#Avgeek (a Definition): Someone Who Loves Technology as Much as They Love Aviation

12:02 PM

By Dan Pimentel,
Airplanista Blog Editor
If you spend any time on Twitter, no doubt you’ve seen the hashtag #Avgeeks floating around. For those of us who are in that community, we know what it means. But for many who see it and go “huh?” I thought maybe now might be a good time to expound a bit on the definition.
Let’s first start with the notion that everyone in aviation uses technology to some degree. We all have smartphones, we all use computers in our jobs and at home to catch up on all the fake news. But simply by using technology, most of us may not fall into the realm of #avgeek. To be a true #avgeek means going far beyond a few texts, emails and a little web browsing.
To truly paint a good picture of what the #avgeeks I know look like, let me dump you into the middle of #CampBacon at Oshkosh, the center of the #avgeek universe for that special week in late July along the shores of Lake Winnebago:
If you go to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and stroll into Camp Scholler, and walk to the rough vicinity of Lindbergh and 43rd, you will find it. “Camp Bacon” is where the show’s finest #avgeeks reside for the week, camping in tents or living the good life in RVs. While it cannot be said that every person at #CampBacon is a card-carrying #avgeek, every one of those #avgeeks can be found there. They are for the most part all involved somehow in coding, building IT architecture, app development…the kinds of things most of us cannot even understand. In fact, it is not at all uncommon to ask people at #CampBacon what they do, and have them just say “work with computers” because if they tried to explain exactly what they actually do, we mere mortals would have no idea what they are talking about. But while we are trying to understand them, a formation flies over, led by two B-29s, flanked by two B-17s, with four B-25s and 12 P-51s rounding out the overhead show. At that time, no matter what they are doing, everyone in #CampBacon will stop talking, and start gawking. They look up, and watch the formation until it disappears over the treetops. Once that happens, they go back about their business of cooking giant vats of chili, editing videos, programming apps in Python, or just charging 1,896,443 electronic devices.
It can easily be said that everyone at Oshkosh is in love with airplanes and aviation, that’s while they have wrangled the week off of work and obligations to be there. The #avgeeks are certainly in that group, but they just happen to be as deeply in love with technology as they are with the airplanes that surround them.
I consider myself an #avgeek, even though I cannot code my own apps for my iPhone. Not all #avgeeks can do that, but we all embrace technology as something great, in whatever form we can understand. I can work the Adobe Creative Suite at a Pro level, but could not “code” if my life depended on it. But I am welcomed into the #avgeek community just the same, as this group are my people, they think like me, look like me, act like me, they ARE me.
If you are reading this and say “hmm, I DO love technology and airplanes of any kind” then you probably already are an #avgeek. Embrace the title, feel good about being part of a tight community that has been growing every year at Oshkosh and around the world. Do a Twitter search for #avgeeks and save the search, going back to it every time you open the app. I bet you will relate to 99.9% of the posts in that feed, because we #avgeeks are cut from the same cloth. You do not need to be able to re-write the underlying code of Microsoft Word to be an #avgeek, you just need to have a respect for those in this community that can. I may not understand Python or fully grasp what many of the #avgeeks in #CampBacon do to earn money, but I support them and know that at the very foundation, we are more alike than not.
So go ahead, feel good about being an #avgeek, and start communicating with those on Twitter who already use that nickname. I can promise that you will learn something great along the way, and make a bunch of new friends. And when you get to Oshkosh this summer (you ARE going, right?) take a minute to find #CampBacon and say hello. They usually have a giant Chili and Jambalaya feed on Tuesday night, and the #avgeeks at my #Oshbash Social Media Meetup wander over there after my event. You are welcome to stop by, throw a few bucks into the kitty, and socialize with a bunch of cool people who are just like you.
I’d say you could charge your phone while you stop by, but every outlet will be full. Don’t even try, because #avgeeks have a magical talent of filling up any outlet on any RV, generator or power strip that could charge something.

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