I recently had the opportunity to attend the 33rd Chaos Communication Congress (33C3). The event, as its name suggests, was chaotic. Let me give you two hints: twelve thousand (12000) participants, plus twenty-four (24) hours unrestricted access to the venue.
This was the first time I was wearing three (3) “hats” simultaneously. I was representing the Fedora Project, Mozilla and Ura Design. Both the Fedora Project and Mozilla had their own assemblies – in other words, booths.
Introducing the Fedora Project (photo by Elio Qoshi, CC BY-SA)
The conference provided fertile ground for networking. Not only did I meet with fellow free and open-source advocates to work on projects, but also made new connections. I spent several hours each day staying at the Fedora and Mozilla assemblies, speaking with fellow participants and regularly moving around the venue.
I did not miss the chance to run a self-organized Fedora session where I introduced the Fedora Project and the work we are doing. In addition, I briefly went into contribution opportunities. The session was well-attended, with about thirty (30) to fourty (40) participants filling the room.
With Elio Qoshi outside CCH (photo by Elio Qoshi, CC BY-SA)
As long as the participation of contributors from both the Fedora Project and Mozilla is concerned, I must note there was some generic lack of co-ordination. Mozilla, as far as I can recall, did not even have sufficient promotional material to be given away during the congress. Assembly shifts did not, strictly speaking, take place either. 33C3 is seen as a major player when it comes to free and open-source software related events in EMEA, therefore planning more solid participations should be in order next time.
Overall, 33C3 was an extremely unique experience for me. Getting a grip on the hacker subculture is not something being offered every day. It was amazing.