Our first "regular" OSS Hackathon was held on May 27th, 2018
We started doing OSS Hackathon regularly
The last Sunday was a pretty exciting day for me!
We started a new community to run OSS Hackathon events regularly in Tokyo, Japan. And the last Sunday, May 27th was the first occurrence of the hackathon events.
On that day, a small group of eight attendees and three OSS maintainers worked on their favorite OSS projects, and the attendees tried to contribute to the OSS projects with help from the maintainers. The maintainers who helped the hackathon were:
- @ko_noike, a GitBucket maintainer
- @seratch, the creator of ScalikeJDBC and SkinnyFramework
- @xuwei-k, maintainer of Scalaz, argonaut-io, ScalikeJDBC, @unfiltered, etc and creator of scalaprops, msgpack4z projects
The OSS Hackathon community was born out of ScalaMatsuri
Actually we held a similar hackathon event in the past as part of ScalaMatsuri 2018, and received a great deal of positive feedback was from the attendees and the OSS maintainers.
After ScalaMatsuri OSS Hackathon, there were several people who showed interest in running such OSS Hackathon events in a monthly or bi-monthly basis, and we we decided to form up the new community focused on this effort.
The outcome of the event
During this four-hour long hackathon, three attendees opened pull requests, and few more were close to create pull requests. I think they would be able to finish the pull requests on a later day.
Some feedback from the attendees were:
- Appreciate quick help from the OSS maintainers
- It would have been even better if there was more introduction in advance about basics in how to contribute to OSS, how to pick issues, etc
- Interesting to find that each OSS project has different culture and policies in test requirements, code reviews, etc
- I worked on a seemingly-easy issue but it turned out difficult and tedious!
- Good opportunity to get focused on just for contribution, for four hours long
- Advice on writing pull request description was useful
With the feedback in mind, we'll keep making this hackathon smoother and easier for attendees to contribute.
Oh by the way below are lovely pictures taken during the break time in the event.
Slack workspace is avaialble - OSS maintainer's participation is highly welcome !!
Not only holding hackathon , we also opened a Slack workspace so that people can ask questions or consult with maintainers anytime, and even help each other, like what issue to tackle in a certain OSS project, when they get stuck, etc. Anyone can join the Slack workspace from this link, and especially participation from OSS maintainers are highly appreciated.
Since the community is started from Tokyo, Japan, currently people communicate in Japanese most of the time. However, many of us can speak and write English, so please just say hi when you join the workspace, and we can use English whenever we talk to people who don't use Japanese.
To involve more OSS maintainers and attendees, I believe we have to offer benefits to both of them. For OSS maintainers, the main benefit we can provide is to attract more aspiring contributors and add more activities to their OSS projects. For attendees, we should give as many opportunities as possible to communicate and work with OSS maintainers so that the bar to OSS contribution is lowered.
We are still in a very early phase of the community and exploring all the possibilities to make the community grow, make the collaboration easier with OSS maintainers overseas. For example, we might hold a hackathon in more friendly hours for Europe, US or any other part of the world where OSS maintainers live. Also we are seeking the best way for remote communication - for now we use Slack but we might encounter a better tool, or a combination different tools.
Probably for communication with maintainers overseas, we don't need to do that synchronously - if that make things easier for the maintainers, we don't need the maintainers to be available during the hackathon hours, but the attendees will only communicate with them before and after the hackathon.
The next hackathon ...
We are planning the next hackathon event in Tokyo some time at the end of June, yet to be decided. For now it'll most likely be held in a similar format to the first one on May 27th, but we might change the format to attract maintainers in other countries.
If any of you are interested in this continuous effort, please join our Slack workspace, or just let me know!! You can talk to me on Twitter by replying to me, or via Twitter DM as I can receive it from anyone on Twitter.