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Revision as of 00:53, 9 June 2017 by David F Flanders (talk | contribs) (Cloud Application Hackathon Working Group)

Cloud Application Hackathon Working Group

Tag for Hackathon Working Group = #Hackathon-WG Please make sure to append the subject line of your User Committee maling list emails with "[Hackathon-WG] <Email subject line>" For social media and any other documents created relating to this WG please use the hashtag: #hackathon-wg


The Cloud Application Hackathon working group actively supports community members who want to organize and run a cloud application hackathon for their community. The working group (WG) will share it’s collective knowledge, exchange of best practices, documentation, and provide mentorship. This WG is a place for hackathon organisers to come and receive planning advice which is practical and helps the organiser achieve event success by leveraging the capabilities of the global OpenStack community.

What can you ask this Working Group to do?

Please email the chairs of this WG via the User Committee mailing list to ask them for help to:

  • Review and approve your application for running an OpenStack Hackathon.
  • Help you understand the timelines of tasks for setting up and running a hackathon, i.e. usually 6-9 months.
  • Connect you with like-minded Open Source developers and community leaders who can support your hackathon application.
  • Acquire guidance on how to setup your event steering committee, i.e. your hackathon committee will help seek sponsorship, mentors, infrastructure and other event resourcing.
  • Request names of previous hackathon organisers who can help provide guidance on your hackathon.
  • Provide introduction to the OpenStack Foundation and other Sponsors for supporting resources.
  • Act as an additional point of contact for guidance in developing a successful, safe, inclusive and rewarding hackathons.
  • Empower you to run a hackathon for your local Open Source communities, while assuring you are connected with the international expertise.
  • Facilitate activities leading up to the hackathon, without impeding the local group’s schedules or progress.
  • Encourage enhanced relationships between developer communities (AppDev, DevOps, SysAdmin, NetEng, SREs, UXers, etc) for the purpose of better understanding one another.
  • Introduce hackathon champions who regularly participate and are aware for the wide range of cloud application tools, connectors and technologies.
  • Provide contacts who are willing to partner in supporting the logistics of the event.
  • Suggest whom in the community can provide pre-training for teams, including videos, on-site training and other learning resources.
  • Provide guidance on how to recruit community volunteers to support the hackathon training activities and competition.
  • Provide oversight of the judging process to assure equity and fairness.
  • Liaise between the local hackathon organisers and the OpenStack User Committee: https://www.openstack.org/foundation/user-committee/
  • Getting your hackathon listed on the OpenStack Hackathon website: https://www.openstack.org/community/events/openstackhackathons/

Goals out of Scope

This working group does NOT:

  • build applications
  • provide guidance on how application should be built
  • provide funding for hackathons




Please email the user committee mailing list with the subject tag of [hackathon-wg] to request a meeting with the chairs of the hackathon working group: http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/user-committee

Co-Chairs of this Working Group

  • Michael Jenkins, Birkbeck, Unviersity of London.
  • Gonzalo de la Torre, University of Texas San Antonio.

Further information

Please see the Foundation's website for further information on previous hackathons: https://www.openstack.org/community/events/openstackhackathons/

Lead Hacker Checklists for Cloud Application Hackathon Event

The 'lead hacker' is responsible for the overall success of the event. You should be a well organised person, able to kindly delegate tasks and humbly ask for help. You will have run events before with an understanding for basic community principles: especially inclusion, kindness and 'a steady hand' when things get stressful.

Your objectives as the "Lead Hacker":

  • Assemble a team of event organisers who are passionate for building up your local community.
  • Organise weekly/fortnightly meetings to bring the event organising team together to communicate.
  • Answer questions daily, being on-call wherever you are needed. Promote, promote, promote.
  • Be the cheerleader, help people, do everything you can to make the event a positive organised experience for everyone.

Checklists for the 'Lead Hacker'

The below checklists are intended to provide the minimum viable set of tasks which will need to be completed for the hackathon. Naturally, you will add on additional tasks to make your event even better and we would highly encourage you to create your own checklists and share them back with the community.

Are you ready to help make the world a better place where apps can work on any open cloud?

Pre Event Checklist

To do four months prior to the hackathon taking place:

  1. Contact the OpenStack Cloud Application Hackathon Working Group to find an Ambassador who can support you throughout the event. A liaison from the OpenStack Foundation will be assigned to support you.
  2. Recruit the x10 event organisers who will help you achieve a successful hackathon event, show them this repository with a list of checklists for the roles they will need to undertake as part of the event organising team.
  3. Lock down a venue, i.e. lock down the date and tell a new person every day about the Hackathon. Hint: use any contacts you have at Universities as the Uni will often sponsor the event by donating the space.
  4. Come up with the main theme (aka "tag line') of your event, how can you get all the "idea people" to come to this event and participate. Your event logo will represent this tag line. Your logo will be used on everything. Hint: what is happening at the time of your planned event, any news headlines likely - be timely!
  5. Organise a simple one page website with basic instructions on how to get involved. Ask your friendly OpenStack liaison to help provide examples of past events. Don't forget: pictures, video and more pictures.
  6. Draw up a floorplan to share with everyone showing spaces marked out for: opening ceremony stage, team spaces, food/drink areas, judging areas (if not the stages), and closing ceremony.
  7. Run regular weekly/fortnightly conference calls to make sure your organising team is on track - have fun, encourage smiles as this event is about having fun with ideas!
  8. Your hackathon begins with the informal training events which happen once month building up to the event, make sure the cloud and trainers are ready. <-- this is where teams will form.
  9. Gather team leaders every week to keep updated on advancements and next steps
  10. Make sure you have all 10 of your event organising team and that they are on course to deliver. One leader is needed for each one of the following concentrations:
    1. Marketing (Social Media, Website, Physical Propaganda)
    2. Pre-Trainings
    3. Sponsors
    4. Registration and Help-Desk
    5. Venue-Logistics
    6. Advocates-Judges
    7. Mentors
    8. Cloud, Network, WiFi
    9. Volunteers
    10. Community Manager

