Just some notes for myself, in case I do that again.
Setting the scene: I have finally ordered a Raspberry Pi for christmas and have been playing around with that for a bit. Some of the services should be accessed from the web. First attempt was using one of the predefined dyndns services online, but this morning I had the idea to try with one of the domains I already own anyway.
Domains are registered at iwantmyname.com (my favourite domain registrar with a likeable team from New Zealand). My router is a FritzBox that allows manual entry of dynamic DNS services. Most routers will work just as well.
First, login to your router. When using a fritzbox, you need to enable the advanced view. In the German interface, click on “Ansicht: Standard” at the bottom of the screen. Navigate to Internet > Freigaben > Dynamic DNS.
It’s getting more and more too-late-ish, so I’m just writing a review of 2014 before 2015 has passed. As I like lists, here are a few lists. And some non-related photos to go along with them – from Hamburg, Dublin, Millstreet, Amsterdam and Ekern in Ammerland.
A year in projects
Small things, large things, side projects, little experiments or landfills for code, I’ve had them all.
Stickerabo: My idea from the startup weekend (remember?) is still going on. I never thought getting something started involves such diverse tasks. Stay tuned!
festivalfuchs: Heavily inspired by a website that lists cheap gadgets for the US amazon, I’ve built a little site for all things festival related. A fun little project, I’ll give it a makeover when festival season is coming back.
Mieke vs The World: As a birthday gift to my girlfriend I took some time to get started with the Phaser game engine and created a little 2D side scrolling shooter for her. I could see myself building more like this!
Kinect Juggling: The Kinect is a cheap 3D camera. Python is a great programming language. Juggling is a great activity to spend your time with. Couple these three and you get realtime tracking of juggling balls.
My friend Malte Peter is a professional juggler and dancer. He needed a simple website that I then created using the amazing Cockpit cms.
Thanks to more contacts in the circus areaI helped build a website for Mignon Genuss & Spektakel based on YOOtheme’s Warp framework for WordPress.
lambda: It took me a while to understand the concepts of how programming languages work. With a bit of reading and just following the amazing diylisp project, you can build your own functional programming language in half a day of work.
In my student job as a developer for YOOtheme, I have enjoyed working on documentation, support and code of Pagekit and UIkit – and representing the projects in conferences in London, Berlin and Cologne, yay!
A year in concerts
Thanks to my girlfriend, I have started going to more concerts than before. And I’ve enjoyed all of them.
Black Label Society
Notable acts I enjoyed at the Dockville festival: SOHN, RY X, Die Antwoord, The/Das
A year in conferences
Both as an active and passive participant, I’ve attended a few conferences this year. I had never been to one before, so I’m quite surprised to count 9 events in total. Let’s rank them!
31C3, the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg. Wow! I might need to write more about that, actually.
Fronteers in Amsterdam: Amazing conference we went to with all of YOOtheme
First conference ever, and still one of the bests I’ve been to: UIkonf in Berlin
Great organization with interesting talks and my first unconference: JSunconf in Hamburg
Pyunconf: Well organized, but most talks were just not for me.
PHPunconf: Also well organized, but not the right talks for me.
Outside of these, I went to three other conferences with YOOtheme where we represented Pagekit and UIkit:
SymfonyLive Berlin: We were actively presenting and representing Pagekit with the whole development team. A lot of fun.
Symfony Live London: A quick trip abroad to represent Pagekit in the community section of open source projects. And my first international lightning talk… in the deserted section with just a handful of people in the audience, but still.
Joomla! Day Cologne: My very first talk at a conference. Together with Anne, a designer, I gave an introduction to UIkit. Sadly, something went wrong with the equipment, so there’s no recording of it online.
A year in books
Thanks to lesetagebu.ch, I’ve finally managed to keep track of my reading goals. In total, 13 books made their way from paper into my brain. Let’s not talk about this for too long, but here are a few highlights.
Oh, right. There was a list of goals about a year ago. Let’s see.
Play music. At the end of the year I will be able to play at least 3 complete songs.
Well. I have been practising the guitar and Ukulele and still do a fair bit of practising. The one song I can pretty much go through without too much of hesitation is Metallica’s Mama Said. Except for that, there’s only riffs and simplified versions of complete songs. Failed.
