Conference Recordings

And here we go. Most of the recordings of my conference talks in 2016 related to Project Ironman / Pattern Library at trivago have been published. I’m looking forward to the last one to be released hopefully soon. It is the recording from ScotlandCSS which is not online yet.

Let’s start with my first conference talk in english ever. OMG. You need to read my The Junior Speaker article to understand what happened here. Nevertheless although I’ve been stuck in a “Umm…. bascically”-mode at the end people really liked it and the feedback helped me a lot to understand where I need to improve the talk and myself.

The next one in chronological order of the conference tour is my talk at the Symfony Live 2016 conference in Cologne. What an incredible amazing audience. They’ve appreciated and got all my (stupid) jokes. Thanks to my colleague Jan van Thoor for assisting during this talk. I love it. No speaker notes were needed for this talk in my native language. A bit sad that the quality of sound and video is so bad.

Codemotion Amsterdam. The most exhausting talk on my conference tour. I had such a bad night but my performance is way better than in my remembrance. Unbelievable what I was able to do after 90 minutes of sleep in a hostel and 2 liter of coffee before the talk.

In case you watched them all (I hope you didn’t) you might have seen an improvement in performance. I do at least. At Frontend United I sticked completely to my speaker notes and I didn’t walk miles on the stage. Might be related to the fact that I needed my speaker notes.

Looking forward to the recording of my talk at ScotlandCSS. Although I did 7 talks in 6 weeks and had only a few hours of retrospective after some talks I tried to improve with every single one. And the ScotlandCSS was the best one. At least in my remembrance.

The junior speaker

I have been very lucky. I have to admit. But maybe I also worked a lot for what I have achieved.

A lot of things happened in the last weeks and months, I have travelled around a lot, talked a lot, thought a lot and learned a lot.

It is time for a retrospective.

What happened. After we have been very successful with various things we do to our frontend at trivago, like refactoring our CSS or introducing a Pattern Library I wanted to share our experiences not only with articles but also with speaking at conferences. I did my first talk at the PHP Usergroup Düsseldorf in the beginning of 2014. The experiences there empowered and motivated me to continue speaking. I refined my talk and were lucky enough to have my first conference proposal accepted at the code.talks conference 2014 in Hamburg. I talked in german about our very successful adaptive responsive design which we had implemented in 3 weeks in the end of 2013.

It has been amazing. Standing in front of 400 people, being recorded and blended by all those lights. I wanted to continue but 2015 was a year of a lot of groundwork, e.g. for implementing a Design System at large scale. But I used the chance to speak at the LeanUX Meetup in Düsseldorf at an event where also Brad Frost was invited. I talked about our experiences with code and design inconsistency and our first steps adapting a pattern library.

In the end of 2015 we made huge steps forward with rebuilding our UI at large scale. I wanted to share our experiences. After I have done a talk at the Open Tech School Meetup in Dortmund and people enjoyed my talk, I started to apply for various conferences in Europe.

I didn’t expect organizers to accept my talk, so I did 5 CFP’s and hoped maybe one of them will be accepted. I was wrong. 4 of 5 CFP’s have been accepted.

My talks were selected for Symfony Live Cologne, Codemotion Amsterdam, Frontend United and ScotlandCSS. I was a bit surprised and overwhelmed. But I like to get things done, so why not speaking at all of them.

Preparing, training and performing a talk costs a lot of effort. At least for me. It took me hours to come with a first version, which I then performed at a local Meetup – The Webworker NRW. A very nice meetup with a lot of very kind people. I didn’t even know the order of my slides, but I was still able to get my story transferred to the audience. People provided me with a lot of valuable feedback. I was still in the opinion that I don’t need any speaker notes but to do everything spontaneously.

The JSUnconf came in between. A good opportunity for me to propose my talk in the voting session. People liked the topic very much and voted a lot. So it happened that I had the first session with my talk proposal. I should have said that I didn’t had a good night and only very few hours of sleep but this didn’t stop me. My talk performance was I would like to say OK. In regards to less sleep and still don’t using speaker notes I maybe did even quite well. But in the end I have been stuck in a “Umm, basically…” mode. I have been out of vocabularies.  Nevertheless feedback was overwhelming and a lot of people asked questions and I was even asked to do a Q&A session on the next day. At the end – again – I have received very valuable feedback from the attendees.

