[HFOSS: Meetup] BrickHack 4

About a week ago I had the opportunity to attend BrickHack, one of the Major League Hacking hackathons. Ironically, I was attending this representing [email protected] as a sponsor despite this being my first hackathon. Meeting new people is always fun, and also I got to meet people I’ve seen around campus a lot but never interacted with. Explaining [email protected] can occasionally be a little awkward since we don’t have any particular big group projects, but are rather a community of people working on different things (and despite members having good projects (some of which they could get involved in), hearing that the group as a whole doesn’t work on any projects turns away some people – you can literally see them lose interest when they hear that). You also get those cringe-worthy moments when someone mistakes your group’s work, such as LibreCorps, an initiative which works with organizations like UNICEF, with LibreOffice, a piece of software (which is FOSS, but unrelated to the initiative). However, we were able to explain FOSS to a good number of people, mentioning how much of the software they use is FOSS, and how “free as in cost” is not the same as “free as in freedom.” We also were able to hand out most of the stickers that had been accumulated over time, which I know will make at least one person very happy.

The only regret I have is that we had a shift we were there for, and I would have liked to spend more time there. We didn’t know at the time, but when we were talking to one of the organizers after we found out that we could have. Next year I’m planning to attend again, but this time have it arranged for the [email protected] table to be a place for us to hack at just like the other ones, and also get some time to chat with the other sponsors and participants. Despite that, this was a good experience for me to learn about promoting a group’s work and running an event from this angle, which doesn’t participate in nor run the “main event,” but is still there actively interacting.