Berlin trip round-up

29 September 2014  •  Alex Dean

Yali and I are back from the Snowplow team’s trip to Berlin - it was a great visit, seeing plenty of new and old faces alike.

Below the fold I will (briefly) cover:

  1. Wednesday: startups roundtable and DAALA
  2. Thursday: co-up and Big Data Beers
  3. Thoughts on the Berlin ecosystem and our next visit

1. Wednesday: startups roundtable and DAALA

We started Wednesday with a Snowplow technology roundtable with some of Berlin’s large consumer startups, huge thanks to Onefootball’s Onur Akpolat for organizing! All of the companies attending were very active in mobile, so it was great to be able to talk about Snowplow’s new support for mobile analytics in some detail.

In the evening was a Snowplow-flavored DAALA Berlin event at Volksbar in Mitte; DAALA is a monthly digital analytics event organised by Matthias Bettag. Yali gave an overview of the Snowplow platform, followed by Christian Lubasch from Snowplow partner LeROI Marketing, who shared his insights into implementing and using Snowplow at GoEuro, a multi-mode travel search engine.

2. Thursday: co-up and Big Data Beers

On Thursday we de-camped to co-up, our new co-working space in Kreuzburg. Many thanks to co-up for hosting us on Thursday (and me again on Friday) - it’s a very programmer-friendly space, with plenty of Club Mate!

In the evening it was time for Big Data Beers, hosted by German e-commerce giant Zalando in their offices with views over Alexanderplatz. I was speaking alongside Roland Vollgraf, a Data Scientist from Zalando, who gave an excellent talk on how Zalando uses machine learning to determine item weights based on parcel weights.

For my talk I gave a detailed technical introduction to Snowplow:

The talk was followed by a very thoughtful question and answer session, which reflected the deep technical experience of the audience. Questions ranged from MQTT support for the internet of things, through to alternatives to Redshift and precisely how the Snowplow JSON shredding process works. The talk also prompted something of a debate about the merits and de-merits of schemas for analytics, which continued into the night!

Many thanks to Stefan Edlich, Pere Ferrera Bertran and Dave Kammeyer for organizing the Big Data Beers!

3. Thoughts on the Berlin ecosystem and our next visit

This was my first trip to Berlin for Snowplow (Yali’s second), and I was really impressed by how dynamic and technical the startup scene is there. I look forward to my next trip!

Yali will be back in Berlin for the German eMetrics conference in early November - he will be on a panel discussing the future of analytics. We will provide more details nearer the time.