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Upstream Agile GmbH

DevHouseBerlin FTW!

December 10, 2008 by thilo

The DevHouseBerlin weekend is over, but don’t worry if you missed this one. This first one was such a success that we will do more of them.

Thanks to all of those who came, helped, organized and shared their knowledge to make this such fun. I’m not lying when saying that everything turned out to be better than expected.

The upfront organization was minimal. Special thanks to Jan and Alex! We even got some unexpected PR beforehand thanks to an online article about the DevHouse. In response we bumped up the available slots to 20. Which were all filled up soon.

The location Box 119 which houses the offices of upstream, finnlabs and rocket rentals was an ideal location for such an event with its medium large office rooms and a bigger foyer. Box 119 had a solid infrastructure, the WiFi and Internet didn’t let us down once. We even had a decent coffee machine, major factor!

Saturday was packed. I guessed more than 30 people at once filled the DevHouse. Everybody was very open and eager to share. The presentation slots for the evening were filled up already by the early afternoon. I even lost my planned slot because of getting out of bed a bit later than planned.

Right from the beginning major hacking was going on. In the afternoon the talks started. In parallel there was tons of time to chat, eat and hack at will within a very relaxing atmosphere.

PHP raised in my opinion again, after I learned through Falko’s Meta Programming PHP talk that it also has a method_missing equivalent. Nico gave some helpful user experience insights by analyzing start pages on the projector. It’s amazing how many - in retrospective obvious things - you can do wrong on your start page. With Fabian we had a non technical discussion about Economy, after his talk about Fixing Money, which unfortunately left out the solution. After that talk I heard some creepy stories from The Enterprise at dinner.

At 2am at least a dozen people were still in the house. I left at 3:30am still full awake thanks to the optimal Club Mate supply.

Sunday wasn’t that busy. People dropped in later, I had plenty of time to get a presentation slot this time. ;) Some realtime programming battle was going on in the afternoon. You can find Gregor’s battle tank A.I. on Github. Filip showed some quick code kung fu by building a poll app with Django in his talk. This little python Framework is worth a look, if you need to get up small apps fast. My first talk on Bug Fighting with TDD went well. People seemed to be very interested in the subject. I had some time to play with JRuby and was able to get HtmlUnit to run with Webrat, although my solution is still sort of hackish.

CouchDB was all over the place of course with Jan around. He helped interested folks to get it up an running and helped out with problems related to CouchDB. Alex used the time to enhance his CouchDB persistence layer couch_potato. It will make the transition for rails people much easier.

People who stayed late this sunday - which excludes me - witnessed as the very first the rise of cloudplayer the most beautiful online music player in the world wide interweb, that Erik & Henrik gave the last touches at the DevHouse.

These where just some of the talks, projects and peoples that I get to know that weekend. There was so much more as you can see from the photos and the wiki.

Wow, it was just great. And next time will be even better. We will tell you more soon on this ;)