3 friends and 1 mother were heading down to the christmas markets in Innsbruck. The two semi knowledgable german ish people were explaining to the mother about taxation in Germany. Two great examples

  • Kirchensteuer – Church Tax
  • Luftsteuer – An Object Tax when an object you hang outside your property extends into public space (i.e. a sign over a pavement or a cigarette vending machine)

The drive continues and we notice that we cant see the mountains.
oh – you mean someone forgot to pay their mountain view tax? hence the phrase – bergblicksteuer was started in our group.

Living in Munich – its not hard to see some mountains – but the weather doesnt always play ball you forgotten to pay your bergblicksteuer.

Instagram has a small growing collection of photos tagged with #bergblicksteuer

instagram #bergblicksteuer screenshot
instagram #bergblicksteuer screenshot

my first time abroad

I guess it was 1995 or 1996 when some friends of mine at Uni declared they wanted to go via Eurotunnel to EuroDisney (now DisneyLand Paris) for the day. I didnt have a passport – so had the joy of getting quickly a British Visitors Passport from the postoffice to be able to join them. The old British Visitors Passport was a simple booklet with a picture, no where near the security standards we have in our passports today.

Why remember this now? Well I just managed to secure a Starbucks YouAreHere mug for DisneyLand Paris. My collection of mugs brings back so many memories from friends and places visited.

oktoberfest 2020 cancelled

So with the Corona pandemic going on around the world, the question in munich was not “If oktoberfest will be cancelled?” but “When will they cancel oktoberfest?”

So on Tuesday 21.04.2020 the decision was announced. No oktoberfest in 2020. Of course the oktoberfest has been cancelled before – during World War 2 and Cholera outbreaks. has a good historical overview of the various non events.

Of course it’s a big hit on the economy of Munich and the business & people who live from in the income it brings but I hope they are all supported from the city and state to come back in 2021.

Another view point – maybe it was a lucky escape as the poster chosen for 2020 was damn ugly!

Oktoberfest 2020 poster

the same procedure as every year…

over christmas, I caught myself replying to a british friend with the comment “the same procedure as every year”. Funnily enough the comment was lost on him, but a german would have known straight away and replied “the same procedure as every year miss sophie”.

Dinner For One was a British comedy sketch in an end of the pier show, which somehow found its way onto German TV every new year. Its now a tradition, a very big tradition. Its shown multiple times on the 31st and has been recoloured as well.

Older brits will know the name of Freddy Frinton who plays the butler, but very few have actually heard of the sketch – much to amazement of most germans.

Happy new year!

catchup after fin:code

fin:code in Frankfurt was a great chance to catch up with industry peers and exchange ideas on devops and devsecops. its been a while since I hosted a worldcafe but 2.5 hours of running conversations with a different group of people every 30 minutes – but it enabled me to get a great insight into the devsecops topics and pains people have in their enterprises.


I wanted to share two topics from my presentation that I gave about PAYBACK and devops. first is a video from a colleague about our dashboards we have around our office space. this is how we share our metrics and information.

I also wanted to talk books – I was slightly suprised that not all hands went up when we talked about The Phoenix Project. if you are involved in devops or on the periphery – get it and read it. its not heavy weight read and it brings an easy insight into what many people consider the mystical world of devops.

If you are a devops engineer and you struggle with some of the leadership parts, or if you just struggle in a leadership role – get Leadership Plain and Simple by Steve Radcliffe . the book talks about the idea that leaders need to decide what the future looks like, engage the staff around them that they believe in the solution and then finally deliver it.

FED – Future, Engage, Deliver.

“FED” strikes home to me as a solution to anyone who struggles to deliver devops in an enterprise where people dont believe or dont want to change things.

presenting at fin:code

its been a while since I’ve presented – but I’m off to frankfurt on Monday to present at FIN:CODE

I’ll be presenting on the PAYBACK devops journey and hosting a worldcafe session on “Security at Speed with Devops”. it’s a chance to share some of what we have been working on at PAYBACK the past few years – and some of the thoughts in my head about how we have done it. I’m happy my slides are finished – and I hope the right fonts appear as well! If you are attending – please come by and say hello!

oktoberfest 2019 poster selected

usual procedure as every year. the good people of munich narrow the poster selection down to a top 30, and then some learned “judges” decide a winner to go on the posters, maß, tshirts – actually everything! tbh its not a bad design competition to win

Its pretty abstract and would make some nice modern gift wrap – but not sure its poster material for the wiesn.