At the time I am writing this, it is almost exactly 96 hours before the first members of our community start working on their chosen project for the Alfresco Global Virtual Hack-a-thon. Our Kiwi friends will kick off potentially the biggest hack-a-thon event we have ever had. Up to this point, the community has compiled a staggering list of 25 project ideas / teams with ~50 people registering an idea or an interest in participating. 10 local hacker rooms from Sydney to Maidenhead have been organised within the community and will hopefully provide a great experience not just for working on a project but also expanding / maintaing the network between our members.
Preparing for the event
It is highly recommended to prepare your local system / developer environment for the event, so that you can hit the ground running and use as much time as possible on your favorite project. That means you should make sure to:
- have a current IDE with Maven support (Eclipse, IntelliJ...)
- have a source control client or plugin installed, and an account on one of the popular public code repository platforms set up, so you can share your results and collaborate during the event (GitHub is by far the most commonly used platform)
- created and built a project generated by the current Alfresco SDK, so that you have already cached most of the required dependencies in your local Maven repository
- cloned or checked out the existing project (if continueing previous work), built it and - if possible - familiarised yourself with its basics
- know how you can get into contact with your chosen teammates and the rest of the community, so you can coordinate your work and get help if needed
- use this platform and private messages to connect with your potential teammates to also discuss other preparations you might be able to do
Communication during the event
Since this hack-a-thon is global and virtual, active communication is key to getting the most out of the event. In case you are working with teammates from other regions / timezones, you will have to consider how to hand-off the work you have already been doing so that others can hit the ground running. You may also have to get a new member up-to-speed, who potentially joins your project only at the day of the event.
During the event you may of course use any communication tools that best fits your needs. We still encourage you to join us in one of the channels that we will be using for coordination and support during the event:
- the #alfresco IRC channel on Freenode - you can use any IRC client to connect or a web-based client
- the event web meeting - in previous years we have used Google Hangouts but this year we will have a Zoom room provided by Alfresco (starting at 21:00 UTC on Thursday / 09:00 AM Friday in New Zealand)
- (secondary) Twitter using the #alfrescathon hashtag
Joining the event
It is up to you when you want to join or leave the event. When you do join on the day, simply join us in one of these channels and organise the start of your project with your teammates. if you don't have a project, you should ask around what others are working on to find something you might want to join. Richard Esplin and I will be online when the members from New Zealand and Australia join in the morning to help kick off the event. Afterwards it will be a bit of a relay with active members supporting anyone that joins after that.
After the event
When you are nearing the end of the event / your participation in it, please update the page listing the projects and teams with a reference to your results, e.g. a public repository on GitHub. We are not planning to do formal demos of the result during the event since it will not be practical in a rolling event like this, and might take time away from finishing your work in a clean way. Of course anyone can use our communication channels to showcase anything they want.
We will have a special Hack-a-thon demo session of Office Hours on October 6th. For this I would like to ask all the teams to get in contact with me, Kristen Gastaldo or Francesco Corti after the event to coordinate how you may be able to participate and showcase your results. As with all Office Hours sessions, the recording will be available for anyone that can not make it due to a difference in time zone. If you or your team cannot participate in the live event for the same reason, I would ask you to record a short video of your results that we may use in the session.
I hope everyone of you will have a great time during the event. If there are any issues, questions or other concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me, Kristen or Francesco via a private message (or other means), so we can help sort them out.
P.S.: If there any Chatham Islanders, Tongan or Samoan in our community, shout out to you for being the ones who actually start the hack-a-thon.