Ben in Berlin

Without going into too much painful detail, much of my work revolves around a software-development tool called git. It’s made by a passionate group of volunteers, who are scattered all over the world and rarely see each other in person, but this May there was an opportunity to meet, break bread, and drink together. We called it the Git Merge, and it was held in Berlin.

Becky and I like to take these opportunities to travel the world together, but we bought something this year that meant we had to make some hard choices. I was going to be on my own for this one. Here’s the last thing I sent her and the kids before 14 hours on airplanes:


And here I am, jet-lagged, and having survived a sweltering 1-hour bus ride.


The hotel and conference venue was the stunning Radisson Blu Hotel. My room had a view of the enormous aquarium tank that occupied the center space of the building. Down below you can see the bar area, where we were to spend many of our evening and early-morning hours.


Git is at the technological center of GitHub, and Berlin has a special place in the heart of many of us (for lots of reasons), so it’s no surprise that many of my coworkers decided to come along. There were something like 40 hubbers in town.

This was a conference practically tailor-made for the team I work on, so it wasn’t surprising to see almost all of us there. Three GitHub employees, two Microsofties, a Parisian, and several Berliners went out to grab some grub.


This photo has not been retouched, the drink actually is that color. It’s called a Radler, it’s made from German lager and lemon-lime Fanta, and it’s not nearly as gross as it sounds.


Here’s what I look like when I’m attending a conference.


And here’s what I look like when I’m giving a presentation that I had 10 minutes to put together.


There were so many hubbers there that most Berlin restaurants couldn’t fit all of us at once, so our options were limited. The place was loud and kitschy, but it was big enough.

This is my friend, colleague, and personal hero, Vicent Martí. His drink was listed in the menu as “for girls with attitude”. He didn’t finish.


Yes, that’s a live polka band. Yes, they’re wearing lederhosen.


We also threw a party for our users and friends at a real biergarten in a park. It was chilly, and we were rained on a bit, but still tons of fun.


This was an amazing experience. Berlin is a beautiful city with many things to love about it, and I look forward to bring Becky back here to really get to know it..

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