First of all “Still Hacking Anyway” I think is the motto I liked more in the last few years!
The title means that the event will be a continuous fun with computers and electronics but also DIY along with others who think it like you.
Why I went to Sha2017
First of all, I never participated in a hacking camp even though I was invited in the past for lack of suitable arguments. These are usually events with topics dedicated to security, sysadmin, advocacy and electronics. Topics that are outside my usual role as speaker even though I have knowledge in all so I’ve always avoided.
Following on several Facebook groups like Italian Hackers Embassy with a great deal of participation, I decided to go because this event seemed much more open to other topics such as web development.
According to the program my approved talk was 7 but for problems with the program due to the import and the various tracks I would have talked there was time conflicts.
Together then discovering that the Tardis track does not have a place but it is an auto organization by the speaker, but this was not documented and I discovered it in the morning so I could not arrange it in time.
With regard to the talk, the speaker portal was a bit uncomfortable in the choice of schedules because it did not have a auto completion and therefore it had to be time-tested according to availability in the chosen track, complicating the whole, probably this explains why I used the Tardis room that doesn’t having talk in the schedule.
Anyway I did 3 talk:
- Join Mozilla we have homemade pasta (at Italian Hackers Embassy)
- Demolish the web with the Firefox Dev Tools
- How to develop PyQt softwares
The audience was on the 50 people in the last two while for the first only 10.
Italian Hackers Embassy
The hospitality of the Italian Hackers Embassy was phenomenal, as well as staying with other Italians, we spent time chatting and developing together and also tryed to make a lan party.
Their organization was divided into three tents:
- Talk tent composed by two tents
- Hackerspace consisting of three tents
- Kitchen tent made up of a tent + Lounge tent
I spent most of the time in the hackerspace to develop, do patches, review translation, play, and chat.
I survived to the night noise (after all with the grappa offer was inevitable) It was also acceptable because in the morning we had the nutella with croissants.
I also managed to bring home a cooking dress of De Cecco 😀
I was an intruder inside this group and I still do not remember all different names or nicknames but I set myself so well that they invited me for Mozilla Italia at End Summer Camp.
I also brought my Linux flag that for years has stood on the door of my room.
The Embassy has arranged for those who had made pasta for lunch and dinner every day with croissants and coffee in the morning. The best subscription of my life!
Do not forget that the shifts in the kitchen were on a voluntary basis and that those who did not have the subscription paid, so the money deposit of the event went positive (the embassy had transparent and publicly accessible money expenses).
So I’ve always eaten pasta with pesto or tomato sauce or ragu sauce every day and I also tried the burgers available at the event.
The main problem was drinking water that did not taste good and the inability to find alternative to alcoholic drinks and coca cola.
Anyway, I’ve got some glasses (paid!) And coasters in my event post trophies.
Next time I bring the food of my own parts so as to fight the grappa 😀
The surprise of the badge and the ease of programming has allowed me to do two simple applications.
One to promote Mozilla
One to promote the italian kitchen (the app was called SpaghettiCode)
I also gave a hand in the development of the Italian Embassy badge showing our photos!
Try MicroPython was interesting to try an alternative and minimal version of Python even if the documentation for using the badge was incomplete (I updated the wiki of the Sha) and the python subset was different from the micropython original to add the specific features of the badge. In any case, it was interesting to use an e-ink display for the first time!
Coming by plane I preferred to try the cardboard tent, the Kartent.
Comfortable because it was available on site but with the cold that made the nights very uncomfortable even if customizing it was fun.
— lilo (@human_lilo) August 4, 2017
Knowing that it was so cold in the night I brought more heavy material to cover me and not to die of cold.
I tapped the tent literally with a mosquito net:
The change proved to be useless because during the day I did not use the tent and it was hot so you could leave it close and during the cold night I had closed everything and inside I had put a paper sheet to close the window.
Adhesive tape has proven to be fundamental! The door, however, was really uncomfortable because it consisted of two doors (two sets) that did not stay open and therefore I was stuck in the entrance to the point I put a string to keep open the first door and avoid these issues.
It also really resists to the water that there is in Holland, only that the smell of wet cardboard is not delightful but you can fly over.
— Riccardo Coluccini [boter] (@ORARiccardo) August 4, 2017
The embassy team had fun hacking light installations in the field by putting the “tricolore” anywhere. I was able to give a hand by scanning the IP network, analysing the various ip, developing a graphical interface and some hints about the program that altered the lights.
I also let them to discover tools like Etherpad (used for this hacking) and Nextcloud.
After hacking the script we went to the datanklo.
— berurier (@berurier_) August 5, 2017
I leave the video explaining how it went:
With the TechSpeaker program I was sponsored for this event. Inside the embassy my nickname was not Mte90 but Mozilla, it may can be pleasant, but it stinks a lot … just because I had all the time a hoodie with a Firefox sign!
Just arrived with the TechSpeakers T-shirt.
There was also Ali from MDN that brought me some new MDN stickers
— alispivak (@alispivak) August 6, 2017
As a trophy I decided to bring me a piece of kartent, for the night problems but also as a reminder:
There were also two Mozilla TechSpeakers from India:
- Building A Virtual Reality Website Using A-Frame – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCo0Z8qftJs
- Smart Home Security with Tor – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvqFcVIr6G0
Near to us we had the Belgian Embassy with this beautiful tux
Near us we had too the Tesla hacking area with this show
The camp the last morning
The badge on my collection
— Ram (@ram_gurumukhi) August 9, 2017
— Arron Dowdeswell (@Arronandir) August 4, 2017
View from the top
The varied audience other the various DIYs from the armchair or sofa with motors and make your own ring workshop show that is an event very interesting (they also motored one of the cardboard tent).
I could meet Esperantists and even talk, especially listening because I’m not still fluent in talking but I could follow. Ironically, I always carry my notes with me and for the first time I left them in the tent.
Without anything to do, however, it is boring, so in addition to chatting and hacking, there are competitions to keep the busy people involved. There was CTF but none of us participated, so organizing lan parties or programming projects or other set can be interesting to make networking and have fun even more.
The public is much more advanced and outlined than Fosdem. Here we talk about electronics and programming professionals of electronics devices, systemadmin, security experts, retrogaming and few about programming.
Taking as a sample sample the Italian Hackers Embassy really are few programmers or web programming experts, so Mozilla’s themes are only about on the use of their projects and advocacy.
So for the future it is better to propose such arguments even if Firefox’s DevTools talk has had its follow-up (50 people) so talking about development tools does not seems to be wrong.
Talking about Rust would not have been wrong since he had seen Rustocean T-shirts. I had also applied for WordPress talks, then not done, but seeing the arguments of the Sha would perhaps have been out-of-court.
In any case, you can see the arguments of SHA2017 on http://program.sha2017.org/ to get your own idea.
In the future I think I will talk about pure programming and development tools or pure advocacy to this kind of international events.
For the ESC in Italy we want to experiment with workshops and competitions besides a dev help desk but I do not want to give you too much information on what we are working on.