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October 06, 2009 by alex

Last weekend the second DevHouseBerlin took place. A public event and the perfect excuse for you to not be available for your non-geek-, girl- and boyfriends during the weekend.


DevHouseBerlin stands in the tradition of the SuperHappyDevHouse. For one Weekend we opened up the office space from finnlabs, rocket rentals and us again to host everybody who is curious about technology in general and programming in particular, offering the opportunity to work on, show off or discuss whatever you like together. We provided music, drinks - especially Club Mate -, food - super delicious deluxe sandwiches - and other basic infrastructure, although our supposedly capable new WiFi router failed miserably on serving 30+ devices.

The 25 available seats were gone weeks before the actual event so we didn’t blog beforehand so that you wouldn’t be disappointed. But as we will move to a bigger office soon we will scale the next DevHouseBerlin too. So here are some highlights and results you missed.

We had an international guest and hero with us, Pat. During the last weeks he got the full blown Berlin tech culture while pairing with us, giving his sphinx talk at rug-b (Ruby User Group Berlin) and joining the dev house, where he obviously had fun although he was constantly besieged by fans ;). He even managed to get some new features for thinking sphinx done (1, 2).

We also planned a realtime battle challenge, a programming game, in which robots controlled by programs are fighting each other. But despite collaborative effort we couldn’t get it running for OS X so alex, till, lukas and pat took instead the challenge to re-implement it with ruby and javascript. A slightly too big endeavor for these two days with so many other things going on. See their progress and fork it on github.

A major source of distraction was the Segway which @jodok parked in the office. Although you look totally dorky it is a lot of fun, even just riding down the corridor.

Dispite the calamity on the corridor Till and Christian proved that you can write web apps fast and well with PHP, they rewrote planet php, a php blog aggregator, in a couple of hours on the first evening.

Dmitry and Hans-Gunther brought a 19” server rack to play around with the Xen Hypervisor, well a 19” rack is certainly the right stage for Xen. Hans-Gunther also saved our evening by providing back-up Internet through his G1 while our router was recovering.

Something else which had to do with big scales was Mahout, a bunch of machine learning libraries built on Hadoop, an open-source implementation of frameworks for reliable, scalable, distributed computing and data storage. Some really mind bending stuff if you ask me. Too bad I missed the presentation by MaineC. If you are still studying you might want to attend her Mahout course at the TU-Berlin.

You and I also missed the discussion about the best editor – emacs or vim – and - even worse - CouchDB in 30 minutes. An Introduction to CouchDB, the schema-free document-oriented Database, given by Jan, the european mister CouchDB himself. Of course he was around all the time during the DevHouse and gave help to get on track with CouchDB and related stuff.

I could rave on and on how cool the second DevHouseBerlin was, but just take a look at the wiki page where you can find more projects, people and photos. So that even if you were not with us this time you might take something out of it.

See you next time at DevHouseBerlin.

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