This is the story of my adventures in Berlin, July 2014, this is not intended as a working report, so please don’t expect much seriousness.

Short version but less interesting:

I went to Berlin, I got lost, overslept, missed a inter-continental plane but I made loads of friends =).

Longer and more interesting version:

@pablocollada (FCI’s new executive president) and I (handsome coder at FCI) went to Berlin to attend to one of the most of massive events in the field of democracy, open government, technology the other molecule, open-culture.


  • To promote the use of our tools.

  • Promote Poplus.

  • To see what the rest of our community is up to.

  • To meet and network with potential partners and collaborators.

  • In short, to save the world.

We got in the same Sunday as the Word Cup Final (Germany-Argentina), you might imagine all the excitement in the streets of Berlin, the flags, flags everywhere, everythings with a German flag. I was kind of missing all the latin-american mess and it was such a funny experiment to think of how crazy the streets of Buenos Aires would have been at the same time.

I thought that the best way to get rid of the awful jet lag was to stay up and ride a bike all around town. Right when I thought that I wasn’t going to meet anyone I saw the Argentine crowd from Democracy Os headed towards the Kulturbrauerei to watch the game drinking beer and eating pretzels. The rain seemed not diminish the enthusiasm of any of them, although unfortunately the jet lag did to me what the rain didn’t. So about an hour before the match, I rode my bike back to the hostel where I watched the game with a beer and some germans that were cheering for Argentina (funny thing isn’t?). I passed out 5 minutes after the game finished. The end.

Next day was a completely different thing. I didn’t have a trace of jet lag (at least I thought so) and the only thing I could think of was more biking and exploring the city, and that’s exactly what I did. So I got to see the memorial at Bernauer Straße and then I got a bit lost. Next thing on the list, meet my new roommates for the next 4 days at 4 PM in Eberwalder Straße. That was about the time I met Jorge Díaz @YAYjorge and Martín Szyszlican and together with @pablocollada we shared a very nice apartment in central Berlin for 4 days.

I got late at the meeting (predictable) and the guys were inside the apartment already set and ready to go to the first activities of #okfest14 here you can see the programme. I went to the fair where I got to see all the projects mentioned in the slot from 18 to 19 hours on thursday. I met my friend Breyten, you might know him for projects like Politwoops or the Dutch openspending. I also met Paul Lenz, Jen, Mark, Tony and Tom from mySociety. We went to see Artists without a cause @ArtistsWAC and their Politaoke which basically is a karaoke but with political speeches. I promised myself I was going to send them a speech of Salvador Allende’s.

Back at the apartment, it didn’t take us too long to start a conversation with @YAYjorge and @martinszy about what were the main issues in our beloved latin america, and it didn’t take us much of the conversation to find out that it was the sexism embedded as part of our culture is a real problem across all the region and we all agreed that we would so something about it (I think that the content of these conversations didn’t get much further but if you want to join please don’t hesitate). Twit us at @lfalvarez, @pablocollada, @martinszy and @YAYjorge.

I overslept the next day and I got to the Festival in the middle of the keynotes =/. Anyway, I attended to the Open Access Global Review, where I got to see some of the most interesting updates regarding opendata from around the world.

Right after that I started talking with @tmtm about VoteIt, here I want to stress the usefulness of this project and specially for us at @ciudadanoi and probably to a lot of NGOs that are working with votes and their interpretation.

In the afternoon I attended to Open Data Communities, which was a session about finding who is doing what around the world. If you want you can check the session link.

Later I attended a session called “Global Elections Toolbox”. I was drawn to that session because I feel some kind of love for our project VotaInteligente. The projects here were presented by @stefvangrieken and he showed us several projects intended to promote transparency and better participation around the globe. NOTE: I could not find the presentation does anyone have it?.

After that I had the opportunity to talk to several mexican guys, working on great things, that I’m going to describe now:

  • Juan Pablo Escobar from Codeando México, we realized that they were working on a project called “Congreso Abierto” which seemed to me that was really close to our CongresoAbierto. (This project was born in DAL 2012).

  • The guys from the Laboratorio para la Ciudad de México who I realized were doing a really interesting work that is worth keeping an eye at, not just in terms of the code that they produce but also in terms of the cultural scene that they are promoting in Mexico. Particularly I had the opportunity of talking with MikeSaurio who has been working on Traxi.

On thursday I participated in the “Money, Politics and Transparency” session hosted by the Money, Politics and Transparency initiative where I had to introduce the work with Quién te financia?. If you want to read more about this session you can go here.

Right after that and just out of mere chance I met @fancynancynyc and @lksriv whom I had a really interesting conversation about feminism and also I met for the first time Circle of 6 which is an app that helps prevent the violence against women before it happens.

