Base42: From a faulty garage to Skopje’s hub for IT enthusiasts

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in Interviews, IT Events

After a few losing battles with the steep garage entrance and several damaged side-mirrors, the folks at software company CodeChem decided that their office building wasn’t quite meant for cars after all.

Due to the inaccessible nature of the garage, the space has grown into something completely different throughout the years. Today, it is a place that unites a large number of IT enthusiasts from various spheres of the industry. Regarding what is the sole purpose and all the buzzling activities in Base42, we got the inside scoop from Pavlina Buchevska, community manager of this space.

Pavlina is an initiative and community that welcomes every IT enthusiast. Our headquarters or hackerspace, if you will, is called Base42 and it is located in a garage in Taftalidze. 

The idea has existed for years, and, to this day, it is still under development, taking everything in strides, and being shaped thanks to a lot of voluntarily work. This joined effort bears fruit to many smaller ideas that get fully realized in due time. The whole idea started during COVID-19, originating from a few engineers who saw programming and technology as both a job and a hobby. 

The main idea is to create a place where IT communities will be supported, technology innovations will be discussed, knowledge will be exchanged, and equipment will be shared. In a nutshell, the strive is to create a safe space with a possibility for nurturing strong friendships.  

The realization of the idea began a year and a half ago, when these same like-minded people started arranging the garage in which Base42 is located today. Woodworking tools are bought, sound panels are made by hand, a stage… these kinds of activities continue to this day. Everyone contributes as much as they can. Base42 is shaped by the ideas, needs and initiatives of the people and communities who come here.

Throughout history, it has been shown that many good ideas were created and shapen in a garage, is no exception to that belief. 

This place is a gift and belongs to all IT communities and all technology lovers. It operates as a separate entity. Every person who comes here and feels that they belong, can freely consider themselves as a valued member in Base42. That is and will remain the motto of hacker culture.

Many IT communities hold their monthly meetings at Base42. The number of visitors grows with each and every event. Base42 allows all kinds of hackathons, bootcamps, or informal meetings on a certain topic.

Many open-source projects have been started in Base42 and there are weekly meetings that are open to anyone that’s able and willing. The space houses a server rack for those who want to become more knowledgeable in servers, a 3D printer, microcontrollers, as well as other various tools. The idea is that if someone wants to learn something, they don’t have to buy these things, but come and use them. 

We are very glad that Doniraj kompjuter also opened a workshop in our premises, so everyone who wants to volunteer or donate a computer can come directly to Base42. Student organizations also take advantage of the space. 

Of course, we’re open to all kinds of other fun activities. We also organize board games night, documentary night, or concerts that allow up-and-coming bands to show their musical potential

Base42 also has a discord server where we hang out virtually. Well, take your pick and join the fun!

After the pandemic, many things were put on hold. Some ideas were never fully realized and others reached impressive heights. IT communities in Macedonia are slowly recovering. The hacker culture of curiosity, desire for new knowledge, selfless sharing of what has been learned, as well as contributing to open-source projects, has existed throughout the world and Macedonia should not be an exception. 

Base42 started its activities without any fanfare and its development is progressing in a natural and more fluid way. In a short span of several months, Base42 has hosted a large number of events and projects, proving how much people need spaces like these. 

The benefits are great both for each individual, as well as the IT industry in general. Recent years have painted a distorted picture, showing how IT professions have this special connection with individualism and independent work, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Personal and social growth and development happens only if there is a sense of belonging, and only if information is shared.

Things make less sense if new knowledge is not sought, and if people don’t help and support each other. You must show care and responsibility for the people around you. This is the only way to get good engineers, and, with that, the whole industry can thrive and become more successful. 

Base42 is a new hackerspace. I want to express my immense gratitude to all the people, organizations and initiatives from these past 6 months, without them, the place would not have been a reality. 

We have many plans and ideas. To that end, we kindly invite everyone to come and join us, to help us build the future together, to improve upon it, and to see it grow together. We are open to cooperation with both companies and organizations, as long as it holds true to our vision. Hopefully the hacker culture will outgrow the place and take greater strides.  
Plans are always realized if we have enough motivation and passion. I strongly believe that Base42 has the means to provide limitless quantities of everything that’s needed for a takeoff.
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