One of the great things about Metrix is its community. There are plenty of people who prefer to work alone, but for those who don’t, there are lots of events available at the shop. Besides workshops and makeshops, there are also various weekly meetups for those interested in the same kind of projects. One of the longest running such nights is Hacknight, which meets every Wednesday evening. Having started at least 10 years ago, Hacknight was a place for those interested in creating a mesh wireless network for the entire city, and has evolved into a fun night for hanging out and hacking on various things. I talked with a couple of regulars about why they come to Hacknight and what it means to them.
There are about eight or so regulars who come every week, although it is open to any who wish to come as well. I asked several people to describe what Hacknight is, and the general consensus was that it’s a sociable event where people get to talk and pretend to do work. People like that it’s a place outside of the office and home where they still get to work on interesting things with like-minded people. People will often work on programming projects, or think of new things to start that night (though I was told these usually happen somewhere between 11pm and 3am). A couple of examples of these projects would be the motor business card and the ongoing telephone project. People never seem to work on what they come to do, but it’s always fun.
Paige told me that she’s been coming for a couple of years now. She likes that it’s an excuse to “get out of the house and do stuff”. She comes to work on the code she’d normally be writing, but while here she also gets to see what other people are working on, share ideas, or learn about something new. She told me that having a regular meetup schedule is nice as it helps her continue the projects she’s working on and allows for easy feedback. I know a couple of people who have the luxury of working from home and they also like going to regular events. It can be easy to get stuck in a rut at home, especially if you forget to take a shower or change out of your pajamas. It’s good to have a space specifically designed to allow you to focus and be creative outside of the normal workplace.
Aimee, employee extraordinaire, told me that events with a general theme and direction help bring together people who might not otherwise meet. Hacknight was sort of a prototype of what Metrix became, and without it, the store wouldn’t exist. She said that they’re currently looking for more events to host in addition to Hacknight and the Makerbot night on Saturdays. There was a craft night, but people seem to have stopped coming regularly. She said if you have any neat ideas about a regular meetup you’re interested in, please let Metrix know! They’d love to bring craft night back to life, or maybe have a music/MIDI night as well.
Personally, I would love to see some kind of needlework/knitting/crochet night. I’m learning to embroider, and it can be tough to find time to work on my project. Being part of a group of people all working on things and talking sounds way more interesting than being alone. It can be tough to focus after a while if there’s nothing to keep me interested in my project. I’m having fun, but it can get a little repetitive after a while. What sorts of nights would you like to see happen?
If you have an interesting project that you’re working on at Metrix, and would like to be featured in the blog, email me- firstname.lastname@example.org.