My first congress and blogpost! Thoughts on 36c6

Posted: 2020-01-01 19:27:01 |
Last update: 2021-08-07 20:52:42

Boring prologue

Ever since 33c3, my late December and early January have been dedicated to watching talks that were held at the c3. I knew that it would probably be even better to see the talks live and attend the non-recorded sessions but it just never worked out.

This year, I attended the Gulasch Programmier Nacht, an event that is a lot smaller than congress but still similar in many ways, and I was blown away by how fun it was. I met nice people, learned a lot of stuff and drank potentially unhealthy amounts of mate -a typical chaos event. I even started building my own blogging platform -which I scrapped later this year because in the meantime I had learned a lot of stuff and the code was.. not the greatest. That's why this domain has been displaying "nothing to see here" for almost a year now. I'm not proud of that.. After the two days (the event is four days long but I couldn't get time off work to go earlier) I knew that I absolutely had to attend congress this year. I even thought about going to camp, even though I had sworn to myself to never go camping again a few years prior. So, this summer we booked a cheap hotel, a flixbus ride and waited eagerly for the ticket sale to start.

The event

Day 0

I arrived the night of day 0 and already met some mutuals from mastodon. While I am a bit awkward with social interactions irl, it was still great to see the people I read from almost every day. I walked around the halls and found the assembly of the hacking space I somewhat almost regularly attend. There I sat down and finished a project I had been putting off for weeks. -Congress was already working its magic.

Day 1

The first "real" day of the event started out less than perfect. Having to listen to a Nazis' loud monologues in the tram made me realise that maybe, some of the bad things people say about east Germany might be true.

Either way, some time later I arrived at the venue and all that was forgotten. After attending some talks I sat down at the assembly and.. started reading documentation. After scrapping the code I had written early this year, I wanted my blog to be written according to best practices and actually using the power that the framework used provides. To do so, I knew I had to read a lot. As someone with reading dyslexia this is something I usually avoid. However, at congress everything seems possible so I just read documentation for hours.

Day 2

This day was much of the same. I attended talks, read documentation and was just happy to be where I was. One thing I realised is that the people here did not judge me the way most people do. Nobody looked at me weirdly when I didn't hold eye contact during a conversation and over all, everyone was so much nicer than on the outside world.

Day 3

Day 3 was when things got real. I felt I had read enough documentation and actually got into something people might call hyperfocus after lending my partner's anc headphones because the noise was a bit overwhelming. I skipped quite a bunch of talks because I just did not want to stop writing code. This was probably the most productive I've been while programming ever. I actually lost track of time and when I finally decided to go home, the timing was incredibly bad. -There were no trams going to the hotel anymore and we had to share a cab with another entity who attended congress.

Day 4

On day 4 a larger chunk of my time was spent on talks. This was not really intentional, I had just overslept after staying up too long and the event already ended at 17:00. This was the least great day of congress because I had to realise that this amazing event is not going on forever. It was still neat to hear about the infrastructure that had been built for the event and I spent some time writing code. Sadly I wasn't able to finish the blogging platform at this time.

I actually teared up a bit while reading "reality has you back now :(" on the large projector screen above the exit. These were just 4 days but they definitely where the best 4 days of a quite stressful year.

Boring epilogue

Now I am back home. Tomorrow I will have to go to work again. Reality really does have me back now. I finished up the blogging platform at the local hacking space so that I wouldn't have to wait until easterhegg to launch it.

I will definitely be attending the next congress and pretty much every chaos event I can make it to in between now and then. I feel a lot more welcome in the chaos community after meeting even more parts of it and having such a nice time.

This will probably stay the only "diary" style post on this blog but I really wanted to launch it with some content. For the future I am definitely planning on adding RSS (and potentially Fediverse) integration for the blog so that people don't have to look at my frontend design if they just want to read my posts.