Projects/Hackerspaces in Cologne and Bonn
Hackerspaces in the Cologne/Bonn region in Western Germany have a tradition of bringing together young people to work on projects. We want to form a software development group for these. The hackerspaces provide a local community of young and gifted hackers, eager to churn out new exciting software for the OLPC XO. We want to hack, learn, share, and teach software development on the OLPC XO.
The concept of giving young people a technical challenge to work on in teams emerged at the Chaos Computer Club Cologne (C4) in 2002. It was called U23 and has been successfully done four times so far. Past projects included robotics, Unix network programming (tunneling a chat protocol over ICMP), electronics and microcontrollers etc. The concept was also adopted by other CCC organizations and generated interest in the the German IT press (heise.de). During a course of several weeks (including a field trip to a castle on a weekend for some hyperfocussed hacking), young people learned skills beyond the obvious technical tasks, such as team work and decision making.
U23 is however just one part of the hackerspace concept which we have been working on for more than 10 years now. It also includes building a self-organized and non-commercial room for experiments in technology. FreeWRT, a meta GNU/Linux distribution for embedded systems, is largely written at the Bonn hackerspace Netzladen, where the core members of the project are among the founders of the space.