Tech Work

TYPO3Camp Rhein Ruhr #T3CRR


Last weekend I also visited the TYPO3Camp Rhein Ruhr at the Unperfekthaus in my hometown Essen. My partners in crime Lars and Jaume were hardcore and went straight to the conference on Saturday after our trip to Hamburg. Being a family man, I took Saturday off to spend time with my wife and kids and let my colleague Alex check out the first day.

To make up for being absent, I proposed my gitflow talk as a session and fortunately it was voted in. Thanks for all the interest in this subject. It really is humbling and quite an honor. I liked presenting the gitflow process and giving a quick demo of the command line git plugin and I hope it had some value for the audience. You can still find the slides at github.


You can find the rest of the talks on the TYPO3Camp website. Also take a look at the sponsors who made that great event possible!

It’s worth mentioning that I also won a prize 😉 One video2brain training. Thanks a lot, Monika and #T3CRR! And another shoutout to twt.de for making this possible.

Tech Work

Developer Conference 2013 #dchh


I have been lucky to attend devcon 2013 this year. A big thanks to twt.de for making this possible. I’ll try to recap the conference, although it might be hard because so many things were going on.

First, some basic info about the conference:

The first thing I noticed even in my preparations before the conference was the broad approach in the talks and presentations. They really had subjects for almost everybody. And being kind of a generalist myself, this meant conflicts of interest in almost every slot. Which is a kind of luxury problem not many conferences have 😉

Here are some of my personal highlights of the conference:


Citing @muhdiekuh: „An IT Conference in a multiplex cinema is a no brainer.“… It was very refreshing to read code on slides from the last row of the room. Cinema displays are very well suited for all those gory details of tech presentations that get lost on a 800×600 low-res beamer. Everything was crystal clear and the big screen sometimes dwarfed the presenters which also led to some funny tweets all the while 😉 But really: THAT is the way to show slides!
One thing that kind of sucked about the cinema was that the foyer definitely isn’t meant as a place for hosting 1500 people at once. It is normally just an area that you pass through on your way out or your way in. Grabbing something to eat and talking to people was sometimes a bit packed. But I’d take that if I can have the big screen any day of the week 😉


Tarek mentioned that they had Sarah, a professional event manager, working on the conference preparation for quite some time. This showed in many details, big and small. You found lots of people to ask questions about org-stuff and using cinemaxx staff for food and drinks was also brilliant. The coat check was also a nice detail and the overall organisation went smoothly. Kudos for all that small stuff which can really make the conference a pain if it doesn’t work.


The food was A-MA-ZING! Be it the nachos and popcorn at the cinemaxx or all of the food at the social event – it was nothing I expected, quite frankly. Some of my foodie highlights were the sea-salmon burgers, the currywurst wagon and the ready-prepared salad bar. Knowing three speakers (and their special treatment regarding beer coupons), there were always enough coupons to get drinks that night. The Hühnerposten was a very nice location as well and it needed some discipline to end the evening and return to the hotel to be fresh again for the next day.


Now to some of my favourite sessions
The elasticsearch. talks ([1], [2]) were all very well prepared and had some nice uses-cases and demos to make you immediately want to try out some of the features, new and old. Also, it is always nice to compare that to the Google Search Appliance stuff that we are also very fond of at twt.de. Competition keeps you honest, I guess 😉
I also really liked the Neo4j talk. I am looking forward to version 2.0 now as some of the features will really drive the product forward. And who knows, maybe there are projects on the horizon someday. Graph-databases will definitely be relevant in the future and Neo4j does have some compelling features there.
I was a bit irked about the Zend Framework 2 session, but that might stem from the fact, that most of the best-practices seem like common sense to me and that I keep up with ZF2 use-cases for our projects anyway. Some nuggets of wisdom were to be found nonetheless, albeit very small ones 😉
Being a CMS guy, my motivation to see Marios React talk was more informative and it was interesting to see the Javascript XML stuff used in React.
And two more „meta“ kind of talks were also really entertaining: Judiths „Retrospektiven“ and Dr. Johannes Mainuschs „be nerd„, full of crazy ideas and pencil drawings with a big dose of real life bullshit bingo.


