FAQ

On 04/09/2016 09:06 AM, Neil Bowers wrote:
I’ve added a topic to the wiki page for “topics for discussion” at the QAH: [snip]
There’s a well-established definition for “hackathon” these days, and the QAH is not one of those. As a result when talking to potential sponsors, we have to be careful to define what the event is, how it works, and the attitude towards the output(s). I’ve had plenty of discussions explaining “no, not that kind of hackathon”.

Ie people who aren’t already familiar with the QAH hear “4-day … hackathon” and think something along the lines of:

So you’re going to get together and lash things up in a frenzy, in teams competing against each other.
I concede that the predominant use of the term "hackathon" these days is
a highly competitive event where teams compete against one another under
time pressure. That's true both within private companies and in cases
where, say, a government body open-sources its data and seeks new "apps".

Once again, Perl is different -- and that's not a difference that we
should relinquish. I count my participation in the Chicago hackathon
Andy and Pete organized in November 2006 as my entry point into real
collaboration with other members of the Perl community. All the
hackathons that I have participated in since then -- including at least
four which I have organized[1] -- have emphasized collaboration and
contributions to the Perl ecosphere rather than competition. None have
awarded prizes.

The Perl QA Hackathon is, admittedly, somewhat unique among Perl
hackathons in that it is an admittedly elite event where funds are
raised to bring together Perl experts from around the world to work in a
more focused way and to develop consensus around proposals for the
evolution of the Perl infrastructure. For that, you need, some serious
funds, probably in at least five figures.

Of the hackathons I myself have organized, only one needed donations in
any form other than the venue, and in that case the donor had a budget
for open-source contributions which had to be spent. We would have been
more than happy with just the venue, but the extra contributions did
enable us to provide transportation costs for five people from outside
our area to serve as hackathon mentors.

I think the larger question of "How do we raise money for Perl events
even when they don't conform to larger corporate or societal
expectations?" is a good one, and I thank Neil for kicking off the
discussion. But I share Kent's skepticism about alternative names as an
easy answer to that question.

Thank you very much.
Jim Keenan

[1] My earlier thoughts on hackathons:

"How to Get the Most Out of a Hackathon":
http://thenceforward.net/perl/yapc/YAPC-NA-2007/houslight/index.html

"Let's Have a Distributed Perl Hackathon":
http://blogs.perl.org/users/kid51/2012/10/lets-have-a-distributed-perl-hackathon.html

"New York Perl Hackathon A Success":
http://blogs.perl.org/users/kid51/2013/03/new-york-perl-hackathon-a-success.html

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