Hacker Dojo Origins


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An exploration of the cultural lineage where Hacker Dojo came from, including SHDH, LGLAN, and how Dojo is memetically related to BarCamp and Coworking.

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Hacker Dojo Origins

  1. 1. Hacker Dojo Origins + Influence Historical background of Hacker Dojo Not just SHDH, whole lineage of hacker culture Context tells you why things are
  2. 2. Coworking Hacker Dojo has three basic functions: -Coworking -Events -Community, the glue
  3. 3. Coworking Events Hacker Dojo has three basic functions: -Coworking -Events -Community, the glue
  4. 4. Coworking Events Community Hacker Dojo has three basic functions: -Coworking -Events -Community, the glue
  5. 5. BarCamp SHDH Hackerspaces Coworking Dorms Incubators Hacker Dojo is a mix of existing institutions Some of these are memetic cousins SHDH: direct ancestor, but obviously influenced by...
  6. 6. Hackerspaces around since early 90s Usually as an open workshop, also classes and community Tend to be more hardware oriented. Why?
  7. 7. Been around for a while, exploded in 2008
  8. 8. Mostly in Europe
  9. 9. Chaos Computer Club Europe is also home to oldest hacker organizations
  10. 10. As well as largest LAN parties, evolved from or involve demoscene DreamHack
  11. 11. Brings us back to DevHouse for reasons I’ll get to, but it’s worth pointing out that all the founding members were common attendees
  12. 12. in fact, 2 of the first 5 directors, david and i, started devhouse.
  13. 13. Likely familiar with DevHouse, but I actually want to go further back. DevHouse not only grew out of LAN parties, but a love of a ... community, set of ideals, culture known as hacker culture.
  14. 14. My experience with hacker culture started very early. Although my parents were not hackers, my grandfather was. He was an engineer at Intel when I was born in 1985, but also a “hobbyist computer enthusiast” -- a hacker. He had a lab of cool stuff that looked like a hackerspace. About a year after I was born, he died.
  15. 15. There were a lot of machines in his lab, some he built on his own. His main machine was an IBM clone, but I could never get it to work for some reason
  16. 16. Got Kaypro 4 to work I read the manuals and learned to play ascii text versions of Donkey Kong and Pacman
  17. 17. Eventually my parents found a Commodore 64 at the flea market, This was now the early 90s and this was somewhat obsoleted technology... but I was in love with old tech. Most of the books in the school library were out of date and about BASIC, which I could take home and use with my Commodore.
  18. 18. So I loved this stuff. This documentary came out and I learned all about the history of the Silicon Valley... and I was in love with it. The people, the stories, but also the attitude, and the culture. Big kids. It resonated with me deeply. This was 1996 and I was 12.
  19. 19. I was also influenced by popculture. Even then I knew Hackers was silly, but it was about computers! Making this computer wizards into rockstars. Also Wargames, which I liked more because it was real, and I even liked that it was full of old technology, it was what I grew up with.
  20. 20. I was also into games, obviously console and PC games. This obviously led to LAN parties.
  21. 21. 2001 I’d cram people into my tiny room at home or here we borrowed the karate studio one of my friends worked at. This was during high school and through LAN parties, I met a guy named Andy Smith there on the left. We later became roommates and coworkers.
  22. 22. 2001 I’d cram people into my tiny room at home or here we borrowed the karate studio one of my friends worked at. This was during high school and through LAN parties, I met a guy named Andy Smith there on the left. We later became roommates and coworkers.
  23. 23. These two guys: buttthunder and retard. Found LAN party in Los Gatos called LGLAN.
  24. 24. Turns out there was recurring LAN party that operated out of the high school’s community center building called the Outhouse.
  25. 25. It was a place students could use to hold events, throw parties, etc. It was really cool and made me realize how useful community centers were...
  26. 26. And they packed this place full of gamers. It was the biggest LAN party I’d seen then. But what’s more was these people were really cool. Not just gamers, but many were proto-hackers. And it was a lot of fun. In fact, a lot like Dojo in the kind of fun we’d have -- not just with games, but with pranks and silly projects.
  27. 27. The organizers knew their shit. They had donated Cisco hardware and these fancy cable snakes. The guy in the white, Tom Harrison, was the main organizer. I became friends with a lot of them, including Tom. In fact, Tom is currently my neighbor.
  28. 28. 2004 By 2004 LGLAN died out. I would invite people over to the apartment I lived in with Andy Smith. Just geek out, maybe to reformat or play Starcraft.
  29. 29. 2004 But I also started invited people over to where I was working at night to work on our side projects. Here’s Adam (works on Sailbox project at Dojo) when we were working on a game. We ended up changing gears and building another game
  30. 30. called AjaxWar. It was a realtime strategy-action game in the browser we did with DHTML and PHP... it was actually using Comet, but before Comet had a name. But these “devlans” were getting at something I was really into. It was like a LAN party, but we were making stuff...
  31. 31. Also around that time, I learned about this guy. David ran Community Colo, which is where the LGLAN server was hosted. David also threw parties.
