The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Hello Yi – our new Berlin curator — October 14, 2013

Hello Yi – our new Berlin curator

“Berlin is a very diverse and vibrant city and has something to offer everyone… Berlin is a great city to embark on new adventures, start a creative project, or collaborate on fresh ideas.”

Yi

We heard you! We’re coming back to Berlin this coming week. We have a brilliant new curator in Aussie expat Yi Chen. Yi has been in the city over 18 months and was looking for something like The Fetch to help her discover what’s happening. She’a a perfect curator in that she’s worked across our core verticals of business/startups, creative/design and tech. Stay tuned as we bring you the best events, jobs and more in our new weekly format.

If you’re new to The Fetch, don’t forget to subscribe here. A big welcome to Yi!

How did you end up where you are today?

In 2009, I left a cushy office job in Melbourne as I was tired of being in a cubicle all day. I decided to head to Asia and fund my travels through freelancing. I eventually ended up at Saatchi & Saatchi in Taipei as the lead digital strategist. Nevertheless, I was itching to explore Europe so I packed up my bags again in 2012 and headed to Berlin. Currently, I’m a marketing freelancer and work with various creative agencies and startups.

Why did you want to get involved with The Fetch?

I enjoy discovering new things and my calendar is often filled with various events, from seminars and conferences, to workshops and meetups. When I stumbled across The Fetch, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to curate events on a regular basis and share them with others.

What things excite you about our community right now?

I like how The Fetch is tailored to the growing number of professionals in different fields and industries. It’s great to see additional cities being added with new subscribers everyday. I’m excited to kickstart Berlin’s newsletter again and catchup with some of the fetchers at the events.

What events do you recommend in Berlin?

Besides music events and art festivals, I really enjoy attending hands-on workshops and classes. For example, learning how to screen print at Betahaus or creating vinyl stickers at the Fab Lab. If you’re also a foodie, you will enjoy the cooking classes at Goldhahn and Sampson and Street Food Thursday at Markthalle Neun.

What’s your favourite thing about your city?

Berlin is a very diverse and vibrant city and has something to offer everyone. I love summer in Berlin as the city really comes to life and everything is happening outside.

What’s unique about Berlin?

It’s a popular European city where the cost of living is still very affordable. Berlin is a great city to embark on new adventures, start a creative project, or collaborate on fresh ideas. There’s a chilled vibe everywhere you go, meaning you can dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant in your jeans and t-shirt.

Where can we find you in Berlin?

During the week you can usually find me on my bike rushing between offices. On the weekends, I’m either brunching or picking up knick knacks from flea markets.

How can we connect with you?

Drop me a message on Twitter via @yiiee or About.me.

If you didn’t live in Berlin, where would you be?

I would love to one day live in New York or Tokyo!

You can also follow Yi and The Fetch Berlin via @thefetchBER and on Facebook. Sign-up to receive our events-packed digest via theFetch.com and get your work life covered!

Interview: Melbourne local, Steven Farlie of OpenTechSchool — January 22, 2013

Interview: Melbourne local, Steven Farlie of OpenTechSchool

This week, we chat to Steven Farlie – the person bringing OpenTechSchool in Australia after he was across the initiative in Berlin. The workshops supporting education and sharing across diverse backgrounds in technology are kicking off in Melbourne next month. Stay tuned for more event announcements in upcoming Fetches and we’ll see you there!

steven

What is OpenTechSchool and how does it differ from user groups, dev bootcamps and the like?

We are a group of volunteers who offer free programming workshops. It began in Berlin back in April 2012, so we are still fairly new. Some of us became quite fond of OpenTechSchool in Berlin and decided to start up local chapters once we left.

Our workshops are fairly small and we like to bring a lot of coaches who are themselves professional programmers. There is only so much you can teach in a couple of hours so we like to keep it practical, keep it fun and encourage people to experiment.

It’s all open technology, and free of charge, so why not just have some fun and poke around?

In addition to the workshops we have a regular beginner meetup. These are usually evenings where we have a couple of talks such as introductions to algorithms or programmers talking about how they started programming. Beginners also share their experiences over the past few months with a particular language or personal project.

You started out with clear positioning saying OTS was for women? What prompted you to change the language?

We started after the first RailsGirls Berlin workshop, so OpenTechSchool is from the women in tech movement but isn’t specifically women in tech, if that makes any sense. We like to think of ourselves as complementary to organisations like Rails Girls and Girl Geek Dinners. There is a strong cross-pollination of coaches and organisers and we hope to keep that going over time. The fact of the matter is that the women in tech scene is the most fun, vibrant and exciting community in technology right now and OpenTechSchool wants to bring that to everyone.

picAn OpenTechSchool session in Berlin

Why do you think it’s important the wider popular and diverse groups learn to code?