During the afternoon I went to the unfestival to a session about promoting the use of poplus where we met a lot of people who wanted to see what was this all about. Particularly I had the oportunity of talking to Jaroslav from Kohovolit about how was write-it coded and how NapišteJim.cz was the inspiration for it. And see if there was a possibility for us to collaborate.

Later in the afternoon I went to dinner invited by Panthea Lee from Reboot. There I had the opportunity to meet Anne Mugai and my old pal Daniela Silva and suddenly the same conversation about sexism arose and I realized that Daniela was an activist pro women in technology back in Brazil and that our problems in Latin America were very similar to the ones that Anne was facing in Africa.

After a bike riding day in Berlin, Saturday was the day for me to leave and get back to Santiago. But things were not going to be any easy were they? So I got to the Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport and 15 minutes before departing we were offered to stay one more night in Paris in exchange for a few euros, so naturally, I took it. Finally got to Santiago on Monday morning straight to work and I had Sunday to see wonderful Paris.

And that’s it.

Who to follow?

Besides the people mentioned above, I met some really interesting people in my trip and I want you to check them out:

  • The guys from Open-steps project who have been mapping initiatives related to open knowledge.
  • The guys from the OpenKratio an spanish #opengov and #opendata citizens group, particularly I had the chance to talk to Félix.
  • Andra Bucur from Romanian Foundation from an Open Society.
  • The guys from the brand new and spanish CEPID, focusing on investigative journalism.
  • Doing an amazing job from Philadelphia Andrew Thompson from Azavea.
  • Working in open data from South Africa Hannah Williams, she is one of the School of Data fellows and she has an awesome site.
  • Making humanitarian data easy to find and useHumanitarian Data Exchange.
  • I didn’t have the chance to speak much with Javie, but now I’m checking and his work in Uganda is really amazing please follow this link to check it out Uganda speaks.

I would add

I really don’t want to write anything else can this be a working report?

Where to go now


To Anca Matioc (most of you know her, right? if you don’t GO AND FOLLOW HER RIGHT AWAY!!!!) who helped me write this thing and is awesome.


Una vez un amigo me dijo que yo era una especie de activista pro todo-el-mundo-debe-saber-escribir-código, y creo que esto hace demasiado sentido. Creo que Chile podría convertirse algún día en un país que no exporte cobre si no que entregue productos terminados como por ejemplo: el software.

Por otro lado me impresiona la poca cantidad de mujeres en la industria, esto me parece terrible, por que hay mucho talento y creatividad que no estamos aprovechando. Y la verdad es que hay muchas mujeres que sencillamente considero sobrenaturales y que admiro muchisimo (mi mamá para comenzar, mis hermanas, mis ex-pololas, mis coleguiwis, mis amiguis, etc). Chiquillas ustedes son unas super-heroínas y deberíamos tener más de ustedes acá programando.

Cuando me pongo a pensar en la razón de lo poco femenino de nuestra actividad, la respuesta es obvia “Esto es cultural, desde pequeñas les decimos ustedes con sus muñecas y los hombres con los jueguitos armables”. La característica cultural de este hecho no lo convierte en algo bueno y pienso que tenemos que corregirlo.

El fin de semana recién pasado tuve la mansa oportunidad de ayudar con mi primer granito de arena a corregir lo machista de nuestra cultura. Fui coach en un evento llamado RailsGirls, que lo que buscaba era enseñar a codear a mujeres. Y fui testigo de lo milagroso que es cuando se rompen los prejuicios. Vi mujeres valientes abriendo terminales y escribiendo cosas de colores en pantallas negras. Vi mujeres darse cuenta que ellas son tanto o más capaces que un hombre. Y yo me enamoré como entre 30 y 40 veces, creo que es la primera vez que voy a un evento ñoño y hay más mujeres que hombres =).

Creo que eventos como estos nos ayudan a todos a romper prejuicios respecto a los géneros y a evidenciar que somos diferentes pero valiosos. Me fui super contento del evento y creo que deberíamos hacer muchos más.

Las gracias van para: @scriptandme, @lavarelicosas y @andreacui por lo capas y valientes. A @alexsoble por invitar. A @emmedy, @diegoiag, @gsanchezd, @CutikoLive y @tangzero por la terrible de wena onda. Y unas espaciales a @ladanitejada por ser la que más me motivó a ir. Y a la @FabiolaGomezb por ayudarme a corregir mi mala redacción.

Soy Felipe Álvarez y soy trapecista desarrollador en la Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente.


No sea hueoncita, si le aforran, aforre de vuelta y le pega la patá’ en la raja definitiva, no aguante ni una sola.

