Hacker Dojo

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Hacker Dojo
HackerDojo logo.png
Headquarters3350 Thomas Road, Santa Clara, CA
  • United States
Coordinates37°22′53″N 121°57′30″W / 37.381386°N 121.958256°W / 37.381386; -121.958256Coordinates: 37°22′53″N 121°57′30″W / 37.381386°N 121.958256°W / 37.381386; -121.958256
Region served
Silicon Valley
Mountain View, CA
David Weekly, Jeff Lindsay, Brian Klug, Melissalynn Perkins, Kitt Hodsden
AffiliationsNoisebridge, NYC Resistor, Pumping Station One, SuperHappyDevHouse

Hacker Dojo is a 16,600-square-foot (1,540 m2) community center and hackerspace that is based in Santa Clara, California.[1] Predominantly an open working space for software projects, the Dojo hosts a range of events from technology classes to biology, computer hardware, and manufacturing and is open to all types of hackers.[2][3][4]


The Dojo is run mostly democratically by its membership under the oversight of five elected[5][6][failed verification] directors. Anybody can become a member, and hardship, worktrade and family rates are available. Member votes rarely deal with specific instances, and more work with general policy on how the Dojo should run. The Dojo is primarily financed through membership dues ($125/mo), but has historically accepted 3rd party sponsorships from Microsoft,[7] Google, isocket, Twilio, AMS Dataserfs,[8] and Palantir Technologies to fund expansions and renovations.


The Dojo is entirely communal space from the tools in the electronics lab to the desks to the food in the refrigerator. Anything left there is considered fair game for anybody to play with. Very few restrictions are placed upon people provided they do not detract from the experience of members or consume resources they do not replace. Any member may run an event, and event organizers are permitted to charge non-members for attendance to their event. Members are always permitted to go everywhere they wish, provided they do not consume somebody else's finite resources (such as an event's food).

Physical Space[edit]

Hacker Dojo in California
Original location at 140 South Whisman Road in 2009
599 Fairchild Drive in 2013
3350 Thomas Road in 2016

The Hacker Dojo was originally located at 140 South Whisman Road in Mountain View, CA. The facility started as being only 140A [9] but the space expanded to include 140B in October 2009, and further expanded in October 2011 to lease units C and D[citation needed], thus taking over the entirety of 140 S. Whisman. The expansion party was attended by several hundred individuals, including Steven Levy.

Because of zoning violations, the City of Mountain View blocked the use of units C and D, and restricted the use of units A and B to events no larger than 49 occupants.,[10] 140A was formerly an industrial artistic glassworking facility, though the community has put the space through a significant series of renovations.

In order to raise money to help meet building code requirements, the Dojo staged an "underwear run," on Saint Patrick's Day as a fund raiser.[11]

Construction bids to bring the 140 South Whisman space up to building code requirements came in much higher than expected, and on Monday, October 15, 2012, the Dojo signed a lease to rent a building at 599 Fairchild Drive, also in Mountain View.[12] Move-in occurred on February 13, 2013, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on February 27, 2013 [13]

The lease on the building at 599 Fairchild Drive ran through May 31, 2016, at which time the Dojo moved to its third home,[14] located at 3350 Thomas Road in Santa Clara.


Distributed denial of service attack[edit]

Members at Hacker Dojo could not access the Internet during several outages occurring between June 22 and July 14, 2013. The problem was eventually traced to an amplified distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) attack.[15] In this case, the perpetrator was sending forged Domain Name Service (DNS) requests to multiple domain name servers, causing the servers to send large amounts data records to the Hacker Dojo, thereby overloading the system and preventing legitimate use of the network.

Dojo managers made several attempts to stop the attacks, but were unsuccessful. Eventually, they requested help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which determined the outages were the result of a criminal act by Jason David Miller, a former Dojo member.[15]

According to the indictment, Miller had become a member on May 19, 2013, using the first name "ad" and the last name "min," such that his username became "ad.min" and his email address "ad.min@hackerdojo.com." Dojo management forbids misleading usernames, and terminated his email account. On June 1, 2013, Miller re-registered as "Dallas Smith," and began attacking the Dojo's internet service a few weeks later, starting on June 22, 2013. He is charged with violation of Title 18 U.S.C. §§ 1030(a)(5)(A) and (c)(4)(B)(i)—Intentionally Causing Damage to a Protected Computer. Miller was indicted in May 2014.[16]

Miller claims he only intended to engage in a harmless prank. He had been a teaching assistant, researcher, and Eagle Scout.[17] He was scheduled to be sentenced on October 3, 2016, in the courtroom of Judge Edward J. Davila in San Jose.[18]


In March, 2016, a local newspaper published an article saying the Dojo was facing a leadership crisis and that an employee had been accused of embezzlement.[19]


The three primary uses of Hacker Dojo are for events, as a coworking space, and for social purposes.


