Kushal Das

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What is a hackathon or hackfest? Few more tips for proposals

According to Wikipedia, A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, collaborate intensively on software projects. Let us go through few points from this definition.

  • it is an event about collaboration.
  • it involves not only programmers, but designers, docs and other people.
  • it is about software projects.

We can also see that people work intensively on the projects. It can be one project, or people can work as teams on different projects. In Fedora land, the most common example of hackathon is “Fedora Activity Days” or FADs. Where a group of contributors sit together in a place and work on the project intensively. The last example is the Design FAD which we had around a month back, where the design team worked on fixing the their goals and workflows and other related things.

One should keep these things in mind while submitting a proposal for FUDCON or actually any other conference. If you want to teach about any particular technology or tool, you should put that as a workshop proposal than a hackfest or hackathon.

Then which one is a good topic for hackfest during Fudcon? Say you want to work on the speed up of the boot time of Fedora. You may want to design 5 great icons for the projects you love. If you love photography, may be you want to build a camera using a RaspberryPi and some nice Python code. Another good option is to ask for a list of bugs from the applications under Fedora apps/infrastructure/releng team and then work on fixing them during the conference.

In both hackfest or workshop proposals, there are a few points which must be present in your proposal. Things like

  • Who are the target audience for the workshop?
  • what version of Fedora must they have in their laptops?
  • which all packages should they pre-install in their computer before coming to the conference?
  • Do they need to know any particular technology or programming language or tool to take part in the workshop or hackfest?
  • Make sure that you submit proposals about the projects where you do contribute upstream.

CFP is open still 9th March, so go ahead and submit awesome proposals.

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