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A special month of March, week 1, Europa-Park, Germany.

Click on images to see their bigger version.

Wow, I needed an extra week, and some holidays, to process everything I experienced during these events before to be able to write about it! What an amazing week, followed by week 2: the Switzerland Community Day and holidays and week 3: the last venue visit in Torino for co-organisers (EDIT: mentioned in July the WordCamp Europe 2024 as a co-organiser post).

The Cloudfest Hackathon

First of all, a big thank you to Carole Olinger, Alain Schlesser and Lukas Radke for organising the Hackathon! I know it’s a lot of work and you are amazing!

I want to say that my participation is related to the panel I took part in at WordCamp Europe 2023, Contributing to WordPress without knowing “how to code”. It’s about the fact that non-coders are also being necessary for any project. An interview with DoTheWoo is coming on this subject.

Until last year, I never thought I could participate to the Hackathon! I used to see my friend Florian Blaser coming to WordPress Meetup events in Lausanne every month wearing the 2023 Cloudfest jacket and I used to joke and say “Nice jacket” every time!

When my dear Anne-Mieke Bovelett told me last December “I asked you for my project! I asked you because you rock at research”, I felt like WOW, me?!

I knew Anne-Mieke proposed a project on Accessibility, called “Can Everyone Use ____?” and I was thrilled to be able to contribute to it!

On the first morning of the Hackathon, Saturday 16 March, all the projects (see the list on the Hackathon site) were presented to the participants so that they could choose which one they would like to join. We got amazing people on our team, with accessibility experts. You can find out more about the outcome by visiting the Can Everyone Use website we created during the event. It’s a tool for developers, aimed at optimising access to information about creating accessible software, applications and websites. A list of UX libraries and frameworks and an indication of their accessibility. To find out more, visit the “About the Project” page.

All the projects were excellent, which makes it even more exciting that we won 3 Hackathon awards with our project. The Social media award, the Web Impact award and the Overall Winner! I’m so happy for Anne-Mieke for all the hard work and heart she’s put into this project! And for me and the rest of the team! What a wonderful first experience! The same day 2 other very nice things happened! More in a future post…

The people

What’s more? The people! As always. Of course there were a lot of my WordPress friends (we are almost 50% of the web after all!), but I got to meet other people out of our bubble. Accessibility experts and other people in our project where I made new friends from our team: Beatriz González Mellídez, Tatiana Valachi, Özhan Sahillioglu, Dhanuka Nuwan Gunarathna and more! And out of our team with Laura, Andrew, etc

Also people from AlmaLinux, the MariaDB Foundation and group of persons from the Typo3 and Joomla communities, see my X/Tweet about them! Happy to connect!

And of course, the Groundbreaker Talents! I had the chance to meet Vanessa Nalugya and Esther Nansubuga from Uganda. Read more about their participation on this LinkedIn post! And it was great fun to ride the Blue Fire rollercoaster with you Esther!

A quick note about the Mario Kart competition, if anyone made fun of me, you are …. right 😆. I used to play with my kids some years ago, but I always need a few testing laps to get used to driving again without hitting the walls, and there, no testing laps! Congrats Laura, you’re the best!

You can see all the photos taken by Roan de Vries (Vulgar Productions) during the Hackathon.

Thank you Bob Dunn (DoTheWoo) and Simon Kraft (KrautPress) for having me in your interviews!

My selfie-wall

Photos taken during the whole event.

In order of appearance (but not repeated), left to right:
Anne-Mieke Bovelett, Thierry Muller, Pascal Birchler, Beatriz González Mellídez, Cesar Ayala, Bob Dunn, Javier Casares, Cyrille Coquard, Sujay Pawar, Pratik Chaskar, Roan de Vries, Remkus de Vries, Shanta Nathwani, Birgit Olzem, Jamie Marsland, Philipp Zeder, Karel Bříza, Simon Kraft, Juana Meyer, Earl Cruz, Carole Olinger, Alain Schlesser
(two pictures with “photobombs” by Dennis Hipp and Carole Olinger 😆 )

The rest of the Cloudfest

Cloudfest is a great fair for all things hosting! It was great to put faces behind online connections, like with Hetzner, where I have my cloud servers (I love your “404 coffee not found” sticker, which is now on my laptop. I also had the opportunity to see some people from WEDOS: the so friendly Vendula Králová whom I met at WordCamp Verona last November (nice moments with you and Rob, the Europa-Park security guy) and Karel Bříza whom I had been in in touch about sponsoring the Switzerland Community Day. It was great seeing you and, besides your sponsorship, thanks for the fruit juices at your booth!

There was also the WP Day on Monday, where I got to see many friends, and attended a few talks.

I also spent hours in great conversations during all the meals and parties!


Wow, I love it! I came first to Europa-Park in my childhood, and maybe 10 times since, with the 3 or 4 last times with my children! It’s incredible how the park has grown since the 80ies! And how much more fun it is to do it without the queues!

On the Sunday evening, the Blue Fire was open for 2 hours just for us, the Hackathon participants! Thank you Intel for sponsoring it!