The week after there was Symfony Live in Cologne. This was a blast. The conference was in german and entertaining the audience in your native language is way more easy than in a foreign language. I realized I don’t need speaker notes in my native language, but when I do talks in a non-native language. The talk was quite entertaining and the audience was so lovely and laughed a lot about my jokes which made it very easy for me to get my talk done in a very entertaining way. Hope to see the video cut soon.

I had a break of 12 days. Then Codemotion Amsterdam. A very lovely and diverse full-stack conference. But I made a mistake, first of all I have learned that you should always take a day off before a talk to be more relaxed and not distracted by other things that can happen e.g. at work. Second, it is not a good idea to try to save some money for your accomodation and so next time I will think twice whether it is a good idea to choose a hostel before doing a talk. To be honest I think I slept 2h. Also because I tend to be nervous but the noise level in the hostel was way higher than expected. But who cares. I had to get my talk done anyways. So I performed, not excellent but I got my message across. Again – shame on me – without speakernotes.

I never did the same talk but always tried to adapted my talk for the audience as well as based on the feedback I got. The challenge for Frontend United and ScotlandCSS was now to get it into a 20 minute and 30 minute slot and make it a bit more technical and use a technique called speaker notes 😉

I did so. Frontend United was a blast. Such a lovely small conference. I am very grateful to be part of it. My talk has been successful. Having speaker notes helped me to keep focus but I was still able to keep a bit of authenticity. I hope my video will be published soon.

Only 3 days later I was in Edinburgh, the showdown of my Project Ironman tour. I have never been that nervous before a talk. It was always a dream since I started with doing talks to be a speaker on a CSS conference. I was very proud and so grateful. But also very nervous. I went on the stage and according to most of the audience I delivered a great talk. I still have to wait for the video but for my personal interpretation this has been the best talk I ever did in english.

Thanks a lot to all the people involved in those weeks, be it with cheering me up, motivating me and supporting me. A special thanks to my colleagues at trivago. You are awesome.

I have also experienced some bad things. It might be natural that people get envy and show you that with words and actions, but those people will always exist. I didn’t expect it would hit me so hard. If 99 people cheer you up and 1 person tries to let you down, the latter will be the winner. I have to work on that.

Also I have learned that you have a lot more responsibility as a speaker than I have initially imagined. With great power comes great responsibility. Especially if you are authentic and love to make jokes about everything including yourself It can be very easy to offend people. This gets worse if you are not a native speaker. People might get your words wrong. On the other hand you might have a great power while being on stage which you should be aware of and choose your words wisely, but you are also very vulnerable in this moment. Every word, every gesture, every facial expression might get tracked and there is no chance to revert any of your actions and words whether they were intended or not.

All in all it has been such a great time. I have done 6 talks on conferences, unconferences and meetups in 6 and 1/2 weeks! Still don’t know how I was able to get all this done. I’m very grateful especially to the organizers and attendees of the mentioned events. I have met a lot of wonderful people. Hope I’ll stay in contact with them.







Recently I am doing Interviews.

It happened that I was approached by the lovely team that organizes the ScotlandCSS conference whether I would like to have an interview with them. Why not, I thought, and did a very nice skype call with Varya which ended up in this the interview you can read on the ScotlandCSS Website.

I really enjoyed doing the interview.

My company asked me a few days later whether I want to do an interview for a new employer marketing project called “tech diaries”. Why not. And I chose Project Ironman as a topic and they asked me whether I can do a short 2-3min Interview about one of our most successful projects at trivago. I did so.

Last but not least I was approached by Cristiano who started a side project about the BEM methodology with interviews with various developers who work on large scale projects. I was very pleased to be the first person being interviewed. You can read the interview here.

Doing interviews is fun. Looking forward for more to come.


The last 4 weeks

A lot of things happened in the last weeks.

The lovely team from ScotlandCSS did a very nice Interview with me and published it 4 weeks ago.

