GDG TalkTime Xmas Special 2014

I wouldn’t have expected to be involved in some tech event so immediately again after organising Hack-a-Lesson but since I have been back in Frankfurt (Main) for work reasons, my colleague and friend Darren Cooper quickly invited me to co-organise a GDG (Google Developer Group) event!

This time it was the TalkTime Xmas Special 2014, basically four talks about Google- and Android-specific topics. Some of those topics were really interesting, like the one about Google’s webdesign framework Polymer that I’m motivated to try out now.

GDG Rhein-Main TalkTime Xmas-Special 2014


Requested by one of our professors Mrs. Prof. Dr. Lemke, we organised our own little hackathon in Berlin last weekend! Since the topic was all around teaching newbies how to code we called it Hack-a-Lesson and invited people to create some nice concepts and ideas that will eventually influence the second volume of Mrs. Lemke’s book Einführung in die Wirtschaftsinformatik.

The participants of Hack-a-Lesson!

Hack-a-Lesson endured two days, Saturday and Sunday, and we finally got 32 people to join and work together in 6 teams while we tried to keep them alive with food and drinks while also observing the event and eventually rating the results (because there were some serious prizes involved, too!).

The team of Hack-a-Lesson: Sebastian, Bao, Tobias and Ben.

It was a great experience and the feedback was more than positive from all sides so far. We were even featured in a long article in the Berliner Zeitung. I’m glad I was able to work as part of a great team and collect new experiences and got to know new people that way while at the same time making other people happy.

Nonetheless for now I’ll return to being a participant of those kind of events again. :)

P.S.: Check out that awesome cake that was made just for that event!

Hack-a-Lesson Cake!

Choosing an Unzip / Extraction Tool for Mac

Is it really called “Unzip Tool”? Or rather archive program? Anyway, I guess you’re already aware of what I’m referring to. Since Mac OS X doesn’t provide the capability of extracting (or creating) certain archive types like rar or 7zip, you’d really need some third-party software for that.

The real struggle is now: Do I choose the (boring) Unarchiver or the recently discovered Keka with such a cool symbol?

The Unarchiver and Keka

But wait, there’s more: iZip and UnRarX also seem to deliver the same features! Oh well, I’ll probably just stay with the tool which has the better symbol.

Free Software for Students

It’s a good time to be a student! Usually students (and teachers or other faculty staff) can already get interesting discounts get from retailers and software companies like AmazonAppleAbletonAdobe and Autodesk (wow, maybe it’s just every company which name is starting with ‘A’?!*).

But recently JetBrains also decided to give their cool DAWs out to students and educators for free. Same goes for GitHub which decided to not only give you a micro account for free for two years but bundled it with additional licenses for other platforms as well: they call it GitHub Student Developer Pack.

*Just to make it complete: Microsoft is also offering lots of advantages for students. My school is for example giving out DreamSpark licenses to every student. That lets us download Microsoft Operating Systems and other Microsoft software for free (even new Windows preview versions or the clunky Visual Studio).


Google I/O 2014 Extended

Heute eröffnete Google seine Entwicklermesse I/O 2014 mit einer zweieinhalbstündigen Keynote, welche weltweit in viele Landen übertragen wurde. So fand ich mich auch mit vielen anderen Interessierten im Frankfurter Silvertower meines aktuellen Arbeitgebers DB Systel ein, um die Keynoteübertragung live mitzuverfolgen. Das Event an sich ist schon eine super Idee und bietet eine gute Plattform zum Austausch und gemeinsamen “rumgeeken”.

Für mich kristallisierten sich zwei Hauptthemen der Keynote schnell heraus: zum Einen möchte Google es Unternehmen und Entwicklern weltweit einfacher machen, Apps und Geräte auf Android- bzw. Chromebasis zu entwickeln, zum Anderen sollen daraufhin auch immer mehr Geräteklassen auf die Androidbasis zurückgreifen. Konkrete Beispiele waren hier Android Auto (mit einem imposanten Kooperationsangebot an Herstellern) und Android Wear aka Smartwatches. Um den Entwicklungsprozess zu verbessern, wurden neue Tools und Features (bzw. deren APIs) vorgestellt, um beispielsweise Webanwendungen während des Betriebs zu debuggen und zu monitoren. Und schließlich gab es auch einen Ausblick auf die neue Android-Version “L”, welche sich aber voraussichtlich nicht so grundlegend verändern wird, wie es die Gerüchteküche schon fast erwarten ließ.

Alles in allem ein schönes Ereignis – den großen Wow-Effekt gab es bei mir nicht, wobei ich durchaus Lust habe, mich tiefgehender mit Android Wear-Programmierung zu beschäftigen (auch in Angesicht des letzten Hackathons zu dem Thema).