The 140B building has been turned into a place where events such as Random Hacks of Kindness, Startup Weekend, and BayThreat among others have been hosted. It also has invented and run its own events such as a reverse job fair call the Hacker Fair where candidates present booths of their previous independent or open source work to company engineers who are accompanied by technical recruiters [20] and the Startup Fair, where young companies have booths for investors to consider.[21][22] Members can hold events at the Dojo free of charge, subject to approval from the Dojo events committee.


A large number of Silicon Valley startups work daily out of the Hacker Dojo as their primary location, and Founders Institute, which is located nearby, encourages its members to work out of the Dojo [23]

Notable Startups With Hacker Dojo History[edit]


The Dojo used to have movie nights and a weekly Happy Hour.

Dojo in 2013[edit]

Original Dojo[edit]


  1. ^ Mark Noack (April 20, 2016). "Hacker Dojo announces plans to leave Mountain View—Nonprofit hacker space to relocate to Santa Clara". Mountain View Voice. Embarcadero Media. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  2. ^ "HackerDojo: Finally A Hangout Where Coders Can go 24/7". VentureBeat. August 13, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  3. ^ "Hacker Dojo Opens Its Doors". Gigaom.com. August 24, 2009. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  4. ^ "WSJ: Techies Get to Work at Hacker Dojo". Online.wsj.com. March 10, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  5. ^ "Hacker Dojo / History". Wiki.hackerdojo.com. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  6. ^ "Hacker Dojo / Who are the directors". Wiki.hackerdojo.com. May 14, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  7. ^ "Microsoft supports the HVAC fund". Twitter.com. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  8. ^ "AMS Dataserfs supports the HVAC fund". Twitter.com. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  9. ^ "Hacker Dojo Opens in Silicon Valley". Geek.com. August 17, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  10. ^ DeBolt, Daniel (January 31, 2012). "Hacker Dojo wins reprieve from city". Mountain View Voice. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  11. ^ DeBolt, Daniel (March 20, 2012). "Hackers hit MV's streets in "underwear run"". Mountain View Voice. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  12. ^ "A New Home for Hacker Dojo". HackerDojo.com.
  13. ^ "Grand Opening: Hacker Dojo's New Digs". Eventbrite. February 27, 2013.
  14. ^ Mark Noack (September 4, 2015). "Rising rents present new threat for Hacker Dojo Organizers consider moving out of Mountain View". Mountain View Voice. Embarcadero Media. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "Indictment" (PDF). U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. March 5, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  16. ^ "USA v. Miller". PlainSite. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  17. ^ Jessica L. Andreasen (February 18, 2015). "Drop the network hacking charge over a WiFi prank within the Hacker Dojo computer club". change.org. www.change.org/p/save-a-nerd-petition-against-felony-charge-for-harmless-retaliatory-wifi-prank-in-hacker-dojo-programming-club/u/9717356 Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  18. ^ "Calendar for Judge Edward J. Davila". U.S. District Court. August 26, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  19. ^ Mark Noack (March 31, 2016). "Disarray at the Dojo". Mountain View Voice. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  20. ^ "The Hacker Fair". Tech Crunch. January 6, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  21. ^ "The Startup Fair". Earthtimes.org. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  22. ^ "Startup Fair". Mercury News. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  23. ^ "Hacker Dojo and the Bay Area Founders Institute Partner Up". Founderinstitute.com. November 11, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  24. ^ "Contact Skydera". Skydera.com. Archived from the original on July 24, 2010.
  25. ^ "Waleed Abdulla, founder of NetworkedBlogs" HotDevs.com. July 7, 2010.
  26. ^ "Micromobs, inside a social network startup". PCWorld. Pcworld.idg.com.au. December 4, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2013.

External links[edit]