The 34th Chaos Communication Congress (34C3) is an annual four-day conference on technology, society, and utopia. The Congress offers lectures and workshops and various events on a multitude of topics including (but not limited to) information technology and generally a critical-creative attitude towards technology and the discussion about the effects of technological advances on society.
For 34 years, the congress has been organized by the community and appreciates all kinds of participation. People were encouraged to contribute by volunteering, setting up and hosting hands-on and self-organized events with the other components of an assembly or presenting their own projects to fellow hackers.
When and where was 34C3? – December 27th to 30th, 2017 in Leipziger Exhibition Grounds, Leipzig, Germany, Earth, Milky Way
This was the first year that Congress was hosted in Leipzig. Around 15,000 people took part in this remarkable event. No doubt, it’s the biggest hacker conference in Europe. Apart from the official conference program, the CCC also offers space for assemblies, lightning talks, developer meetings, art installations, workshops, and special places for kids to play.
As every year we planned to have an assembly but not all the plans went how we thought. Sylvia had some problems with her flight so she couldn’t join me, and the other problem was that she had all the Fedora swag with her because we shipped them to her home. All I had with me were some Fedora Women stickers, the Fedorator, and the tablecloth.
It was my first year attending CCC that’s why in the beginning I didn’t know how to find our table, where to go to ask etc. Well, the conference name says it all – Chaos Communication Congress – you just need to find a free table and put all your stuff there. When I arrived there it was difficult to find a free place but I managed to find a free roundtable and I invited my Nextcloud friends to join as well. Since I didn’t have swag or any banner it was difficult for people to know where Fedora was but some people came to ask me about the Fedorator. They were interested to know how we build it, what hardware we used, for what it was used etc. The other days I had to find another table and this time I stayed together with FOSSASIA contributors and Nextcloud too.
The area I enjoyed most was the one where were most of the assemblies and hackerspaces because you could find a lot of interesting things. Some hackerspaces had improvised a very nice space similar to their hackerspace, you could find – a lot of – club mate, neon lights, kids playing in their area, plenty of stickers etc. I met there a lot of old friends too, was great to catch up again with them.
- Planning – this year we planned the assembly very late, that’s why planning it in the last minute we had some difficulties – swag came in the last minute, we couldn’t borrow banners from the local near communities because we contacted them a bit late etc.
- People staying at the assembly – originally only two people planned to stay at the assembly. Later on, Sylvia couldn’t come so I was alone. Next time we should have at least 5 or 6 people willing to stay and help with the assembly (like FOSDEM).
- Hardware – we should have more hardware because this will attract more people to visit the assembly and ask questions.
- More lights too! – Since we were in the dark part definitely that having some colorful lights would be very nice, or a small monitor/projector showing the videos we have.
- Fedorator is a must! – It was a very nice asset that we had and people came to ask about it. Definitely, we need some USB too. If they will be Fedora branded will be even better.
- Fedora t-shirts – if you wear a Fedora t-shirt people will come at you and ask questions about the latest version, suggestions about the new version, problems installing Fedora etc.
- Stickers – I could spot some people around that were Fedora users because they had a Fedora sticker on their laptop. In this way, I understood that we had a lot of Fedora users attending the conference but they were not contributors because of different reasons. A talk (self-organized session) about our community and how to start contributing would be very helpful.
Attending next year?
If we improve the things that I have mentioned I think we should attend this conference again. Our target audience would be the Fedora users, and we can help/guide them to start contributing to our community. It was a very nice conference that I enjoyed a lot, different from the others I have attended before! If we will have more people willing to help next year, I will be more than happy to help again!
Btw something else I forgot to mention was that misc and I helped someone (part of FOSSASIA community) to install Fedora on his computer, yaaay. 😀