One Month Update on the Hackerspace

On the 1st of August, that is last month, we launched the first proper Hackerspace in Hyderabad, a space where developers from the city could take membership to come down, learn together, collaborate on projects, contribute to open source, engage in self-learning and peer-learning. Today marks the one month anniversary of the launch, and on that note we owe you an update.

Overall Summary

We received a total of 84 applications for the space, from which 22 people have taken the one month membership. Almost 30% of enrolled people are from the Python/ Data Science/ Machine Learning domain, thanks to the Python Hyderabad community. Another 30% are our own members from the freeCodeCamp Hyderabad community, most of their domain being web development.

The overall average presence of members during the day time was around 3 people. And most often, they were not people in the same domain or at the same level of expertise to collaborate or learn together. This has been our biggest lesson, most people were unable to make the time to come down to the space together and engage in the activities predefined by us.

6 of our current members are full time self-learners, meaning they are not doing any job or college. They are either graduated and looking for work or just shifting gears to get into a better paying developer position. Majority of our members are working professionals, while only 5 are still in college.

Because of the low presence issue, we weren't able to engage in much group activities, like contributing to open source projects together or solving coding challenges. We did however have many interesting discussions on diverse range of topics, and screened two separate documentaries — The Internet’s Own Boy and Citizenfour. We also did not host the Mock Interview and Speed Interview events last month, due to not having enough members looking for a job.

3 members in total canceled their membership last month, and only 2 members were provided with a discount on the membership fee. We generated a total revenue of 21000 Rs, 50% of which was shared with Collab House, our co-partners for the Hackerspace and the location where it is currently incubated.

Plan for this Month

We have decided to change a few things and implement some new ideas to improve the overall value the space can generate for this month.

  • We no longer will have any selection process. Anyone, meaning anyone at all who wants to either learn or give back to the community, is free to directly come down to the space at any time between 10 am and 9 pm to check it out and directly take membership (Fee : 1000 Rs / month).
  • We will stick to our original schedule and list of activities, and make sure to host the Mock Interview as well as Speed Interview meetups.
  • We will make all our movie screenings a public meetup, so that non-members can also come down and interact.
  • We will use the funds collected from last month to buy bean bags for the Hackerspace, and keep investing in the space to improve the experience for the members.
  • We will start encourage members to take up freelancing projects, and work on it together, while making some money in return.

If you have any ideas to suggest, or any questions, you can share them in our Facebook group.