The issue of empowerment is often overlooked and yet so much of our lives are controlled by technology. When someone learns how to program then they start to experience technology in a much more informed way. Possibilities open up and people are able to solve problems that programmers haven’t even considered. From farmers managing their crops with Android apps to journalists crunching data with Python you can actually get a lot done without having to be a professional programmer.

One the other side, bringing in a diverse group of beginners actually strengthens the community. Many of the things we do as professional programmers are actually dictated by history or convention, often with detrimental results. Beginners ask the right questions and call us out on doing stupid things that we’ve always put up with before. The end result is that our original assumptions get challenged and a lot of really good ideas come out.

You started out of Berlin – have you noticed many differences between Melbourne and it? Where else is OTS headed?

After Berlin I will never complain about the weather in Melbourne ever again!

Of all the places I’ve been in Europe I found Berlin to be the most Melbourne-like. Both are multicultural, dynamic cities with a lot of new things happening all the time. It’s interesting that there are so many analogues between the two, even in the tech scene. Berlin coworking spaces usually have a spiritual equivalent in Melbourne, though the Berlin ones can be quite large. We both have interesting startups and well established larger tech companies. I say to people if you love Melbourne you’ll also love Berlin.

We’ve been a bit lucky, starting in Berlin. There are so many expats and temporary visitors that movements like OpenTechSchool can spread very quickly. We have plenty of Germans, French, Americans, Australians and Italians on the team, and when people do leave they have a tendency to take OpenTechSchool with them. Stockholm is quite well established now, having hosted several workshops and beginner meetups. Soon we hope to also be in Munich and Paris. We even made a blueprint guide on our website for people wanting to start an OpenTechSchool chapter in their city.

What can attendees expect on the day? What tech knowledge do they need to know beforehand?

All we ask is for people to bring a laptop and a smile. Our beginner workshop does not require any programming knowledge at all. Our coaches are there to help people with any problems that they have. We design our workshops to be at your own pace, so there is no such thing as “being behind”. We try to get a basic level of coursework that most people will finish before the end and then add extra topics for people to explore. All our coursework is free and available online after the course, and all software we use is free so you can continue the journey after the workshop has finished.

What upcoming events should we keep a look out for?

After the beginner Python workshop, well, maybe I shouldn’t say, but… things might get a little political! The past few years have seen a rise in data-driven journalism and some people have expressed interest in seeing what actually goes on behind the scenes. In case you haven’t heard, data journalism is the new punk. If enough interest is there we might do a workshop looking at things like transforming economic and political data into infographics and maps.

Check out the first event with an Intro to Python here!

For a great round-up of upcoming programming events and news from OpenTechSchool plus other related goodness, subscribe our free email digests via The Fetch.

About our Curator // Kate Kendall is the founder and CEO of The Fetch, a community where professionals can discover and share what’s happening in their city. Before this, Kate led product, content and digital at magazine companies, handled outreach for new startups and organised too many communities and events to mention. Follow her on Twitter at @katekendall.

Featured job: UK Marketing Manager, 99designs — December 25, 2012

Featured job: UK Marketing Manager, 99designs

We have an exciting new role here on The Fetch blog. It’s for a UK Marketing Manager for Aussie-founded design-marketplace 99designs. The role is full time and based in London, England with some travel to Berlin (lucky)!. More information is included below –>

99designs

Call the shots and control creative dialogue. 99designs wants you to be one of their marketing geniuses behind the world’s largest and fastest growing online graphic design marketplace.

Today they’re a very successful startup… tomorrow they’ll be the household name for small businesses seeking design, and they want you to be at the forefront of that. If you want to help build an amazing UK community, make a difference to thousands of designers all over the globe and help a rapidly growing startup grow its UK presence, then this is your chance.

The UK Marketing Manager role at 99designs.com screams out for your expertise in bringing the UK community together, globally; using your inner skills and expertise to engage customers and drive sales; evolve a fast-growing startup into a well-known brand; and generally rock the “marketing guru” cap.

Requirements:

  • UK native based in London and with willingness to travel regularly to Berlin European headquarters
  • At least three years’ experience in an internet business, startup or agency environment
  • Proven background in marketing or communications
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to handle multiple tasks and manage time in a consistent manner
  • Established UK network, particularly in the startup and/or agency arenas

Responsibilities:

  • Initiate and execute marketing campaigns, affiliate relationships and strategic partnerships to drive sales of 99designs’ contests in the UK
  • Own sales targets and projections for the UK market. Meet and exceed monthly sales goals and revenue targets across SME marketplace
  • Grow 99designs’ brand awareness among the UK startup, technology, and agency communities through a combination of public relations, networking, sponsorship and other activities
  • Partner with marketing, product and development teams to ensure 99designs.co.uk and all marketing collateral are properly localized and optimized for the UK market
  • Coordinate and execute public relations and social media campaigns in the UK
  • Identify and execute sponsorship and tradeshow opportunities within the UK
  • Represent the brand in a speaking function within the UK

Backed by Accel Partners (investors in Facebook, Groupon, Dropbox), 99designs is the world’s largest online graphic design market place. Since its launch in 2008, 99designs has hosted more than 180,000 design contests for solo entrepreneurs, startups, established companies and not-for-profit organizations in virtually every industry out there. They’ve paid out more than $44,000,000 to a community of 190,000+ designers in just over four years.

