Hacman Culture

As a cultural thing I’d like us to be more compassionate and less judgemental.

This is a hack erspace, and if people don’t feel they can try stuff out, help with things, do things wrong, make a mess of things - all without undue judgement - then we’re letting ourselves down. This applies both to physical spaces and in our online chats. Often I think this judgement is unintentional or perceived. We all have plenty of shortcomings and insecurities and personally speaking, having to have a guard up makes me do the projects I can at home instead, which makes me wonder if I want my membership still. I’m aware there’s been times where I’ve been judgemental, that was wrong of me, it’s an easy mistake that I’d like to check myself on.

Coming in to learn should be what we’re all about. Knowing the community will be compassionate when you make a mistake is a large part of hackerspace culture, as well as being fun, safe, and nurturing.

Some examples of what I’d like us to aim for:

  • Coming across wrong in a message and knowing that instead of people blowing up there will be a polite discussion to clear the air
  • Making a mess of something and knowing that it isn’t being transferred as a judgement of you or your ability. As a leisure activity, it’s possible there’s a lot on someones mind.
  • Appreciating the knowledge and skills you have, so when you meet someone who doesn’t have them, you are humbled instead of getting elitist.
  • If you mess something up and find it funny - share it! Other people might learn from it. And you making a mistake isn’t a reflection on you.

Interested to hear if this is felt by anyone else.
We have to make sure our culture continually stays healthy.


We can delve into many aspects of culture here. The one I would want to bring up is just general British culture. An example is the startup scene, in America it’s common to start something, fail and start again. There’s no worry about living back with your parents, having no money and trying to look for the next big idea. Failure is almost embraced.
What I see here in the UK is a more conservative approach, people stepping on eggshells and worried about failure or perceived failure. It just seems to built into our mannerisms and history.
Even with the group that I run, we’ve had many,many (ridiculously too many) failures and I was happy to document that but other members didn’t want to talk about it or even for me mention it in writing.
So I agree with Cone but I’m also surprised, I feel I’ve been allowed to do what I want and get the help I need (even it requires extracting) I feel the hackspace is a microcosm already of an open, creative society.
But if there a feeling that is not that, then we need to celebrate failure and make the hackspace a place where we can try things without judgement, not just for the space itself but for people outside who feel the same way we do. That’s why I joined and stayed.

Hey @Cone

We discussed this at the board meeting tonight and as part of a wider review of the code of conduct we expect some of this to be addressed as part of this. This won’t happen till mid January but is in the pipeline so to speak.