So I’ve been to the 29th Chaos Communication congress or as it’s called 29C3. 6000 people over 4 days 10 minutes from my door. Impressive. Short list of highlights from a person that’s used to LCA or GUADEC:
- entirely volunteer-run
- the audience is young
- very wide-ranging topics (security, politics, activism, lockpicking – I only missed engineering)
- international high-caliber varied talks (my favorites being Jacob Appelbaum, DJB, Violet Blue)
- Internet works all the time (8 of 30Gbps max usage)
- own cell phone network
- very central location
- a really nice mood
- great marketing and press cooperation
- working live streams from FEM of every talk
- every talk in German live-translated into English
- videos available on Youtube and via FTP on the same day.
- I didn’t see any numbers, but would expect ~10% females.
- the same gender issues exist, too.
- I very much enjoyed the Germanness of the conference.
- Everyone spoke English fluently. So I probably shouldn’t be proud of my English abilities.
My only problem: I perceive myself as an engineer, not as a hacker. It’s extremely interesting, but not quite the world I get excited about. But I’ll definitely be back next year.