With offices in both San Francisco, Berlin and Melbourne, Australia, they are a rapidly growing team with a culture for encouraging passionate people to be fun and creative. Everyone has a voice and everyone shapes our future. 99designs employees enjoy many benefits, including a great working environment, an active social club and an extensive health, dental, vision and annual leave package.

If this sounds like you, they want to know you! Visit www.99designs.com or apply through LinkedIn.

Curator Year in Review 2012: Lisa in Berlin — December 11, 2012

Curator Year in Review 2012: Lisa in Berlin

As the end of 2012 approaches, we thought it’d be nice to have an update from our beloved city curators. Lisa Lang in Berlin shares some of her most appreciated events, spaces and top moments of 2012.

image

Best event for meeting people?

To be honest, I don’t have a ‘best’ event. Berlin offers so many meetups and events – it is hard to say what is the best as everyones taste/needs are different.

Best event for content shared and learnings?

A highlight in town is definitely the Berlin Geekettes – they just launched the mentorship program for women in tech which will help a lot of people accelerate their careers and lives. Another event are the workshops by the Open Tech School – great place to get started with coding!

Personal event stye preference (breakfast/conference/workshop/etc/etc)?

I love the ‘first presentation then drinks’ events – get more knowledge and networking in one evening is the perfect mix.

Favourite source of local community news?

Twitter, SiliconAllee, uberlin.

Favourite coworking space?

Agora Collective is my absolute favourite, but a bit away from Mitte. Betahaus is still a great place to work in central Berlin.

Favourite cafe with wifi?

At the moment Vis a Vis as it close to my university. Melbourne Canteen is cool and has the best poached eggs in town.

What’s been a personal highlight and not so high moment of the year?

Personal highlights where the launch of my Smashing Book No. #3, hosting almost 10,000 people at Campus Party in Berlin and the launch of the Berlin Geekettes Mentorship Program. Not so high moment was the death of Stephen Richards Covey.

What have you enjoyed about being involved with The Fetch in 2012?

Getting to know more awesome events in town and meeting so many passionate people.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Berlin is going to reach another level in 2013. I know a number of events coming to town, more startups and more investors. It will be fast, hard, crazy and absolutely mind-blowing.

Hello Lisa – our Berlin fetcher — April 22, 2012

Hello Lisa – our Berlin fetcher

Berlin. Yep, we’re heading there. It took me all of one week out of a month-long stay to fall in love with the place last year and I’m pleased to see we’ve now got a fetch there. The best part about it? We’ve got the amazing Lisa Lang (@lilaineurope) as our city curator! I first met Lisa at a #socialmelb meetup in 2009 and have followed her journey with interest through her days at Sitepoint in Oz and most recently as head of content for Campus Party Germany and print editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. She’s also calls herself a “Geekette, Podcast Nerd and Whip-Cracker”. And there’s more! She’s bilingual! (She was born in Germany.) Check out more on her LinkedIn.

Lisa will be sharing the best events, meetups, community news, jobs and more in each fortnight’s fetch. You can submit items to her via email here, via @thefetchber, FB and don’t forget to subscribe on http://thefetch.com so we’ll arrive straight to your box. Our first black themed fetch will be sent shortly. As part of Lisa’s welcome, we put a few questions to her:

Lisa Lang

How did you end up where you are today?

Long story, I started as freelance journalist, turned to a photographer, turned into a New Media student in Germany. From there I left for Australia, stay there for five years, started in PR, turned into project manager for web projects, turned into Program Director for web tech/design publishing. Now back in my most favourite city in Europe, fetchin’ for new adventures!

What makes you tick? What makes you ick?

The love and passion for the industry, the people, the projects, the stories. And chocolate and olives (but not necessarily at the same time).

Why do you love ‘fetchin?

I love the hunt; always looking for the next event/meetup, new stories, new people – there is a whole world out there!

What things excite you about our community right now?

The opportunities, the potential – imagine what is possible!

What’s your favourite thing about your city?

The energy! Berlin will go through a lot of changes in the next years and it is just the place to be in Europe right now.

Where can we find you in Berlin?

In one of the bars in Neukoelln Kiez, at coworking spaces, most of the time at some sort of event/meetup/drinks.

How can we connect with you?

I’m @lilaineurope on Twitter.

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