Nearly the same time I published an article about our experiences at trivago with integrating a pattern library at large scale. I shared my experiences with Brad Frost who retweeted my article on twitter. Once again I realized how important it can be to share your experiences and contributing to the community with sharing your knowledge. I have received a lot of very valuable feedback after I wrote this article.

We are very happy about our progress with integrating a pattern library, establishing a Design System and – with this – rebuilding our UI at large scale at trivago.

Not only in web, in general we are finally at the point where Design Thinking became part of our daily business. Read how our Apps Team redesigned the android app upon a Design System.

But I am myself concentrating on the technical part of integrating the Design System / Pattern Library code wise. Also related to the fact that I am a very untalented Designer.

And I am busy with doing talks and preparing for my next talks at Codemotion Amsterdam, Frontend United and Scotland CSS.

A good chance to practice your talk is a nice and lovely Meetup like the Webworker NRW in Düsseldorf. They invited me for practicing my refined version of my talk “Large Scale CSS Refactoring at trivago”.

I did so. And enjoyed it very much.

You can find the slides to my talk at Webwork NRW here.

After that I started to prepare my talk “Pattern Library meets Symfony” for the Symfony Live Cologne 2016. With this talk I wanted to cover more the integration part and the reason for creating the Pattern Library. Basically a talk version of the article above.

But the JSUnconf came in between. As trivago was gold sponsor I went there with my lovely colleagues to help with our booth. Although I didn’t sleep well I decided to propose my talk which I had already in beforehand contributed at the website. I was a bit surprised that so many people showed interested in the topic large scale CSS refactoring and so I received a lot of hearts during the voting session.


And so it happened that I did my talk shortly after the voting (my first talk at a (un)conference in english). It went quite well, although I think there is still plenty room for improvement.

I have received a lot of valuable feedback again and hints for making the talk even better. Also I was very happy about the Sketchnotes @filtercake did of my talk.


I was even asked to do a Q&A / Workshop session the day after to give some more insights and answer some questions. Around 10 people attended it and it was a nice chat about the talk and helped me also to understand where I can improve it. I shared the slides of this talk on speakerdeck. Furthermore my talk was recorded and I am looking forward to the see the final cut.

Next to doing conference talks on the weekend I obviously still had to do my work at trivago. Which I enjoy every day. We did the acceptance of the first business critical element redesign based on the pattern library. And by the way it was our most business critical element. My lovely colleague @DejanUlcej published a great article which covers the challenges behind the redesign from design and UX side.

And then it was already April, the 29th. Symfony Live 2016 in Cologne. Knowing that I was the only Front-End speaker at this conference I took the chance to entertain the people and presented them in a funny and charming way why we introduced a pattern library at trivago and how we currently trying to adapt this to our core product the trivago hotel search which uses Symfony on the backend side.

I did this talk in german and realized it is a bit easier to entertain people in your native language 😉 Same as the JSUnconf talk it was recorded and I can’t wait to see it online soon. I put the slides already on Speakerdeck.

All in all it is completely different to talk to a audience full of back-end developers (I like them) and also it was cool to have some alternation in the Large Scale CSS Refactoring talk marathon.

Now I am really looking forward to do the final refinement of my talk and prepare variations of it for Codemotion Amsterdam, Frontend United and Scotland CSS.

I also once again realized how much work it is to prepare and present a talk. Often I have the feeling people think it is fun and you just open your laptop, pick a already existing presentation and talk about it. No this not how it works for me. The more I appreciate if people thank me for what I am doing in my free time and a big thanks to the organizers of Sensiolabs who even welcomed me with a nice little present.


It is the small things that counts…



Speaker at Symfony Live Cologne 2016

I am happy to announce that i will speaking at Symfony Live Cologne 2016 end of April.

This conference is a german speaking conference, so my talk will be in german but i will prepare all slides in english.

After writing and talking about Project Ironman which was a lot of fun, i will this time focus more on the integration of a Pattern Library in a high performance Symfony application.

By the beginning of 2015 we started building up a Pattern Library, and did a lot a technical adaptions to it, some of them to adapt it to our needs and others to work forward to a smoothless integration into our core product at trivago, the hotel search.

I give will insights on the development of the Pattern Library, the design and business related requirements and technical approaches to integrate it into different appliations.

You can find the Conference schedule here