Spring Break Of Code

moxie0 on 23 Jan 2013

This Spring will be the first Open Whisper Systems Spring Break Of Code, a week-long, expenses-paid retreat to Maui for folks who like software development, security, and the beach. We’ve rented a large beachfront house on the west coast of Maui for everyone to stay in, and will pay for your airfare. While there, you can split your time between island living and working on an Open Whisper Systems-related project that you propose.

View of the beach at Puamana, island of Maui.

The Details

Spring Break Of Code will be March 23rd to March 31st, 2013. We’ve rented a large beachfront house in Puamana, on the west coast of Maui, HI (within walking distance to a few surf spots). We will be taking up to eight people, and will cover your costs for:

  • Lodging in a large beachfront house.
  • Your airfare from the US.
  • A surfboard for the week.

Spring Break Of Code is an opportunity for hackers interested in security and privacy to spend some time contributing to Open Whisper Systems-related projects in a retreat-like setting with other co-conspirators. Think of it as an extended hackathon, but with your travel expenses paid, and with breaks for surfing, hiking, swimming, and just generally being in Maui.


To apply to Spring Break Of Code, send an email to springbreakofcode@whispersystems.org with the following information:

  • Tell us about yourself. Who are you, where do you live, what have you been working on, and what interests you about Open Whisper Systems? Don’t worry if you are a student or don’t have tons of “industry” experience, personal projects are great.
  • Examples of your work. Are there other public contributions you’ve made that you’re proud of?
  • What you want to work on for Spring Break Of Code. This should be something you’re excited about that can either be finished in a week, or that a useful and discrete part of can be finished in a week. Some example ideas could be:

    1. Any of the open issues on our GitHub trackers (here or here).
    2. Writing mountains of sorely lacking unit and integration tests.
    3. Doing some much-needed design work on any of our apps, icons, etc.
    4. Migrating TextSecure to a page-level DB solution.
    5. Putting together a good solution for user-oriented documentation.
    6. Working on anything for our website.
    7. Adding “push to talk” functionality to RedPhone.
    8. Developing RedPhone distributed call quality measurement and analytics.
    9. Adding a data-based (non-SMS) channel to TextSecure.
    10. Writing an application-level multi-master database replication solution for RedPhone master switches.
    11. A plan for iOS TextSecure integration.
    12. A plan for TextSecure identity key management.

    Or anything else you’re excited about: fixing broken windows that have annoyed you, writing features you think would be useful, or even developing a new small app that you think would help. Think of the skills you’re good at or interested in, and how you might be able to apply those to helping our project better achieve the goal of dead-simple mobile security and privacy for everyone.

    Please include some information about why you’re confident you’ll be able to complete your project over Spring Break Of Code.

You should also know…

We understand that it requires commitment in order to travel a great distance and spend a week with people you might not already know. We’ll work hard to ensure that the infrastructure is set up well in order to make this week great, but we also want to set the framework for the expectations we believe we should have for each other:

  • Respect: We ask for everyone to respect each other, the space, and the local area. We want this event to be inclusive for everyone involved, and will not tolerate harassment or rude behavior.

  • Consent: Any interaction with anyone at Spring Break Of Code should be consensual.

  • Privacy: The house we’ve rented is spacious, but not large enough for everyone to have their own private room. We will organize shared rooms based on gender, and will do our best to ensure that everyone has the space they need.


We want to have selected all the proposals we have space for by February 23rd. If you’re interested, please submit a proposal between now and then. We’ll be accepting proposals as we go, however, so we might run out of space before then; the earlier you get something in the better.

We’re excited, and hope you will be too!