Event Checklist

The following is an example of a 3 day Hackathon event

Hackathon: Day 1

08:00 Cluster setup, Infrastructure

10:00 Settup and Assembly

12:00 Rehearsal

15:00 Start of Activities

15:00 - 22:00: Registration

17:30: Opening Ceremony, Team presentation, Sponsors

17:45: OpenStack Community Presentation

18:00: OpenStack WG+Projects

18:15: Keynote

18:30: Agenda + Rules + Q&A Housekeeping (11pm - 6am)

18:45: Mentors Introduction

19:00: Judges Introduction

19:15: Closure Talk, Coding start!

19:30: Networking Team formation for individual registers. Meet your mentor.

21:00: Mentor’s checkpoint #1 - Meet your mentor + Kickoff

22:00: Dinner

22:00: Team checkpoint: Teams/Tables, Judges needed

24:00: Midnight Snack

Hackathon: Day 2

09:00: Breakfast

09:00: Team’s checkup: Entry form Leaders

10:00: Opening greetings (Day 2, agenda) + Q&A

10:30: Mentor’s checkpoint #2 - Architecting the app

14:00: Lunch

18:30: Mentor’s checkpoint #3 - OpenStack integration & code review

20:00: Dinner

24:00: Midnight Snack

Hackathon: Day 3

09:00: Breakfast

10:00: Opening greetings (Day 3, agenda) + Q&A

10:30: Mentor’s checkpoint #4 - Deployment

13:00: Coding stops!

13:00 - 14:00: Mentor’s checkpoint #5 - Teams prepare their pitch + deliverables and submit to judges

13:00 Mentors and Judges (Pre-selection mentors assignment)

14:00 - 15:00: Pre-selection round

  • In parallel, each team will present to its assigned judge and they will be graded using the rubric, selecting the best 3 to 5 apps to the finals

9 mins per team including Q&A

15:00: Lunch + teams pitch rehearsal (after their presentation with judges)

15:00 - 16:00: Mentors focus group (Research study)

15:00 - 16:00: Judge's deliberation (Leaders and Judges) and selection of the best 3 to 5 apps to the finals

15:15: Get the teams top ten and Leader announces them (#topsecret)

15:30: leaders entertaining participants #FunnyHack Explaining RankTab

16:00 - 16:30: Finalist announcement

16:00 - 16:15: Teams goes up at stage 16:30: Finals

  • The 3 to 5 best teams will be pitch their app to the audience
  • 10 minutes per team (3 min pitch/demo, 2 min to evaluate)
  • 5 min team to set up

17:30: Audience will select the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

  • The selection will be thru votes with an electronic app, token or paper ballots; selecting the 1 to 3 the best apps, like the process to select the name of the next release of OpenStack.
  • In case of a draw, judges will have the final decision.

18:00: Awards ceremony

  • Thanks to

- Sponsors - Judges - Mentors

19:00: Closing Celebration + Cocktail

Post Event Checklist

  1. Send hackathon event survey
  2. Provide survey results to upcoming hackathon events leaders

Checklist Summary

Step 1: Interest & Idea



How large

Step 2: Let us Know

Fill out Application Form

Community support

Industry support

Academia support


Step 3: Helps on the way

Identify support members

Project lead





Identify facilities or venue

Identify overall requirements

Step 4: Create a plan

Project plan

High-level design

Support commitment

Step 5: Getting serious


Media coverage

Budget and funding

Step 6: Main Event

Announcement and promotion

Sign-up and registration

Gifts and prizes



Step 7: Wrap-up


Awards and recognition


Additional Resources, Examples and Precedents

  • Example from Guadalajara's Hackathon

Hackathon Experience Video Frequently Asked Questions Guide Guadalajara Hackathon Portal

  • Interesting resource worth reading.
  • Some precedents of how other open communities do this.
  • A helpful person worth contacting and having a chat.
  • Why use checklists? Humans are not great at remembering stuff, this is how mistakes happen, people forget things when they are in stressful situations (like events), checklists are great for focusing the mind and result in significant productivity gains. Read more about this in a book called, 'The Checklist Manifesto'.

Incorporating User Research at Hackathons

Collecting feedback from participants is not only a great way to improve future hackathons, but also get insight on how application developers use OpenStack to ultimately improve its UX. Danielle Mundle (IRC: uxdanielle) has put together some draft resources for potential hackathon research activities. Please feel free to add ideas or otherwise edit the etherpads to reflect your input.

Main etherpad for Hackathon Research: https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/newton-osux-HackathonSurveyResearch

Suggestions for how/when to leverage user research at hackathons

Contact Information

Co-Presidents - Newton Release

Michael Jenkins

Skype: michael.jenkins886


LinkedIn: https://tw.linkedin.com/in/mjenkins3

Gonzalo De La Torre

US: (210) 837-0335

Skype: gonzalo-de-la-torre

Google Hangouts: latioz@gmail.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gonzaloutsa