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I went to Akademy.

  Ok, but what is Akademy?

Akademy is the annual gathering of the KDE community.

This was my first in-person Akademy, my first time in Greece and my second time meeting KDE people. Even though the heat was scorching in Thessaloniki all week, I really enjoyed Akademy. I met some cool people and I learned a lot.

The day before the first keynote, we had a welcome event at a bar, so the next morning I already knew a few more people than before.
The first 2 days consisted of the main talks. KDE's board, developers, designers and documentation writers had talks, as well as people from KDAB, Codethink, Ubuntu and Qt. The presentations were all interesting, though some were very technical and went way over my head. We learned about accessibility, Matrix and the Fediverse, fundraising, satellites, solar panels and eco-friendly software, speech recognition, remote desktops, the many ways to deploy apps and how the communication infrastructure at KDE works - and sometimes doesn't work. Here are some more details.
You'll be able to watch the talks online soon - I just need to figure out how to use Audacity first, because the audio is very jittery.

The remaining days were spent with birds of a feather discussions. The most interesting for me were the Promo, Wiki Improvements and Internal Communications BoFs. I also attended a comprehensive training about Qt Design Studio by Nuno - sadly my laptop broke, so I couldn't follow along.
The volunteers from the Unversity of Macedonia were friendly and helped us in everything (and at least one of them was the same age as me).

We went on a boat trip around the bay one night and on a trip to Mount Olympus - I overslept my alarm that day but luckily could get on a train and catch up with the others later at the sea.
Between the events, I had quite some time to discover Thessaloniki. I saw a lot of old rocks, ate in a couple of nice restaurants and got angry at the local bus schedule - or the lack of one - a lot. The city is full of historical artifacts everywhere you look: old churches, walls, and ruins under buildings, on vacant lots and in parks. The museums are all free for young people, so I visited the Museum of Byzantine Culture, the Archeological Museum and the Jewish Museum. The city became much more alive night - so many restaurants and bars full of people, tourists exploring, kids playing outside. It felt like everyone and their grandma was on the street after the sun set (and it was only 29℃).

Last but not least, I'm immensely thankful to the KDE e.V. for funding a part of my trip to Akademy and making this all possible - and by extension to everyone who donated to KDE.

Learn more about Akademy here.

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