Aufsturz close to newthinking store for about 15 people - maybe less, maybe more. We ended up going there with more than 25 people - really glad there were still enough tables left for us :)

Update 2: Next meetup - December 16th, I already got one definite and two tentative proposals for talks.

AWS User Group Berlin

2009-09-29 16:06
On Monday the first AWS user group took place in newthinking store, Berlin. The event featured talks by Martin Buhr from Amazon as well as presentations of AWS users like Dawanda, Peritor and Sound Cloud.

Unfortunately the most interesting question concerning Elastic Map Reduce was left unanswered by Martin: Does using EMR facilitate exploiting data locality/ rack locality optimizations that are possible in Hadoop? The question on whether Amazon is using the AWS APIs internally as well was answered positively, though of course they did not publish all of their systems infractructure.

Next meeting was scheduled to take place in two months time. Thanks to Peritor for organizing the meetup.

Looking for a dancing school in Berlin

2009-09-24 20:23
I am looking for a dancing school (standard as well as Salsa Cubana) in Berlin Sch├Âneberg. So in case you have any recommendations - please leave a comment.

Upcoming: Apache Hadoop Get Together Berlin

2009-09-23 19:00
This is a friendly reminder that the next Apache Hadoop Get Together takes place next week on Tuesday, 29th of September* at newthinking store (Tucholskystr. 48, Berlin).


  • Thorsten Schuett, Solving Puzzles with MapReduce.
  • Thilo G├Âtz, Text analytics on jaql.
  • Uwe Schindler, Lucene 2.9 Developments.

Big thanks goes to newthinking store for providing the venue for free and to Cloudera for sponsoring videos of the talks. Links to the videos will be posted on , on the upcoming page linked above, as well as on the Cloudera Blog soon after the event. Yet another thanks goes to O'Reilly for providing three "Hadoop: The Definitive Guide" books to be raffled at the event.

The 7th Get Together is scheduled for December, 16th. If you would like to submit a talk or sponsor the event, please contact me.


Hope to see you in Berlin next week.


* The event is scheduled right before the UIMA workshop in Potsdam, which may be of interest to you if you are a UIMA user.

Scrum Tisch

2009-09-23 18:30
Title: Scrum Tisch
Description: The Scrumtisch on October 11th will feature a talk by Mary
Poppendieck.

She will join that extraordinary Scrumtisch at 6pm.

The location is not yet defined yet, because Marion first needs to know how many
of are coming.
Start Time: 18:00
Date: 2009-10-11

Scrum Tisch

2009-09-23 18:30
Title: Scrum Tisch
Description: The Scrumtisch on October 11th will feature a talk by Mary
Poppendieck.

She will join that extraordinary Scrumtisch at 6pm.

The location is not yet defined yet, because Marion first needs to know how many
of are coming.
Start Time: 18:00
Date: 2009-10-11