Do you collaborate IRL?

Development of the hobby / non-profit projects I maintain or contribute to happens almost exclusively online, but that is not a strict requirement for FOSS in general. I wonder sometimes if I’m missing out on a whole category of experience by focusing on the internet side-of-things instead of building local groups.

When working professionally, I’ve found pair programming and brainstorming together more fun and productive than working alone, but it’s hard to apply that workflow online.

As for open source projects, I’ve only really collaborated with family members to create games for game jams, where I wrote the code.

Are you working on FOSS with people in your area? How does that look like? I’d love to hear more about it!

Fortunately, I go to a large enough university that there is a Linux club, where a lot of IRL collaboration happens. I think that other IRL channels include local makerspaces, but I don’t have much experience with those outside of university.

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Not really local, but I regularly attend on-location community sprints organized by TYPO3 (as I am a core contributor) and while we also do remote meetings and coding sessions here and there, I feel that the week we spend together in focus is quite the productive time. It’s also generally a more fun time, just from the social aspects.

TYPO3 is a bit in a special spot here because it has the benefit of the service company having larger offices in central Germany (the larger space was rented especially to host on-location sprints).

Previously, and that might be an option to other projects as well, we seeked location sponsorships from companies that are users/otherwise affiliated with the project. Sometimes it’s as easy as asking your employer to free up a room in the office for a few days.

I’ve sometimes contributed to software from people I’ve met at the local hackerspace and meetups, but ironically I’d still end up doing the code (and sometimes graphics, oh no) at home.
That said I’ve helped a bit on showcasing (including an old pinball game) locally, and I think that’s an area where the offline/AFK aspect of things matters quite a lot.