The last time I came with my family, I wasn’t able to ride the Blue Fire, as there were too many long queues and we had to split the family and choose between the Blue Fire and the Silverstar! So this was my first time on the Blue Fire and I was able to do it 3 times on Sunday evening! And then 2 more times on Thursday (see below under Serendipity). It’s a ride with an accelerated start (from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds) and lots of loops and twists. See more on Europa-Park site or on a 360° video on Veejoy. Yes, watching it now on the previous link (and with the same music) and I’m getting the same emotions as when I rode it and can almost feel the presence of the people I rode with!

During the Cloudfest, big rides were open from midday to 15:00. We got to ride the Silverstar, the big rollercoaster with lots of Gravity 0 moments on top of arches! If you wonder what it feels like and know about PortAventura in Spain, it’s a bit similar to the Shambala rollercoaster. I love it! See the Silverstar on Europa-Park site or on a 360° video on Veejoy.

As well as the rides, it was great to have the whole of Europa-Park with far fewer people than when it’s open to the public, to have the streets of the German zone open on the first evening (Monday) with bars and food stalls, it was such an atmosphere! and to walk around every corner of the park on the following days, walking or taking the monorail!

Staying in themed hotels! wow! I stayed at the “El Andaluz” hotel, and Europa-Park makes you feel like you’re there (well, sort of😉 ) with the decor and everything! I also got to the Colosseo (Italian) for the evening parties, the Santa Isabel (Portuguese) for the Hackathon and the Krønasår (Scandinavian) near Rulantika park for the last evening party!


Meeting people out of serendipity!

Europa-Park rides on the last day: as the friend I thought was going to ride more rollercoasters with me was not feeling to do them again, and me not liking to ride them alone, I remembered the power of Serendipity. I got to the Silverstar but it was closed, so I headed to the Blue Fire and looked for people being alone! I first rode with a fellow Swiss citizen working for an hosting company, and for my second ride, I met an amazing person, Adam Dahou, a young French football player (for my american friends: soccer⚽). Yeah, we recognised we had the same accent so we switched to French 😆. As well as working for Ynvolve, an IT company in the Netherlands, he helps young athletes obtain funding to study in the USA via his FlyFrench Athletics agency! That’s wonderful and if I can help him with some outreach, I will do it! Thank you Adam, it was great talking with you after the Blue Fire!

I also got to eat “randomly” with 3 guys from the Swiss company atside AG from Basel (Basel Land) at the last evening dinner at the Krønasår! I got attracted by the cheese on your table 😆🧀. I will connect with you!

Some tourism

Colmar (France) being only 40 km from Europa-Park, I went there on a quick morning visit with a friend on Tuesday. With a en route stop on the Markolsheim hydroelectric power plant and navigation lock.

And followed the Cloudfest showing some nice places of Switzerland to a friend: Lucerne (Kappellbrücke) and Gruyères (Castle, Giger Museum and Swiss cheese fondue 🫕) and the scenic roads between them, before heading to Murten for the Switzerland Community Day about which another post is coming. Great moments!

7 responses to “Cloudfest and Hackathon 2024”

  1. Michelle avatar

    It sure reads like you had a great time… and great moments connecting with people 😉 Great for you; you well deserve this return on investment! 🎊

    1. Patricia BT avatar
      Patricia BT

      Thank you Michelle!
      Yes it was a “parenthèse enchantée”, to use a French expression 😀

  2. Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez avatar
    Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez

    You do rock at research Patricia. It has been a pleasure to meet you and have you in the team.
    The most important thing in accessibility and user experience is the conversations: listening, asking the right question, and listening again to adapt the following questions!
    Please: don’t be a stranger 🤟

    1. Patricia BT avatar
      Patricia BT

      So happy to have met you as well!
      See that selfie with Anne-Mieke, you and me? Aren’t we Wonder Women? 💪😉
      I hope to see you again next year! ❤️

  3. Adam Dahou avatar
    Adam Dahou

    Hey Patricia,

    It was truly a pleasure sharing that moment with you. I wasn’t familiar with the term “serendipity” before, but now I’m definitely onboard with the concept. I never expected such an encounter, and your openness and zest for life really made it special. Meeting people like you shows me how important it is to be open and not afraid to reach out to others because behind every encounter, there’s so much to learn. I’d be thrilled to cross paths with you again.

    And hey, if your son decides to get back into football and wants to embark on a US adventure, you know he’ll be in good hands 😉

    Congratulations on your blog—it’s a joy to read.

    Merci encore et à très vite !

    Take care,

    1. Patricia BT avatar
      Patricia BT

      Merci Adam!!

      Yeah, you never know who you are going to meet! I’m glad you are onboard with Serendipity! (and that you like my blog 😉)

      Tell me if I can help for some outreach for FlyFrench Athletics, and I might know a kid that could be interested, thank you so much (but no, my son doesn’t want to play football again! 😅)

      See you maybe … somewhere sometime in the future!
      Take care too!

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