Week 286: Amsterdam visit, programming lessons and hacking parliament from within

A massively eventful week that for me took place mostly in Amsterdam where I had tons of catching up to do after a holiday absence of I believe over two months. In between moving offices and traveling, work on kohi moved on apace. We may have something usable by a slightly wider audience somewhere in the next week.

Step into my office baby!

On Tuesday I took the train to Amsterdam and landed at our Amsterdam offices to catchup with Lex Slaghuis and friends about the current state of Open State and upcoming events.

Tuesday was also my sixth twitterversary:

Wednesday I had planned to give a programming lesson. I dropped by at Johan Schaap‘s offices to prepare some stuff and also managed to finally make it to the Stadsbranderij Noord (in our office building) where Kees Kraakman has been brewing the finest coffees of Amsterdam for the past couple of months.

Finally made it to Kees's epic coffee

I pulled something together based on my presentation at the last Hack de Overheid and the tutoring I’ve been doing in Berlin at Open Tech School. The event I made on Gidsy for that sold out pretty quickly and Peer Reach (thanks Zlatan!) offered to let me use their offices, so that came together rather rapidly. On a side note: big data and semantics related startups seem to be statistically overrepresented in Amsterdam right now.

Today's (fourth) office

The evening itself went by in a flurry of code and learning. I decided to use Javascript because that runs in everybody’s browsers and there is a readily available graphical environment to work with: Processing.js. There were quite some snags, but everybody managed to work through the exercises and claimed to have learned a lot.

I really enjoyed giving the class and I mostly wanted to know how much interest there would be for something like that in Amsterdam. Seeing as it sold out rather quickly and that everybody I mention this to says that they too would like to participate, it seems that interest is about as high as in other European countries, but that nobody is doing something yet. I’m strongly considering pursuing this further and create something more sustainable. If that is something you would be interested in, get in touch with me.

‘Black as Death’ the way coffee should be drunk

Thursday was spent in Utrecht where the awesome people of the Village smothered me with great coffee and merchandise. Always a pleasure to hang out in their store and see their enterprise maturing. Kars and I spent the day discussing strategies past and future for Hubbub and we managed to get the entire team together to celebrate the delivery of Beestenbende with a glass of champagne.

That same night I had the pleasure to catchup with most of the rest of Amsterdam’s hackers at the Hackers and Founders meetup.

On Friday I caught up with my agent Tessa Sterkenburg of the Next Speaker about digital things and where the current attention of the market is focused. It seems that our thinking is —as always— a bit ahead of the curve which may make it somewhat difficult to market, but we would not want to be anywhere else.

I quickly visited the Humans next door who are working on their own very nice health tracking app. Then it was another visit to the Open Coop, a visit to my accountant, some work at my old office and then off to the Hague to celebrate the graduation of up and coming GIS engineer Simeon Nedkov.

Then on Saturday we were in the Hague to do a hackathon in Dutch parliament. More on that in a separate post. And Sunday it was back in the train to Berlin.

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