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hackathon blog post
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title: "Wikimedia Hackathon Athens 2023"
date: 2023-06-01
tags: [wikimedia]

I attended my first in-person technical event last month: the
[2023 Wikimedia Hackathon] in Athens, Greece! After initially getting
involved [just before certain major world events] it was really nice to
finally get an opportunity to meet both people I'd consider friends and
that I've never worked with before.[^1]

[2023 Wikimedia Hackathon]: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Hackathon_2023
[just before certain major world events]: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Google_Code-in/2019
[CC BY 4.0]: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en

[^1]: Although most of the attendees had at least heard of my name, which made this a really weird experience meeting new people.

![Me hacking at the hackathon](/img/wmhack2023-hacking.jpg)
{{< img-caption >}}I'm the one in the middle here, with a green t-shirt and a hat. <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wikimedia_Hackathon_2023_-_Hacking_Room_-_Day_1_-_3.jpg">Image</a> credit: <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en">CC BY 4.0</a> by <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:TiagoLubiana">Tiago Lubiana</a>.{{< /img-caption >}}

[Back in February] I predicted that I'd be working on "Likely something
WMCS related? Or MW auth stuff (CA/OATHAuth)". In the end I ended up
hopping between multiple projects. To summarize:
* I worked with [Dreamy Jazz] on [this CheckUser patch]. I really
  enjoyed getting a perspective on how the CheckUser tool is actually
  used day-to-day and what kinds of features the CUs find useful.
* [Kunal] and I [deployed] the [RealMe] extension to Wikimedia sites. I
  think I was the first person to verify their Wikimedia user page on
  a Mastodon profile, even though I [was beaten by Raymond] on
  announcing the new feature to the public. This was certainly one of
  my more interesting experiences deploying stuff to production,
  considering it was a Friday evening[^2] and there was a very real
  chance of missing dinner if something went wrong.
* I helped [Arturo] with using [toolforge-weld], which is a new helper
  library project I started a few weeks before the event.
* I helped a bunch of people with using Toolforge and Cloud VPS, and
  processed access and quota requests to unblock people.

[Back in February]: https://www.mediawiki.org/w/index.php?title=Wikimedia_Hackathon_2023/Connect&diff=prev&oldid=5750504
[Dreamy Jazz]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Dreamy_Jazz
[this CheckUser patch]: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/c/mediawiki/extensions/CheckUser/+/921243
[Kunal]: https://blog.legoktm.com/2023/05/31/2023-wikimedia-hackathon-recap.html
[deployed]: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T324535
[RealMe]: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:RealMe
[was beaten by Raymond]: https://social.cologne/@Raymond/110396164044936279
[Arturo]: https://ral-arturo.org/2023/05/31/hackathon.html
[toolforge-weld]: https://gitlab.wikimedia.org/repos/cloud/toolforge/toolforge-weld

[^2]: We did undeploy an another extension just before deploying this one, so technically we didn't change anything.

I ended up attending a couple of sessions that I found interesting. I
wish I could've attended more, but as expected I couldn't consentrate
on the presentations anymore after attending a couple, and I slept over
one that I really wanted to attend :(. I still managed to have very
interesting conversations with lots of different people.

Thank you to the WMF for providing me a scholarship to attend the event.

About the travel experience itself:
* This was my first time travelling internationally alone. Everything
  went well, which was nice.
* I liked the Copenhagen and Stockholm-Arlanda airports, everything
  worked as expected and there were not too many people there. I've
  been in Stockholm and Copenhagen before many times, but never flown
  via either of those.
* I flew with two new aircraft types I have not flown on before: [B738]
  and [CRJ900]. I already dislike the CRJ family as they are clearly
  designed for shorter people.

[B738]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_737_Next_Generation#737-800
[CRJ900]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardier_CRJ700_series#CRJ900

I can't wait to meet everyone again, whether that's at Wikimania in
Singapore later this year, next year's hackathon or something else.

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