On April 24 and 25 we had a LibreOffice Hackfest at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria at the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) in it's IT faculty building. Due to the geographical distance for some community members understandably a little bit less frequented than other hackfests in the past, but nevertheless of course great fun for the participants. And an even bigger opportunity to introduce LibreOffice and Free Software development to the local IT students, as the dean of the IT faculty Fran Santana was very enthusiastic about this event and helpfully provided rooms, equipment and personnel and invited interested students to attend our talks.
On Thursday we had introductory talks with about 20-30 listeners. Not that many, but given that it was a week of exams not a bad number either, whoever took an exam on that day wasn't attending and whoever did not take an exam probably was reading for an examination instead ... in fact it was very quiet in the building.
All talks were streamed live and recorded and are available on YouTube as a 1h30 video. Thanks to Jorge Castellano of ULPGC.
I noticed some shyness in the audience.. how can we, as a large project, bridge the gap and attract young fellow hackers who aren't that experienced and maybe didn't get in contact with a Free Software project yet? Anyhow, four students showed up during the days, all were interested in how to contribute something in Python. Apparently Python is quite popular.. so there's room for writing API unit tests, contribute to server infrastructure and some.
There's a list of achievements in the wiki, but no less important is the community building process. I'd like to see more local events to spread the word and attract interested developers, especially C++ hackers of course who'd like to work on application code. The next LibreOffice Hackfest will be at Paris, on June 27-28.
A special Thank You goes to Alberto Ruiz from Red Hat, who himself studied at the very same university, and Fran Santana, the dean of the IT faculty at ULPGC, who both collaborated closely to make all this happen. Fran's dedication and commitment in hosting this hackfest made it a great success. And of course a Thank You to the city of Las Palmas for choosing and using LibreOffice, which triggered the initial idea of having a hackfest at Las Palmas and lead to a great stay. We should do this again :-)