NixOS Ocean Sprint Retrospective

“It would be nice to escape the cold and rainy weather of German winter” is something a lot of Germans would say during the cold season of December. So we did. Andy and Janne (which will now be referred as “us” or “we”) got the honor of being invited to the NixOS Ocean Sprint in Lanzarote on the Canaries. It was honestly great to escape home after not leaving home for about two years due pandemic-related reasons. While we were told it was the coldest December in a long time it was million times better than what we got reported from home. Spending time in the sun in December is just great.

While this sounds like NixOS-sponsored vacation it was actually a very productive week of “intense NixOS hacking” (as the Ocean Sprint website puts it). In total there were 14 people hacking in a villa in Costa Teguise. We were able to exchange ideas, come up with new concepts and help each other out. There wasn’t a greater goal, just everyone bringing their NixOS projects to an island and working on them together with others. It was good to finally meet the people you have been working along for years now and being able to cooperate in person was really motivating and helped to do a lot of work very quickly. There were all sorts of larger projects, medium-size projects (like us working on or refactoring the MariaDB packaging), and small ones like the regular reviewing/merging efforts along with discussions about helping the organization to steer into a more organized form.

All this being said, it wasn’t just work either. We were able to enjoy volcano climbing, body surfing, and more, along with the great weather and awesome people to spend the time with, just chatting. Most of us took another week of vacation to see more of the island and just to have a good time.