Este loco es un crack. Yo quiero bailar así =D

(via spacebeards)



Caroline Herschel 1750-1848. Discoverer of several comets and sister of/long-time assistant to her brother William, discoverer of Uranus


Henrietta Swan Leavitt, 1868 - 1921. Certain variable stars known as Cepheid variables pulse in and out, growing and shrinking in a regular rhythm,…


46 smart uses for salt
Put this versatile, nontoxic mineral to work around your home.


Habitable worlds

Is Earth the only known world that can support life? In an effort to find life-habitable worlds outside our Solar System, stars similar to our Sun are being monitored for slight light decreases that indicate eclipsing planets. Many previously-unknown planets are being found, including over 700 worlds recently uncovered by NASA’s Kepler satellite. Depicted above in artist’s illustrations are twelve extrasolar planets that orbit in the habitable zones of their parent stars. These exoplanets have the right temperature for water to be a liquid on their surfaces, and so water-based life on Earth might be able to survive on them. Although technology cannot yet detect resident life, finding habitable exoplanets is a step that helps humanity to better understand its place in the cosmos.

Image credit & licence: Planetary Habitability Laboratory (UPR Arecibo)


Si dejamos que nos convenzan de que realmente no logramos nada, si comenzamos a creer que son otros los responsables de hacer esto, la próxima vez es probable que ganen. No lo permitamos” Aaron Swartz

Hoy, 11 de febrero, se celebra "The Day We Fight Back" contra la vigilancia masiva. Esta…

360 superado

Hoy mientras pedaleaba camino a mi trabajo en la Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente (@ciudadanoi), me puse a pensar lo importante que me ha resultado el evidenciar qué está pasando con mi código y con el proyecto en general. Esto lo hago por que en la FCI valoramos la comunicación, el feedback y la transparencia como factores de éxito para un proyecto.

Para que no crean que sólo valoramos estas cosas desde la boca hacia afuera, les voy a contar qué cosas hacemos día a día:

  • Tener nuestro código abierto en github.com: Desde que empecé a escribir código abierto creo que he mejorado la calidad de mi código, principalmente, por que pienso que otra persona vendrá y leerá mi código así como tu estás leyendo este artículo.

  • Correr las pruebas unitarias online con travis-ci: Una de las cosas que primero reviso cuando veo el código de otra persona es si tiene pruebas unitarias. Esto me indica un par de cosas, la primera es que esta persona se preocupó durante al menos 30 segundos de diseñar lo que quería escribir (es como la comida cocinada con cariño) y me da garantías de que su código es extensible y modificable. Travis te entrega una medallita que indica si tu código pasa o no las pruebas y he descubierto que tan sólo por el hecho de tenerla ahí en tu github te esfuerzas por tener esta medallita siempre en verde. Ejemplo: https://travis-ci.org/ciudadanointeligente/write-it.

  • Publicar la cobertura de código con coveralls.io: Además de revisar que el código tenga pruebas unitarias y que estén pasando considero importante poder mostrar cual es el porcentaje de código que estas pruebas cubren y tener absoluta certeza de cuales son las lineas que están fuera de estas pruebas, esto por que aquellas lineas podrían eventualmente significar bugs. Al igual que Travis, coveralls te entrega una medallita que te esfuerzas por que esté lo más cercana al 100%.

  • Revisar la calidad del código (python) utilizando landscape.io: Este ha sido mi último descubrimiento y lo considero bacán! Anduve buscando una herramienta como esta desde que conversé con @matthewlandauer y me habló de codeclimate para rails. Lo que hace es medir la calidad del código utilizando herramientas como pylint. Te indica si tienes lineas demasiado largas o si tienes imports que no se están utilizando. Si quieren revisar específicamente la clase de cosas que te muestra pueden revisar este ejemplo https://landscape.io/github/ciudadanointeligente/write-it. Al igual que todas las cosas descritas arriba landscape te entrega una medallita que indica la calidad de tu código y que te esfuerzas por mantener cercana al 100%.

  • DANGER DANGER CUIDADO: Esta es la letra de una de una canción muy mala, tan mala como los peligros que corremos y que enumeraré acá:

  1. Creer que estos indices dicen que el código es perfecto: Nope, no hay magia, pueden confiar en que el código fue hecho con amor y cariño, pero no es ferpecto.

  2. Quedarse pegado en mejorar los índices en lugar de progresar con el proyecto.


He descubierto que mientras más visibles son estos índices, más te preocupas por mantenerlos buenos y así decirle a tus amigos: “Hey, cacha todas mis medallas po locoh”.

Palabras al cierre

Este es una columna que escribí como parte de la serie de columnas de edición única =) y en respuesta a un blog post de mi amigo y archienemigo @patrosmania.


Gracias a @milogomez90 por las correciones

fiera trabajando

Esta es una foto de la Fiera programando unos tests que puse acá por ninguna razón.