  32. 32. He threw big parties at a house in hillsborough that he shared with a few others.
  33. 33. They were so big that they eventually got shutdown by the neighborhood. David then started throwing a small scale movie night instead.
  34. 34. So I went to one of them. I brought Andy and his new friend Chris Messina. There I told David about this idea for an event where people would bring their computers and build stuff. No common purpose, not a contest... just hang out and hack. He didn’t get it strangely, but eventually he decided it was worth a try.
  35. 35. 2005 The first devhouse was probably less than 20 people
  36. 36. Andy Smith there on the left brought more of his new friends, including Matt Mullenweg, who had build Wordpress, and Chris Messina there under the hat. Other people that showed up because of Andy were Tantek Celik and Scott Beal.
  37. 37. David really liked the event because by the end he had launched PBwiki. In fact, here is the first wiki page about PBwiki on the DevHouse wiki.
  38. 38. 2006 It turned out to be such a cool service, the team grew and soon Brian Klug was hired from Virginia to work on it.
  39. 39. We kept doing DevHouses and they kept getting bigger.
  40. 40. People really liked it. And I knew why. Because it brought together this energy and enthusiasm for building stuff with technology. Mostly software, which happens to be convenient, but we all loved all kinds of things. That was very different from user group meetings that were all about one technology...
  41. 41. At shdh 4, Kitt appeared. She started contributing to DevHouse quite a bit.
  42. 42. by late 2005, barcamp had started growing as a world wide phenomenon after the first one in palo alto that year.
  43. 43. 2005 it was organized by these guys (and eris), all which attend devhouse. as legend goes, barcamp started from tantek saying there should be an open foocamp. it turns out this conversation was with ryan king there (in stripes) on their way home from SHDH 2. At the first barcamp (over 200 attendees), tantek’s closing remarks mentioned devhouse and our “ragtag” approach as being a major influence for barcamp.
  44. 44. At some point somebody invited Doug Engelbart.
  45. 45. This was a trip because here’s a guy that lead the development of most of the technology in the room, including the mouse, GUI, hypertext... just sitting at a table with the rest of us, beer in hand.
  46. 46. the guy that got him to come is the guy in the background: Brad Neuberg. Separately, Brad had been talking about this “co-working” idea and the first coworking space called the Hat Factory, which was based on capturing the same kind of casual collaboration he saw at DevHouse. Now Coworking is another worldwide phenomenon. The other big SF Coworking was co-started by Chris Messina.
  47. 47. Soon we got press coverage and I happened to mention being inspired by the Homebrew Computer Club that I learned about when I was 12... I said I wanted to try and recapture the spirit of that (even though I had never been, I just assumed it was sort of like what I experienced with lan parties and other cool, smart people)
  48. 48. This got the attention of Lee Felsenstein, who led a lot of the Homebrew meetings. He ended up showing at DevHouse fairly often. We even met with him outside of DevHouse to learn about what Homebrew could have been and how we could apply that to DevHouse.
  49. 49. 2007 The DevHouse organizing team got bigger. Joel there in the middle, responsible for our last Microsoft sponsorship, was also hired by PBwiki and moved here to be a part of this culture. Tom Harrison from LGLAN, to the left of Joel, started helping out around SHDH 4 and pretty much ever since.
  50. 50. 2007 The DevHouse organizing team got bigger. Joel there in the middle, responsible for our last Microsoft sponsorship, was also hired by PBwiki and moved here to be a part of this culture. Tom Harrison from LGLAN, to the left of Joel, started helping out around SHDH 4 and pretty much ever since.
  51. 51. SHDH 30 Jan 2009 @ Sun Eventually we reached our 30th DevHouse, which took place at Sun because one of their VPs attended DevHouse and invited us to have one there. This was our biggest event, and David decided to pitch the idea of “DevHouse all the time” -- Hacker Dojo. Part of the idea was it could be a place where SHDH happens, but also be infrastructure for others to start things like SHDH, hence the events at Dojo.
  52. 52. From there things happened quickly. The next day he made a wiki, then a Google group, then we were meeting, looking at spaces, incorporating. In the first 2 months, we were featured in Mercury News, then on Fox News... obviously an amazing snowball effect...
  53. 53. Hacker Culture A hacker is expert in their field, whether hobby or professional, that pushes the envelope of what’s possible through hands-on exploration, driven by relentless curiosity and a desire to challenge the status quo. Education peer learning inspiration learn by doing mentorship free classes teaching tools But back when it was still an idea... Brian talks about how we had no idea what it would turn into, but I’ve got to say it’s not far off from what I envisioned, and I’m sure for David too. There were two things about DevHouse I wanted to be more explicit in Hacker Dojo...
  54. 54. “The place of the way of the hacker” Now, obviously, Dojo has almost a mind of its own, and the collective membership can decide how it is the place of the way of the hacker, and continue to spread this hacker culture that is so important to me, and hopefully a lot of you.