Grants talk:PEG/WM Fr/Hackathon Lyon 2015/Report

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Hi Sylvain and the rest of the organizing team. Congrats on a very successful Hackathon -- the results are impressive and it sounds like the organization went smoothly! Thank you for this detailed and thoughtful report. We appreciate the care put into documenting the preparation, activities, challenges, and successes of organizing the Hackathon. There is a lot of very useful information that can be shared with future event organizers. We have a few questions/comments below and look forward to your responses.

  1. It's great that this is the first time childcare was offered. We have been funding more and more local events with childcare and it is very supportive of increasing participation overall and the diversity of participants. Thanks for the Learning Pattern as well. Do you think this contributed to the participation of more women at the event? You were able to secure almost 20% participation of women, almost double your expectations. Were there other strategies you employed to invite and recruit more women participants?
  2. I'm not sure if having public events alongside the Hackathon is typical, but it sounds like a great way to connect with the local community. Have you done any follow-up with the 100 people that attended these events? Added them to a mailing list, invited them to subsequent events, etc.?
  3. Would you recommend using CiviCRM to other people organizing events?
  4. The buddy system is another great idea! Did you get a lot of feedback from participants on if they thought it was valuable? Did the team provide any guidance for the mentors in the pair? If it's written down, can you please link to the documents? It would be really useful to have a Learning Pattern on this as well. I can ask Quim or Rachel to do this if they were managing the program.
  5. We're excited to see how the two projects selected for development at Wikimania progress (surfacing image content gap on WIkipedia and accessibility settings).
  6. We appreciate that the team was able to able to handle challenges (like the public transportation strike and controversial material) in a timely fashion and with creative solutions.
  7. Good lesson on the minimum bandwidth needed -- and that fiber access is a must.
  8. We see that the team invested a lot in video recording. How was this determined to be such a high priority? It will be good to track how much the videos are viewed to understand if this is something that is useful for future hackathons.

Thanks again to the team for organizing such a great event and for this report. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:54, 16 July 2015 (UTC)


Hello Alex. Having taken part in the planning of this Hackathon, I allow myself to answer some of your questions. I'm not answering in the name of Sylvain, nor Wikimedia France. Here are my personal answers. Sylvain might answer afterwards and give a different opinion.

1. It's great that this is the first time childcare was offered. We have been funding more and more local events with childcare and it is very supportive of increasing participation overall and the diversity of participants. Thanks for the Learning Pattern as well. Do you think this contributed to the participation of more women at the event? You were able to secure almost 20% participation of women, almost double your expectations. Were there other strategies you employed to invite and recruit more women participants?

I don't think that had a direct influence on Women participation. As far as I recall, there weren't many mother dropping children at the childcare in the morning and coding afterwards. On the other hand we increased the number of participants as a whole because some father came because their family could join. We had many women attending by directly contact some local female coder groups in Lyon. Through the meetups or the network we've developed over there, the word started to spread that we were planning an Hackathon and welcoming the as many women as possible. For instance we had a partnership with a French organization called 'Femmes du Numerique' (Women in Digital Life). They informed their members regading our Hackathon, and they had speeches at the opening and closing ceremonies to remind everyone why women are essential in a digital environment.

2. I'm not sure if having public events alongside the Hackathon is typical, but it sounds like a great way to connect with the local community. Have you done any follow-up with the 100 people that attended these events? Added them to a mailing list, invited them to subsequent events, etc.?

We've linked almost all these people with our Lyon Local Group. This group, which helped us a lot along the week-end, has taken part in these sessions. In France, the animation is done by the local groups. Thus, the employees aren't supposed to invite these curious persons to some events. We have the email address of these people and they'll be contacted for our 2015 fundraising campaign. Also, we're thinking of starting a new crowdfunding in Lyon's neighborhood, they'll then be invited to participate.

3. Would you recommend using CiviCRM to other people organizing events?

No. That's a very personal point of view, not reflecting the opinion of Wikimedia France, but I'm sure we'd have done a better job with a Google survey, a spreadsheet and MailChimp. Best evidence is that after registration, we used some Google Spreadsheets for scholarships. Plus it's much easier to share and regarding our work with WMF, it was necessary.

4. The buddy system is another great idea! Did you get a lot of feedback from participants on if they thought it was valuable? Did the team provide any guidance for the mentors in the pair? If it's written down, can you please link to the documents? It would be really useful to have a Learning Pattern on this as well. I can ask Quim or Rachel to do this if they were managing the program.

I had feedbacks only from newcomers and especially students who where attending a Wikimedia Hackathon for the first time. It was very valuable to them to have someone to clarify what has to be done. As far as I know, there was no guidance for mentors. The idea was to create links and ease relations. The main part of the success of such a system belongs to Rachel, who prepared a first list of buddies and Quim, who matched many buddies just after the opening ceremony regarding everyone's interest. For sure they can tell you more about it for future events.

5. We're excited to see how the two projects selected for development at Wikimania progress (surfacing image content gap on WIkipedia and accessibility settings).

6. We appreciate that the team was able to able to handle challenges (like the public transportation strike and controversial material) in a timely fashion and with creative solutions.

The main threat in planning an event is panic. Fear is normal, but panic is the worst. You have to be sure that in every organizing team you'll have someone that will never panic.

7. Good lesson on the minimum bandwidth needed -- and that fiber access is a must.

8. We see that the team invested a lot in video recording. How was this determined to be such a high priority? It will be good to track how much the videos are viewed to understand if this is something that is useful for future hackathons. We agreed at the very beginning to use the services of a very professional company. It might seems stupid but there is nothing worst than a bad video. We then wanted a very high quality video. During the pre-hackathon meeting with the Foundation, a.k.a Quim and Rachel, asked us to record many session, which we weren't prepared to, probably because we didn't understood each other. Then, when someone came to us, explaining that recording the session was really important, we trusted him, non regarding how many views would follow. --ACella (WMF) (talk) 17:36, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Hello Alex. Not much to add to Alexandre's answers.

1: Same as Alex.
2: Having public events alongside the Hackathon is not typical, but we wanted to take the opportunity to outreach to people in Lyon. As Alex said, we didn't contact them yet but if the local group in Lyon want to organize a big event, we have their email addresses and can send them a mailing.
3: It is only worth it if you already use CiviCRM. That said, if your organization use it already, it can be worth it to activate the "event" component. You cannot do everything but to manage a registration form associated with a payment platform, it performs a correct job. As a side note, the need to make an English form for the Hackathon on a French install of CiviCRM made it impossible to use some of the built-in features (we could do it through personalized fields), so it could be better with an English or Multilingual install of CiviCRM.
4: Same as Alex ;)
5: We too ;)
6: Thanks for the comment! For the public transportation strike, we were warned two days before, which gave us some time to organize another solution. For the controversial material, we have learnt the hard way that we need to double and triple-check every material we print.
7: Yes. I know we have especially big wins, but I hope that many hotels, conference rooms and such will upgrade their bandwidth capacity soon.
8: We originally planned to record only the best moments, but the Wikimedia Foundation specifically requested full sessions to be recorded some days before the event, so we asked for an upgrade with our contractor for video. I hope that they will be watched many times but as they will be uploaded to Commons, we will have very limited tracking data, if any.

-Sylvain WMFr (talk) 14:56, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

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