You can find official lessons learned and suggestions for improvements from past events here.
Write down your suggestions, ideas and feedback for future hackathons, so this page can be a source of inspiration and learning for (future) hacktathon organizers.
Whenever possible, sort your idea under a matching broader headline, to help keep this page easy to read, with a clear structure. Thank you for your feedback!
- Nap room? If the hacking venue is not at the hostel / hotel, you might consider a place for people with jet lag to nap.
- Pets? Can locals bring their dogs into outdoor areas?
Food, Snacks + Drinks
- Interactive food stations (coffee hacking station, tea hacking station)
- group should sign a hackathon poster, to be framed for San Francisco WMF offices
Program + Sessions
Stand up to get an idea of your audience
A hackathon idea stolen from the Swizz:
- Take a room and clear it of any chairs
- Draw two lines in the room to divide it in three parts
- Ask people for who it is the first hackathon to stand in the first square, 1-3 hackathons in the middle one, 4+ in the last square
- Ask people who know what to work on to stand near the window, not clue on the other side and in doubt in between
- You know subdivided the room in different groups by experience and what to work on
- Do a regular idea pitching session, but start with the people who are near the window
- Have two microphones so you can start from both the very experienced and the newbies and work to the middle
Identify actual faces/ points of contacts for community wishlist tasks
Idea suggested by Johan (WMF) in May 2016:
If we want to continue encouraging people to work on wishlist tasks (and I think it's a good idea, for several reasons), then I think we need to take this into consideration:
We spend months preparing Phabricator tasks. People say "yeah, I could work on T793XXX or T768XXX, maybe" and then a few months pass and they don't think too much about the tasks they looked at when they registered. So they get to the hackathon. There they have two choices:
- They can find tasks in Phabricator, sign up with their username and hope someone might find them. If they don't know each other, this might require some time looking around for each other, they need to keep track of what's happening in that ticket and so on.
- Or they can grab one the 25 persons who just enthusiastically presented a project. The benefit of working on it is fresh in their memories, they know what the person looks like and it's easy to just go up to them and say, hey, that sounds interesting, let me help out.
If one of the Phabricator tasks really caught their attention, they'll probably still go with it – we had plenty of work done on wishlist tasks. But if they're agnostic when it comes to what to work on, I think the wishlist tasks will stand a much better chance if we identify persons who would be willing to go up and present them as their project, to immediately give them a face and a person to grab.