The first place I turn is to Pittsburgh hackers. Whether we're talking about analog hacking or digital hacking, hacking makes openness part of its disciplinary DNA. Not surprisingly, given all the tech folks around here, Pittsburgh has a pretty lively hacking community. Take a look at:
PGH Geeks (Geek Night)
(I was going to list the Pittsburgh Coding Dojo, but I can't find a live link.)
Are there others? Have I used outdated links? Let me know in the comments.
Partly just because the names are so cool, I have to list two hacking communities in the Silicon Valley that epitomize this stuff: SuperHappyDevHouse, and Hacker Dojo.
From the SuperHappyDevHouse front door:
"The premier monthly hackathon event that combines serious and not-so-serious productivity with a fun and exciting party atmosphere.Hacker Dojo isn't an event. It's an actual place:
SuperHappyDevHouse is a non-exclusive event intended for creative and curious people interested in technology. We're about knowledge sharing, technology exploration, and ad-hoc collaboration. Come to have fun, build things, learn things, and meet new people. It's called hacker culture, and we're here to encourage it."
"Hacker Dojo is a community center for hackers and thinkers to meet, discuss, learn, create, build and play."A lot of this is just hacking for the heck of it. It's fun, it's cool, and people bring soda and Cheetos and sometimes much, much better stuff to eat, drink, and listen to. But odds are that you put enough hackers together long enough -- the Dojo, for example, and HackPittsburgh, which has space on the South Side (Pop City wrote about it)-- and products and eventually companies start to emerge. Does anyone have a really good story or two of a local company that came out of Pittsburgh's hacker culture?