Three is Company
Last but not least it was great to see all the friends and colleagues and talk about the sessions. It’s always good to discuss matters further and go deeper with the subject at hand. Being able to do that in a constructive setting is best. And although it was an exhausting trip, I never regretted taking it with Lars and Jaume 😉

Private Tech

The Zen TV Experiment

Broken TV Set

Lately I have been pointed to an interesting experiment about television. It is called The Zen TV Experiment by Adam Shand. I found it to be a very interesting read and I recommend you check it out although it is a bit longer than your typical 140 characters that we are so used to nowadays 🙂

It is basically a small experiment everybody can do themselves and it teaches us a lot about the television and its effect on our lives. Having studied media myself, I can relate to a lot of the scientific arguments – and watching television from time to time, I can relate to the described effects as well. In the experiment, you are basically asked to analyze television from a purely technical perspective to see what really happens when you are watching it. To look at the atoms of what makes the tv experience. Go read the piece and come back after that 😉

To me, it is not merely a question of the Technical Events – which are a big part of the experiment – that are manipulating our perception of reality and our own lives. On a more abstract level, there are also mechanisms that capture our brains and make it stay with the program for a lot longer than we initially intended to. In television programming, a principle called flow is used to perpetually keep us interested in the next episode, the next news show, the next part of the movie.

Flow is the reason that the commercial breaks are the longest in the middle of a show and not between shows. Our brains are wired to solve puzzles and to want to figure stuff out. That’s why you see so many teasers for the story line of the next crime show while you are still watching the afternoon cooking show. The flow preps your brain to be interested in what really happens and to stay with the program to figure that out. The nasty fact is that this works even for shows that you have already watched a few times. It is something that even people who know the principle and recognize the mechanism can’t really defend against when they don’t consciously discipline themselves to turn the tv off. Maybe you know the feeling of: „after the next show I will DEFINITELY turn the tv off“ and then find yourself still zapping at three in the morning.

So Flow in combination with the basic flood of technical events really makes it hard for all of us to turn the tv off. It might be best to not turn it on in the first place. Maybe we can start with the Zen TV Experiment and see for ourselves. Take care 😉

Image from Flickr User schmilblick

Tech Work

DevCon and TYPO3Camp RR


Next week it’s travel time again. First, I am going to visit Hamburg again and have a look at what the Developer Conference has to offer. I am really looking forward to the event and I am thankful, that TWT has again made it possible for me to participate in the event. That’ll be November 7th and 8th for DevCon.

TYPO3Camp Rhein Ruhe 2013

As if that wouldn’t keep me busy enough, I’ll also be participating in the TYPO3Camp Rhein Ruhr in the Unperfekthaus in my hometown, Essen. It’s the first time for me on a CMS specific conference, but maybe they’re also interested in my general git-flow talk there. I’ll throw my hat in the ring and we’ll see what comes of it. The TYPO3Camp will be held on November 9th and 10th.

I’ll post updates regarding the talks and workshops I see here on the blog so stay tuned.

Allgemein Tech

PHP Unconference 2013

Wow, a whole year passed since last year’s Unconference. This time we were able to visit Hamburg with 6 developers from TWT (thanks again for the support) to rock the (un)conference.

For me, the Unconference is always a very intense three day event. To make it even more intense, I decided to also propose a talk this time. So I through my hat in in the ring for „Versionskontrolle mit git-flow“ as we are currently implementing git-flow in our teams.

And it seemed to hit a nerve as I got voted in to give my talk in room H2 at the Geomatikum. A big thanks to everyone who voted for it. Being in the first slot was a bit of a challenge, but I hope people were entertained at least 🙂

For those interested in the subject, you can find the slides at Github.

After that I was a bit relieved and could concentrate on taking in the atmosphere, the great food and the very interesting talks other people held.

Of course there was too much good stuff to see so that we all had to pick. Here is my schedule:

You can find slides for the talks at the Unconference Wiki.

Not to forget the social aspect. We met with a bunch of colleagues, ex-colleagues, acquaintances, gurus, experts and Star Wars characters:)

Naturally there’s lots of entertainment in HH.

I hope that next year’s Unconference will feature another one of my talks and I am looking forward to the next incarnation…

Take care 😉


jQuery 2.0 und Plugin Repository

jQuery 2.0 released

Die neue jQuery Version steht seit dem 18. April zum Download bereit. Es haben sich einige Änderungen ergeben, die vor allem auch mit der Abwärtskompatibilität Schluss machen. Viele Entwickler haben darauf gewartet, dass endlich die vielen Hacks und Sonderwege für alte Internet Explorer Versionen entfernt werden, damit  der Code wieder schlanker und damit natürlich auch performanter werden kann. Aber: Die IE Unterstützung beginnt jetzt tatsächlich erst mit Version 9…

Um aber weiterhin jQuery auch mit älteren Browsern einsetzen zu können, wird nach der 1.9er Version eine 1.10er kommen, in der auf jeden Fall Sicherheitsupdates und kleinere Bugfixes weiter gepflegt werden. Die 2.0er Version ist übrigens API-kompatibel mit der 1.9er Version und das jQuery Migrate Plugin kann hier ebenfalls beim Update unterstützen.

