2014 was an incredible year for Hackergarten! To begin with, the original group in Basel had consistent meetings throughout the year, with half of the total people attending being new to the group. We were enjoying ourselves so much at Basel that in early March, Anatole Tresch (@atsticks) decided to launch the Zurich Hackergarten Chapter. But the fun didn’t stop there, Marcus Fihlon (@mcpringle) decided that Luzern would not be left behind and kickstarted the Luzern Hackergarten Chapter in October. Not to mention that we also had a session in Bern half-way through the year.
So, if you’re a developer living in Switzerland, know that there are a few options to get your hacking fix each month. We’re also considering hosting sessions in Lausanne, Geneva and Lugano; if you’re interested, let us know!
Being an open group about all things open source means we can host sessions whenever, and wherever a group of hackers show interest. And what better place is there to round up interested individuals for a couple of hours of hacking fun than at a software conference? We’ve hosted Hackergarten sessions at international conferences in the past, and 2014 was no exception.
We began the year at JavaLand in March with a modest setup because everything at JavaLand was brand new! Then came Devoxx FR in April, where French speaking developers did an amazing job with their contributions. Next came Hackergarten month (June) as we had not one, not two but four meetings – one for each week. The first meeting was at Gr8conf CPH (our fifth) with close to 70 people in attendance. And I must confess, for me, Gr8conf Hackergarten was the most fun and the most engaging event last year. Next came Devoxx UK, where attendees had the chance to mingle and code with JCP members and JSR spec leads thanks to the efforts of Heather Vancura (@heathervc). The second half of the month we had meetings in Bern and Basel.
The next international location was Crete in late August. The JCrete (un)conference is an incredible opportunity to turbocharge your brain. Unfortunately for the Hackergarten we couldn’t agree on a time and place to get it “officially” started but it did happen after a fashion.
In September, we found ourselves having fun in Oslo, a day before JavaZone started. Kudos to @javabin and @kodemaker for helping us to get the venue and sponsoring pizza and drinks at such short notice!
Closing the year came three more opportunities; JavaOne, JMaghreb and Devoxx BE [Editor’s note: you can meet some of the Devoxx BE hackers here!]. This was the second time we were able to host Hackergarten at JavaOne, but the first time we were able to use the original name (last year we had to go with CodeGarten – don’t ask!). Excitingly, JMaghreb hosted the first ever Hackergarten in Africa. Needless to say, we were very honoured and humbled by this opportunity. Devoxx closed the conference season, and once again we had lots of people interested in JSRs thanks to Heather. But this is not all – there were Hackergarten meetings hosted by JUGs too, for example Marseille JUG and JUG Hyderabad.
Throughout the year we hacked on many things. Just to name a few:
- Released several updates for the gradle-asciidoctor-plugin, a project that was born at a Hackergarten (back in JFokus 2013).
- Added better archiving support to jmh-gradle-plugin.
- Rekindled development on Json-lib by fixing long-standing bugs.
- Sent in patches for several gradle plugins to enable their publication to the Gradle Plugin Portal.
- Upgraded the Hackergarten website to a static site hosted at GitHub. Another patch added Angular support for better handling of upcoming and past events.
- Ed Burns fixed issue 1337 (yes, that number) of the JSF spec.
- Sven Reimers and co. finished TweetwallFX for Devoxx. There’s a 20 minute video about the details here.
- The TCK for JSR-354 (JavaMoney) was improved.
- Grails, Groovy, Griffon, GVM, Geb, Spock, Lazybones and other Groovy ecosystem projects benefited from many contributions made at Gr8Conf and other meetings.
As great as 2014 was we’re looking forward to things to come in 2015. We already have in schedule the next two meetings in Switzerland: Jan 22 at Canoo HQ (Basel) and Jan 29 at CSS Versicherung (Luzern). Additionally, there will be new destinations: VoxxedDays Ticino, GIDS. We’ll also revisit old and new favorites: Gr8conf CPH and JavaLand.