Last weekend I had the pleasure to participate in Berlin Geekettes Hackathon , that as they say was “Germany’s first all-women hackathon” and the call was” a 24 hour hackathon to bring everything to a close on Sunday afternoon– sleep is optional 😉 ”
A really nice idea, and during the weekend I could enjoy the atmosphere created in this hackathon, though my first one, I must say I’ve been quite a while into hacker’s events, and the feeling has been quite different, you could see people coding but at the same time smiling, at any point you could interrupt and they would listen to you and answer questions or explain what were they doing. The challenge to get things done, the learning by doing and the passion was there but the friendly and possitive atmosphere never left.
An intense weekend, where we different kind of hacks were developed, from a visual schedule iOS app to help kids understand what’s going to happen, to an app helping you to plot the flats that you like so you can then compare the flats, or an app that wants to help you improve your reading experience. Also there were games developed to play when you take a rest or to help learning, like Soundpairs, memory game or a Morse-copter that can receive flight commands from any supported computer as well as a message, which it then transmits, in clear blue light, in Morse code. There were a lot of project and I just wanted to give hints about some of them, but you can take a look to all of them in here.
I must say that the organization was really great and that everything went smooth, everything on time and well thought as the healthy food (really nice!), space for exercise and relax and a crafty area to stop looking all the time at the computer screen.
Although I was not in the perfect mood for the hackathon, I had been looking forward to it, and it covered the expections but (yes there is always a but 😉 ), I missed really something, to ask ourselves how do we use technology, what do we use technology for and what technology do we use. I come from a different country and somehow from a different world, so what I missed was the fact of focusing in free software, of using technology for social improvement, to develop to empower grassroots and people for the sake of building a better world not successful private oriented companies. I know money is important, I founded a tech-cooperative based on free software but the framework was p2p economy. It may sound drastic or a bit intolerant(many times I’ve heard that comment), I know and I’m for the right of people to choose freely and be able to do what they consider better but I think that to be able to choose freely you need to know different options and that is why I think is important to make visible freesoftware, its goals and ways of doing.
In any case deep, deep thanks to the @berlingeekettes and all the people that made it possible 🙂 because I was really happy to take part in the hackathon and looking forward to the next one … and when possible I’d like to join or collaborate with @berlingeekettes 🙂