Vesna Manojlovic

Six Years of Hackerspaces Tours During RIPE Meetings

Vesna Manojlovic

7 min read

2 You have liked this article 0 times.

Maybe surprisingly, there is quite an overlap between the RIPE community and the hackers community. Visiting a local hackerspace has been a tradition for more than five years: during RIPE Meetings, network operators groups, IXP meetings and other technical events. This is a nostalgic look back to the history of these encounters, and an invitation to join us for future explorations.


I've been a Community Builder at the RIPE NCC since 2011 (and a trainer since 1999), but I have been a hacker for much longer: since 1996 I have been taking part in hacker camps, conferences and other events, and now I am a member of several hackerspaces in Amsterdam.


My favourite definition of the hacker

See also:

Historically, the RIPE community consists of network operators, telecommunications and electrical engineers. Also historically, computer programmers and network engineers have been where the hackers community originated, and today this can be seen in the overlap that exists between the RIPE community and the hackerspaces community. 

The most fun with this overlap is when we visit local hackerspaces. 

Join us during RIPE 73 on Tuesday evening: visiting local hackerspace! 
See details here


What is a Hackerspace? 

"Hackerspaces are community-operated physical places, where people share their interest in
tinkering with technology, meet and work on their projects, and learn from each other."

-- Definition from 

There are more than 2,000 hackerspaces around the world today. Most of the "new" ones in Europe were created after 2007, although C-Base is much older, and a few in Amsterdam that I was part of existed before the name "hackerspace" became popular. 

hackerspaces signs

Hackerspaces are often similar to each other in many ways: their members are interested in a hands-on approach to technology, sharing their knowledge with like-minded people, and they value belonging to a self-organised community. To me, this sounds very much like RIPE community ethos too! 

There are also differences: some spaces are more artistic than others, some are more dedicated to activism & political awareness (often called hack-labs), and some are focused on the general public and offer commercial services (fab-labs and makerspaces). But in most of the European hackerspaces you can find several characteristic things:

  • Club Mate
  • 3D printers (self-made)
  • Stickers, T-shirts, other swag
  • Electronics & soldering workshop area 
  • Collection of books on technical & social topics (cryptography, programming..)
  • RIPE Atlas probe

Visiting Locals

We have been to about 20 places together in the last six years! Usually it's a small group of five to ten people, and we've had lots of fun exploring various local hackerspaces together. You can find all the links and upcoming events on this page:  Hackerspaces_tour#During_RIPE_Meetings.

What can you expect to do when you visit a hackerspace?

  • A local host often gives us a tour of the local facilities
  • You can get your "hackerspaces passport" stamped 
  • You will meet people you might have met before on another conference
  • Drinks are available and you are supposed to leave a donation (a system based on trust)
  • Please bring some stickers of your favourite Linux distribution/SW/other hackerspace 
  • Be careful when taking photos: some hackers are very privacy conscious: ask first! 

hackerspaces passport

   Hackerspaces passport: Collect a stamp at each visit

Hackers on Tour: Six Years, 20 Visits

Name City, Country Event Month, Year & Link
MetaLab Vienna, Austria RIPE 63 November 2011
CERN Geneva, Switzerland Swinog#23 November 2011
CyberPipe Ljubljana, Slovenia RIPE 64 April 2012
FixMe Lausanne, Switzerland Swinog#25 May 2012
TempInc Amsterdam, The Netherlands RIPE 65 September 2012
KIKA Skopje, Macedonia SEE2 April 2013
TOG Dublin, Ireland RIPE 66 May 2013
Hackerspace Budapest Budapest, Hungary BalCCon 2013 September 2013 Athens, Greece RIPE 67 October 2013
TechInc Amsterdam, The Netherlands MORE-IP May 2014
Hackerspace.PL Warsaw, Poland RIPE 68 May 2014
London HackSpace London, UK RIPE 69 November 2014
TechInc Amsterdam, The Netherlands RIPE Atlas DataViz Hackathon March 2015
Belgrade HackLab Belgrade, Serbia SEE 4 April 2015
TechInc Amsterdam, The Netherlands RIPE 70 May 2015
Hatch Bucharest, Romania RIPE 71 (hackathon) 13 November 2015
Karkhana Kathmandu, Nepal SANOG 27 January 2016
Labitat Copenhagen, Denmark RIPE 72 (hackathon) May 2016
Illutron Copenhagen, Denmark RIPE 72 (hackathon) May 2016
Makerspace Madrid Madrid, Spain RIPE 73 October 2016



   Doors & logos of hackerspaces worldwide

Hacking (&) RIPE 

I like bringing these two worlds together. I like combining my work and my hacking passions. To this end, I have been connecting
hackers & operators by giving presentations at hackers conferences, bringing input from these events back to the RIPE NCC,
organising hackathons, and having some more concrete mixed projects such as "Internet Governance for hackers"
probes at hackerspaces

                                                                                            Map of hackerspaces in Europe with RIPE Atlas probe installed

Call for Actions

Let's strengthen the ties that exist between these two communities! 

If you're a hacker:

  • Take part in the RIPE Meetings - they are fun, you can learn a lot, present your projects, and meet other hackers
  • Join RIPE mailing lists: that's where Internet policy is made! 
  • Place a RIPE Atlas probe in your hackerspace, register it on & tag it on  
  • Invite your members to join our hackathons
  • Invite other from the RIPE community to visit you 

If you are a network operator:

  • Go visit your local hackerspace - they are fun, you can learn a lot and you can meet other hackers (you can find the list & map on )
  • Make a new local hackerspace! 
  • Organise a hackathon 
  • Go to the hackers conferences: summer camps, winter congresses, and other events 

 So, join us during RIPE 73 on Tuesday evening: visiting local hackerspace! 
See details here

me myself and i

2 You have liked this article 0 times.

You may also like

View more

About the author

Vesna Manojlovic is Community Builder at RIPE NCC. Vesna joined the RIPE NCC as a Trainer in 1999. In 2003, she took responsibility for developing and delivering advanced courses, such as RPSL, Routing Registry, DNSSEC and IPv6. In 2008, she lead efforts to establish IPv6 RIPEness as a measure of IPv6 deployment among LIRs. In 2011, she joined the Science Division as Manager of the Measurements Community Building team; in 2015 she moved to Communications Department as Senior Community Builder, with a focus on organising hackathons. Vesna gives presentations at many technical conferences and workshops, and enjoys visiting hackerspaces. Vesna received a Batchelor of Sciences Degree in Computer Science and Informatics from the School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade. She has three children.

Comments 0