It started with Arjen doing the last lightning talk at OSDC 2008… a quick show of hands on who else had dealt with (or was dealing with) depression. Everybody had a look around, and thus knew that they weren’t alone. Afterwards, there was more positive feedback which continued over email in the days that followed. Someone suggested starting a group, and the same day bluehackers.org was born.

The objective of this initiative is to make visible that there are many fellow geeks among us who are intimately familiar with depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. It helps to know you’re not alone. And it’s not because we’re geeks, but because we’re human. The Australian BeyondBlue site is of course an excellent resource, but, because geeks have a specific work environment, there are also particular challenges in dealing with these issues, and that’s where we feel our group can help with additional insights, tips, and posts from others with experience. Using the logo, we can also make the topic visible at meetings and conferences around the world, ensuring that indeed no geek need feel alone in this, or feel unsupported. They can simply look around and see. Anybody will be able to show their support and understanding, in a kind and non-intrusive manner.

The bluehackers.org logo is derived from the Hacker Emblem (we adapted an SVG design by Keith Packard), which in turn is based on the Glider from Conway’s Game of Life. In our version, the glider moves towards more freedom, and from the darker into a lighter region. You get the idea… appropriate banners and other artwork will come, as will expressions of the logo on appropriate media. Please don’t just go off on your own creating swag, contact us. Same applies if you would like to be involved in another capacity (such as contributing on the website – and yes you can do that anonymously), or if you would like to help pay for stickers and other goodies, and our free psychologist service at conferences. Thanks!

You can reach us at: i n f o (at) b l u e h a c k e r s (dot) o r g

7 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi,
    I just wanted to pop in and say thank you….

    I found your site a few days ago, and like many I’ve been sparring with the black dog on and off for some time. By nature I have always been a bit of a hermit which doesn’t really help I guess.

    Reading through the articles here so many things ring true – I know much of the advice can be found in other places – god knows I have read enough of it before and discusseed much of it with people qualified to help.

    Somehow – presented as it is here – from people that understand how some of us think – it seems somehow far more real.

    Thank you so much – I know I will be a regular visitor here and I’m sure your efforts will help many more than just me.

    Cheers, Mark

    1. biju – I think the feed is working perfectly fine – it is just that no-one has posted content for a while. For many blue hackers the balance needs to be made between work, family, friends, open source projects, geek-based associations and, then, finding time to contribute. Thanks for your interest in Blue Hackers – it is great to know that it is being used.

  2. Just a quick comment; I like the idea of the stickers (collected from OSDC 2010), but I think the content on the front page of the site could be confusing for people who see the sticker and go there for the first time.

    Perhaps it would be appropriate to have an About page at the root of the website, and then have the blog content under /blog or /news or something?


  3. Today I was very happy to find out about bluehackers.org from one of the members of our Hackerspace in Adelaide (she was commenting on the hacker emblem t-shirt I was wearing at the time).

    I’m a software engineer / geek / hacker (etc…) and I have Bipolar II. I was unknowingly living under its thumb for about 20 years before getting diagnosed and finally being able to free myself from the belief that “everybody hurts” and I just deal with it worse than most. Now with a combination of medication and meditation, I am much better equipped to cope with my demons, and it very much feels like a new awakening.

    So, the Hackerspace. If anyone in the Adelaide area finds themselves at this site, I hereby welcome you to investigate our space. We are just starting out but have a growing community of hackers who meet regularly to collectively tinker with tech in a friendly and accepting atmosphere.

    So feel free to drop in. A calendar of our upcoming meetings (fortnightly) is on our website at http://hackerspace-adelaide.org.au

    Thanks, and I look forward to meeting you.

  4. Hi there,

    What do you suggest for people who haven’t yet finished their studies in IT/Computer Science? Social isolation is a real problem if reduced courseloads or missed semesters.

    Tried to find if there was any virtual space for people kind of in my situation re people with some programming knowledge – student having a hiatus due to mental health, student in summer break or unemployed not yet in market… to do collaborative coding, discuss IT stuff or maybe study a topic with a new buddy…

    Mastodon told me about this…

    At times I have read people’s post on reddit saying “Do a project with a buddy” – reduced courseloads and missed semesters mean if I did made any slight connections those people are in the workforce…

    At times when I was better I did attend meetups but I really don’t want to be the person never graduating etc.

    Also I haven’t learnt everything yet and regarding reduced courseloads maybe or probably forgetten some things so my confidence isn’t great….

    The idea of hackathon, reduced sleep, stress of not sure you are good enough means no go zone…

    Yes I know about github and gitlab…

    PS. You didn’t come up in google searches with depressed programmers depressed programming depressed coders depressed coding… depression… etc…

  5. I’m looking to create a peer support group for programmers/coders/web designer/people interested in IT for those currently struggling badly etc with medical conditions and disability etc… to do IT stuff.. Seems an impossible task (I’m not going to put myself out there in IT channels and ruin my career prospects before I’ve even started it) and there’s no major website for people with disability etc…. to post such as thing because support groups tend to be condition specific…. You would think it would be more economical for the government to start such an initiative rather than the companies re NDIS services not having any to do with that and some people using support workers for connection not applicable as for instance, I read on a mailing list about a poor person desperate for connection reach out for OS user interest group where it wasn’t the right forum….

Leave a Reply

because we're not just geeks – we're humans.