All posts by Julia Schuetze

Source Code Berlin’s Valentine is Free Software

Only one year is Source Code Berlin old and it has already fallen in love – with Free Software.

ilovefs-heart-small-enSeveral occasions manifested that love in 2015 and to keep the spark going. Thus we wanted to use this occasion – today’s International Day of Free Software – to recap why we fell in love with it last year.  

The year started off with meeting free culture enthusiast and Wikidata Project Manager Lydia Pintscher who got us hooked on Free Software with her passionate talk about how it can empower users. Free Software also went mainstream with companies picking up on the trend but Lydia noted that as commercial interest grows, the important aspects of Free Software that it cannot just be used but is rather an ongoing project of a community shall not be compromised by the new development as companies might only interested in the power of users as a side effect.

We also learned how others got hooked by Free Software. Kathleen Danielson shared with us her first experience with it as she was in university. She discovered new social networks which were “fascinating because they created different ways for people to interact with each other.” This together learning aspect helped her to meet friends who were already deeply involved in Free Software communities and would introduce her to different ideas about open source, free culture and why it is important. Ultimately it became important to her.

Then we met Jan Lenhardt from hood.ie, the web server for your app who believes in the open web which relies on Free Software heavily. Sam Muirhead then took this idea even further and introduced us to the idea of  an open source circular economy. In this context Free Software can be the starting point of an economy of open source. Major institutions are already bandwagoning on the idea and starting using Free Software, a good example being Munich.

Thus the future looks bright for Free Software. We are looking forward to meet more Free Software folks this year. Thank you to all the contributors and keep the spark going!

Listen back to the episodes:

Beyond Poor and Sexy Berlin with Lydia Pintscher

Gender, Community and Identity in Open Source with Kathleen Danielson

Databases, Javascript, and Society: Unlikely Heroes and Personal Convictions with Jan Lehnardt

Sam Muirhead on Video, Clothing and Circular Economics with Sam Muirhead

Writing easy to maintain code – a talk by Jeroen De Dauw

A talk by Wikimedia’s very own developer and Software Craftmanship advocate Jeroen De Dauw about how to maintain code.
A significant amount of time is spend on reading code, sometimes more than on writing code. Jeroen asks questions like how does elegant code tend to rot over time, and what can developers do to prevent that? In this short talk, a series of common pitfalls and ways to avoid them will be outlined. Specific tipps show how you can apply the useful ideas for maintaining code right away.

You can find more on Software Craftmanship on Jeroen’s website.

MissingNo., my favorite Pokémon, a talk by Igor Wiedler

The Pokémon series featured some spectacular glitches that can teach us a lot about programming, computers and distributed systems. Igor Wiedler enthusiastically talks how users can gain the opportunity to change outcomes by applying the act of programming as a subversive measure, when programs diverge in unexpected ways.  Breaking the rules can open up new worlds! Especially in the world of Pokemon. If you want to know how, then watch this talk.

Struggle with death or how I survived my Fitbit – a talk by Andrea Knabe

As a non-coder but very enthusiastic about technology, Andrea Knabe encourages non-programmers to start coding. She talks about her very inspiring action of re-programming Fitbit (fitness tracker app) to modify it according to her needs. Fitness trackers are focused on weight loss and encourage to be more active. However, that is not always useful. When you are unable to eat, have no hunger and loss of appetite, the aim is not to lose weight but is not to die. Andrea shows how technology can work against you and what you can do to change that. Watch in this video how she changed the Fitbit app to work to her advantage

What to do with all this open data, a talk by Lucie-Aimée Kaffee

There is so much you can do with open data! Lucie Kaffee shows three totally different projects she worked on over the last months. Learn about:

“A Tree Of Life” build with the data of Wikidata”
“Markets-Berlin Project” based on data from Berlin Open Data”
“Phones Don’s Grow on Trees Project”

Lucie puts special emphasis on the different possibilities we have with open data, the different sources data can come from and the struggles and advantages is has when we use data from different sources.

Gamify Graphentheorie: The story of Wikigame by Yetzt

How fast and efficient can you click through the Wikipedia – from one article to another? Six degrees of Wikipedia was made into a game for re:publica, Europe’s conference about internet and society. Watch this and find out about all the secrets. Also enjoy how our participants try to get from the article about “Sexualpraktiken” to “Hillary Swank”. The Wikigame is on!

Find out more:

re:publica 2015 – Six degrees of Wikipedia 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taaR3lNZ3Rs

https://re-publica.de/session/six-degrees-wikipedia-0

Yetzt on Github

https://github.com/yetzt/wikigame-js

My favorite Open Data things by Walter Palmetshofer

Open Data is the idea that some data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.
Walter Palmetshofer from the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany shows us which great things can be done with Open Data.

About Open Data:

“Ensuring interoperability is particularly important because it allows for different datasets to be conjoined, thus building new, more complex datasets and revealing more insights” (Open Knowledge Foundation, cited in Kitchin, 2014:52).

Open Knowledge Foundation Germany: http://okfn.de/

 

The unexpected side of web development – Or: I was told there would be no math by Daniela Berger

Daniela Berger talks about a few non-standard web development projects she has worked on in the past. Take a detour through Second Life with Daniela and listen to her stories about being  one of the early Silverlight apps writers – juggling geo coordinates and the matching maths.

http://nordlicht-development.de/blog/
https://twitter.com/DanielaKayB

How Improv Theater makes me a better developer by Mirko Fichtner

This Tech Talk is about an exciting and new connection – Theater and Software Development.

At EnthusiastiCon 2015 Mirko Fichtner showed how principles of Improvisational Theater relate to Software Development. Prominent examples are the aspect of receiving feedback from the audience or the element of positivity, for example when an actor acts out something that the idea is taken up by all other actors on stage in return. He uses these examples as metaphors to explain his programming experience.  “Impro theater comes out of nothing and turns into magic, just like programming,” he concludes.