Eine immer größere Bedeutung kommt den jQuery Plugins zu. Viele Funktionen werden hierüber nachgerüstet und manche Seiten sind ohne jQuery Plugins gar nicht benutzbar. Um der immer unüberschaubarer werdenden Flut an Plugins Herr zu werden, gibt es mittlerweile ein zentrales jQuery Plugin Repository, in dem die Plugins auch bewertet werden können. Unter plugins.jquery.com findet ihr die Übersicht und auch die Bewertungen der einzelnen Erweiterungen.



Native App vs. HTML5 Webapp – Forecast.io Artikel


Im Forecast Blog haben die Entwickler der populären Wetter-App ihre Gedanken zur Entwicklung für mobile Geräte zusammengefasst. Sie widersprechen der weit verbreiteten Meinung, dass native Apps der einzige „Way to go“ ist, wenn man schnelle und performante „Apps“ für mobile Geräte entwickeln will. Ihre eigene App ist als HTML5 App implementiert, fühlt sich aber wohl für die meisten Benutzer wie eine native App an. Sie nennen es: „Eine App, die man aus dem Web installiert“…

Sie geben am Ende des Artikels einige Tipps, wie man das erreicht. Ich fand besonders interessant, dass es wirklich auf einen „hybriden“ Ansatz hinausläuft, der nicht zwischen nativer App und Website streng unterscheidet, sondern durchaus Dinge wie GPU-Optimierung von CSS Transformations berücksichtigt. Auch das Look-and-Feel sollte möglichst Elemente beider Welten vereinen, damit man beim User keine falschen Erwartungen weckt.

Insgesamt ein sehr interessanter Ansatz, den man bei eigenen Entwicklungen berücksichtigen sollte.



Google Maps Engine Light

Google Maps Engine Light

Wenn ihr einen Google Account habt, könnt ihr mit der Google Maps Engine Light herumspielen und eigene Maps zusammenstellen. Hier könnt ihr Layer mit eigenen Informationen über das Kartenmaterial von Google legen und diese Informationen auch noch elegant und flexibel stylen.

Ihr könnt verschiedene Karten abspeichern und wieder laden und sie nachher dann auch freigeben. Entweder privat an andere Collaborators oder auch Öffentlich im Web.



Respektvolle Validierung

Auf websec.io habe ich letztens einen interessanten Artikel über die Respect Validation Engine gefunden. Laut dem Beitrag handelt es sich um die de-facto Standardbibliothek zum Validieren von User Input in der PHP Community. Ich kannte sie bisher jedoch noch nicht, deswegen wollte ich gerne auf die umfangreiche Library hinweisen. Vielleicht hilft sie ja in dem ein oder anderen Projekt.

Die Bibliothek kann einfach per Composer als Dependency zu einem bestehenden Projekt hinzugefügt werden und bietet jede Menge interessanter Validierungsroutinen „out-of-the-box“. Natürlich ist sie auch flexibel erweiterbar durch Callback Funktionen. Und natürlich kann man verschiedene Validierungsregeln verketten oder auch bestimmte Regelketten zur Wiederverwendung zentral definieren.

Innerhalb eines Zend Framework oder Symfony Projekts kann Respect auch deren Validatoren mitbenutzen, sofern sie installiert sind.

Für Beispiele lest ihr am besten den Beitrag und schaut euch das Projekt auf github an:


Die 5 wichtigsten Programmierbücher für DHH

Viele von euch kennen sicherlich David Heinemeier Hansson, den „Erfinder“ von Ruby on Rails und Partner bei 37signals. Er hat mit seiner „opinionated software“ eine Menge bewegt und natürlich auch viele Menschen provoziert.

Ich selber oute mich hiermit als kleinen (oder großen) DHH und 37signals Fanboy. Daher fand ich es sehr spannend, die für David 5 wichtigsten Bücher mal im Überblick zu sehen.


In der Kürze:

  • Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns
  • Refactoring
  • Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
  • Domain-Driven Design
  • Are Your Lights On?

Ich werde mal schauen, dass ich die fehlenden Exemplare noch besorge und mal durchschaue. David geht in seinem Beitrag natürlich noch genauer auf die Bücher ein. Also schaut auf jeden Fall rüber 😉