Code, Cloud, Geeky, Killjoy
fizzPOP Lock Picking Night

Great Night, learnt a new skill and 100% free. I’ll be going again.


This is my first review of a meet up and hopeful I’ll start making more effort to blog about things in general.

I’m hoping it helps other people who want to attend or get an idea what it was like in general.

Last night I attended fizzPOP’s Lock Picking Night which I’ve been meaning to do since it was recommended in one of Birmingham’s other meet ups. I arrived slightly early and the location seemed very familiar and worked out some years ago I’ve visited Blueberry Consultants which is just round the corner. Anyway I digress…

On arriving I found a parking space out on the street 100 meters away and headed in. The bell is well signed and the instructions were clear, great start. I rang it and waited. Simon answered and welcomed me in. The hacker space is upstairs and there was plenty of activity of people using the space.

I was given the guided tour and the thing that struck me most was how big the space is. The ceiling height gives an amazing feeling of space and none of the rooms felt like a squeeze. The room where the lock picking session at one stage held 11 of us and there were 4 or 5 similar sized rooms.

I waited in the lounge area while other people came in and had the guided tour etc. Then went into the training / teaching room where everyone sat round a square table.

The training was delivered in a very factual way and then we were let loose to try it out for ourselves. I can totally see the appeal it’s one of those easy to start, hard to master skills.

While you’re trying to concentrate (which your old not to do plenty of times) the banter and conversation continues on around you. It was generally all on topic and really interesting to listen into. Not that I could add much too it as I was still trying to concentrate and failing to pick anything but the most basic locks.

The time seemed to fly by and it was about 10:30pm (I was the last non regular there) and they were shutting up and heading to the pub. Which, I was welcomed to join. I’m not a drinker so I gave it a miss.

I’ll defiantly try and attend another Lock Picking session they did mention others “Coding Night” which I’m sure I could attend but it’s a bit like more work for me.

The only think I found odd about the whole night was that it was completely free. I understand they are looking for new members and I suppose this is a great way to get people into the space, but it’s not feasible to make that sort of commitment in time. I defiantly felt guilty that I turned up and didn’t contribute anything.

My expectation was that there would be teas, coffee and chocolate at inflated prices where I’d end up making a contribution that way. There weren’t any refreshments, not that I notice for concentrating. When I attend my next session I’ll be taking some with me as my contribution.


8 Oct 2015 #Birmingham