Hackaday Does Berlin

If you’re wondering why there was no newsletter last weekend, it was because we had our hands full with Hackaday Berlin. But boy, was it worth it! Besides being the launch party for the tenth annual Hackaday Prize, it was the first Hackaday gathering in Europe for four years, and it was awesome to see a bunch of familiar faces and meet many more new ones.

In a world that’s so interconnected, you might think that social media can take care of it all for you. And to some extent that’s true! If I could count the number of times I heard “I follow you on Twitter/Mastodon” over the course of the event!

But then there were tons of other meetings. People who are all interested in building and designing analog synthesizers, even some who live in the same urban megalopolis, meeting each other and talking about modules and designs. People who love flip dots. On the spot collaborations of people writing video drivers and people making huge LED walls. And somehow there’s still room for this to happen, even though the algorithms should have probably hooked these folks up by now.

From the perspective of hosting the conference, I get the most satisfaction from seeing these chance meetings and the general atmosphere of people learning not only new things, but new people. This cross-fertilization of friendships and project collaborations is what keeps our community vital, and especially coming out of the Pandemic Years, it’s absolutely necessary. I came away with a long list of new plans, and I’m sure everyone else did too. And for some reason, social media just isn’t a substitute. Take that, TwitFace!

3 thoughts on “Hackaday Does Berlin

  1. Sounds like a ‘success’!

    As for being in person, there is no substitute. Run into this a lot at work. When you need the person, he is not there. He’s working from home that day. He doesn’t have access to what he would at work, so you have to hold off for a day or two on that project. Or, get back to you later, as making a run to the store (yes that has happened). Can’t just go over and discuss or have him looking over your shoulder. Can be frustrating and time consuming — and time is money. Meetings are another thing. Body language tells you a lot which you just can’t get in a ‘zoom’ meeting. We need that ‘social’ in person interaction. I think some companies are finally realizing that and are asking people to get back in the office :) .

    1. Or even creative thinking. Nothing like sitting at a table bouncing ideas around, and scribbling on a napkin (now maybe a laptop/tablet) to put ideas to paper. Again, it that putting heads together in person that seems to have a ‘force’ all it’s own. As you say above, even to see another person you haven’t seen in ages…. Part of our human dna to be locally social :) .

      1. Part of SOME humans to be locally social. Forcing it on everyone is just wrong. If your company can’t deal with people being remote, it’s unfortunate.
        I get it if it’s completely impossible to do something remotely, but most things can be, just needs a bit of creativity and effort. Also makes the company more approachable for people with physical or mental limitations or disabilities.

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