Francesco Corti already publicised it in a tweet on Monday, so it is about time to give the regular, full announcement: Alfresco and the Alfresco community will be having the annual Global Virtual Hack-a-thon on Friday, October 5th, 2018.
Global Virtual Hack-a-thons are the balancing counter-point to the hack-a-thon events we are typically conducting during Alfresco conferences, no matter their name (DevCon, Summit or BeeCon). Unconstrained by a physical location and the individual time / travel cost of attending, our annual Global, Virtual Hack-a-thons provide every member in the Alfresco community an opportunity to take a day out of the regular schedule to collaborate on projects of common interest, share ideas, network and collectively work to improve aspects of the Alfresco ecosystem.
No matter your location, no matter your role and no matter your specific field of interest, everyone is welcome and invited to participate. This is the event to work on your project ideas for a new Application Development Framework component, a new integration for Alfresco Process Services, a new addon for Alfresco Content Services, consolidate / update documentation in the community, or draft requirements for some missing feature from a business or end-user perspective. If you are a newbie to development on any of the Alfresco products / components, there are always experienced members of the community to join forces with and learn from. If you are a project manager or end user, your input and point of view will always be appreciated so the "code monkeys" among us can better understand your use cases and deliver better experiences.
All you need to participate is access to the internet, be willing to engage via remote working / collaboration tools (IRC / Discord / Zoom / Skype), and either propose a project idea or find a team to work on for the day. You can spend as little time as you can afford or as much time as you want to squeeze out of your day to work on the project of your choice - the main idea is to have fun and engage with other members of the community.
Like every year, we have prepared a page on this platform to list your project ideas, or find and join teams around specific projects. Any idea for a project is valid as long as it lends itself to an open and balanced collaboration in the context of the wider Alfresco community. Ideas can be technical, experimental purely business / end-user orientied, or simple documentation / maintenance tasks, like updating an existing addon to a new version of Alfresco. The only thing we kindly ask you to refrain from is using the event for any sort of sales pushes or other, overtly commercial initiatives. Results of the event should allow to be shared for the benefit of the wider Alfresco community, usually by providing code under some sort of FLOSS / liberal license or publicly documenting / presenting the results.
The event does not have a formal start or end time - we start whenever the first people from Australia / Oceania / East Asia join in the morning (typically around 09:00 UTC+10) and go until the last people in the Americas call it a day (as late as 18:00 UTC-8). The hack-a-thon is operated in a follow-the-sun mode, so everyone usually joins when they start their respective work day and leaves when it ends. All-in-all the entire event can take up to 24-27 hours.
There is no deadline of any sort by which project ideas must / should be listed in the projects and teams page. If you have ideas in advance, we recommend to list those as early as possible to give others (your prospective teammates) a chance to get familiar with them before the event, and maybe already start a bit of a conversation about planning the day. If you do not have an idea in advance and maybe did not get a chance to look at the listed ideas, do not worry. It is also just as common to join the event without any preparations, and find and join any of the teams just by chatting / talking to them then and there. If you do not know who to talk to or how to find a team, engineers from Alfresco, a member of the Order of the Bee, the Alfresco community / developer relations team, as well as other members of the community will always be available to lend a hand. Simply jump on IRC / Discord or join the Zoom web meeting and touch base.
Though the Global Virtual Hack-a-thon is intended as a decentralised event, it also presents a good opportunity to get together and socialize in person, especially in regions where there is a concentration of community members. As part of the inaugural Global Virtual Hack-a-thon 2014, members of the community and Alfresco staff organised "hacker rooms" in Brussels, Sydney, Maidenhead, Atlanta and San Mateo. Local communities that want to organise similar hacker rooms for this year's event may contact the Alfresco community team to discuss how Alfresco could support these local rooms, e.g. by helping with catering or simply providing some swag. We also have a page set up for you to list your details if you want to offer a hacker room to members of the community.
Any questions about the hack-a-thon event can be directed to myself, Francesco Corti or Kristen Gastaldo. Any inquiries regarding support for hosting local hacker room, i.e. with regards to goodies / swag, should be directed to Francesco or Kristen, or via mail to the community team in general (firstname.lastname@example.org).