Web Montag Franken in Nürnberg

Yesterday I attended the Franken Web Montag meetup in Nürnberg. This time the nice folks at insertEFFECT hosted us and opened up their terrasse.

Florian Bailey opened with a talk about Facebook applications. It was quite interesting. To me these applications are just annoying, but I can see now how they are used, and how success can mean making money within Facebook. They made also a test application called ‘Who is the Kitchen Master?‘ (needs account).
I did also try to talk about something, but I didn’t prepare anything. I don’t like to do unprepared presentations. It was a bit about scale up vs. scale out. Lucky sometimes the audience did sidetrack me and we could make some discussions.
Funny details: they used a MySQL book to put the beamer a bit higher!
The rest of the evening was filled with lots of good discussions, meeting new people and drinking lots of bee.. water.
Thanks again for the great evening, to all that attended, and especially the folks at insertEFFECT. Oh, and the pizza did indeed good!
Looking forward to the next Web Montag in Franken!

June Web Montag in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

It was a beautiful day to start with, but rain and thunderstorms did mess with the barbeque planning Germans are famous for. So, lots of people attended Web Montag yesterday!

Darren Cooper opened Web Montag this time. He repeated a few times “1st of September”, which is the next meeting in Frankfurt. For next events he really want to see more non-technical presentations. I think that’s indeed a good thing. Darren also got some good jokes, seriously!

Andreas Demmer was first speaker, talking about Presentation Zen. It made us, the other speakers look bad afterwards.. just kidding! I knew bits and pieces about this approach for doing presentations, but it’s what it is: an approach, not a method. I still can learn lots.

My talk was about MySQL Proxy, but to be honest it went not well. First of all, my cold was still there, speaking through the nose. Additionally, I have a terrible buzzing in my left ear making my voice irritating me and I was looking to much for the German words. I’m not really preparing enough for these short talks. Anyway, there will be video about it!

The important links are:

Michael Vog talked about the Google Web Toolkit or GWT. This was probably nice of the Web Designers in the audience. Particular interesting for me was the talk about Selenium IDE by Thorsten Biedenkapp. I’ll probably never use it, but I made something similar in my previous job testing regressions and errors in websites. The last speaker, Sebastian Fastner, introduced the audience to OSGi. So, quite some Java stuff that evening!

Next Web Montag in Frankfurt am Main is on 1st September 2008, and if all goes well the following is on 1st December. Hopefully more talkers will be present, and not doing to much technical stuff. Maybe some ‘tracks’ can be introduced, but that might it make to complex again.
Was a nice evening, hope everyone enjoyed and learned something. Or at least got interested in checking out more stuff!

WebMontag in Nürnberg, Germany

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend yet another WebMontag session in Nürnberg this time. Somehow I’m getting a taste for it. The venue this time was not a concert hall, but a meeting room at NIK (de), an organization helping businesses and start ups (it’s more than that really). Free drinks, beamer, and a good crowd!

The show started at 18:00 and people were already discussing stuff. I thought I was to late, but at 18:45 we started with a welcoming speech and going around the big table so everyone can introduce himself.

The first presentation by Tobias Lampe was about a new idea: WhatsYourPlace (de). Interesting because people can virtually buy a spot of the world through Google Maps for real money. So they become virtual owner and take care of the place online. It reminded me of the nutcase in The Netherlands selling parcels of the Moon, but this is not to become real owner thus, more a game with real money (like, poker?!?).
The project is pretty new, started November 2007, but I’m curious how it evolves. To bad it’s not open for everyone yet, only in German right now, a problem of lots of companies and startups: not thinking global while the medium, the internet, and the market is global.
Now, I forgot to ask if the backend is MySQL, weird. (It is written in PHP.)

Second talk by Daniel Cieslar (de) was about Novinet‘s new tool to make “nice”, funky, animated banners, on the fly, using a web application. I’m not sure if it’s really that new, but the tool behind looked pretty neat. It’s a bit like making images on the fly really. Well, I’m not for banners, but it keeps the world turning (no pun intended).
Another tool presented was Calcolo (de). A tool to make invoices, offers, kind of CRM thing. However, it’s downloadable, and consequently can run on localhost, and that makes it again interesting.

Then it was me. After folks got refreshments, I started presenting again MySQL’s history as a company and the Sun Microsystems deal. It was a bit like last week, but I left out the technical stuff, or didn’t go in detail. Instead I went on talking about MySQL Proxy which might be interesting for startups or for new projects. This was well received, but I didn’t do a very good job explaining it (partially because it was in German and the matter still a bit new).


Next I picked up some discussions that went on during the other presentations. I exposed the attendees to my personal view on Web 2.0, which is “Been there, done that. Think about Web 3.0 or the next big thing too”. OK, one needs to make money and keep busy, so that’s still on going. But we can also start thinking a bit, or maybe it’s already to late?

Some more discussions followed about scaling, backing up data and replication. Somehow I felt the need saying to take any data seriously. So making backups and tuning the database is very important. Not putting a bit money or energy is might make a startup a ticking time bomb.

My train-alarm was meanwhile going off on my mobile, so I had to leave when the “What’s Web 2.0 anyway?” discussion was ongoing.. But I left with a note: “Web 2.0 OK, but it’s only good when running MySQL!”. Well, I was joking, and they understood, lucky me! Well, it’s great people are choosing MySQL of course, but I’m not religious about it.

Yet another great WebMontag indeed!

(And my first experience with Nürnberg the City, didn’t know it was so big!)

WebMontag in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

I drafted some blog entry about last week’s WebMontag (de) session in Frankfurt am Main but somehow I managed forgetting posting it.
It was my first experience with the WebMontag events, so I didn’t really know what to expect. However, I’m happy I attended and talked there!

The venue, Brotfabrik, is already worth mentioning. Picking up Pierre Kerchner (de) by car, we bumped into Dirk Friedenberger (de) arriving: always good to know people first time going somewhere.

The planned presentations were:
  • Andreas Demmer gave a talk about how web designers can run browsers not written for the OS one develops on. He mentioned among other things VMWare, VirtualBox and Wine.
  • Matthias Kehm (de) spoke about how to get the search engines read your Flash enabled websites. Trick is to get the content into a javascript thing, so when the browser is looking at it, it will show the flash. The robot will get just HTML. I’m not a Flash lover, but that was pretty neat. Nothing knew, but you have to know!
  • Dirk Friedenberger presented a Ajax bomberman game (de) with Tomcat backend. I must say I was quite impressed what he made there. Nice showcase!

I went also on stage, and for the first time doing it in German! And I must say I really really enjoyed it. The audience was also cool, so that helped to overcome my little stress with the language in the beginning. The talk went a bit about the history of MySQL as a company. Still lots of people have no clue there is a company behind it. I continued with the acquisition by Sun Microsystems, mimicking Kaj Arno‘s talk in Munich (Germany).
The talk ended with an overview what’s coming with MySQL 5.1 and 6.0, since I really didn’t prepare for it. However, I had a blast! Feedback was great too!