Hackanoi has Landed in Vietnam – A Hacker’s Paradise

Credit: Anggatantama Art
Credit: Anggatantama Art

Life is filled with amazing possibilities. It’s up to you to find one, grab it and hold on. My friend Tom Tran found one. It’s incredible! His goal is to create a space where people can meet and create awesomeness. He and his friends from Cobri want to make a hackerspace unlike anything Hanoi has ever seen. If the word hacker frightens you, please continue reading. I hope you won’t be afraid when you’re done reading this post.

Tom is German and spent much of his youth curious about computers. His parents didn’t understand the value of a computer so he never had one. During his high school years he’d often spend time at a hackerspace in Berlin. One weekend there’d be a LAN party. Another weekend he’d learn how to make a computer or a website.

Tom and I were both curious about technology at a young age. As a kid I’d be in my basement surrounded by the glow of the computer screen. I thought…how does this thing work? I took it completely apart. Then I put everything back together. It still worked! Even with a few parts missing. I asked myself…why? This question led me to building a computer from scratch. I would order parts from New Egg. I’d get a graphics card, a motherboard, RAM, and everything. Then I just started building. I didn’t have a manual or a teacher. This was before the Web became popular so there wasn’t a lot of information online. My friends and I would read 2600. We’d listen to Emmanuel Goldstein talk about Kevin Mitnick on Off The Hook. We even went to a HOPE conference in NYC. I read Gibson and Stephenson. I watched WarGames and Sneakers. I continued asking why and teaching myself about technology.

When you were young would you ask your parents a lot of questions? I certainly did. A hacker isn’t someone to be afraid of. They’re curious. They ask questions. They figure out how something works by taking it apart. Hackers are people who never stop asking questions.

Tom wants to gather these curious and creative people together. He wants to give them the resources they need and help them with their projects. He’s found a building in Hanoi he’s turning into a hackerspace. He describes it as:

“A social center for hackers and makers – A place that ignores the mass hysteria of drilling hackers to desperately get rich fast vs true technological creativity, passion and cause driven collaborative innovation.”

It’s strategically located in a prime area in Hanoi, near business districts, research labs, and Bach Khoa University (HUST). He has all kinds of cool ideas. Some of them are: speakers from all over the world, members sharing knowledge, access granted to economically challenged individuals, hands on workshops, and monthly hackathons.

Tom plans to open Hackanoi before the end of November. To learn more you can contact Tom on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Address of Hackanoi: 8 Trang Thi, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi