Going to Berlin for New Year's Eve

Fernsehturm in Alexanderplatz

I just got non-binding but relatively firm approval today at work to go to Berlin at the end of the year. I’m going to go to the 25th Chaos Communication Congress (25C3) this year for Mozilla, along with “Tomcat,” one of my German coworkers.

The Chaos Communication Congress is an annual four-day conference organized by the Chaos Computer Club in Germany. It takes place at the Berliner Congress Center at Alexanderplatz in Berlin (the former East Berlin). Over the four days, there are sessions from the late morning through to past midnight on each day with the event ending on December 30. Wikipedia states that the event has had 4,500 people in the past.

If you go to the wiki for last year’s events, you can get more details. They have the schedule up from last year and it includes sessions ranging from Simulating the Universe on Supercomputers (video) to Hacking in the age of declining everything (video) and Overtaking Proprietary Software Without Writing Code (video). You can see recorded video from last year as an iTunes podcast as well.

R plans to come to Germany as well though she may not attend much of the congress. How often do you get a chance to go to Berlin for New Year’s Eve, after all? We’ll probably arrive just after Christmas on December 26, which is a Friday, and stay for eight days, leaving on January 3. This will give us some time to see the sights in Berlin, visit some museums, etc. after the congress is over before heading home. I’ll be pretty busy for much of the even since sessions run all afternoon and evening for those four days. Still, it ought to be a lot of fun.

This makes for an even busier travel year between Canada in July, Las Vegas in early August, Black Rock City at the end of August, and Egypt in late September or early October. Of course, half of these are for my work so they aren’t all vacation but it is a lot of travel.