Create. Have a software project (…) put the first euro into my account.
Done. It’s not even triple figures, but festivalfuchs has resulted in some Amazon promo cash. Let’s just not substract expenses for hosting and Facebook ads. Oh well.
Travel. Visit 3 places I haven’t been to before.
Been to Amsterdam for the fronteers conference & Ireland for the amazing European Juggling Convention. That’s two thirds. Failed.
Read. (…) at least 12 books.
Done. And exceeded by one. Ha!
Get it done. Make stickerabo happen. I’ll make sure 500 people receive a stickerabo package this year. And I want to get the other thing done: Write a Master thesis.
Write …things other than code and my Master thesis. Could be some form of diary, Nanowrimo in November or the editing of stuff I’ve written before. And at least 6 blog posts. This is number one.
Read. 12 books felt really nice. I’ll do that again.
Travel. 3 destinations is a good number. Do that again.
Do Good. 31C3 has inspired me. I want to give something to the community of people fighting for freedom, privacy and free knowledge. Not sure what that will be, but I will find something meaningful.
Electronics. A Raspberry Pi and a little Arduino are sitting on my desk waiting for me. I want to understand more hardware and sysadmin stuff. So my goal is to finish 2 small projects in this area.
Juggle. A lot of new interests are really nice but I regret not sticking to what I’ve always enjoyed: Juggling. To do something, I will create and upload a new Juggling video this year.
I’ve been thinking about doing some short videos about web development and coding for a while now. Short clips, 5-10 minutes with varying topics. Would be a great way to keep up with talking more English again and to start communicating about topics I find interesting.
This is a first attempt: A short introduction to zsh, an alternative to using bash.
Ever since attending Startup Weekend 2012 in Palmerston North (NZ), I have wanted to visit another one of those great events that happen across the globe. This weekend passed, it finally happened. Right here in Hamburg.
If you haven’t heard about startup weekend: In the course of 54 hours, developers, designers and people of all areas get together to pitch ideas, work in small teams, develop a serious business model, a prototype and analyse the shit out of the market. On Sunday, a group of well picked judges watches the final pitches and selects their favourites.
During those 54 hours, our team was working on the idea of stickerabo.de – and here’s what I learnt in the process.
Pitching an idea won’t kill you. With a few ideas I had in mind, I decided to actually pitch one on Friday. Turns out, all the sweat and adrenaline was worth it. As long as you’re prepared.
Be prepared. There’s a lot of inspiration on how to pitch available online. Building up on the simple structure of Problem – Solution – Call to action helped me.
Listen to your mentors. The two of us were actively discussing our idea with our mentors throughout the whole Saturday. No, you cannot actually code during that time. But having the chance to talk to experienced mentors throughout the weekend helped us have a look at our idea from all sides.
Believe you can come out on top. On Saturday afternoon we had completely sucked all substance out of the idea, drowned it in a sea of challenges and had reached the perfect point to just cancel the whole thing. Only then did we realise what our minimum viable product was.
Don’t launch on Saturday night. If it can break it will break. And you won’t sleep well if you know something is broken.
Launch on Saturday night. Is “Move fast and break things” the new “Keep calm and carry on” already? Either way, shipping stuff and receiving feedback is important.
Iterate. I’m happy we focussed on working on our final pitch from Sunday morning onwards. Brain dumping everything into rough slides, removing the unnecessary and slowly getting rid of all bullet points. That’s what helped us refine our message and narrow down our actual sales arguments.
So that was it. New friendships where made, business cards exchanged (we are so grown-up, eh?). And as it happens, Patrick and I actually won the “Overall” prize in the end. As happy as that makes us, we were completely taken by surprise. I dropped the glass trophy right there – thanks again to one of the organisers who caught it mid-air.
The thing we’ve been working on is stickerabo.de. We offer a free subscription for stickers (think band stickers etc.). You sign up, tell us about your interest and enter your postal address. We go hunting for sponsors who are interested in connecting to their target group on a physical level and are willing to pay us to spread their stickers. I still believe we have a strong concept around that and we are now in contact with potential partners.
With all the excitement of the weekend slowly settling, we are seriously considering following up on this project. Stay tuned. And also look out for any startup weekend happening near you.